When replacing an old boiler for a new, modern boiler a homeowner will be interested in the energy efficiency of the boiler model in order to recoup some of the initial investment by decreased energy bills, however other considerations are also likely to be the carbon emissions from the boiler and the impact on the environment.
In addition to increasing a household’s energy efficiency, homeowners may also have become more concerned about the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from traditional boilers and therefore be interested in finding alternative boilers that do not omit such dangerous gasses.
In this guide, we will discuss all the considerations that impact the energy efficiency of a new boiler, whilst exploring the most eco-friendly boilers available on the market.
What are the Benefits of an Eco-Friendly Boiler?
There are a number of benefits from opting for an eco-friendly boiler including:
- Reduced carbon emissions – One of the biggest and most expected benefits from choosing an eco-boiler is the reduction in household carbon emissions.
- High energy efficiency boiler – Using the latest technology, modern boilers and controls reduce heat loss and targeted room-specific controls.
- Maximum fuel savings – Eco-Friendly boilers typically have an energy rating of at least 90%, therefore using less fuel to provide hot water and central heating.
What Types of Eco-Friendly Boilers are Available?
There are many boilers that claim to be energy efficient however for the biggest benefits, a homeowner would seek to install either a biomass boiler or condensing boiler.
- Eco Biomass Boilers – Biomass boilers work by burning renewable organic materials such as wood. The modern eco biomass boilers are highly efficient for heating water and providing heating, however, automatic biomass boilers provide further efficiency by controlling the amount of air and heat required to produce the heat, however, they also require further storage space.
- Eco Condensing Boilers – Most modern boilers are condensing boilers and are commonly highly efficient however they will range in efficiency levels. Condensing boilers can be powered by either gas or oil and come in various sizes depending on the household output need.
There are three types of condensing boilers:
- Combi Boilers – Combination boilers are commonly found in smaller residential properties, providing both heating and hot water without the need for a water tank, and therefore can also provide space-saving benefits. Combi-boilers are typically very energy efficient, however, they may not be suitable for all properties depending on the property size, number of bathrooms and water pressure.
- Heat only boilers – Heat only boilers typically produce heat for heating systems via radiators and require a separate hot water storage system. One benefit of using a heat only boiler system is that it can often accommodate older radiator systems.
- Oil boilers – Oil fuelled boilers are typically found in locations where the mains gas network is not available, such as rural countryside locations. Oil fuelled boilers can either heat water and provide heating or provide heat only. Typically, modern oil boilers are floor standing and fuelled by kerosene oil.
When is the Best Time to Replace a Boiler?
Often, an ageing boiler will provide signs that parts are failing with regular breakdowns, indicating that it may be time to seek a boiler replacement, however, it is always recommended that advice from a qualified heating engineer is sought with regards to when the timing might be right to replace a boiler, and what boiler options may be most suitable for your property.
Signs that your boiler may require replacing are as follows:
- Fuel efficiency – Should you notice your energy bills hiking up, the fuel efficiency of your boiler may be decreasing with age and therefore you may wish to consider a boiler replacement. A new modern boiler will likely be much more energy-efficient and reduce household energy bills.
- Boiler emissions – Modern eco-friendly boilers will omit lower carbon emissions than older models, whilst also maintaining high efficiency rates. Also, as previously mentioned, some eco-friendly boilers do not produce dangerous gases and therefore improve safety for residential properties.
Which are the Most Eco-Friendly Boilers?
There is a range of high quality, energy-efficient boilers available these days, however, the market can sometimes feel overwhelming due to the amount of choice! Therefore, we have streamlined a handful of top brands to explore should you be in the market for a new eco-friendly boiler.
- Vaillant ecoTEC Plus Range – Vaillant is a German company that produces high quality, energy-efficient boilers.
Our Vaillant boiler of choice is the ecoTEC Plus Combi due to large amounts of customer reviews, energy efficiency and technology provided ready to link with a smart thermostat app allowing you to control your heating system on the go. In addition, the low nitrogen oxide emissions put this model at the top of our recommendations.
- Glow Worm Range – Glow Worm are a UK based boiler manufacturer that was brought into the Vaillant Group by acquisition in 2001 and are well known for producing high quality, reliable, energy-efficient boilers. Glow Worm also manufacture heat pumps and solar systems, providing a wide range of eco-friendly options.
- Grant Vortex Pro Combi 26 – Grant is another UK based company that has over 40 years of experience in manufacturing boilers. Initially focusing on oil-fired boilers, Grant has now moved into renewable and eco-friendly boilers with much success. The Vortex Pro model is highly efficient and comes in a range of sizes to suit the requirements of the household.
Further Eco-Friendly Measures
In addition to replacing a boiler, an eco-conscious household may wish to explore other measures to improve their green home credentials including; increasing the insulation of the property to reduce heat loss, draught-proofing the property or by scheduling heating programmes or isolating only the rooms that need heating with the use of smart technology.
Eco-friendly boilers summary
There are many benefits of opting for an eco-friendly boiler including lower fuel bills and a smaller carbon footprint, plus possible safety improvements depending on which model you choose as your eco-friendly replacement.
There will be an initial upfront investment required when replacing a boiler, however, there may be government schemes to help cover some of your households are eligible.
Should you require further advice on which type of eco-friendly boiler would be most suitable for your property, please seek a consultation with a qualified heating engineer.