Did you know that an A-rated boiler (rated for fuel and energy efficiency) is around £230 per year cheaper to run than an old G-rated boiler? It’s a good thing, then, that UK regulations now stipulate that all new boilers must have an A-rating.
Important considerations before you buy a boiler
Energy efficiency is not your only concern when you need to buy a replacement boiler; you also need to consider the size of your property, your water requirements and your fuel supply. Many homes in the UK still use oil as an energy source, so they are limited to oil boilers. Other options are gas boilers and electric boilers.
Types of boilers
There are several different types of boilers on the market.
Condensing boilers are fairly new on the market, but they are becoming increasingly popular in residential homes that use gas as their energy source.
Combination or combi boilers are suited to small homes and flats, as they don’t need hot or cold water tanks to supply water and save space. Instead, combi boilers deliver hot water on demand.
Heat-only or conventional boilers are suited to large properties (with 2 or more bathrooms), as they are better equipped to supply hot water to several sources simultaneously. They do, however, require a hot water cylinder, so you need storage space.
In terms of costs, there is little difference between the price for combi and conventional boilers. However, overall prices are affected by installation costs, as conventional boilers require the installation of water tanks. It can also be expensive to convert from a conventional boiler to a combi boiler.
There are several recognised boiler brands in the UK, although some are more reputable and of higher-quality than others. In general, the price difference between brands is negligible, but the long-term costs of buying a cheap boiler can be significantly higher than when you buy a more expensive, higher quality brand, as they are more likely to break down and their warranties tend to be shorter.
Warranty deals, according to Direct Heating Supplies, for combi boilers look something like this:
- 2 year warranty on Ideal i Mini models
- 2 year warrant on Ideal Logic models
- 2 years on Vaillant Pro models
- 2 years on Baxi NetaTec GA models
- 2 years on Baxi DuoTec GA models
- 5 years on Vaillant Plus models
- 5 years on Vaillant Exclusive models
- 5 years on Worcester Bosch i models
- 5 years on Worcester Bosch Si models
- 5 years on Worcester Bosch CDi models
- 5 years on Baxi NetaTec+ models
- 5 years on Baxi EcoBlue+ models
- 7 years on Ideal Logic+ models
- 10 years on Ideal Vogue models
- 10 years on Baxi EcoBlue Advance models
- 10 years on Baxi Platinum models
Best boiler manufacturers in the UK
According to various customer reviews, Vaillant and Worcester Bosch boilers receive the highest ratings for quality and customer satisfaction, giving consumers fewer problems than other brands.
Baxi boilers are often recommended by Gas Safe registered engineers for their reliability and value-for-money.
Infinity Energy Organisation lists its pick of the top 5 boiler makes in the UK:
- Vaillant boilers, especially in terms of energy efficiency.
- Worcester Bosch boilers, which has garnered the highest scores for customer satisfaction over the past 5 years and which was named Best Boiler Buy 2015 by Which?.
- Baxi boilers, especially known for their range of energy efficient gas boilers.
- Ideal boilers, which have received numerous awards, including the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in Innovation and the Good Housekeeping’s Reader Recommended award.
- Glow-worm boilers, combi and heat-only gas boilers that are affordable and reliable.
Top 3 boiler brands according to a Which? survey
- Vaillant and Bosch boilers: Customer satisfaction rating of 83%
- Potterton boilers: Customer satisfaction rating of 73%
- Ideal boilers: Customer satisfaction rating of 64%
Best boiler models
Now let’s look at which individual boilers are highly recommended.
According to the Eco Experts:
Best combi boilers
- Baxi EcoBlue+ 24. Expect to pay around £1584 (installation costs included)
- Ideal Boilers Logic plus 24 HE. Expect to pay around £1470 (installation costs included)
- Worcester Bosch Greenstar 24i Junior. Expect to pay around £1573 (installation costs included)
- Vaillant ecoTEC Pro 28. Expect to pay around £1603 (installation costs included)
Best system boilers
(System boilers need a hot water cylinder but don’t need a tank in the loft)
- Worcester Bosch Greenstar i System. Expect to pay around £1885 (installation costs included)
- Baxi EcoBlue. Expect to pay around £1965 (installation costs included)
Best conventional boilers
- Baxi Solo 30 HE A. Expect to pay around £1519 (installation costs included)
- Worcester Bosch Greenstar FS 30CDi. Expect to pay around £2170 (installation costs included)
- Glow-worm Flexicom 35hx. Expect to pay around £1822 (installation costs included)
- Vaillant EcoTEC Plus 438. Expect to pay around £2131 (installation costs included)
Best boilers for house size
The Eco Experts also provides information on which particular boilers are best for small, medium and large domestic homes.
Best boilers for a small home (1-2 bedroom, 1 bath)
- Baxi EcoBlue+ 24
- Ideal Boilers Logic plus 24 HE
- Worcester Bosch Greenstar 24i Junior
- Vaillant ecoTEC Pro 28
Best boilers for a medium home (3 bedroom, 2 bath)
- Baxi EcoBlue combi boiler
- Vaillant EcoTEC Plus 837 combi boiler
- Worcester Bosch Greenstar 34CDi combi boiler
- Baxi Solo 30 HE A conventional boiler
- Worcester Bosch Greenstar FS 30CDi conventional boiler
Best boilers for a large home (4 or more bedrooms, 2 or more bath)
- Glow-worm Flexicom 35hx conventional boiler
- Vaillant EcoTEC Plus 438 conventional boiler
- Worcester Bosch Greenstar 42CDi combi boiler
- Baxi EcoBlue Advance 40 combi boiler
Direct Heating Supplies also provides boiler recommendations based on property size.
Best boilers for small homes
- Vaillant ecoTEC Pro 24 combi boiler
- Vaillant ecoTEC Plus 825 combi boiler
- Baxi EcoBlue+ 24
- Ideal Logic Plus 24 HE combi boiler
- Worcester Greenstar 25i
- Worcester Greenstar 25Si compact boiler
- Vaillant ecoTEC Pro 28 combi boiler
Best boilers for medium homes
- Worcester Greenstar 28CDi compact boiler
- Worcester Greenstar 30i
- Worcester Greenstar 30Si compact boiler
- Ideal Logic Plus 30 HE
- Worcester Greenstar 32CDi compact boiler
- Worcester Greenstar 36CDi compact boiler
- Vaillant EcoTec Plus 832
- Baxi EcoBlue Advance 33
- Vaillant EcoTec Plus 838
- Worcester Greenstar 29CDi
- Worcester Greenstar 34CDi
Best boilers for large homes
- Ideal Logic Plus 35 HE
- Vaillant ecoTEC Plus 832
- Vaillant ecoTEC Plus 938
- Vaillant ecoTec Plus 838
- Worcester Greenstar 38CDi
- Worcester Greenstar 42CDi
- Baxi EcoBlue Advance 40
Honourable mentions go to:
- Baxi Duo-tec Combi 28 HE (gas)
- Baxi Platinum Combi HE A
- Glow-worm Ultracom 24 hxi heat-only
- Grant Vortex Pro Combi 26 (oil)
- Potterton Gold 24HE combi boiler
- Potterton Promax Combi 24HE Plus A