In the last few years, new boiler technology has made a huge difference. Old boilers can be as little as 60% efficient, whilst condensing boilers can achieve over 90% efficiency, helping you to reduce fuel bills.

Most of us think of central heating as a modern invention but it in fact dates back to a warm air system developed in Roman times. It wasn’t until the 1970s, however, that central heating fired by a gas boiler started to take off and by the early 1980s it was regarded as a basic requirement for UK homes.

Boilers have come a very long way since then. Advances in technology and changes to regulations mean that they are now far more energy-efficient and are much more suited to a variety of homes and lifestyles.

Given that boilers account for about 60%* of a household’s annual energy costs, how efficient they are has a big effect on bills. With older gas boilers, a considerable amount of heat that could be used to generate heating and hot water is lost. Generally the older they are, the more heat they lose, making them increasingly expensive to run.

Some very old boilers can only achieve 60% efficiency and even relatively newer ones are only 70-75% efficient, which means that as much as 30%* of your heating and hot water fuel requirement could be wasted. An added problem is that many of the older boiler types have no proper controls, further reducing your boiler’s efficiency. In the last few years, new ‘condensing technology’ has been incorporated into boilers.

Essentially this enables some of the heat that would otherwise escape from a boiler to be captured and re-used. As a standard rule the better the boiler quality, the more it captures. For example, our Greenstar condensing boilers are more than 90% efficient, so over 90p of every £1 you spend on fuel for your boiler is used for your heating and hot water.

On top of this, intelligent controls can also make a difference by enabling much smarter, more cost-effective management of your heating and hot water system. For example, each of our Greenstar i, Si and CDi Compact combi boilers already have A-rated status with guaranteed efficiency levels of 94%, but by adding a Wave Internet-connected Smart controller (with its combined weather and load compensation feature), you can boost your heating system efficiency to an impressive 98% (also known as A+).

Every boiler needs to be maintained and serviced so it makes sense to consider the lifetime running costs along with the initial purchase price.

Lifestyle flexibility
With a wide range of boiler types on the market you can be sure to find one to suit your home and lifestyle. Each boiler has its own installation requirements, so talking to an expert is important. They will look at things like the size of your property, mains water pressure, the number of bathrooms or showers, if you have a loft and whether you want to free up space.

Another consideration is how you use your heating and hot water and if it might change, such as if your family is growing. Gaining expertise from the right company, such as Worcester, will help to make this process simple, whilst also ensuring you receive a boiler that meets all your needs, both now and into the future.

Wise choices
A new boiler will always vastly improve efficiency but it can be a sizeable investment, so it’s important to choose wisely. Much like
buying any other large appliance, it makes sense to look beyond the purchase price, and to consider the durability of parts and maintenance costs.

The better the boiler quality, the more reliable it will be, so opting for one from an established manufacturer will ensure you receive high performance as well as choice. By discussing everything with experts like your Worcester installer, you’ll make certain of the best long-term value for money, giving you financial peace of mind as well as comfort and warmth.

Smaller carbon footprint
Domestic boilers currently account for 21%* of the UK’s total CO2 emissions so the greater their efficiency, the more kind they are to the environment. Greenstar condensing boilers, for example, achieve dramatically reduced emissions of both CO2 and Nitrogen Oxide, making their carbon footprint smaller than the average for boilers of this kind. Carbon emissions – as well as energy bills – can fall even lower if a new boiler links to a solar water heating system or intelligent control.

If you decide to sell your home in the future, you will need to produce an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). A high-
efficiency condensing boiler will boost your EPC rating, making your home more attractive to buyers.