Buying the perfect boiler might not be up there with buying a top of the range home entertainment system or a new car.
But choosing the right boiler could help to boost the amount you have in your kitty to fund such purchases by slashing your energy bills.
And that’s not to mention the fact that an efficient and effective boiler will keep you warm and well supplied with hot water.
That’s why learning a bit about the three main kinds of boiler can stand you in good financial stead.
Combination or ‘combi’ boilers, which use your gas central heating to fuel your radiators and provide hot water, are found in around 70% of households.
They combine the functions of a traditional boiler – basically a hot-water cylinder and a cold-water tank – into one unit.
Combi boilers are compact and easy to store and are perfect for smaller homes with one bathroom.
However, you might struggle with a combi boiler if you have a big family or lots of bathrooms, as you will be unable to run hot water from two sources at once for any length of time.
System or ‘sealed system’ boilers
System or sealed system boilers are ideal for larger homes with multiple bathrooms and en-suites and several occupants.
They use cylinder storage (stored in an airing cupboard) to provide both central heating and hot water.
However, you will have to wait for water to heat up in the storage cylinder. But you will have somewhere to air your clothes and get them properly dry.
Open vent boilers
Open vent or ‘heating-only’ boilers provide central heating and hot water by way of a boiler, a storage cylinder housed in the airing cupboard and water tanks kept in your loft.
They have a high water flow rate, making them the perfect boiler for a quick shower. But you will still have to wait when the hot water runs out.
Open vent boilers can also take up a lot of room in the average loft.
Why should I change my boiler?
Most people stick with the boiler they inherit when they move into a property.
But investing in a newer, fuel-efficient boiler that’s more suitable for your home and usage can shave up to £300 off your gas and electricity bills every year.
How much does a new boiler cost?
A new boiler typically costs £2,300, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
But the good news is that you may be able to get a free boiler under the Energy Company Obligation, which is funded by the ‘Big Six’ energy companies.
You’ll need to be on a low income or certain benefits, and have an old, inefficient boiler to qualify. For more details, call the Energy Saving Trust on 0300 123 1234 (or 0808 808 2282 in Scotland).
Looking after your boiler
Whichever type of boiler you have, maximise its lifespan and efficiency by giving it regular services.
Boiler cover is also sensible, in case your boiler lets you down in the dead of winter.