The Sustainable Energy Association of Ireland (SEAI) recommends that you replace or upgrade your gas boiler if it is more than 15 years old. While boilers can have a lifespan of over 20 years, after about 15 years their efficiency could be as low as 60%.
As boiler technology, has improved, Irish residents can replace their old boilers with new ones that function at much higher levels of efficiency, saving you as much as 25% on your heating bills. Additionally, newer boilers are more reliable and safer than older ones, giving you more peace of mind.
When replacing your boiler, there are number of different options available to you. Where possible you should consider installing the highest efficiency boiler possible. This will reduce your fuel costs in the long run and may qualify you to avail of government grants.
Combi Boilers Combi boilers are common in Ireland, and are what many homeowners will already have. Combi boilers are one step up from the conventional Irish arrangement of having separate units for heating the radiators and the hot water. Combi boilers heat both in one unit, and ensure that an unlimited amount of hot water is readily available whenever it is needed.
Condensing Boilers Where possible, you should consider replacing your gas boiler with a condensing boiler. They use less fuel and are cheaper to run than combi boilers. Condensing boilers work by condensing the water vapour produced in the heating process, harnessing the extra heat within that would have ordinarily been lost.
There are grants available to help homeowners who upgrade their old oil or gas boilers to highly efficiency condensing boilers. Under the grant scheme, householders who own a house built before 2006 can get a grant of €700 towards the cost of a new efficient oil or gas boiler. BUT – The grant is only available if you also qualify for a grant towards upgrading your central heating controls. The grant available for just an upgrade of heating controls alone is €600.
A gas boiler installation in the wrong hands can be at best very expensive, and at worst, downright dangerous. Your boiler should be installed a qualified and experienced boiler installer. A good installer will be able to size your new boiler based on the actual heating requirements for your home. This will ensure that the boiler operates at its optimum capacity and be most cost effective.