Your Christmas Preparations Should Include Your Boiler


December is here once again and of course you’re busy racing around trying to bag all those presents, as well as maybe make a cake and even pick out a half-decent turkey. When you’re in the middle of this hustle-and-bustle, it’s easy to forget the more humdrum concerns like making sure your boiler is up to the challenges of winter.

The winter of 2016-17, we’re told by those in the know (or should that be in the snow?) is fixing to be a cold one. In addition to the extra demands to be placed on your boiler due to the cold, you’ll also probably be in the house more over the holiday period. All this means extra stress and work for your boiler, so it’s important that you can rely on it, at least until spring.

Think about replacing your boiler with a new, energy-efficient model

In the last decade or two there have been some great leaps and bounds in heating tech, mainly driven by the need to reduce carbon emissions and to conserve fossil fuels. These advances also have the advantage of saving the homeowner quite a bit of money. Think about it, you’ve just stocked up on the best value home heating oil NI has to offer, but your boiler is almost 15 years old and doesn’t use it as efficiently as it could.

Even though Christmas is looming, it’s not too late to replace your existing boiler with a new, highly efficient model. You could save up to 20% on your heating costs over the year, which would make a nice bonus for next Christmas.

Your faithful old boiler is, in reality, operating at only 50-60% efficiency, whereas a modern conventional boiler works at around 70% and a condensing boiler at around 90%. Condensing boilers cost more, but pay for themselves within three to five years.

More about energy-efficient boilers

You can find out more about the efficiency of different gas- and oil-fired boilers by consulting a special database. This database, developed and compiled by the UK government to aid Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) operatives. The SAP looks at how energy-efficient a building or dwelling is, and this database helps buyers and developers to choose the best boilers for domestic heating systems.

Most boiler makers publish their seasonal efficiency averages, which look much like the energy ratings you see on fridges, washing machines and other domestic appliances. There’s a simple guide to boiler efficiency, which uses these Seasonal Efficiency of Domestic Boilers in the UK (SEDBUK) bandings in the familiar A-G, green-to-red format. When you go to choose a new boiler, choose the most efficient one that you can afford – it’ll pay off within a few years.

Get your boiler serviced now if you haven’t already

Your boiler really needs to be checked at least once a year and if you’ve been putting it off because of the expense or the hassle, you might be making a costly and uncomfortable mistake if it goes kaput during a blizzard. That really will dampen your Christmas spirit.