Have you noticed the temperature of your hot water fluctuating? Is your shower going hot and cold? Are you struggling to fill a hot bath?
If any of the above are familiar to you, your combi boiler may be at fault.
A combi, or combination boiler, is a single wall-hung gas appliance that provides your heating system with hot water for the radiators. It also supplies instant hot water to your taps without the need for large storage tanks in the loft or a hot water cylinder in the airing cupboard.
For more detail about the type of boiler you have, please click here.
In this article, we’ll give you a brief overview of how a combi boiler works, the pros and cons of a combi boiler, and answer why your hot water temperature is fluctuating and what you can do about it.
Combi boilers are the most popular boilers in London, and for good reason.
They are the most efficient gas boiler, mainly because you do not need to heat a big tank of stored water. But, what sets the combi boiler apart from its rivals in London is the space savings.
London is one of the most compact cities globally, and space is a luxury that most of us don’t have. And what little we do have, we do not want to fill with storage tanks and water cisterns.
Enter the combi boiler. With its ability to heat hot water instantaneously and the distinct lack of water storage needed, the combi boiler could fit into the tiniest of London bedsits and provide the inhabitants with ample heating and hot water without taking up all the space in the airing cupboard.
A combi boiler incorporates all the external components of a heating system, diverter valves, pumps, and expansion vessels inside one unit. It also takes over the hot water production. To do this, it needs to incorporate a secondary heat exchanger, also known as a plate to plate heat exchanger.
The hot water comes directly from the cold water mains supply and passes through the secondary heat exchanger to be heated for your hot water supply.
Note: It doesn’t matter what combi boiler manufacturer you have; the hot water performance will be the same.
It’s physics. A set amount of natural gas only holds a set amount of stored energy, so a 24kw gas boiler will heat water flowing at about 10l/min by 35k.
It doesn’t matter if you have a Baxi or a Vaillant. If the KW output of the boiler is the same, the flow rate of the water is the same, and the incoming mains temperature is the same, the temperature at the hot tap will be the same.
To heat the cold mains water by a sufficient amount to turn it into a perfect temperature for a shower, the secondary heat exchanger needs to be very efficient and transfer the heat it’s given into the mains water extraordinarily quickly. It does this by having lots of thin metal ‘plates’ tightly packed together. When a hot water tap is opened, the boiler will identify the demand for hot water, either by a flow sensor or by recognising the sudden drop in temperature as the cold passes through, and the main burner will ignite. The diverter valve will switch to hot water mode. The pump will circulate hot water from the primary heat exchanger through the diverter valve, around the secondary heat exchanger, and back to the primary heat exchanger. The cold water will pass through the secondary heat exchanger, separated from the water passing through the primary heat exchanger by the plates, allowing the heat to transfer almost instantaneously.
We’ve already gone over most of the pros of a combi boiler. They’re very efficient owing to the lack of stored hot water, they save a lot of space because there’s no stored water. They can give instant hot water. Because everything is inside the case, they’re generally quicker and cheaper to install. The manufacturer’s guarantee covers everything inside the case.
Cons. They are more complicated than traditional boilers and will need an experienced engineer to repair them when they break down. In addition, they need proper and regular servicing. Low mains water pressure will hinder the performance or make a combi unsuitable entirely. You might need to upgrade your gas supply as the instantaneous hot water uses more gas for short periods. When they break down, there is no backup hot water. Finallynt, the waterways need to be tiny and prone to limescale and magnetite blockages to make them so efficient. Especially the secondary heat exchanger.
The majority of faults on combi boilers are caused by poor water quality. For example, suppose you live in a hard water area and do not have an electronic scale reducer installed. As the cold water is heated in the secondary heat exchanger, limescale forms and attaches itself to the tiny plates.
The scale deposits harden and restrict the flow of cold water through the secondary heat exchanger. As we learned early, water flowing at a set rate will increase in temperature by a set amount, reduce the flow rate, increase the temperature. Due to the blockage and, in turn, the reduced flow rate, the cold water spends more time in the secondary heat exchanger, and so more heat is transferred to it. The boiler recognises this temperature rise and shuts off the burner. As the cold water continues to flow through and cool the secondary heat exchanger, the boiler sends the signal for the burner to ignite again, and the process is repeated. This will manifest itself as your shower going hot and cold.
Likewise, this process can happen on the heating side of the boiler. As the water circulates from the primary to the second heat exchanger, any magnetite deposits from the heating system in the primary heat exchanger will spread through the secondary heat exchanger and cause precisely the same symptoms.
The water from the primary heat exchanger won’t circulate to the secondary heat exchanger causing the boiler to reach its temperature and cycle on and off repeatedly, causing the water from your shower to go hot and cold.
The cause for the shower going hot and cold will be due to a blockage and is usually repairable without needing new parts. However, be warned; in extreme cases where the system is in such an awful condition that other parts in the boiler are beginning to fail, it might be recommended to consider replacing the boiler rather than repairing it.
The secondary heat exchanger can usually be cleaned, but if the system is filthy, it will block up again pretty quickly, so you’ll probably need a powerflush too.
Because it’s a combi boiler, you’ll need a Gas Safe registered heating engineer to repair it.
There are a few things you can do to prevent the fault from happening again. Firstly you’ll need to get the system thoroughly cleaned. This will be an excellent time to install a magnetic filter and limescale reducer if you haven’t already.
While the powerflush and installation of the magnetic filter and scale reducer are things you can do because they don’t involve gas, we would still advise you to seek the help of a Gas Safe registered professional. Cleaning and altering the design of your heating system can be tricky, and you can make things worse if you don’t know what you’re doing.
You’ll also need to get it properly serviced every year. A thorough service should include testing the central heating water for the correct corrosion and inhibitor levels and adjusting them if necessary.
Lastly, you could try turning the temperature down a bit. I know it’s very counterproductive, but even a few degrees will make a difference, and you shouldn’t really notice it.
Energy savings aside, scale begins to form around 40 degrees and increases substantially as the temperature increases. And corrosion of the heating system takes place faster when the water is hot. In fact, the corrosion rate doubles with every 10-degree temperature increase.
So you can see how running your system at slightly lower temperatures will help you save money and help to prolong the life of your boiler.
We cover emergency boiler breakdowns across the whole of Surrey, Kent and south London. We can help you with your boiler repairs, heating services, central heating system repairs, combi boiler repairs, and other boiler breakdown and heating services problems. In addition, our heating and plumbing services can cover most servicing of gas appliances for homeowners and landlords, including issuing landlord safety certificates.
When you need a boiler repair in Croydon it can be quite a daunting task trying to sieve through all the ads, listings, and social media pages with each claiming to be better than the last or cheaper than the next. Below we’ll run through what to expect when you’re having your boiler repaired, what to look for in a boiler repair company and what you can expect to pay for an emergency boiler repair in Croydon.
A boiler repair is a bit of a generic term which relates to your entire heating and hot water system, often if either the heating, hot water or both stop working you’ll quite rightly go straight to the boiler as it’s the source of heat which provides us with the wonderful luxuries of a hot shower and warm home.
After having a look, you might see a boiler error code or a fault code and realise you’re not quite sure what's going on and you need a boiler repair expert.
You’ll call your local boiler repair company, and they’ll arrive, take a quick look at the boiler, and then go upstairs.
Don’t worry they’re not trying to make themselves busy to drag out the time it’s because although we all refer to any heating and water issues as a boiler repair, it’s not always the boiler that needs repairing. The boiler is one part of a heating and water comfort system which can include the hot water cylinder, thermostats, radiator valves, pumps, valves, radiators, and the water which goes around it all.
Therefore, we always advise our customers that your annual maintenance checks must be more than just a boiler service, you need to have the whole system checked and maintained properly because if one part is neglected, it’s all neglected.
The very first thing to note here is Plumbers are not Heating Engineers, your local Heating Engineer may well do plumbing work but if they’re repairing your boiler or unblocking your toilet, they’ll be wearing very different hats.
It’s also worth considering that installing a gas boiler and repairing a gas boiler are two very different jobs. Although legally any GasSafe registered heating engineer can work on your boiler, being able to skilfully hang and pipe up a heating system doesn’t necessarily mean you have a deep and thorough understanding of how a boiler works and how to repair one when it breaks down.
So how do you know? Well first and foremost is to ensure they are GasSafe registered, and they have the correct qualifications, CCN1 (core GasSafety) & CENWAT (gas boilers and water heaters) are the minimum requirements to work on or repair gas boilers. If you have a gas fire or an old back boiler the engineer will also need HTR1 (gas fires) to work on the appliance and if you have a newer condensing boiler then CPA1 (combustion analysis) will also be needed to repair or service any condensing boiler. Cookers and hobs are identified as CKR1, and this is needed for any work on a gas cooking appliance, including a GasSafety certificate which includes a cooker or hob.
Once you know they’re registered and appropriately qualified it’s a case of reading reviews and checking their website, they should have individual pages dedicated to each service they offer i.e., Boiler Repairs, Boiler Installations, etc. from here you’ll be able to make a judgment call, you’ll generally get a feel if a company is professional or not.
See if they use generic photos on their website or if they show pictures of them and their team working, you could also look to see if they have any videos on YouTube or informative blog posts, like this.
The cost of a boiler repair will vary depending on many things, different areas within London will have different rates, small independent sole traders with low overheads and no VAT obligations will often charge less than larger companies with employees and the requirement to charge VAT. Some larger companies may offer a 12-month guarantee on all their work while others offer just 3 and in many cases no guarantee at all.
As with everything in life from the cars we drive to the mobile phone you’re probably reading this on now, expect to get what you pay for. If you want a top service with a swift appointment from a reputable company sending a skilled and experienced engineer offering a boiler repair service that includes a long and enforceable guarantee expect to be shopping at the top end of the market and paying £80-130 +vat p/h during normal business hours and up to £150-200+vat p/h for emergency call outs and weekends. If on the other hand, you’re happy to wait for an appointment, maybe take a chance on a shorter or possibly no guarantee at all and run the risk of having no main point of contact if things go wrong then you should expect to be at the lower end of the market and pay £50 - 70 p/h.
Boiler parts and where they’re sourced will also play a part in the overall cost, cheaper parts sourced on the internet from home shopping sites will often come from abroad and have a guarantee which isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. Reputable merchants like Williams or Wolseley will have a relationship with the manufactures and offer an iron-backed guarantee which the boiler repair engineer can enforce on your behalf should something go wrong but, they’ll often charge a premium price for a premium service.
Boiler parts can cost anything from £20 for a simple switch or sensor up to £250 for a PCB, fan, or gas valve. If the main heat exchanger or heat engine needs replacing you could be looking at up to £600 just for the part and another half a day in labour costs
Just like the price of a boiler repair, the time it takes to repair a boiler will also vary dramatically depending on what type of boiler you have, the age of the boiler, and the abilities of the engineer repairing your boiler.
Most faults should take an experienced engineer no more than an hour to diagnose and then another hour to fit the parts if needed.
Again, as you move to the lower end of the market with perhaps less experienced engineers expect the time to diagnose and repair the issue to increase, especially if your boiler is more than 10 years old and they may have never seen it before.
All Heatsy boiler repair engineers have at least 5 years of experience in the heating industry.
Most of our boiler repairs come with an iron-clad 12-month guarantee.
We charge an initial diagnostics fee from £80+VAT and if any parts are needed, we’ll often be able to save you money by offering you the option of using reconditioned parts with a 12-month guarantee from the network of suppliers we’ve built up over time.
We offer a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week emergency boiler repair service to London and the home counties.
Here at Heatsy we’re all about energy conservation and trying to waste as little as possible while simultaneously trying to get out as much as possible.
The question, Should I leave my heating on low all day? Is one which has been hotly debated through the ages. It’s right up there with life's most important and philosophical questions, why are we here? If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound? And of course, why did the chicken cross the road?
Just like these head scratchers the answer to, Should I leave my heating on low all day? Isn’t a straight forward yes or no, it depends.
Forget about the boiler and heating for now and let's focus on you and your lifestyle. If your home is empty for most of the day and you generally only use the heating for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening then leaving the heating on all day is probably wasteful, if however, you have a house which is constantly full, people are always turning the heating up and down and the boiler is going on and off every few hours then it’s a bit more complicated.
Think of your car, you start the engine, put your foot down, and the engine starts, you hear the engine revving, you work your way through the gears, you reach your desired speed then everything calms down and you quietly cruise along.
Your boiler works in a similar way, when it receives a demand for heat and it starts from cold, it goes straight to high fire furiously trying to heat not only the water but also the cold components inside the boiler ,the first 30 - 60 minutes are when your heating is at its least efficient, then it reaches its desired temperature and modulates down to a nice calm low flame to just maintain the current temperature - it’s what happens next which is debated.
When you reach the end of your current heating period should you let the boiler go off and all the heat it's produced go away or, set the controls to maintain the heating at a lower temperature until the next heating period begins?
Well, if you have an old boiler, you’ll likely have old controls that operate as an on / off switch, without the ability to automatically set a low temperature in between heating periods.
You could fit modern controls but in honesty the improvement when fitted with an old boiler is negligible, you would be better off waiting until you replace the boiler and get new controls at the same time. In this scenario the best thing to do is open all the radiator valves fully, turn the stat on the front of your boiler down to about 2 or even 1 and set your room thermostat to 19 degrees, providing you have some form of insulation the rate at which the heat escapes should be lower than that at which it is being produced and the house will gradually reach a nice comfortable temperature.
If you have a newer boiler with energy efficient smart controls you might notice that you don’t have an off period, you have on and set back. Set back has replaced the off period for one important reason, the boiler is at its least efficient when it comes on from cold so, we want to avoid the boiler needing to come on from cold.
It's also a lot easier to raise the house temperature slightly than it is to heat a cold house and the boiler itself suffers far less wear and tear so should last longer with fewer breakdowns.
Depending on whether you have a smart thermostat, open therm control, load compensating thermostat or weather compensating thermostat (to read more about each stat and which is best for you click here) you’ll have slightly different features and energy efficiency gains but whichever you have if it’s modern and not a traditional on / off stat you should be able to set a setback temperature.
The temperatures you’ll want to set your thermostat and boiler to will be partly specific to your home and heating system and partly set to your personal preference, we advise as a rule of thumb to have your heating periods set to 19 degrees and your set back period to 15 degrees so your heating timetable could look something like:
Contrary to popular belief having your heating ‘on’ all the time doesn’t mean the boiler will be on all the time, when the heating period ends, and the house is at a comfortable 19 degrees the heating demand will be satisfied and the boiler will turn off but crucially it will not be allowed to go cold.
When the temperature in the house drops to the setback temperature of 15 degrees the boiler will come on but instead of going straight to high flame to try and quickly heat everything from cold it will go straight to a low flame to just maintain the current temperature and when a new heating period begins it will slightly increase its flame to slowly bring the house back to the desired 19 degrees and back to a nice low maintenance flame to maintain the desired temperature, eliminating the need for a high flame and ensuring the boiler is always operating at its most efficient.
The temperature you want to set the boiler stat will depend on the age of your heating system, old systems were designed to have a delta T or temperature loss across the heating system of 11 degrees while modern systems and boilers are designed to operate at DT 20.
The reason newer systems are designed with a DT 20 is because they want to extract more heat for the system and a return temperature of anything above 40 degrees will mean your boiler will struggle to condense as the water is too hot and the boiler will not operate at its most efficient.
Therefore, simply buying a new boiler with new controls and fitting them to a 30-year-old heating system is often not enough to fully benefit from the new technology, it’s like taking a Formula 1 car to the supermarket on a Saturday morning and telling everybody the cars useless because you can’t fit the kids and the shopping in.
If you want to fully benefit from your new boiler, you’ll need to put it in the environment it was designed for, that might mean installing slightly larger radiators, increasing the pipe size below the floor, it will almost certainly mean thoroughly cleaning the heating system, then you can see how that ‘one day boiler swap’ when done properly quickly becomes a two, three or even four-day heating installation.
The design of the system plays a major factor in the efficiency of your heating if you have a modern Vaillant ecoTec plus boiler, installed on a properly cleaned and upgraded heating system with amply sized radiators being controlled by modern weather compensating thermostats such as the Vaillant Senso range or the Vaillant VRC 700. The system is properly commissioned, and the correct settings chosen your new Vaillant boiler will happily run all day with a flow temperature of between 40 - 60 degrees and a return temperature of 20 - 40 degrees. your boiler will constantly be in condensing mode and your home will be effortlessly comfortable.
Another key factor in how you choose to use your boiler is the insulation of your home, keeping the heat we have already created is more efficient and so preferable to going through the process of producing the heat again.
Cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, double or triple glazing, draught proofing, thick insulated wall paper, carpets instead of wood floor all these home improvements vastly improve your homes green credentials and help it to retain much of the heat your system produces which means leaving the system on a setback or ‘low temperature’ all day will really be more efficient,
At Heatsy we’ve been in the heating industry for a long time and have seen many changes, some more welcomed than others. Recently we’ve been seeing a lot of terrible installations with grossly oversized boilers chucked on the wall and if the radiators are hot there seems to be no consideration for the efficiency, suitability, or life of the boiler, how could there be when the quote was generated by a computer program.
Thankfully though we’ve noticed a recent increase in engineers and companies trying to increase their knowledge on subjects like hydronic heating design and energy efficiency to be able to offer their customers a level of service most ‘boiler swap’ companies can’t compete with.
We for one welcome the latter.
The Vaillant F75 fault code is probably the most common fault code on Vaillant ecoTEC boilers.
It’s quite a vague fault code and can relate to several issues, not all are necessarily boiler faults.
Vaillant’s official explanation of the fault direct from the manual reads:
Fault, no pressure change detection when starting pump
Water pressure sensor and/or pump defective, air in heating installation, too low pressure in boiler; connect external expansion vessel to return
When the boiler receives a demand for heat, from either the Central Heating controls or a hot water demand from a tap the internal pump will be one of the first components to operate. When the pump starts there will be a sudden spike in pressure within the heating system and boiler, it’s this pressure increase the pressure sensor is looking for. If the sensor doesn’t detect the spike in pressure, it will send a message back to the boiler PCB indicating it has detected a fault and it is not safe to continue the ignition sequence.
Vaillant’s early ecoTEC boilers circa 2005 were manufactured with a pump produced by a company called Wilo. Wilo is a reputable manufacturer who still makes pumps today, however, this pump was known for its high failure rate, and they were particularly prone to leaking and splitting. Wilo’s reputation suffered a severe knock it hasn't been able to fully recover from
Quickly spotting the error, around 2007 Vaillant ecoTEC boilers were and still are manufactured with a pump from a company called Grundfos, Grundfos is the leading name in domestic heating pumps and the question ‘why wasn’t Grundfos used from the start?’ could be asked.
The Vaillant Ecotec boiler’s pressure sensor has had three separate upgrades since it was launched in the original Vaillant Ecotec boiler back in 2005. The first sensor, which was Orange, had a very high failure rate. Again, Vaillant quickly recognised the fault and replaced it with a new black sensor which is still in use today.
F75 faults relating to the pressure sensor were often not due to component failure but rather due to poor installation and a lack of adequate and proper maintenance.
Sludge and magnetite deposits which naturally develop in Central Heating systems over time can build up and block the sensor, a system that wasn’t cleaned thoroughly during the boiler installation process or an appliance that has had poor maintenance will develop higher levels of containment in the system and hence be more prone to the Vaillant F75 fault.
The original orange sensor and subsequently the updated black sensor was positioned low down in the boiler near to the pump so they could easily detect the pressure increase when the pump turned on. Vaillant realised however that any loose debris in the boiler and system would be forced into the sensor causing an F75 fault code, with this realisation Vaillant developed the F75 kit.
The Vaillant F75 kit consists of some new pipework and the black sensor, by removing the old sensor and capping off the original aperture Vaillant re-designed the layout of the Ecotec allowing boiler repair engineers to move the sensor away from the pump making nuisance F75 faults less likely.
As there are several faults or underlying issues that could cause the Ecotec F75 fault code it is always advisable to have a GasSafe registered boiler repair engineer check your boiler installation whenever a fault code is displaying on your boiler.
A few simple checks you can do to get your boiler firing while you wait for a local repair engineer are to check the boiler pressure and check for air in the heating system.
On the front of your Vaillant Ecotec boiler in the bottom right corner, you should see a pressure gauge. The black needle should be somewhere in the middle of the grey section, about 10 o’clock.
Depending on what model of Vaillant Ecotec boiler you have and its age the filling loop could be internal and operated by two grey ‘keys’ below the boiler which read closed or, somewhere on the system a silver flexible tube that joins two pipes together.
If the pressure is fine, then the fault will probably be located inside the boiler housing and a GasSafe registered boiler repair engineer will be needed.
You should never remove the casing of your boiler to look inside or try to replace any components within the boiler.
Heatsy are Vaillant boiler repair specialists, and we are proud to be recognised as Vaillant Advance installers.
If you are experiencing the F75 fault code with your Vaillant Ecotec boiler, call us for a boiler repair today.
Today, whenever you call a tradesperson out to your home, whether it’s to repair a broken boiler, unblock a drain, or paint the walls (hopefully one doesn’t accidentally follow the other) there’s a certain level of professionalism that you just expect - and rightly so.
You probably expect clean branded vehicles, perhaps appointment reminders and follow up calls to see how everything went.
At the very least you’ll likely expect a clean, presentable tradesperson wearing a distinguishable, branded uniform who is polite and doesn’t get offended if you ask them to wear shoe covers, or maybe someone who ask’s permission to use the ‘facilities ‘.
These things and many more are traits that we just expect now from our local service providers, but it hasn’t always been this way.
Many moons ago it wasn’t uncommon for tradesmen to turn up an hour late in a dirty pair of jeans, stained tee-shirt, and a rusty old Mondeo asking for ‘cash in hand’ payments’, never to be seen again when the problem you called them to fix came back the next day. Things like a smart uniform or great customer service were the guardianship of big corporations and sadly, no one expected any better.
Enter Charlie Mullins MBE, spotting what now seems to be an obvious need for improvement Charlie set out to ‘change the public perception of plumbing and build a reputation’, and in doing so he has successfully built a multi trade brand that has become renowned for offering all the professionalism and guarantees you’d expect from a company with a turnover more than £40m while still giving a personal service that puts the customer first.
It’s undeniable that the plumbing industry still has a massive problem with cowboys and con men trying to scam trusting homeowners out of their hard-earned cash, but since the success of Pimlico Plumbers, or Pimlico Group, most of us in the trades industry have all followed suit, smartened up and raised our game as a new benchmark in industry standards had been set, and customers started expecting more.
As a professional heating company that prides itself on offering a fairly priced service that delivers great value for money with an outstanding customer experience, here at Heatsy we just wanted to say a big fat thank you to Mr. Mullins and everyone at the Pimlico Group.
By constantly demanding more from themselves and setting higher and higher standards for us all to aspire to, they’ve not only helped us to aim for bigger and better things, but they’ve also given our customers the confidence to expect more from us and that has helped to weed out the cowboys and restore some trust and pride into an industry that was crying out for some sort of guidance.
The days of ‘DIY Dave from down the pub’ trying his hand at boiler installations are now thankfully coming to an end, and the continued success of Pimlico Plumbers has played a massive part in that.
As the future success of Pimlico looks nothing but assured, we expect industry standards and customer expectations to remain high, allowing us, and companies like us to capitalise on the void left by those that won’t offer the service expected and encouraging us to evolve, grow and reach for new heights that were perhaps previously thought out of reach for small independent plumbing and heating companies, and that is why we love Pimlico Plumbers.
You know that feeling of waking up to a freezing cold house, finding out the boilers broken down, and the fear, confusion, and vulnerability you feel when you’re trying to find someone who can help?
Well, we fix that!
We help to make your heating less scary by offering a same day emergency boiler and heating repair service with optional fixed prices and guaranteed results that are proven to last.
In fact, we’ve got tons of 5 STAR reviews from our other happy customers for our boiler repairs.
Take the risk out of getting your heating repaired and secure a professional Gas safe registered heating engineer for a fixed price today.
We carry a wide range of genuine parts and include a 12-month manufacturer guarantee on all parts fitted, from zone valve replacements to smart thermostats and heating pumps to PCB’s whatever you need to get your heating repaired it’s probably in our vans ready to be fitted.
Are you constantly being told that your heating is too old to repair, or you need a new boiler? It’s probably nonsense, everything can be repaired, and most parts can be sourced if you know who to ask and where to look.
At Heatsy we’ve built a network of suppliers for genuine spares who supply enforceable guarantees giving you the best chance of success.
At Heatsy we’re so confident in our ability to diagnose the fault with your boiler or heating that if we can’t we’ll pay you double our diagnostics fee.
Ever since we shed our fur and stood on our hind legs humans has been on a relentless quest to keep warm.
From early humans gathered around a campfire some 1.5 million years ago to today’s modern, energy efficient heating systems available at the flick of a switch we’ve constantly strived to improve the reliability of our heating systems- but why?
Well in today’s western world of instant coffee, box set binge TV, and all the other relative luxuries we enjoy, it’s very easy to take things like heating and hot water systems for granted and forget that warmth is one of the key necessities for life.
In many places, a reliable heating system is more than a luxury it’s a life saver and as we’ve evolved so have our heating systems.
From campfires to Roman ducts to gas boilers and eventually heat pumps, every time humans has taken a leap forward in technological evolution, we’ve taken our heating and hot water systems with us.
At Heatsy we know heating, it’s what we do. From boiler repairs to heating upgrades and new boiler installations we’re experts in all things heating.
We’re not your average ‘boiler slinger’, we respect our trade and fully understand the importance it plays in many people’s lives.
We can design an ultra-efficient, modern heating system taking advantage of controls like weather or load compensation, or we can retrofit a new boiler on to your existing system and set it up to be as efficient as possible.
Our boiler repair engineers are experts on all types of boilers and heating systems, new and old if you’re experiencing issues with your heating system, we will be able to fix it, if not we pay you double our diagnostics fee.
Key to a reliable heating system is proper maintenance.
At Heatsy we don’t just service your boiler and leave in 20 minutes like so many in our industry, we check the water quality, balance the heating system, check the water tanks, controls and radiators and we leave you a report with all our findings and any recommendations so you can make an informed decision in your own time and prevent any major problems before it’s too late.
There’s no denying that when your boiler breaks down it can sometimes be quite expensive to repair, we’ve all heard the horror stories of families being taken advantage of in an emergency and paying thousands to get the heating back on.
So, it’s understandable that people sometimes opt for the peace of mind offered by different boiler protection plans, but why are there so many and what, if any is best for you?
Below we’ll look at Boiler service plans, Boiler care plans, and Boiler insurance plans to see what exactly each offers and if you’d be better off just paying for boiler repairs as and when you need them.
A boiler service plan is usually the most basic and cheapest of all the plans and will only include your annual boiler service, some may offer a few minor things like bleeding the radiators or balancing the heating system but in general, they will only include your annual boiler service.
They are most suited to people who have had a new boiler installed and need to make sure they have an annual boiler service to keep their warranty valid. The benefits are you get to spread the cost of your annual boiler service, usually over 12 months, and most importantly the service company will take over responsibility for planning the service, so you won’t forget and accidentally let the warranty become void.
The main negative of a service only plan is there are no repairs included, if you have a new boiler and the manufacturer decides for any reason that the warranty is no longer valid (which happens a lot) then you’ll need to pay for any repairs.
Even if you do keep the warranty for its entirety, it’s only the boiler that will be covered, the heating system and controls will still need to be repaired privately if they develop faults.
Boiler Care Plans sit somewhere in between Boiler Service plans and Boiler Insurance Plans.
There are lots of different options to choose from, most will offer three levels of protection, boiler repairs only, boiler and controls repairs, boiler and controls, and full central heating system repairs. There are also different types, some will act as a cover plan and include the repairs in the monthly price but might charge a small call out fee for every job while others will charge a lower fee each month, like a service only plan, but the monthly fee is basically a retainer that will guarantee you a priority response and usually entitles you to hefty discounts of off the advertised rates with no additional call out fee.
All the care plans will include your annual boiler service with minor repairs like bleeding radiators or changing batteries in your controls etc.
The main benefits of a retainer type plan are you pay out less each month and importantly there will be no restrictions so the horror stories mentioned above should be no worry as you’ll be entitled to a 20-40% discount on the advertised rates The benefit of a cover type plan over a retainer is the peace of mind that you won’t need to folk out even a moderate sum when the boiler does need repairing as you’ve basically already paid for it. Do check the fine print of any plan that includes parts and labour though, often there is a long list of exclusions such as main heat exchangers or anything relating to sludge and scale that will mean despite paying your monthly fee you could still be liable for a large repair bill.
All types of care plans, retainer and cover are best suited to people who maybe had their warranty declared void by the boiler manufacturer or perhaps the warranty has just ended. If your boiler is very old and in bad condition you could well be denied a plan as it’s too much risk for the service provider, also as the plan is not an insurance plan you should be able to leave at any time with no cancellation fee and your monthly price shouldn’t change unless the company raises their prices.
Boiler insurance plans will usually offer a very similar level of cover as a Boiler Care Plan and include all parts and labour in the price, but with less exclusions and instead of a monthly fee or retainer you’ll pay a monthly premium that will fluctuate depending on how often you use your cover and how old the boiler is.
Things like sludge and scale will usually still be excluded but as it’s an insurance plan things like accidental damage should be covered.
Insurance plans are probably a bit more expensive than care plans and you’ll usually be locked in for at least 12 months.
A Boiler Insurance Plan is best for people with very old boilers and old heating systems, if your heating is breaking down 3 or 4 times a year your premium will be quite high in comparison but overall, it’ll probably be less than calling out a private boiler repair each time.
Each type of cover has its own merits and there are certain situations for all, a Which? Study found that on average people who have full cover plans, either insurance or care plans typically pay more overall than those who just get the boiler serviced each year and pay for repairs as and when they are needed, that wasn’t even considering the discounts offered by retainer plans.
Our honest opinion is unless your boiler is 15+ years old and breaking down every couple of months a good retainer plan from a solid, reliable service provider is probably the best option.
It gives you the peace of mind that you shouldn’t face huge repair bills, it will probably include minor repairs and a good one should offer you a guaranteed priority response of 24 hours or less. They’re also great if you have a new boiler with a long warranty as the discounts can be used for your heating system and controls and the service provider will manage your annual boiler service to make sure you don’t let it slip.
At Heatsy, we know boilers. We also know that not all boilers are made alike- as you shop for heating options, it’s crucial to prioritise brands with a history of premium quality and industry-trusted reliability. That’s why we want to take the time to recommend Vaillant boilers as some of the best boilers for domestic heating in the UK.
Since 1894 when Johan Vaillant patented a new “closed-system” gas-fired bathroom boiler, Vaillant has been a champion of innovative boiler technology, leading the industry in efficient, powerful, and dependable domestic boilers Vaillant represents over 140 years of innovation, making them the number one choice for any quality boiler installer.
We at Heatsy are so proud to be industry partners with Vaillant, and we can’t recommend their products highly enough. As you shop for the best domestic boilers, we want you to know these reasons why Vaillant’s products are a cut above the rest:
Vaillant is a brand synonymous with innovation and reliability, but it’s not just their technical superiority that makes them our number one choice for boiler installations, it’s also their thoughtful, sleek, and aesthetically pleasing design. Vaillant boilers feature straight, crisp lines and soothing blue back lights for understated elegance that will fit neatly into the decor of any space.
Vaillant’s design excellence doesn’t stop with the outside. On the inside these boilers are equally as beautiful. Vaillant’s products are designed to strike a delicate balance between efficiency and reliability, while at the same time prioritising ease of common sense maintenance. Vaillant’s products’ distinct design represents industry pre-eminence inside and out- but design isn’t the only thing that makes these boilers stand out from the crowd.
At Heatsy, we are committed to building a more sustainable future for domestic heating. That’s why Vaillant boilers are always our #1 recommendation- their commitment to environmental consciousness and green tech is simply unparalleled.
All Vaillant’s boilers are designed to save customers money while also saving the planet, using a modulation ratio of 1:10, which translates to energy usage reductions up to 90%. But Vaillant’s mission of sustainability doesn’t stop with modulation rates. ‘
Vaillant’s perhaps most impressive contribution to the mission for global sustainability is its Green IQ badge system. Designed to set benchmarks for outstanding quality in sustainable products, the badge distinguishes well-engineered, future-networked heating systems that achieve a minimum carbon footprint while still providing premium quality- like Vaillant’s EcoTec exclusive boiler. This Green IQ certified boiler is made of 85% recycled materials and is the most efficient boiler created to date, pioneering technology for the future of sustainable domestic heating.
The Vaillant boiler range has a model to suit every installation, no matter your space, your needs, or your price-range. One of the things we love the most about Vaillant is how this company takes diverse customer lifestyles into account to provide a flexible range of options. Here are some of the excellent Vaillant options you should know:
Vaillants smallest and most affordable boilers, the Ecofit range is designed to fit easily into tight spots like small cupboards and closets, making this option ideal for small spaces and customers on a budget.
Available as a conventional boiler, system boiler, or combi-boiler, this efficient little device comes in a range of power outputs designed to meet the heating needs of any space. These compact, lightweight, and ultra-quiet boilers are perfect for the modern needs of busy homes. All EcoFit boilers keep energy consumption to a minimum with premium components that create outstanding performance. Don’t let its small size and reasonable price-point fool you- it’s one of our absolute favourite Vaillant products.
One of Vaillant’s most popular boilers, the EcoTex pro is a flexible combi-boiler that is suitable for most small flats and houses. The EcoTec Pro priorities ease of use, providing instant hot water with no need for a tank or a cylinder. Its three compact sizes (24kw, 28kw, and 30kw) mean that this boiler can fit almost any lifestyle. The EcoTecpro is quickly installed in just one or two days, guaranteeing years of high-efficiency and low-cost domestic heating.
Perhaps Vaillant’s most famous boilers, and with good reason- it is clearly one of the best boiler installations available today. Designed with premium components for maximum efficiency, quality, and reliability, the EcoTec plus is available as a conventional boiler, a system boiler, or a combi-boiler, and comes in a range of power outputs to meet diverse home heating requirements.
Each option features Vaillant’s signature low-energy consumption and is ultra-quiet. In fact, the EcoTec plus line received the Noise Abatement Society’s Quiet Mark award for innovative reduced-noise design, making this line of products an outstanding choice for an environmentally conscious, peaceful, and comfortable household.
EcoTec Exclusive Green IQ
Last, but certainly not least, is Vaillant’s latest innovation in gas central heating, the creme dela creme of domestic boiler installations, and, quite frankly the best boiler we’ve ever installed: the Vaillant EcoTec Exclusive Green IQ.
Combining Vaillant’s complete range of smart technologies and features, you can be sure you’re fitting the very best when you fit this new exclusive heating option. Consisting of two large output combination boilers with extra-condense technology and a single system boiler with an ingeniously engineered integrated diverter valve the EcoTec exclusive with GreenIQ intelligently manages consumption and output to keep all its components running at peak performance for longer, providing the best low-maintenance solution that you can rely on.
At Heatsy, we offer premium installation services for socially responsible customers who prioritise value, reliability, efficiency, and the future of our planet. That is why we recommend Vaillant boiler installation to all our clients. With top-tier reliability, unmatched design quality, and industry-leading green credentials, Vaillant’s products are simply some of the best boilers available for domestic heating needs in the UK.