New Boiler or Not?

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Hi.

I currently have a Worcester Bosch Greenstar R35 HE Plus boiler. It is working fine and we have a service contract with Worcester Bosch, although this is now costing in excess of £400 a year.

I am in the mind of replacing the boiler while I still can. I don’t want a heat pump so I am thinking update the boiler to something that can be maintained for years to come.

One question I have is how much more efficient would a modern boiler be compared to the model I have now. The primary heat exchanger was replaced 12 years ago and the secondary heater exchanger was replaced about 8 months ago.

I am also interested in hearing people’s opinions on what model of boiler to go for.

Thank you.
Tim.
 
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Your boiler at the moment is free other than the service contract so you would would save on that, particularly if the boiler you purchase has a long warranty (unless your current cover includes the system as well as boiler) leaving you only to pay for the annual service.

There is the possibility of an improvement in efficiency with better controls and a slightly more efficient boiler, say 4-5% of running costs, a figure which would be divided into the installation costs to give a payback period.

Gas boilers will be around for a long time, they are already hydrogen blend ready and that is some time away from being an actuality. Boilers in the next couple of years will be neat hydrogen convertible so you may wish to wait for that although neat hydrogen into houses is decades away if ever.

I don't feel comfortable recommending brands as I work for a competitor manufacturer, do research, take advice.
 
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First, question if the service contract on a mature boiler is worth the money. Are you really getting £400/year benefit above an annual service?

Going from what you've posted, I'd guess your conventional boiler was around 80% at new. I've read boilers loose efficiency as time goes by, but how true that is I'll leave to someone way more knowledgeable on here.

Modern combi, 95%, yours say 75% now. You can do the arithmetic to work out a payback period.

However, changing the boiler to a new model also gives you more controllability than a conventional boiler.

Heat pumps are overhyped. Yes they can do the job with all the changes in behaviour that are needed, but there aren't enough trained installers and way too many cowboys. This is the frontier for the next mis-selling compensation rush. The odds of the government hitting it's target are infinitesimally small.

You could hedge your bets and look for a new boiler that is hydrogen compatibile. There's more chance of the gas network converting to hydrogen than everyone going electric.
 
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First, question if the service contract on a mature boiler is worth the money. Are you really getting £400/year benefit above an annual service?

Going from what you've posted, I'd guess your conventional boiler was around 80% at new. I've read boilers loose efficiency as time goes by, but how true that is I'll leave to someone way more knowledgeable on here.

Modern combi, 95%, yours say 75% now. You can do the arithmetic to work out a payback period.

However, changing the boiler to a new model also gives you more controllability than a conventional boiler.
I think OP's boiler is a condensing boiler. Not sure what you meant by "conventional boiler", so thought I should check.

"R 30/35/40 HE plus combi
Wall mounted condensing boiler for central heating and mains
fed domestic hot water"
 
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Thanks for your reply. It is a Combi Boiler.

It's a combi boiler. It's also a condensing boiler, which means when new it was very efficient. The headline efficiency figure for a replacement boiler might only be 1% more efficient than yours was when new.

Has it lost efficiency over the years? I don't think there's a clear answer to that.

A lot of the gains to be made these days seem to come from better controls, as was mentioned above.
 

CBW

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Why did what isn’t broken? You could cancel the plan, or keep it should you need it on Sod’s law basis.
 
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I have recently fitted a Drayton Wiser heating control system, so we have made gains in efficiency there.
Why did what isn’t broken? You could cancel the plan, or keep it should you need it on Sod’s law basis.
The boiler was fitted in 2003, I believe that model pre-dates 2003. It seems it was new old stock. My main concern is that at some point in the near future Worcester Bosch will stop supporting this model of boiler. I don’t want to be left in a situation that forces us to install a heat pump. The house was built in 1960 and had a poorly insulated loft conversion done in 2000, so I don’t think even a large heat pump would be enough to heat the house.
 
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I have recently fitted a Drayton Wiser heating control system, so we have made gains in efficiency there.

The boiler was fitted in 2003, I believe that model pre-dates 2003. It seems it was new old stock. My main concern is that at some point in the near future Worcester Bosch will stop supporting this model of boiler. I don’t want to be left in a situation that forces us to install a heat pump. The house was built in 1960 and had a poorly insulated loft conversion done in 2000, so I don’t think even a large heat pump would be enough to heat the house.

Are you thinking that boilers are going to be banned soon, and that you will have to fit a heat pump if your boiler breaks? That isn't true. Not until 2035 at the earliest, as far as I know.

Can anyone confirm that?
 
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There was a consultation around building standards that pointed to new builds not having gas boilers by 2025 and the government have stated an aim to stop new installations by 2035. However, it's a desire, not enforceable. They also stated their aim was to hold inflation under 2.5%.

It's more likely the government will legislate for all gas boilers to be hydrogen ready by some future date. Given the effort the gas suppliers have been spending a fortune these past few years to make the network hydrogen ready, there will be pressure to make the investment worthwhile. And for hydrogen ready, think they are replacing every iron pipe with plastic, and every screw connector with welded joints from distribution to the meter. It's a huge undertaking.

The only legislation so far is new zero by 2050. If the government look likely to miss that target, and it does already, it risks eye watering fines for breaking it's own law. (not sure who the government pays the fine too, but not to itself.) To avoid it, they will no doubt throw money at incentives for replacing heating and training fitters and maintainers.
 
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I think OP's boiler is a condensing boiler. Not sure what you meant by "conventional boiler", so thought I should check.

"R 30/35/40 HE plus combi
Wall mounted condensing boiler for central heating and mains
fed domestic hot water"

Good spot. Thanks.

Payback will be painfully long so change your boiler because it's knackered or you fancy a different white box on the wall.
 

oph

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Boilers are going nowhere. Don't beleive the hype.

ASHP's it's not going to be a case of a swap out / upgrade as you might think. Your pipework, all your rads........
Stick with a boiler
 
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Ditch the £400 a year. Just get it serviced once a year and save the rest.

I used to pay BG £18 a month several years ago. Total waste of money.
 
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I currently have a Worcester Bosch Greenstar R35 HE Plus boiler. It is working fine
I am in the mind of replacing the boiler while I still can.
Replacing things that are working is a total waste of money.
A new one may save a small amount, but those savings will never cover for the cost of a new boiler.

If it breaks, it can very likely be repaired for a fraction of the cost of a new boiler.

in excess of £400 a year.
Another massive waste. Most repairs would be far less than that.

Cancel the service contract
Pay for a service once a year
When it's eventually broken beyond repair, buy a new one.
 
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>One question I have is how much more efficient would a modern boiler be compared to the model I have now<

Tricky one, but a modern combi would have features such as range rating for the CH, weather compensation/OpenTherm control and auto-modulating pump/fan which might give an additional 15% efficiency. That said, you may need to increase rad size in order to drop flow temp down to get the full benefit of condensing; when your boiler was first installed flow temps of up to 70°C were assumed when rad sizing.

If you had an install done now, with power flush and the manufactures controllers then some suppliers are offering a 12 year warranty and there would be far better availability of spare parts than there is for your boiler.

 
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