Why upgrade an old oil boiler?

More than half of money spent on fuel bills goes towards heating your home.

Making sure your oil boiler is efficient is good for your pocket, and the environment. In Northern Ireland many homes have an older oil boiler, often only 60%-65% efficient, which means for every £100 spent on oil, £35–£40 is wasted.

In comparison, a modern high efficiency condensing boiler can be up to 95% efficient can really help cut home heating bills. And with a range of energy grants the cost of a new boiler may be less than you think.

Should you replace an old oil boiler - FAQ

An efficient boiler makes a big difference. The cost of running your boiler makes up about 55% of your overall energy bill. Most boilers will have been installed for many years – but is upgrading your boiler the right decision to take? There is not one clear answer but there are a few key questions to ask yourself to see if it is the right option for your home.

If your boiler is more than ten or fifteen years old it may be worth replacing it with a modern condensing boiler. These boilers can have efficiencies of around 95% while older boilers are typically 60–70% efficient.

If you are getting your boiler serviced your energy technician should be able to let you know how efficient your boiler is…this will let you know how much you could save by moving to a new boiler

It is always wise to have your boiler services on an annual basis. If you have had your boiler serviced regularly and it is a relatively efficient model, you may not need to replace it. A well maintained boiler will be more efficient and reliable than one that hasn’t been looked after.

If you are finding that your boiler is becoming increasingly unreliable it may be time to replace it with a new model. However, if you haven’t serviced it, this may be the first thing to do.

If problems are continuing with your boiler that mean it is becoming increasingly costly to repair or parts are getting difficult to find then a replacement may be the best way to go.

You may be eligible for support towards the cost of upgrading your existing boiler.

The Boiler Replacement Grant provides a contribution of up to £1,000 to owner occupiers if their boiler is over 15 years old. Additional assistance and support is provided through other schemes and support programmes, such as NISEP. To find out more read visit our Energy Grants page.

It may be that your boiler is fine but with an upgrade to the controls, you can make your central heating more efficient. This will be cheaper than replacing the boiler and give you a more controllable system. A full set of controls should ideally include a boiler thermostat, a timer or programmer, a room thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs).

Over recent years the majority of boilers that have been fitted are more efficient, condensing boilers.

You can tell if your boiler is a condensing boiler with a few simple checks:

If the flue is made of plastic, you have a condensing boiler. If it is made of metal you probably haven’t.
If your boiler has a plastic pipe coming out of the bottom of the boiler, through the wall and into a drain, then it is a condensing boiler.
If you have a boiler (either gas or oil) and it was installed in the last six years, then it is almost certainly a condensing boiler.

For oil boilers we recommend that you only use an OFTEC registered installer. Selecting an OFTEC registered technician provides peace of mind that you are choosing a skilled and qualified technician.

Always get at least three quotes from qualified engineers to make sure you are getting the best deal – and don’t be afraid to ask question regarding the boiler model, heating capacity and look up online reviews

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