We know that installing a new boiler can be a big, and often stressful, decision. So we’ve put together a simple guide to boiler installation to help you make sense of it all. It covers some of the common considerations beforehand, what the installation entails, and what happens afterwards. First, however, here are some key facts about boilers.
There are three basic types – the combi, the conventional and the system boiler. You can read more about these here. Choosing the right one for your home will depend on things like whether you have a gas connection, your hot water requirements, how much space you have and what you want your efficiency to be. Changing your old boiler for the same type generally makes installation easier. But, for many, the benefits of switching to a new, energy efficient boiler outweigh any disruption.
Your gas engineer will be your trusted adviser on this, but a couple of key considerations when choosing the right boiler size are:
If you live in a large family home, you’re likely to have higher water usage than a single occupant in a one-bedroom apartment. Generally speaking, conventional boilers are better suited to meet higher water demands, and combi are best for lower usage.
If you’re pushed for space in your home, combi boilers are a good option since they don’t require a hot water cylinder.
For ease of installation and minimal disruption, it’s best to have your new boiler fitted in the same place as the old one. Most people tend to go for kitchens or cupboards, but you can place it in almost any room, as long as it has the correct pipework and you can position the flue correctly.
So you’ve chosen your boiler, now you need an engineer. All British Gas engineers are Gas Safe registered and you should never use one who isn’t! We’ve created a comprehensive guide to finding a trusted gas engineer, which will give you all the information you need to choose wisely.
You may not always be able to choose the timing of your installation, especially if your existing boiler breaks down! But if you can, the summer months are a safe bet. You’re less reliant on heating and hot water, which means that the process should be relatively pain free.
Any gas engineer worth his or her salt will always try to make the installation as simple as possible. They should cover your carpets and surfaces, bring all the right materials with them to start, work efficiently and safely, adhere to all legislation, and leave no trace of their visit.
Your Gas Safe engineer will want to check a few things with you first. Such as how many radiators you have, your water pressure, the number of bathrooms in your home and the positioning of the current boiler and flue.
If it’s a straightforward swap — e.g. combi for combi — you should expect the engineer to be done and dusted within the day. It’s worth bearing in mind though, that if it’s a much older boiler system or you’re changing boiler type, there may be complications which prolong the installation. You’ll need to be around to have a run-through of the new boiler controls once it’s fitted.
Boiler installation costs can be expensive and quotes can vary wildly, with a typical boiler installation costing anywhere between £3,000 and £5,000, so be sure to shop around. They depend on whether it’s a basic like-for-like switch to a newer model, or a complete system change, with Powerflushes and additional pipework. Make sure you get a fixed price quote upfront to avoid any nasty surprises.
To comply with Building Regulations and Gas Safe rules, all Gas Safe businesses need to notify the local authorities whenever they install a new gas appliance. And they should give you a Building Regulations Certificate, as well as a completed Benchmark Certificate, to prove compliance. Be sure to query this if it doesn’t happen.
Most reputable companies will offer you a guarantee on their services. Here at British Gas, we offer a five-year warranty on our installations, but these terms may vary from business to business. So always check before agreeing to the work.
If you’re concerned about the safety of your new boiler installation, or think that your engineer has done a bad job, follow up with them right away. They’re obliged to put right any problems they’ve created, or reimburse you for the cost of hiring a new engineer. If you’ve hired a Gas Safe engineer, you really shouldn’t have to worry.
And that’s it in a nutshell! Hopefully you feel a bit more clued up on your boiler installation now, but if you still have any questions, our heating advisers are on hand to help. And, for more information around British Gas boiler services, visit us here.