Replacing your old boiler could make a positive difference to the energy efficiency of your care home, and reduce your bills as well. But while it can sound like a big job, it doesn’t have to be daunting – or disruptive. In fact, there’s plenty to get excited about. Here’s our guide on when to book a replacement, and what to expect.
With any investment, you want to be absolutely sure you’re making the right call. So when it comes to replacing your care home’s boiler, it’s understandable that you might have concerns about whether it’s the right time to make the switch, or even whether it’s necessary at all. It could be that the boiler has stopped working completely, or that a simple fault needs tackling. It could be that you’re putting up with regular trouble… or that little issues – a leak or a loss of pressure – could actually be resolved by a service.
So, what to do? Read on to make a more informed decision.
How often should I replace my boiler?
A good quality, properly installed boiler should generally last around 10-15 years, providing it’s been looked after and serviced regularly. You shouldn’t need to replace your care home boiler more often than this.
If your boiler is only a few years old and not working as it should, you should check whether it’s still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. If not, you should get it repaired by a qualified Gas Safe engineer.
How do I know I need to replace my boiler?
Generally, there are some clear signs that indicate it’s time to replace your boiler:
- You’re calling out an engineer to fix the boiler more than once a year
- Replacement parts are getting expensive and/or they’re hard to source
- You’ve extended the care home and it’s not as warm as it used to be
- Your bills are showing higher energy usage, even though you haven’t made any building changes or alterations
Do I need to replace my boiler with the same model?
You don’t have to replace your boiler with the exact same model. However, this could help to make the replacement’s installation a bit more straightforward. Just take care to review all available options from various manufacturers to make sure you’re choosing the most efficient model for your needs – and don’t forget to consider more environmentally friendly options, including air source heat pumps, if they’re suitable for your building.
How much does a new boiler cost?
The cost to replace a commercial boiler in a care home varies enormously – starting anywhere from £2,000 for a small light commercial boiler, up to more than £50,000 for the bigger, more powerful boilers. It also depends on a number of factors:
- The size of the care home and your requirements – powerful boilers cost more
- The type and brand of boiler
- The hot water flow rate – how quickly it heats and supplies hot water
- The warranty period – a longer warranty typically costs more
- The quality and type of insulation used in your care home
The cost to replace your boiler will depend on:
- The amount of work required – are you reconfiguring your heating system? The installation cost for replacing like-for-like will be less than if you need to add other services, for instance, scaffolding to get on the roof if that’s where your flue is located.
- The type of installer – always use a Gas Safe Engineer to install your boiler replacement.
- Your location – this might be due to the availability of installers or regional variations in installation costs.
If you’re spending hundreds or even thousands of pounds on a new boiler system, you want to make sure that it’s going to work the best it can. So, there might be some extra boiler replacement services to consider:
- An extended warranty – many top-brand boilers come with 10-year warranties. But if yours doesn’t, it could be worth paying extra to extend the warranty beyond its usual period.
- New equipment – consider investing in smart controls or thermostatic valves to control your heating in the most efficient way, and avoid heating empty rooms. You may also need new radiators if they’re old or won’t work with your new boiler.
- A system clean, or power flush. This clears the rust and debris from the heating system, pipes and radiators.
- A magnetic boiler filter which attaches to the heating system and stops magnetic particles from clogging up the pipework.
Can I get help with my boiler replacement cost?
1. Is it still under warranty?
Some boilers come with warranties of 10 years – the manufacturer will replace your boiler if it fails in that time. As always, check the small print of every policy – some charge a call-out fee, while others will bill you for installation. And always make sure you register the warranty as soon as your boiler is up and running (most have to be registered within 30 days).
2. Do you have boiler insurance (boiler cover)?
If you’ve taken out an insurance policy to protect your care home against boiler breakdown, you might be able to get some help with the cost of a replacement boiler.
3. Pay monthly for a new boiler with Total Care
If you can’t afford the upfront boiler replacement cost, JLA’s Total Care – a unique, all-inclusive package, specially designed for you – means no hefty outlay and easy fixed monthly payments, helping you spread the cost of the boiler over a fixed number of months. As with any rental agreement, just make sure you check the terms and conditions for full details.
4. Look out for special offers
Given the high upfront cost for a new boiler, it’s worth checking if there are any deals or special offers available.
5. Don’t buy a second-hand boiler!
When a boiler is removed, it’s susceptible to corrosion. One alternative to consider is a trade-in deal. Some boiler installers will give you a discount on your new boiler as payment for your old boiler – ask if this is an option when you’re shopping around.
What size of boiler do I need?
Don’t over-size a boiler for the sake of it. Too big and you’ll end up paying for energy you don’t need. Too small, and your residents might end up with cold baths. Either way, an incorrectly sized boiler will cause significant issues.
Can I improve my carbon footprint?
If you’re replacing a gas boiler, the obvious choice is to go for another gas boiler. But it’s also worth considering switching to low-carbon alternatives such as air or ground source heat pumps.
What happens during a boiler replacement?
This very much depends on the company installing your boiler. Typically the installation will follow these steps:
- The installer will turn up and remove your old boiler
- Your new boiler will be fitted, along with any new pipework
- They’ll test your new boiler and complete any paperwork for you
- You’ll be shown how to use the boiler, along with any new smart controls
For more help and advice on replacing a boiler, contact one of our experts today.