Back boiler replacement cost

In the 70’s – 80’s the back boiler was a popular choice for homes across the UK, reliable and at the time efficient. Fast forward a few years and they’re generally seen as old-fashioned. A back boiler is a boiler which sits behind a fireplace and heats the home without being visible.

Their reliability however is somewhat overshadowed by their convenience, fuel efficiency and how loud they can be. Boilers today are larger than back boilers and so replacing a back boiler with a new one can be tricky. Most back boilers sit in a living room which isn’t the ideal position for a new boiler due to noise and the space required.

Should I keep my old back boiler?

The question is, should you keep your back boiler? Is it the right time to get rid of it? As previously mentioned, the energy efficiency is a big factor to consider as you could save hundreds on your yearly gas bill and overtime your new boiler could eventually pay for itself.

An older boiler may also require more attention in terms of servicing, while we obviously recommend that you should service your new boiler annual, less will typically go wrong. Whether you should get rid of your back boiler or not is your choice, financially it may make sense to do so, however it is a large upfront cost as not only will you have to change your boiler you may also potentially need to remove the fireplace, block it up and get new piping for your new boiler installation.

Why Replace a Back Boiler with a Combi?

The general choice for replacing a back boiler is typically to install a combi as combi boilers are generally the most popular boiler in UK homes. If your back boiler’s gone kaput then it’s usually cheaper installing a combi than a new back boiler as it typically takes much less time and is far more straight forward. This should keep or generally keeps engineer costs down, but the price obviously varies depending on which combi you choose.

Most combi boilers have an energy efficient rating over 90% so the savings from installing one can be quickly evident. Combi boilers can cost anything between £478.80 - £2,762.10* for the base unit, dependant on what brand & size of the boiler is.

Back boiler pros & cons

Deciding whether to replace your back boiler is a tricky one, here is a list of some of the advantages & disadvantages for your consideration:

Typically far more reliable than a modern boiler

Don’t have to pay out for a new boiler

Space efficient as it hides behind your fireplace

Hot water from several taps at once

Baxi still make modern back boilers

Can be more expensive to run

Hard to install a new one

Back boilers can be noisy

Limited choice on like for like replacements

Can be draughty because a permanent air vent is required

How easy is it to switch?

There are two different ways in which you can switch your back boiler over to combi, these include:

1. Installing a new combi boiler in another room and not removing your current back boiler just decommissioning it. This isn’t usually recommended as it uses up a lot of space having two boilers, but it prevents you having to redecorate and doesn’t leave you with a huge hole in the wall where your fire used to be.

2. The second way is to install a new combi boiler elsewhere in your house and remove the old back boiler, this often involves having to completely or partially redecorate the room, install a new fireplace or plaster over the hole and can in some circumstances mean that you may have to replace flooring or carpets.

How much will getting rid of my back boiler cost?

It’s hard to put a price on removing a back boiler and replacing it as there are two complex jobs involved. Firstly, the removal of the back boiler itself is dependent on how much work needs to be done, and you also need to factor in all the potential costs for redecoration or a new fireplace unit in addition to a new combi boiler.

The price of the combi boiler itself also depends on different factors such as which boiler you will be having installed, where you want it moved to and the extra parts required to do the job such as the gas pipes or any other equipment you may request or require. The area that you live in can also influence the cost of installation.

To get a price for removing your back boiler you will need to have a surveyor visit your property, so they can check over all the work that will be required. We can provide you with a quote from one of the nationwide leading boiler installers.

Is getting rid of my back boiler worth it?

Moving a back boiler requires a lot of effort & can be expensive to do. If you’re willing to pay the upfront costs, it may be worth doing for the potential cost saving. it’s quite the commitment though and could be quite a distributive process to your everyday, which you need to be aware of.

* Prices correct as of December 2017 from our list of suppliers