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It's human nature to want to know how much you're going to spend. My aim here is to outline the main factors when considering a new combination boiler. Please keep in mind that the prices below are there to give you a rough idea of the cost of materials and do not include labour costs.
a) The make of the boiler
I put boiler manufacturers into three broad categories:
Of course, the above categorisation is very much a generalisation. I am not here making any judgement on quality. It's much like car brands I suppose. For example a budget brand could be Dacia, mid-range might be Ford, and top-end might be Mercedes. It does not mean that just because one is less expensive than the other that it is any less reliable or doesn't do the job that is required of it. So cost wise you can get a Heatline combi boiler for less than £500, Baxi combi boilers start at around £600, and Worcester combi's start at around £900.
b) The size (kw rating) of the boiler
The size of your boiler in terms of KW rating is a really important factor. This will be determined by two factors:
This second factor is usually the most important. The greater your hot water demand the greater your boiler KW rating should be. You will get a better flow from your mixer shower and a quicker filling bath with a higher rated boiler. A word of warning here though. Because combi boilers rely on heating your incoming cold mains water supply, your hot water flow from your boiler will be governed by this. So if your cold main only supplies 10 litres per minute of cold water to your boiler you won't get any more than 10 litres per minute of hot water out of your boiler. A typical 40KW combi boiler can provide over 16 litres per minute of hot water but would really be wasted if your incoming mains was only 10 litres per minute. It is really important that the size of the boiler you get is suitable for you and your property.
c) The flue
The cost of the flue (chimney) will depend on where your boiler is located and where the flue terminates. If your flue is a standard horizontal one that goes straight through the wall behind (or to the side) of the boiler then your looking at between £50 and £100 (dependant on make). If your boiler is further away from the outside wall then you are going to need extension pieces and possibly elbows, offsets and brackets. All of which add to costs.
If your flue needs to terminate vertically i.e. through the roof, then this is most likely going to increase the cost (not only for the flue itself but also as the installer will need to access the roof).
Because condensing boilers now plume (looks like steam coming from the flue), a 'plume kit' may also need to be fitted to direct this 'plume' away from windows, passage ways or even a neighbour's boundary.
If your flue is less than 2 meters above ground level or is a place where it could potentially get blocked or damaged the a terminal guard will need to be fitted.
d) Gas pipework
Gas pipework to a new combi boiler will need to be a minimum of 22mm, and may even need to be 28mm depending on the KW rating of your boiler and how far it is from the gas meter. Keep in mind that many old boilers were installed using only 15mm pipe which will need upgrading, and could add quite substantially to the installation cost.
e) Condensate pipework
New boilers produce condensation which needs to be disposed of. This is done be running plastic pipe from your boiler to a drain (usually and preferably to a waste pipe inside your property i.e. to your kitchen sink waste pipe). Sometimes access to the waste may not be possible. For example if your boiler is located on the opposite side of the house to the kitchen or bathroom then a drain may not be easily accessible. In these instances a soakway may need to be installed, or sometimes a pump may be needed to pump the condensate away. Again, if necessary, these are going to add to your installation cost.
f) Cleaning the central heating system
As a minimum your system will need a chemical cleaner added and a good flushing through. This is a minimum requirement of all new boiler installations and should already be part of your quote. However, if you have an old system that has never been treated with inhibitor and your radiators have been slow to heat up or have coldspots, then you could heave problems with sludge build up. If this is the case then a powerflush may be necessary to thoroughly clean the system and prevent future problems. If done properly a powerflush can take up to a day and add upwards of £250 (depending on the size of your system) to your final bill.
As an addition, a good quality central heating filter should also be fitted to maintain the water quality in your system. These retail at around £100.
g) System controls
If your radiators don't have Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRV's) already fitted then these will need adding and cost between £10 and £20 each.
You will also need a room thermostat and separate programmer, or alternatively a programmable thermostat. Consider also if you want to connect your heating to wifi so you can control it remotely on your mobile phone. Either way you are looking at between £50 and £200.
What I have tried to do here is help you appreciate all the different elements that need to be taken into account when considering a new combi boiler installation. The above factors need to be considered when comparing quotes. Remember, labour costs will need to be factored in. This information will hopefully assist you in making an informed choice.
When you get a quote these are all things that the installer will take into account and advise you on. This is just to give you a 'heads-up' so you are prepared before a site visit.
DOES MY SYSTEM NEED POWERFLUSHING?
Some manufacturer's now offer 12 year warranties on certain boiler models. This is pretty incredible when you consider that a boiler is something that is in use more or less every day of the year, and during cold snaps can be on continuously for log stretches of time.
Most of us never read the terms and conditions when it comes to warranties (not just boilers!). It is not as simple as just getting your boiler installed and then expecting the manufacturer to honour the warranty.
If you are getting a new boiler then you need to make sure the installation meets the requirements below (as a minimum).
If your installation does not meet the criteria above then the manufacturer could very well refuse to honour the warranty.