June 25, 2021

Checking Your Boiler When Buying a New Home

Buying a new home is a massive investment and you’ll likely consider a number of different factors when weighing up the cost of a property.

Checking Your Boiler When Buying a New Home

However, one of the most common mistakes buyers make is forgetting to check the boiler. A boiler has the potential to increase a home’s value by up to £8,000, so it’s absolutely worth taking a look before making your final decision. In this guide, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the things you should be checking about the existing boiler in the property you’re looking at.

Location of Boiler

First things first- you need to know where the boiler is. Always make sure to ask about the location of the boiler as well as the stopcock and water tank if applicable. This helps you to know where to go should there ever be an issue or emergency with your heating and water system.

Type of Boiler

Next up, it’s wise to check what kind of boiler is currently fitted in the property. This is really important as the type of boiler you have determines how your heating system operates and is also key to know if there are ever any issues in the future.

There are three different types of gas boilers: combi, system and regular.

Combi Boilers

Combi boilers combine water heating and central heating into a single body to produce hot water instantly and remove the need for a separate hot water tank.

To identify whether the boiler in the property is a combi boiler, take a quick look at it. Normally, there will be five copper pipes coming from the bottom and there will be no external pump or hot/cold water cylinders as the heating unit is combined into a single unit. You’ll most likely find a combi boiler in small/medium-sized homes.

Regular Boilers

Regular boilers are also known as conventional or heat only boilers because they don’t provide domestic hot water on demand the same way combi boilers do. They instead store hot water in a cylinder until it is required to be delivered to a tap or shower.

You can usually tell if the property has a regular boiler by taking a quick look at it. Normally, there will be two copper pipes coming from the top of the boiler and just one coming from the bottom. Regular boilers also have hot water cylinders and a cold water storage tank which can usually be found in the loft. There should also be an external pump, unlike combi or system boilers. You’ll most likely find a regular boiler in larger homes.

System Boilers

System boilers heat your central heating system and produce hot water for a water storage cylinder, taking water directly from the mains as opposed to using a feed and expansion tank like a regular boiler.

You can identify whether the property has a system boiler by taking a quick look at it. Normally, there will be three copper pipes coming from the bottom of the boiler (as opposed to five with a combi). You should also be able to see a hot water cylinder but there won’t be any external pump for expansion storage. Similar to a regular boiler, you’ll most likely find a system boiler in larger homes.

Make and Model

Knowing the make and model of your boiler can also help you to work out whether you’re really getting your money’s worth on the property. It also comes in handy when looking at boiler insurance or booking in to get it fixed or serviced.

Some reliable boiler brands are:

Though it’s always worth doing your own individual research into the boiler brand and model to work out whether the boiler is high quality and reliable.

Boiler Age and Condition

Make sure to take a good look at the condition of the boiler, checking for damp, leaks and any faults on the display. It’s also worth asking about the age of the boiler as the older it is, the less efficient and more repairs it will likely need which can end up costing you a pretty penny. If the boiler is over 12 years old, it will likely be inefficient and in need of major repairs over the next few years.

Energy Efficiency

An inefficient boiler can be a very expensive one to run so make sure to check the efficiency rating of the boiler. Ideally it will be A-rated, meaning it is over 90% efficient, however, if it isn’t, it’s worth noting that you’ll want to replace it with a more efficient one, otherwise you’ll be spending hundreds of extra pounds each month on heating.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, you could save up to £380 a year on your fuel bill by replacing an old inefficient boiler with a new A-rated combi.

Last Serviced

Make sure to check when the boiler was last serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer. This is incredibly important as a boiler service ensures it is running safely and efficiently. It’s also worth noting that without an annual boiler service by a Gas Safe registered engineer, most warranties become invalid.

The seller should be able to provide you with a Gas Certificate that details inspection history. This can usually be found in the back of the boiler manual or on a sticker on the boiler itself.

Warranty

You should also ask the seller about the warranty on the boiler and if it is still valid. A valid warranty often means you’re covered on parts and labour should go wrong and can save you on some hefty repair bills.

If the boiler is no longer under warranty, it may be worth checking out the best boiler insurance deals or taking a look at your home insurance as the boiler may be covered under this.

If the boiler currently installed in the property is old, inefficient and no longer covered by the warranty, we would recommend replacing it with a new A-rated efficient one. You can get a free, fixed quote on a new combi boiler plus install with iHeat.

For more information and advice, why not check out some of our other helpful blogs or take a look at some of our most Frequently Asked Questions.

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