Energy rating sticker for boiler

Boiler Efficiency Ratings Explained

Do you know what boiler efficiency ratings are and how they’re calculated? Boiler efficiency ratings are an important part of making sure your heating system is running safely, efficiently and cost-effectively.

Typically, heating and hot water account for over half of what you spend each year on energy bills, so an inefficient boiler will increase both your carbon footprint and your energy bills.

It’s important to understand the different levels of efficiency available as well as how they are calculated in order to make informed decisions when purchasing a new boiler or carrying out energy efficiency upgrades.

In our latest blog post, we explain the energy efficiency ratings of boilers and what they mean, as well as the government schemes in place to make boilers more efficient and how much money a new boiler could save you.

What Does Boiler Energy Efficiency Mean?

Boiler efficiency rating is measured by calculating the amount of energy that is used to heat water and keep your home warm in comparison to the amount that is lost or wasted. For example, a boiler that is 75% efficient means that 25% of the energy is lost.

In the UK, boiler efficiency is measured through an ErP rating, this measure replaced the old rating method known as SEDBUK (Seasonal Efficiency of Domestic Boilers in the UK) in 2015 though many manufacturers still provide the SEDBUK efficiency rating in their product information.

ErP stands for Energy Related Products and is a directive legislated by the European Union. Using ErP, boilers are given a rating on an A scale, ranging from A-G. The higher the letter grade, the more efficient the boiler is considered to be. Whilst higher ratings such as A++ are available, these can only be achieved using renewable technologies.

Front panel of vaillant boiler

How Efficient Should My Boiler Be?

In 2018, the Government announced the Boiler Plus standards which state that the new minimum performance standard for domestic gas boilers in homes will be set at 92% ErP. However, this doesn’t apply to boilers in existing properties.

Ideally, your boiler should be A rated. As well as being more reliable and adding value to your home, the key benefit of a more efficient boiler is the lower running costs, this is because modern boilers are condensing and so recover more heat from the exhaust flue.

If you currently have the lowest rated boiler (G), upgrading to an A rated boiler can save you as much as £840 per year when used with programmable room thermostats and thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs); easily covering the cost of a new boiler in just a few years.

For more information, take a look at our blog post on how upgrading your boiler can save you £100s on your energy bills.

What Rating is My Boiler?

If you’re wondering how efficient your current boiler is, you should check for a sticker on the boiler which will show the efficiency rating. If you can’t find the sticker, we recommend searching online for the model and make of your unit where the efficiency rating should be available.

Without the sticker or model number, finding the rating on your own can be difficult. We recommend calling a gas safe registered engineer to come and check your boiler who will be able to find the make and model to determine how efficient the unit is.

If you find your boiler is not A-rated, we would highly recommend getting a quote on a new boiler to see how much you could save in the long term by upgrading. A boiler installation is typically not a messy job and can be completed in as little as 1 day if it’s just the unit being upgraded.

If you are living in a rental property, the landlord may be able to provide you with the boiler’s energy efficiency information from previous servicing. However, it’s important to note that as long as the boiler is working safely and being serviced, they do not have any legal obligation to upgrade your boiler but it may save them money over time on repairs.

Get a Free Quote On An A-Rated Boiler

At Gas Safe, we’ve helped to upgrade 100s of boilers in the South West and beyond, saving households on their energy bills.

A boiler can be a significant investment which is why we offer 0% boiler finance options which allow you to pay a fixed monthly fee with no deposit required.

To find out more about upgrading your boiler with Gas Safe, give us a call today on 0117 964 0078, fill out a contact form below or get a free instant boiler quote here.

Combi boiler situated in family kitchen

What Is a Combi Boiler?

A combination boiler or combi boiler is a gas central heating boiler that is also an instantaneous water heater. A combi boiler is an ingenious space-saving idea, and an increasingly popular choice in UK homes. In fact, combi boilers now account for well over half of all the new domestic boilers installed in Britain every year.

A combi boiler is both a high-efficiency water heater and a central heating boiler, combined (hence the name) within one compact unit. Therefore, no separate hot water cylinder is required, offering space saving within the property.

Further benefits of a combi boiler includes hot water being delivered through your taps or shower at mains pressure. So you can enjoy powerful showering* without the need for a pump.

Another combi boiler benefit is that it can generally save you money on installation time and costs, since no tank in the roof space means less pipe work and a shorter installation time.

How Does a Combi Boiler Work?

A Combi boilers works the same as a standard boiler by burning gas and producing heat. This heat is then used to warm the water passing through the boiler using a heat exchanger. With a standard boiler that water would then flow through your radiators or hot-water cylinder. A Combi boiler works differently by having a second heat exchanger that transfers heat from the main heat exchanager to the mains cold water passing through the boiler when a hot tap is tuned on.

What Are The Benefits of a Combi Boiler?

  • Lower Energy Bills – With efficiency of 90%, for every £1 you spend on energy, only 10p is wasted. When you consider that some of the older non-condensing boilers only reached 55% efficiency, it represents a significant saving. For example, when replacing a boiler with less than 70% efficiency with one of the most efficient condensing units you could save up to £305 on your heating bills in one year.*
  • Compact Size – Imagine finally being able to get rid of that bulky water tank and / or storage cylinder that sits in your attic or airing cupboard. A Combi boiler is just one simple unit and some are small enough to be concealed in a kitchen cupboard. This is particularly great news for those living in small homes or flats.
  • High Energy Efficiency – A Combi boiler is typically over 90% efficient which is the highest level of efficiency on the market, helping you to reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Hot Water On Demand – There is no need to store hot water which means less energy used and none of that inconvenient waiting around for a hot water tank to refill.
  • Mains Pressure – A Combi boiler takes its water supply directly from the mains which can often mean you get a much stronger pressure of hot water through your taps and showers.
  • Easy To Install – As there’s no need for multiple elements a Combi boiler is usually simple to install and, unlike system or conventional boilers, it can be fitted anywhere in the home.

What To Consider

Make sure you have an adequate supply of water coming from the mains. If the mains pressure is weak or inconsistent, your showers and taps will be too. This single flow of water is also a problem if you have several showers, baths and sinks that need to be used simultaneously as the flow will try to split between them all and weaken as a result.

If you have a higher demand for hot water then a high efficiency, condensing system or conventional boiler may be the answer.

All condensing boilers require a condensing pipe to drain the condensed vapour and dispose of it down a drain. If the installer can’t add a pipe where the existing boiler is positioned then it may need to be relocated; this may add to the cost of installation.

Who Are The Leading Manufacturers of Combi Boiler?

The main manufactures of combi boilers in order of our own recommendation are:

The Drawbacks of Combi Boilers

Despite the popularity of combi boilers, there are several issues that you should bear in mind when considering replacing your boiler.

The disadvantages of combi boilers include:

  • Dependence on Mains Pressure – To ensure that your combi boiler is working properly, you need good mains pressure. If you are having a new boiler fitted, you should check what the mains pressure in your area is before you go ahead with the installation.
  • Limited Use – With a combi boiler it is not possible to run more than one shower or bath at a time, or to turn on the hot tap while showering. This may be an issue if you live in a large house with a number of bathrooms and en suites, or with lots of people.
  • No Immersion Heater – As there is no water tank, if your combi boiler breaks down then you will be left without hot water as well as central heating (unless you install an electric shower).
  • No Power Shower – You can’t have a power shower with a combi boiler, as the water pressure is set by the pressure level at the water mains.

Combi Boiler Installation Bristol

At Gas Safe Bristol, we provide a complete combi boiler service including installation, emergency repairs and servicing. If you need a combi boiler installed, or aren’t sure which boiler to go for, we can help. Call one of our team today on 0117 964 0078 or fill out a contact form and we’ll get back to you.