There are so many different types of boiler out there and they vary hugely in cost, so it’s not surprising if you’re left confused. It’s tricky to know whether to choose a well-known brand for more money or choose a cheaper boiler.
We’ve put together this price guide to help you work out your potential new boiler cost for installing combi boilers, conventional boilers or system boilers, all of which is up to date for 2020.
- General Advice
- How do I know if I need to replace my boiler?
- Which type of boiler is best for me?
- How much do new boilers cost?
- Why do fitted boilers vary so much in price?
- Energy efficiency and saving money on gas
Do your research
Do some research on different types of boilers and decide which one suits your home best. There are combi boilers, system boilers and conventional boilers to choose from.
Once you’ve decided on the type of boiler you need, you can have a look at the different brands. Worcester Bosch, Valliant and Glowworm are popular brands of boiler.
Set a budget
After you’ve done some research, set a budget and keep it in mind when you get a range of quotes.That way you’ll be able to compare quotes against what you can afford.
It sounds almost too obvious to say, but by setting yourself an upper limit you save time as you don’t trawl through countless options online. Additionally, the focused nature of your search will help prevent you being overwhelmed by options. There are enough brands out there to choose from as it is, and each one has multiple products and packages.
It’s worth stating too that this budget should account for the cost of the boiler and installation. Lots of people forget that! You don’t want to reach the checkout stage and find you’ve spent all this time researching a product out of budget anyway.
How do I know if I need to replace my boiler?
Before we even get into how much a new boiler costs, we need to ascertain if buying a new heating system, replacing it, repairing it or moving it is even the right thing to do. If you’re a first-time homeowner or just don’t know much about boilers in general, it can be difficult to tell if it’s time your boiler needs replacing.
Here are some tell-tale signs that you need a new boiler:
- You’ve had it for over 8 years.
At this point, a boiler’s natural life cycle starts coming to an end. They can last for a few more years depending on a variety of factors, but 15 years should be your absolute limit before you think about replacing it.
- Frequent breakdowns
When it comes to calling out some for checks and repairs, more than once a year is a sign that something is wrong. At a certain point, the cost of just buying a new one will be cheaper than all the upkeep required for your current one.
- Increasing noise
Most boilers naturally create noise, so it’s not the presence of noise itself that you should look out for. Instead, note anything that sounds unusual compared to the noises that you’re used to hearing.
Banging, humming or vibrating can often signal that something is wrong internally, while a tapping sound can be indicative of sludge building up in the pipes.
- Peculiar smell
This one is important. If at any point you notice a sulphurous or egg-like odour, there could be a gas leak. Turn off the boiler as soon as possible and then call the emergency gas line at 0800111999 in the UK.
Another key warning sign that you need to investigate new boiler costs – a boiler should never have a water leak. This is likely an indicator that an internal seal or valve is malfunctioning.
Leaving this unfixed can lead to water damage to the home, and potentially mould, alongside short-circuiting nearby electrical equipment. Again, switch it off as soon as you can. It should be possible to repair this, but full-on replacement may be necessary.
- Blue flame has become discoloured
When a boiler reaches the end of its lifespan, its possible that the blue flame transitions in to a yellow or orange. If this happens, call out an engineer immediately and take their advice into consideration.
- Rising costs
Keep an eye out for these in your monthly bills. This expenditure is dependent on the efficiency rating of your boiler, which ranges from A to G (going from best to worst). If you notice these costs rising at times when they shouldn’t be, such as in the middle of summer, there may be something happening to the efficiency of your boiler.
The savings of upgrading from a G to an A rated boiler tend to be a couple of hundred pounds a month, but the upfront cost in usually in the thousands, so consider which option is best for you and your financial situation.
If you’re worried that you’re boiler might not be as healthy as it could be, especially if it’s fast approaching winter, then you might find our article on boiler servicing helpful.
Which type of boiler is best for me?
There are three main types of boiler that you can buy for a UK home: combi boilers, system boilers and conventional boilers. You may hear conventional boilers sometimes referred to as “heat only” or “regular boilers”.
What is it?
Combi boilers are single unit, wall hung heating systems. They supply hot water instantly around the house, and do not require a storage tank to hold any water.
They’re small in size and when used as a replacement to older boilers are likely to free up a lot of space – in general, a combi boiler will occupy less space than a system or conventional boiler.
Is it right for me?
While often viewed as a universal solution to most boiler needs, the combi boiler isn’t the swiss army knife of heating systems.
In terms of installation, they tend to be quicker, cheaper and easier to fit than system boilers. Their compact size makes them ideal for smaller homes where space is precious. Importantly too, hot water is sent around the house at mains pressure which means it is: a) efficient in how it heats and b) delivers water with lots of power – great for showers.
That being said, combi boilers are likely a better fit for smaller homes or houses with fewer residents, each with their own set of needs. This derives from the fact that combi boilers prioritise one thing at a time – if two showers are running in the morning, the water flow to both will end up being poor.
Take a look at our article on the pros and cons of combi boilers for more on whether a combi boiler is the right fit for your home.
What is it?
A system boiler is made up of a series of internal mechanisms and an unvented hot water tank. Because the majority of the components are within the casing, if they break or have a fault they are usually covered by the warranty.
In contrast to combi boilers, systems operate by storing hot water in its tank. This allows them to provide heat to multiple outlets at once (for example, two showers in two different bathrooms).
Is it right for me?
System boilers tend to be best suited to large homes with multiple rooms. Large family homes would likely benefit the most, as with the multiple shower example above.
Generally speaking, even the new boiler cost for a premium system boiler tends to be below £2000, so they’re a relatively affordable option too. Be aware of the potential installation costs though. Depending on what the system boiler is replacing, it can run you up a steep bill.
On the downside, continual use of the hot water over a short period will deplete the stored resources. Therefore hot water often has to be recollected after prolonged use, which can lead to the inconvenience of having to wait for it to reheat before the whole family can finish showering in the morning.
This can be a particularly tricky issue to deal with if you’re trying to get multiple children ready before the early morning rush to school, for example.
For more on the benefits of system boilers see our online guide.
What is it?
Similar to system boilers, conventional boilers function by storing water and heating it over time. They have a vented hot water tank (unlike system boilers) and pipe heat directly to radiators.
However, it is unlikely that someone looking for a new boiler would ever choose a conventional boiler outside of replacing the one they already have. Lots of a conventional boiler’s parts are housed externally to the main system, which means not only can they be broken more easily but those repairs are less likely to be covered by a warranty.
Is it right for me?
Assuming you already have a conventional boiler that you’re looking to replace, installing a newer version is the right call if the following are priorities for you:
- Good water flow from taps.
- Hot water doesn’t need to be heated beforehand and stored for when it’s used – like the combi, the conventional can provide hot water immediately. For others however, the opposite is true. Check your make and model online if you’re not sure which you have.
That said, conventional boilers can require large financial investment given the cost of repairs. The technology is becoming increasingly obsolete, which drives up the price of replacement parts as they become less widely produced.
Conventional boilers also take up more space due to their size and the pipework involved in setting them up, which is not ideal for small homes.
While hot water can be provided instantly, it can be exhausted if used for too long, sharing qualities from both the combi and the system boiler.
How much do new boilers cost?
Purchase price for combi boilers is dependent on two things: brand and size. New boiler costs are tied, loosely speaking, to the size of your home which is determined most commonly by the number of bedrooms you have.
A ‘small home’ has 1-2, and a ‘medium home’ 3-4 and a ‘large home’ is anything more. There are other factors that come into play when you get a specific quote, such as the number of bathrooms, overall room count and more. But as a general baseline we’ll use the number of bedrooms as our metric for size.
- Purchasing a combi boiler for a small house could cost anywhere from £600-£1150.
- For a medium house it could cost from £800-£1300.
- For a large house it could cost anywhere from £900-£1500.
After purchasing your boiler you’ll also have to account for installation costs.
|Type of combi boiler you need installed||Installation cost|
|Replace your old combi boiler with a new one in the same spot||£550-£670|
|Replace your old combi boiler with a new one in a different spot||£1400-£1700|
|Replace a system boiler (with hot water storage cylinder) with a combi boiler||£2000-£2750|
|Replace conventional boiler (with water tanks and storage cylinders) with a combi boiler||£2600-£3200|
The new boiler cost for a system boiler is harder to pin down, given that multiple sites report wildly different prices. Also, because system heaters are built in such a way that the size of the house tends to matter far less (unlike combi boilers), it wouldn’t be useful to differentiate the prices that way.
What we’ve done instead is lay out a few of the best known brands and where their prices fall, so you can get a feel of which manufacturer suits your budget best and work from there.
|System boiler brand||Price ranges|
After that, of course, you have to consider the price of installation. This can vary wildly as well, once again dependent on what previous kind of boiler it is replacing. These prices are based on a system boiler model around the £900 mark.
|Type of system boiler you need installed||Installation cost|
|Replace a pre-existing combi boiler||£4600|
|Replace a pre-existing conventional boiler and hot water tank with a system boiler and unvented hot water tank||£4200|
|Replace a pre-existing system boiler with a new model, and keep the unvented water tank||£1950|
Conventional boilers – heat only
Conventional boilers are a tricky one to pin down. Options range from the cheapest, which can cost you around £500, to the most expensive at close to £3800.
As such, we’ll be looking at mid-range options in the table below, in order to give you a general idea of how different kinds of installation shake out cost-wise.
|New conventional boiler||Installation cost (est.)||Installation time|
|Replace conventional boiler with a new one in the same location||£1800||24 Hours|
|Replace conventional boiler with a new one in a different location||£2200||Two Weeks|
Why does a new boiler cost so much?
The new boiler cost for fittings is affected by a variety of factors, including the make of the boiler, the type and also what kind of party installs it. These can be sole traders, local businesses or large companies.
In addition to that, the nature of how you acquire your quote can change prices too. Did you get it free online, or did a professional make a home inspection? For instance, an online quote delivers a fixed price, whereas a home visit allows for potential bartering.
It’s worth noting that Quotatis as a company does not encourage hard selling tactics, so any professionals you’re put in touch with through us will hopefully reflect these values.
Using a sole trader tends to be the cheapest option, as the don’t have many overheads. This allows them to charge their customers less for their per hour labour costs.
Small local businesses
Organisations such as these offer mid-range price points, and are likely more reliable. Most businesses of this nature have an online presence, so can be checked for online reviews.
While they often cost a small premium over what a sole trader might charge, this mix of professionalism with a local, personal touch tends to be enough for most to consider small businesses when it comes to fitting costs. You’ll find lots of local businesses on the Quotatis tradesman directory.
National boiler companies like Eon and British Gas are the most expensive option for a new boiler, for a number of reasons. Not only are you paying for their renowned reliability and accountability, but also their support. These national companies have dedicated customer service departments that can assist the consumer once the installation has taken place.
Companies such as these have large bodies of staff on hand to field your calls, providing assistance and if necessary dispatching someone to fix your installation problems.
It should be noted that the higher new boiler cost at this level is also in part to account for the wider overheads of the company. However for some companies the piece of mind in buying a gas boiler from a national company is worth the extra cost.
Often to help make the higher boiler cost more palatable for customer these national boiler installers offer very good finance packages which offer you the opportunity to spread the cost over a number of year. Sometime this can be interest-free, so well worth considering if you don’t have the money upfront to pay for your new heating system.
Savings on your gas bills
The new boiler cost can be a significant investment, so you need to ensure that you’re aware of the expenditures involved. But some of the new boiler cost will be offset by the amount you can save on your gas bills by upgrading to a more efficient model. It’s worth remembering that you’ll also save money if you update an old boiler with a new A-rated one:
|Old boiler rating||Savings per year|
These savings are based on a semi-detached house replacing an old boiler with a programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs). You can find a more extensive breakdown on how your boiler can affect your home’s energy efficiency rating over at the Energy Saving Trust website.
In conclusion, while upgrading to a more efficient boiler might seem expensive (especially if you’re replacing an old model with something top of the line), it can save you lots of money as time goes on. This is less true if your current heating system is at C-D grade, however, if you can replace an F-G grade boiler with an A grade then after a few years it will have paid for itself.
If you’re looking to get a new boiler, make sure you get a range of quotes. Simply fill in the form below and we’ll put you in touch with up to 4 Gas Safe-registered engineers who will be able to give you a price for the job.