Have you been considering updating your boiler recently, but worried about the cost?
Whether it’s electric or gas, your boiler is integral to your quality of living at home, and for your fiscal and physical well being, it’s imperative it remains in excellent shape.
However, replacing a boiler can often cause a huge dent in your savings, with the average cost of replacing a combi boiler being upwards of £2,000, luckily the UK Government have developed a scheme which allows people to claim a free, or subsidised, boiler replacement.
Signs your boiler needs replacing
As self-evident as it sounds, often the best way to tell if your boiler needs replacing is by having it serviced annually by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer, but if you’ve already got your suspicions here are 7 tell tale signs your boiler is on the fritz.
- Your boiler is already more than 15 years old. Although routine maintenance can prolong your boiler’s life beyond this, the average boiler only lasts 15 years. Also, not updating your boiler means you can miss out on new upgrades and apps that can help you monitor, control and reduce your heating bills.
- One of the most obvious signs your boiler isn’t working as well as its supposed to is if you find you’re having to wait longer for your house to feel warm, or for your hot water to come through. Similarly, if when your house has warmed up, it’s not feeling as hot as it’s supposed to, is another sign your boiler could be at fault.
- The flame in your boiler burns yellow rather than blue. This sign is vital to look out for, as it is an indicator that your boiler isn’t burning properly and releasing Carbon Monoxide. A gas which can be fatal.
- If your fuel costs have been steadily rising over the past few months, it could mean your boiler is working your money too hard, with none of the results. Switching to a more energy efficient boiler can save you up to 30% on your energy bills.
- You could be finding yourself calling out an engineer to fix an array of problems that go above and beyond general maintenance, frequently resetting or topping up the pressure in your boiler, or realising that the necessary parts to repair your boiler are getting more difficult, or expensive to source.
- Your boiler is working at an energy efficiency of below A. All modern boilers come with an energy efficiency rating ranging from A-G, A being the most energy efficient working at more than 90%, G, the lowest, working at below 70%. Switching to a boiler with an A rating can save you hundreds of pounds off your heating bills.
- Everyone has heard their houses making noises whilst they’re settling, but if your boiler starts joining in, it could be time to make the change. A number of faults could be the cause of any clunking or whirring sounds that aren’t typical of your boiler, regardless, it’s important to get it checked out, or replaced, to ensure your family’s safety.
Why It’s Important to Replace An Old Boiler
If your boiler is not in prime condition, it’s going to be working extra hard, for lesser results, meaning you’ll be spending more on your energy bills, without feeling any warmer. Switching your boiler for a newer model often results in saving hundreds of pounds on your energy bill each year.
Not only is it more energy efficient and cost effective, but switching to a new boiler can save your life. Older boilers, especially boilers that are burning with a yellow flame or emitting a strange odour, can often be releasing Carbon Monoxide.
Referred to as the silent killer, because of it’s colourless and odourless state (the smell from your boiler is made because your boiler isn’t burning properly), if inhaled over a long period of time, Carbon Monoxide can be deadly.
Acting on the body as a poison, at low levels the gas can cause flu like symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness and nausea, but with greater exposure can cause severe brain damage.
The Government Grant, ECO
What is ECO?
ECO, the abbreviation of the Energy Company Obligation is a scheme borne out of the need to lower the UK’s energy bills to meet the EU quota, and facilitate low income families to properly heat their homes.
As the name would suggest, the government boiler grants are funded by the big energy companies, due to a legal obligation that stipulates they must take part in and provide support for ECO.
It means energy providers including traditional suppliers like British Gas, EDF Energy and Scottish Power must provide funding to help families on low incomes who live in the country’s fuel poorest areas save money by heating and insulating their homes more efficiently.
Another scheme, under the ECO umbrella, the Affordable Warmth Obligation, also offers grants to help with boiler repair and the installation of home insulation.
How do I qualify?
As long as you own your own home or you are a tenant living in privately rented accommodation (and you have your landlord’s permission) you might be eligible for a boiler grant to replace your old boiler.
But you must be in receipt of one of the following benefits:
Pension Guarantee Credit
Child Tax Credit
Working Tax Credit
Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
Income-Related Employment Support Allowance
Your boiler must also be at less than 86% efficiency for you to qualify for a replacement.
To find out if you’re eligible, and for more information on how to apply, you can call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234.
How much funding will I receive?
How much you receive is dependent on a free energy efficiency assessment of your home, which will decided whether you’ll be eligible to have the full cost of the boiler replacement covered or whether you will have to make a small contribution towards it.
Regardless, the amount of the contribution will be much less than the full cost of a boiler and the combined reduction in annual energy costs means you’ll be saving anywhere up to, and over, £300 a year.
The ECO scheme is ongoing until September 2018, so if you’d like to take advantage of the grant schemes, act quickly and find out if you’re eligible to claim now!
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