The effectiveness and running cost of a boiler is determined by its efficiency. The most efficient boiler is one that is able to turn the highest percentage of the energy that is fed into it into heating or hot water for the home. Currently the most efficient type of boiler that you can get is a modern condensing boiler. These are more efficient than old-style boilers because they do not lose heat in the hot gases that escape via the flue. Unlike an old-style model, a condensing boiler has a large heat exchanger that is able to send cool gases up the flue, thus recovering more heat and being more efficient. Furthermore, the gases can become so cool that they condense and the boiler is able to recover even more condensing vapour – hence the name condensing boiler.
Save money with a new, more efficient boiler
Since 2009, the efficiency of boilers has been expressed as a percentage. Prior to this they were given A to G ratings, but this was scrapped so as to avoid confusion with the European energy labels, as found on EPC certificates, which also use A to G ratings. The higher the percentage, the more efficient a boiler is. As a matter of fact, since 2010 only boilers that are 88% efficient or above can be installed in homes, and the vast majority of new boilers have an efficiency rating between 88% and 90%. What this means to UK homeowners in 2013 is that anyone replacing an old boiler with a new one stands to make a considerable savings on their energy bills as a result. Here are some of the potential savings, as quoted by the Energy Savings Trust:
If your old boiler is G-rated (i.e. less than 70% efficient) you stand to save £310 per year on energy bills, with a reduction of 1,200 kg of carbon dioxide emissions.
Even if you have a comparatively efficient old-style boiler (around 82%), you can still save £104 per year on energy bills, and reduce carbon emissions by 430 kg.
The Energy Savings Trust also states that if everyone in the UK with an old-boiler were to replace it with a modern condensing model, as much as 6.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide would not be emitted into the atmosphere.
Which boiler should I get?
So, given that modern condensing boilers are the most efficient type of boiler in 2013, does it make a difference which particular boiler you choose? The answer to this is that while there are differences in the efficiency ratings of modern condensing boilers, they are nowhere near as considerable as the difference in efficiency between a modern condensing boiler and an old-style boiler. This means that if you already have a modern condensing boiler, it may not be worth the expense to get a new, slightly more efficient model installed. However, if you want to know precisely which models are considered the most efficient, Sedbuk has listed all boilers currently on the market in order of energy efficiency.
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