Green Energy: Are new Gas Boilers still the right choice for some UK homeowners?

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With the push towards greener and more efficient energy solutions for homes in the UK such as Air Source Heat Pumps, many home owners are wondering if they should replace their gas boiler with a newer and more efficient model. 

The truth is that the latest boilers on the market are highly efficient and upgrading to a heat pump immediately is not always simple, especially for older properties that require upgrades before a heat pump can be effective. These upgrades include cavity wall insulation and improved double glazing.

The cost to replace a gas boiler with a newer model is very reasonable and with modern boilers being much more efficient than older models, you could save on your heating bills. For many home owners it makes perfect sense to replace their gas boiler now and complete the insulation upgrades over the coming years ready for switching to greener solutions such as heat pumps.


What are the different types of gas boilers available?

When looking at gas boilers there are three types to consider: Combi boilers, regular (heat only) boilers, and system boilers.


What is a combi boiler?

Combi boilers have many advantages and are the first choice for many UK home owners. But, lets look at the pros and cons of the combi boiler.

  • A gas combi boiler is compact and doesn’t take up too much space, this makes it practical for smaller property types.
  • Combi boilers don’t require hot water storage
  • Cold-water tanks are not necessary for combi
  • This type of boiler isn’t ideal for larger properties due to a higher hot water
  • Homes with low water pressure shouldn’t use a gas combi


Regular boilers and system boilers

Regular boilers and system boilers both have a water cylinder or a water tank. This makes these two types of boiler suitable for large properties with multiple bathrooms and a higher demand for water, but the hot water is not instant.


Is a regular boiler a good fit for my home?

Lets take a look at some advantages and disadvantages of the regular boiler.

  • A regular boiler is suitable for larger properties that have higher demands on
  • This boiler is better suited to properties with lower water
  • Regular boilers do require more available space due to the
  • Regular boilers may require more maintenance due to freezing in the winder and


Should I choose a system boiler?


System boilers have their own advantages and disadvantages too. Let’s have a look at some of them to help you make the best choice.

  • This type of boiler is better suited to larger
  • A system boiler doesn’t require a cistern tank in the loft which can prevent some of the manatee issues of a regular
  • It’s a simple installation process and usually
  • You will need space for the water This is especially worth considering if swapping from a different boiler type.
  • System boilers are usually more expensive to install than combi
  • System boilers are not as efficient as combo
  • System boilers work best with good water



What should I choose – a gas boiler or an air source heat pump?

As we touched on previously air source heat pumps are a great choice and in the long term, most homes will need to install heat-pumps. But, it might not be the best decision for all home owners

right now.

If your property is a newer build or has already had high quality insulation completed, it may be worth considering making the move to a heat pump. Heat pumps can be highly efficient when a home is correctly insulated. If you’re wondering about the cost to replace a boiler with and air source heat pump we recommend getting at least three quotes from local specialists.


If you’re living in an older property that has not been fully insulated there are two options.

  • 1) Invest in the upgrades now and move over to an air source heat pump
  • 2) Install a new boiler now and do the upgrades over the coming years so that you’re ready to make the change to an air source heat


It’s worth noting that replacing a gas boiler with a newer model is a perfectly good choice. New gas boilers are highly efficient and this option gives you more time to think about the upgrades you need to make. By the time you upgrade to a heat pump, market prices might have come down a bit.

You can consider the upgrades to your property as a good investment since well insulated homes that are ready for greener solutions are going to be in higher demand and fetch a better price since everyone will need to make the change to greener solutions in the next few years.

Some of the upgrades you’ll need to consider include: Cavity wall insulation, double glazed windows and doors, conservatory upgrades such as better insulation or, upgrading to a solid conservatory roof.

Upgrading windows and doors with new double glazing is one of the simplest and most effective upgrades you can make. This makes the cost a worthwhile investment considering the potential savings you can gain from running an air source heat pump and the value added to your home from upgraded windows and doors.

Likewise, it’s worth considering improving the thermal efficiency of conservatories since this is an area where lots of heat is lost. Replacing a conservatory roof with a solid roof can be a great investment because it will not only improve the thermal efficiency of your home, but solid roof conservatories can add value to a home because the conservatory becomes a real living space that can be used all year round.


Whats the conclusion?

Everyones situation is different, so replacing your boiler with a newer model might be the right option for you. On the other hand, if your home is already suitably insulated, it might be a good time to move over to a greener solution.

But the main point here is that UK home owners should have a plan to make the switch to green energy solutions such as heat pumps in the next few years.