Buying a new house is one of the most exciting moments people can experience, but it is also one of the most stressful too. Such an important investment demands full attention to detail, especially to one of the most expensive appliances in your new home: the boiler. If you want to avoid a nasty surprise or just to be aware of a big expenditure, it’s worth putting your detective hat on to answer these questions:
What does the boiler look like?
The first task of your investigation seems pretty obvious: a visual inspection. A nice-looking boiler in a tidy cupboard won’t raise your eyebrows. However, you should look closer and check for any signs of leaks, dampness, rust and even for patches of fresh paint. They can be an indication of a faulty boiler that might need fixing or replacing.
How old is it?
The age of the boiler doesn’t determine if it needs replacing or not but it gives you a good idea of what to expect and to look for. A well-maintained unit can last fifteen years and upwards on some occasions. On the other hand, a five-year-old boiler that hasn’t been looked after properly could be instore for a replacement if the issues aren’t solved on time. But, in general, the older it is the more likely it will need replacing. Who knows, you might be lucky and enjoy the fact that a recent boiler installation still holds the original manufacturer warranty.
What is its service history?
As just mentioned, adequate servicing -once a year according to engineers and manufacturers- is essential to extend the life and the efficiency of a heating system. The previous owner or the estate agent should be able to tell you when the boiler was last serviced… if at all. In fact, you might even be able to see it on a sticker on the unit itself. In some cases, the buyer and seller agree on a boiler service to be done just before the sale. So definitely enquire about this, if you are uncertain in any way.
What type of boiler is it?
Every household has different demands and this means that the perfect heating system doesn’t exist. The most popular choice in the UK nowadays is the combi boiler as it is the most efficient and compact, but also the most expensive to buy and install. The particular type of boiler could give you some valuable clues about other aspects of your potential new home. For instance, the absence of a combi boiler could translate as a household with low incoming water pressure. If you want to know more about the pros and cons of the different types of boilers take a look at our article The Difference Between Three Types of Boiler:
Combi, Heat Only and System.
Is it energy efficient?
In general, a combi boiler is the most efficient approach to provide hot water and warmth. But they are not all flawless. The best way to find out if a particular boiler is going to help you save money in the long run through lower energy bills is to look for its energy efficiency label. This sticker was introduced by the European Union in 1995 to help customers see how efficient an appliance is, and as an attempt for the manufacturers to compete for the most economical and environmentally friendly product.
What is the make and model?
Knowing the make and model will provide you with useful information you might not have been able to get from the seller, like production year or energy consumption. It will also help
you to search for reviews on the internet, the availability of spare parts, and to start arranging a potential insurance or care plan.
Where is the boiler installed?
The location of a boiler often dictates how efficient it is and its easy access when needed. In most cases, you can find them near the bathroom as it is normally here where most of the hot water is needed. But sometimes you encounter old systems taking a lot of space in a big cupboard or in a cold and far-off corner of the house where it is likely to suffer from frozen pipes. Starting from scratch with a new installation in a more convenient place will solve practicality, efficiency and safety issues.
Remember that is always a good idea to ask a professional to check on the boiler general state for your peace of mind.
Selling your house (and your boiler)
Everything said so far applies to the seller too. If you have your house up for sale, it will help to quickly deal with any rust or dampness you may encounter near your boiler. As well as sharing the service history or booking in service with a registered engineer, such as Elgar services who provide Worcester boiler services. Legally, sellers have no obligation
to have a boiler serviced before they sell, but by doing so you will surely avoid any future complaints or claims from the new owners if they have to get a new boiler installed.