Typically, boilers are located within a kitchen or hallway within a property, however, they can take up valuable space and look unsightly which has led people to explore moving boilers elsewhere.
If you are considering moving your boiler into the loft or having a new boiler installation situated in a loft space, you may have lots of questions regarding the safety and legality of doing so, as well as wondering about the related costs.
This article will discuss the benefits and disadvantages of having a boiler installed in the loft as well as exploring the typical costs involved.
What are the Regulations of Having a Boiler Installed in the Loft?
There are a number of regulations that must be adhered to so that a boiler can be safely accommodated within a loft space as follows:
- Plumbing and ventilation – As with any boiler location, the dangerous gases will need to be safely removed via a vent and therefore the boiler must be installed on an outside wall.
- Access – The boiler must be installed in a sensible and accessible location so that heating engineers can safely and easily access the boiler to undertake the necessary servicing and maintenance. This would include, adequate, safe loft boarding and flooring to access the boiler, a ladder to access the loft with a guard rail, as well as appropriate lighting.
- Isolation points – The boiler should have electric, gas and water isolation points to enable safe work conditions for maintenance to be undertaken, as well as to isolate the boiler encase of an emergency.
Benefits of Moving a Boiler into the Loft?
There are a number of benefits of moving a boiler from the main living areas of a property, out of sight in the loft as follows:
- Space-saving – By moving a boiler, depending on the size of the unit, there could be a significant saving of space, especially if a tank can either be removed by switching to a combi-boiler or also relocated in the loft.
- Aesthetically pleasing – Not only boxy boilers but also the necessary pipework to the boiler can be hidden away in the loft improving the look of living spaces.
- Minimise any noise – Although sometimes the low-noise hum and water noises that are commonly related to active boilers can become everyday background noise, these noises can be minimised by moving the boiler out of earshot, into the loft.
Disadvantages of Moving a Boiler into the Loft?
Although appealing with the benefits, there are also disadvantages to consider when weighing up whether to move a boiler into the loft as follows:
Potential Damage to the Boiler
The main disadvantage of installing a boiler in a loft is that the boiler may suffer damage from the changes in extreme temperatures that are commonly found in a loft space. Loft spaces are typically known for being either very cold in winter months, or extremely hot in summer. For example, frost damage is more common with boilers and pipework located outside of the heated, residential areas.
Checking Pressure and Controls
Routine checks that commonly take place for monitoring a boiler, such as pressure checks are less convenient when a boiler is located in a loft, and to access the boiler requires warm clothing in winter months, opening the loft hatch and pulling down the ladder.
Lack of Warning of Issues
When a boiler is out of sight and out of mind up in a loft, warning signs that an issue may be brewing, such as clunking noises or small leaks might be missed for weeks, resulting in further damage. If a boiler is located in the loft, it may be wise to set up a regular reminder to undertake visual checks of the boiler unit itself and the pipework to reduce the risks of matters going undetected.
When a boiler is located in the loft, it will more than likely be further away from some of the hot water outlets in the property, such as kitchen taps or ground floor bathroom taps, which can cause delays in the hot water reaching the taps. However, the performance of hot water outlets such as showers or baths may be improved slightly if closer to the boiler in the loft.
Due to the further distances involved with having a boiler in the loft, there is likely to be more pipework needed and therefore the installation costs could be higher than a standard install on ground level. However, for further costing details, check out the next section.
Overall Costs for Moving a Boiler
The costs with moving a boiler system will vary depending on a number of factors as follows:
- The type of boiler and heating system – For example, will it only be the boiler that requires to be relocated or also water tanks?
- The distance of the move – The further the distance of the boiler relocation will require more pipework changes and therefore increase the costs.
- Electric controls – If there is not currently a supply of electricity to the loft, this will be required before the boiler installation can be undertaken.
As we have seen there are many variables involved and therefore an exact price cannot be given however as an estimate, the average cost will be between £250 and £500 and take around 2 days to complete.
Please note that any changes to a heating system would need to be carried out by a Gas Safe registered heating engineer.
However, it is also worth noting that depending on the age and condition of the boiler, it may not be worth moving, and therefore it may be more cost-effective to install a new, more energy-efficient boiler in the desired location.
Boiler in the loft summary
There are quite a few benefits of moving a boiler into the loft space, including improvements to the look of living spaces without bulky boilers, however, there can be significant costs involved plus the risk of damage to the boiler itself should the loft space not be insulated sufficiently to protect from extreme temperature changes, and therefore it is highly recommended that full thought and consideration is applied before planning a boiler move.
For further advice and for a tailored quote, please contact a Gas Safe registered heating engineer.