Are back boilers good?

Back boilers are great, but not for your wallet. Find out more below.

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Are back boilers good?

In a word, yes.

Back boilers are simple products that work very well. They are uncomplicated, easy to maintain and service and made with simple, solid components. Some are 20 or 30 years old.

For example, the Baxi Bermuda was a popular unit. The Bermuda is a gas-fire for instant room heat and a gas back boiler that fed heating throughout the property and hot water tank.

However, back boilers are now illegal. They’re not energy efficient and can waste as much gas as they use to heat your home or hot water. Most back boilers were approximately 70-80% efficient when they were new. However, back boilers were banned in 2005 under new building regulations, so the ‘newest’ ones are almost 20 years old.

Estimates have put 15-year-old back boiler efficiency at about 50-55%, meaning a new highly-efficient boiler would halve your heating gas bill.

What is a back boiler and how do back boilers work?

Back boilers, often hidden behind gas fires in fireplaces, were a prevalent heating option in residences from the 1960s to the early 2000s. Their compact design contributed to their widespread popularity for decades. However, with the change in UK building regulations in 2005 mandating that all new boilers be of the ‘condensing’ type for enhanced energy efficiency, the installation of non-condensing back boilers came to a halt.

Despite this, many households still use back boilers, which fall short in efficiency compared to modern condensing boilers. Operating at about 50% efficiency or even less, these boilers waste approximately half of the gas used, resulting in increased costs and a greater environmental footprint.

Upgrading to a modern boiler could reduce waste and save money: read more about replacing a back boiler >

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New combi boilers costs when replacing a back boiler

How much is a back boiler replacement with a combi boiler cost (a back boiler to combi conversion)? On average a new combi boiler installation when replacing a back boiler will cost £3,000 to £4,500 including VAT.

The cost to change back boiler to combi boiler will vary depending on the boiler that it is replacing and the new boiler location as well as any additional pipework, filters, removal of tanks, and how you want to control your system.

A list of the most common combi boiler installations for replacing a back boiler can be found below:

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