First Published: October 18, 2018. Updated: May 1, 2023
Cheap Combi Boiler
Sometimes it’s better to have a cheap combi boiler than no central heating at all in your home in the middle of winter. When it comes to a cheap combi boiler, it’s best to have realistic expectations, or no expectations at all. Central heating boilers have evolved into complex machines relying on high quality internal components working along with advanced electronics and digital programmable thermostats. Let’s take earphones for example. Chinese knock-offs may be just as good as their original counterparts at a fraction of the price, in some cases surprisingly good for original designs, because as far as technology goes, they’re much simpler. It’s not the same in case of boilers, because they are much more complex.
PLEASE NOTE: If you buy a cheap combi boiler, you should be aware that there have been several complaints throughout the UK against these brands. So, it’s better not to have sky high expectations regarding quality, reliability, durability or efficiency etc. You get what you pay for. But if it can’t be helped, then these cheap combi boiler models listed below will get the job done in the short term at least.
Cheap Combi Boiler Models UK
Baxi 128 Combi
- Boiler Only: £660.00 Inc. VAT
- With Installation: Approx. £1700 inc. VAT (Approx.)
Company Overview & Boiler Features: A well known brand in the UK, famous for their Baxi Bermuda Back Boilers during the 60s and 70s, Baxi’s performance in the condensing boiler era hasn’t been enough to put them among the top 3 combi boiler brands in the UK, their affordable line still performs quite well. Baxi boilers are straightforward to install, maintain and service and easy to use.
- Fits a 300mm cupboard
- Easy to use controls
- Has the option to be operated using a smart phone or tablet
- 2 year warranty as standard
- Meets minimum energy efficiency rating required for Boiler Plus compliance
- Energy Saving Trust Endorsed
Vokera Easi-Heat Plus 29C
- Boiler Only: £515.00 Inc. VAT
- With Installation: Approx. £1500 inc. VAT (Approx.)
Company Overview & Boiler Features: Vokèra started 35 years ago with bases around the UK and Ireland. Backed financially by their parent company, Riello Group, they are known in the UK and Irish markets as a trusted affordable brand. Surprisingly, even if they fall in the “affordable” or “cheap combi boiler” category, their boilers are good at energy efficiency. Vokèra is ISO 9001 approved, supports the ‘Benchmark’ initiative, are members of the Heating and Hot Water Industry Council, the Gas Safe Register and the RGII.
- ErP Class A
- Compact and Versatile
- Designed for Easy Installation
- Simple to Operate
- Built-in Mechanical Clock
- 5 Year Warranty
Alpha Evoke 28
- Boiler Only: £525 inc.VAT
- With Installation: £1700 inc. VAT (Approx.)
Company Overview & Boiler Features: Alpha has over 50 years’ experience, is part of the Immergas Group, operating in 30 countries including eight in Europe. Immergas are the market leaders in Italy, their home country. When it comes to an affordable or cheap combi boiler in the UK, Alpha comfortably sits in the top 3 boilers. The E-Tec Plus boiler is their newest combi boiler range with 7 year warranty as standard. But to have extended warranty, you need to buy their add-ons, like the Cyclone Plus magnetic filter (1 year) and the PremierPack Extra (3 years) bringing the grand total up to 10 years.
- 5 Year Warranty
- Compact Size and Layout
- Backlit LCD with push button controls and detailed operational information
- High efficiency Grundfos pump and hydroblock assembly
- Single electrode
- Easy-access NTCs on front of pipes
- One-piece cartridge diverter valve
- Clip-on DHW temperature sensor
- Dry-change NTCs
- Combined condensate and pressure relief valve connection
- Frost protection and daily pump kick
- Easy access for servicing
- IPX4D protection
- Low electrical consumption
Biasi Advance 25C 25.1kW Combi Boiler
The compact yet powerful Advance combi can deliver up to 13.3 litres per minute of instant hot water. Despite being in the cheap combi boiler category, this boiler has a stainless steel single coil heat exchanger that is robust and efficient.
- Boiler Only: £579.99 inc. VAT
- With Installation: £1500 inc. VAT (Approx.)
Company Overview & Boiler Features: Leopoldo Biasi opened a small thermomechanical business in 1938, and in the 1940s he opened a facility to manufacture residential boilers. As his company grew in size, he added gas boilers to the Biasi portfolio in 1986. With their manufacturing production facility in Pordenone, Italy, Biasi serve 40 markets across the globe. Biasi UK Ltd was formed in 1990 to promote the group’s products throughout the UK and is a leading supplier to the heating industry throughout the British Isles. Operating from a 64,000sqft facility located in Walsall, in the Midlands, Biasi provides an unrivalled one-stop-shop heating solution. Biasi UK are not just known for being a cheap combi boiler, but also central heating radiators, towel rails and LST radiators.
Ravenheat CS80 Combi Boiler
- Boiler with Flue and Clock: £449.99 inc. VAT
- With Installation: £1500 (Approx.)
Company Overview & Boiler Features: Ravenheat was established in 1987 in Leeds, with manufacturing operations at two sites in Verona, Italy and an annual production capacity of 80,000 units. They have fair experience in manufacturing condensing boilers since 1996. Again, not known for the highest efficiency or quality, but an affordable option compared to higher end brands. If you’re short on cash and need a cheap combi boiler ASAP, Ravenheat is definitely worth looking at.
- 2 Year Guarantee
- SEDBUK A Rated
- Compact Size – 700 x 400 x 300 mm
- Innovative Low Energy Consumption
- Integral Valve Kit Eliminates Unsightly Valves Outside the Boiler
- Built-in Deep Seal Condensation Trap Designed to Reduce Nuisance Freezing in Winter
- Low NOx Class 5 Meets New Stringent Building Codes
- The Weather Compensator Option Makes the Boilers Perfect for New-build Projects
- Solar Compatible
- Minimum Low Power of 3.6kW Further Reduces Energy Cost
- Greater Energy Saving Through the Appliance Modulating
- Lightweight Design to Aid Installation
Main Eco Elite 30 Combi Boiler
- Boiler Only: £685 inc. VAT
- With Installation: £1500 inc. VAT (Approx.)
Company Overview & Boiler Features: Main Heating is the affordable wing of Baxi Heating. Baxi Heating is part of the BDR Thermea Group with a portfolio of several commercial and domestic heating brands in the UK and Ireland, including Baxi; Potterton; Heatrae Sadia; Megaflo; Remeha; Andrews Water Heaters; Potterton Commercial; and Packaged Plant Solutions. As we mentioned above, this is the affordable or “cheap” wing of the Baxi Group.
- Choice of 25kW or 30kW
- 5-year parts and labour warranty
- Boiler Plus compliant
- Energy Saving Trust Endorsed
- 24-hour clock and filling loop included as standard
- Low NOx emissions
- No compartment ventilation required
- Integral frost protection as standard
Potterton Assure 30 Combi Boiler
- Boiler Only: £599.00 inc. VAT
- Including Installation: £1500 inc. VAT (Approx.)
Company Overview & Boiler Features: Potterton have been making boilers since 1850 in the UK. In fact, they found pretty good success in the 1970s with their back boilers with a solid cast iron heat exchanger. They were renowned to be very reliable boilers, but unfortunately today Potterton leave a lot to be desired. As a business they are active in the social housing markets because of their current reputation as a cheap combi boiler brand. Potterton also promote environmental, social and economic sustainability as much as possible. Much like Main Heating, Potterton are also part of Baxi Heating, owned by the Netherlands based BDR Thermea Group.
- Outputs: 25kW, 30kW and 36kW to suit most property sizes
- LPG combi options also available
- 36kW output provides a higher hot water flow rate of 15l/min at 35ºC for larger properties
- Compact cupboard fit
- Lightweight for ease of installation
- Vertical packaging allows for ease of access
- Front access to all components saves time when servicing
- Boiler Plus Compliant
- Central flue for ease of siting
- Quiet operation
- 2 year warranty
Should You Buy a Cheap Combi Boiler?
The answer is overwhelmingly NO, judging by the number of complaints a couple of the brands listed above have gotten over the years. BUT if you desperately need a boiler for the short term and can’t afford to spend more than the bare minimum, then go for it. Or if you think you won’t be needing your new boiler for more than 2-5 years, then a cheap combi boiler is better than nothing.
Fortunately high end manufacturers have decided to compete in the price sensitive UK market, so even if you pay a bit more money upfront, you save a tonne of money over the long term. High end combi boiler manufacturers like Viessmann, Worcester Bosch, Vaillant, ATAG etc. have much higher quality components inside their condensing combi boilers, and with the combination of innovative high end controls, they are not only Boiler Plus Legislation 2018 compliant, but also achieve sky high efficiency, like the Viessmann Vitodens 200-W which goes up to a whopping 98% efficiency, wasting only a measly 2% of the fuel going in. Compare this to older non-condensing boilers which drop down to 70% to 50% efficiency. Or a cheap combi boiler because of the quality of its internal components, may start at around 90% efficiency, but will drop down rapidly.
If you’re going to spend between £1500 to £1700 on a cheap combi boiler anyway, why not spend a little bit more and get a premium, high efficiency boiler?
High Quality Combi Boiler Alternatives
We’ve already talked about several high end combi boiler manufacturers above and on our website earlier in the following articles:
We truly believe Viessmann are the best combi boiler manufacturer in the UK right now, which is why we’ve chosen to work with them closely. They have been world leaders in the commercial heating industry for a long time, providing central heating solutions for large factories, massive corporate buildings and stadiums around the world. Their foray into the residential boiler has been fairly recent compared to other manufacturers, but the way they have made up ground is very impressive. A big part of that is their commercial heating expertise that they’ve carried over into the residential boiler space. At the heart of their boilers is the patented Inox-Radial Stainless Steel Heat Exchanger, manufactured in-house, pictured below:
It’s made from the highest grade of stainless steel and manufactured in-house, whereas other boiler brands source their internal components from third-party manufacturers. Also, brands like Worcester Bosch, Ideal, Baxi and Vaillant use aluminium heat exchangers either manufactured in-house or from a third party manufacturer based in France, called Giannoni. It’s more likely the latter. To get a quote on the best combi boilers in the UK at the moment, please enter your postcode below and hit the green button.
Why is Stainless Steel better than Aluminium Inside a Boiler?
High Resistance to Corrosion
Stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion in a wide range of pH levels, whereas aluminum will corrode much faster if the proper fluids are not used to produce and maintain a narrow pH range. Heat exchangers made of aluminium need special manufacturer recommended heat transfer fluids and inhibitors when starting up and maintaining the system. If those proper fluids are not used, you may end up damaging the heat exchanger. And if you do damage the aluminium heat exchanger, you will void the warranty because the manufacturer will cite that the proper fluids have not been used. In direct comparison, stainless steel heat exchangers do not require special fluids, are compatible with plain clean water and commonly available propylene glycol.
Reliability, Durability and Longevity
For a boiler manufacturer, it is more expensive to source or manufacture stainless steel heat exchangers compared to aluminum. While aluminum is lightweight and has high thermal conductivity initially, but over the long run stainless steel will be much better value for money due to the longevity and better corrosion resistance. Aluminum will rust, corrode, warp, and break down long before stainless steel, so investing in a boiler with a quality stainless steel heat exchanger will increase the useful life of your boiler.
PLEASE NOTE: As a business we have had customers coming to us with broken boilers with aluminium heat exchangers after only 8 years of use. So, whether you’re buying a high end or a cheap combi boiler, it’s always better to buy one with a stainless steel heat exchanger.