In the January lull that inevitably follows Christmas, many home owners begin looking for new ways to save money around the home.
One of the biggest expenses for every home owner is usually their energy bills, but it is often overlooked or dismissed as too expensive or complicated to make a change.
Unfortunately, energy costs are unavoidable, as most everyone needs to use gas and electricity. However, with the right level of knowledge, energy expenses can be properly managed and controlled.
A good place to start when looking to reduce your energy bills is with your boiler. A boiler is responsible for around 55% of your energy costs, so finding the right type of boiler for your home is an essential step when ensuring that you’re being efficient about your energy usage.
To help you save money with ease, we have compiled a guide that will help simplify your decision when buying a boiler, based on your own situation and preferences.
Condensing boilers are the most common type of boiler amongst British households. They are available in a wide variety of forms – including: combi, heat or system boilers – and all shapes and sizes, offering a relatively straight forward heating solution for a competitive price.
It is important to bear in mind that the savings offered by condensing boilers can vary drastically, and the amount that you can save will not only depend on your current boiler, but also the energy efficiency rating of your new boiler.
If possible, you should look to install an A-rated boiler. Despite a higher upfront cost for the boiler unit, the potential savings that are offered make it a smarter investment over time.
For those who want: A no frills, yet cost effective heating solution.
If your property is remote, or one of the four million that is not connected to the UK gas main, you may want to consider installing an oil based boiler unit as an alternative to a traditional gas powered condensing boiler. An oil boiler is similar in both form and function to a traditional condensing boiler, but instead of gas it relies on oil.
This change in fuel does bring with it additional costs. Firstly the cost of using oil to power your boiler is higher than gas, so you can expect to pay more to heat your home. In addition, the average cost of maintenance and repair is also higher, as a specialist engineer will likely be required.
For those who want: A straight forward heating solution for properties not on the grid.
Micro-CHP (combined heat and power) boilers have recently been introduced to the UK, following their proven popularity in countries such as Russia. A CHP boiler uses established sterling engine technology that allows you to heat your home whilst generating electricity at the same time.
The government’s feed-in-tariff scheme allows individuals who generate more electricity than they use to sell the surplus amount back to the grid, which has an added financial benefit that is not currently offered by other types of boilers.
However, the cost of buying and installing a micro-CHP boiler for your home is much higher than the alternatives, so it needs to be viewed more in terms of an investment.
For those who want: An investment.
For the environmentally conscious, a biomass boiler may be the ideal green solution. A biomass boiler traditionally runs on wood chippings or logs, to offer a cheap and sustainable way to heat your home. The carbon dioxide that is given off by a biomass boiler is relatively low compared to other types of boiler, but this comes at a price.
Some biomass boilers cannot be automatically fed, which means it requires frequent attention. Biomass boilers are also on the larger side, and some may even require planning permission before they can be installed. Finally the purchase and installation cost of a biomass boiler unit is higher than many other types of boilers.
For those who want: An environmentally friendly alternative.
Deciding which boiler is right for you depends entirely upon your own circumstances and personal preferences. Condensing boilers are the most popular choice for many households, but if you are after something different from your boiler, it’s certainly worth considering some of these alterative types. Remember, picking the right boiler to suit your property will help you save more money on your heating bills in the long run, so take your time and consider your options.
Author Bio: This article was written by James McAllister from Make It Cheaper who specialise in helping customers save money on their domestic and business energy. Follow James on Google+ and Twitter to keep up to date with his latest articles, musings and ramblings.
Having trouble with your boiler?
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Instead, call us on 0345 3192 247 and we can help. Our technical team will run through some simple troubleshooting to see if your problem can be resolved on the phone or they can book one of our friendly and knowledgeable Gas Safe registered engineers to get you back up and running as soon as possible.