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Are you looking to replace your condenser boiler but are wondering where to start? We have collected all the information that will guide you as you embark on this project.
This guide has all the fundamentals of modern condensing boilers, including what they are and how they work. Note that almost all modern boilers are condensing boilers; hence we will be using the two in this guide, interchangeably.
Contrary to what many people think, the term ‘condensing boiler’ comes from a functionality standpoint and is not a type or specific brand of boiler- they condense wastewater vapour to capture its latent heat and recycling energy in the long run.
Unlike traditional non-condensing boilers, modern condensing boilers are more efficient in the way they heat water. Their high energy efficiency level is the primary reason why building regulations require that modern building be fitted with condenser boilers and not any other type of boilers.
In the UK, condensing boilers were championed in 2005 when the government set a new regulation requiring that all new boiler instalments or replacements be done with gas-fired boilers. This regulation is what led to the introduction of the boilers’ ranking system where condensing boilers were ranked as ‘A’ grade.
Condensing boilers can achieve up to 90-98%, which is much higher considering that the traditional varieties will only get to 70-80%.
Due to their high efficiency, condensing boiler’ heat exchanger flue gas temperature drops to 50-100 degrees Celsius. Ideally, a system that recycles energy should operate between 20-150 degrees Celsius, meaning that modern boilers are perfectly covered in this categorization.
The implication of high efficiency is a reduction of fuel bills and carbon footprint from the heating system.
In the UK, conventional boilers contributed to 4/5 of the total CO2 emission from all boilers in the market. A new Eco-Design Directive was issued and run concurrently with European boiler standards aiming at cutting emission by 400 million tonnes every year.
Between 2005 and 2020, the EU aimed at improving energy efficiency by 20%. Whether this was achieved or not, only new statistics can tell.
Condensing boilers have a very straightforward working principle that allows them to clock these high-efficiency levels.
Still, there are other factors such as design, make material and installation approach that synergistically improve their high conversions. The new technology used in condensing boilers was aimed at not only enhancing efficiency but also, reliability, affordability and durability. Under EU standards reviewed in 2019, super-efficient boilers had a new classification- ‘AAA+’.
So you may ask, how does this high-efficiency level benefit me? The implication that will make more sense to you is the cost reduction. Your energy bills will be significantly reduced if you install a high-efficiency condensing boiler. Even though you may not notice it, using a high-efficiency boiler will also reduce your household CO2 emission. This is one of the ways you will effortlessly contribute to protecting the planet.
The price of a condensing boiler depends on the following factors:
The cost you will incur in a condenser boiler installation or replacement will also be determined by the type of boiler you choose.
There are two main types of condenser boilers - regular and combi boilers. A regular condenser requires a hot water tank to be installed and is suitable for a large house. On the other hand, combi boilers will operate without a hot water tank and source water directly from the mains. They are more compact and suitable for smaller apartments.
If you are not switching from one boiler type to another in your replacement, expect to pay £1,300 provided that no significant adjustments are needed. Much of this cost goes to installation, which will be around £600-£1,000. The system's cost must be added to this figure to know the total amount you will incur in your project in particular.
Moving from one condenser type to another will cost more as much adjustments in plumbing, are needed. For this case, the cost of the system and installation will be around £1,300-£1,800.
The output, flow rate and efficiency rating of the condensing boiler you are using will affect its cost. Generally expect to spend around £500 - £1,700. You can still get a highly efficient boiler for as low as £700 from top brands such as Worcester Bosch, Baxi, Potterton and Valliant. However, these boilers come with usage limitations and are only suitable for small apartments.
Condensing boiler price varies depending on the energy they produce. In this regard, your energy needs will also influence the cost you will incur on a boiler. In summary, choosing a high-quality boiler that may be relatively more expensive than others is a more sound decision as you will have an assurance that it will serve you for a decent period and even in extremely cold weather.
A smaller boiler (suitable for a small household) will be cheaper than a sizeable condensing boiler ideal for large households.
Regulations in the UK and EU require that new property builds having high efficiency be installed. Since no other boiler type will offer the kind of efficiency that condenser boilers offer, the regulation simply means that you are required to install condenser boilers.
The aim of this regulation is to property owner save money and energy they spend at the end of the day. Remember that condensing boilers get their name from their working condition and it is not in any way brand or make-related. The water vapour is condensed and its latent heat of water of vaporisation retained. In this process, much energy is recycled or saved.
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