Combi Boiler Guide: Installation Costs & Basics

by | Mar 31, 2022 | Combi Boilers

Combi – or combination – boilers are the most common type of boiler used in the UK today. They’re popular for their convenience, efficiency, and general usefulness as hot water and heating systems.

Combi boiler installation is rather straightforward, and since they do everything in one they can run off mains water supply and don’t need tanks or other kit to work.

Read on to learn more about these handy boilers and what getting one set up in your home might entail.

Can Combi Boilers Be Installed Anywhere?

Suitable locations for boilers in the home are numerous, but there’s a limit to what even we can do (and we can do a lot).

Our priority will always be to comply with the relevant regulations while keeping costs to a minimum. Since combi boilers do everything in one unit and run off mains water supply, you don’t need to worry about where to fit a water storage tank when getting one installed.

This makes them fantastic for flats, bungalows, and, well, anybody who doesn’t want a 200-litre water tank to accommodate. If you a have water storage tank in place, and are switching to a combi boiler, we’ll remove it to create more space.

There are a number of requirements that narrow down the sites you can choose for a combi boiler installation. For starters, the internal wall needs to be strong enough to handle the weight of the boiler plus the water inside.

It also needs to be someplace where the boiler’s flue can pass through to the outside world. This is non-negotiable; the flue provides a safe escape route for the gases produced by combustion. Typically, it’s best to go with where the current boiler is located unless there’s a significant problem being caused by this – not least because it will minimise the overall cost of installation.

However, if you are thinking about putting it somewhere new, let us know when you talk to us and we can go through the options.

Can You Install a Combi Boiler Yourself?

Unless you are a Gas Safe-registered engineer, the answer is ‘No’. If you’re looking at electric combi boiler installation, then you would need to find a suitably qualified electrician.

It’s also more than likely you’d require a qualified plumber too because electricians rarely install combi boilers. Not calling on somebody with the appropriate qualifications and expertise to complete your combi boiler installation is risky because it would invalidate any warranties or guarantees.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 is the relevant UK law surrounding the installation, maintenance, and general use of gas systems and their fittings. Strictly speaking, the law states that anybody doing gas work for profit, either as a worker for a firm or self-employed, must be registered.

These days that would be on the Gas Safe Register (GSR), which replaced the CORGI register in 2009 (though you’ll still find people using the name CORGI to this day – old habits die hard). It is not illegal to fit a gas appliance if you are competent to do so, but you will still need to have the work tested and approved by a Gas Safe engineer.

You may struggle to find somebody who’s happy to put their stamp of approval on something they haven’t fitted themselves. Your combi boiler installation cost could end up being much more than it originally would’ve been if you had just left the job to a professional.

The work could be insufficient and require a professional to come out and end up fixing it anyway. In worst case scenarios, there might be carbon monoxide leaks, causing illness or even death. There might be a gas explosion. These might sound like extreme possibilities, but remember: we’re talking about gas. There’s a reason we have the Gas Safe Register to begin with.

Here at Bumblebee, we’ll handle every last thing for you so none of the above need ever be considered. Our team of Gas Safe Registered engineers knows exactly what they’re doing, and we register your new combi boiler with both the manufacturer and with GSR once the work is done.

That way, you know you’re guaranteed, legal, and safe to switch on your heating whenever it’s needed.

How Much to Install a Combi Boiler?

Boiler installations have a number of factors to consider when you’re talking about final costs.

Combi boilers are among the simplest to fit, but you still need to take into account the type of property, the possibility of moving the boiler to somewhere more suitable, and the quality of the boiler itself.

Taking out an existing combi boiler and putting a new one in the same place won’t cost as much as making a switch from a system boiler to a new combi setup. A job like that would also entail dealing with a now-useless water storage tank, and therefore would take much longer to complete.

The brand and model of your combi boiler will set it into an average price bracket already:

  • An Ideal or Baxi boiler will average in the £650-£1,300 range, being a more budget option.
  • A Worcester Bosch boiler, on the other hand, will typically start closer to £800 for installation and could go up to around £2,500 at the higher end of the scale.

Remember to use easily available information online such as our Instant Boiler Quotation tool.

In a few simple questions, we can give you clear information on how much to install a combi boiler with a range of recommendations and options.

And we know that not everybody can afford a new installation straight out of pocket. That’s why we offer a range of finance options to smooth the cost and help you get your home heated without having to stress about the money.

When Should I Replace My Combi Boiler?

Most boilers now have an error display to tell you when the system detects something amiss. Even if yours doesn’t, it’s often obvious when its usual jobs are starting to fail.

Usually, you’re looking at 10-15 years for the full lifespan of a boiler. At the very latest, once you hit the 15-year mark, that’s when it’s time to start getting quotes and thinking about replacing that old boiler.

There are other possible signals that your boiler might need upgrading.

If you’ve done everything you can to try and reduce heating bills that still seem too high, it could be down to inefficient tech.

Boilers have become much more efficient in recent years, and a decade-old model could be keeping costs unnecessarily high.

You might also find that a repair of your current boiler would actually cost a similar amount as a brand-new install.

When you consider the benefits of a fresh new boiler being put in by a specialised installer who can clean, tweak, and get everything into tip-top shape, it’s a no-brainer.

If you’re not sure how much time is left, it’s always a good idea to get a boiler service. An engineer’s trained eye could spot any current or future problems with your system and advise on the next best steps.

We here at Bumblebee can also offer you care plans. Many times over the years, we’ve found faults before they occur. Additionally, many manufacturers insist on an annual service in order to uphold your warranty or guarantee. They know – as we do – that a stitch in time saves nine.

Are Combi Boilers Being Phased Out?

The UK government’s ambitious net zero target for 2050 has a lot of implications for how we consume energy. Your home heating is no different.

About 85 per cent of the UK’s home heating systems use gas, so there’s a lot of work to be done. What this means for combi boilers ultimately is still unclear, but for now, you’ll still find plenty of gas boilers being offered and installed when the time comes for a replacement.

It has been stated by the government that gas boilers will be banned in new-build homes from 2025. However, neither the technology nor the infrastructure is in place currently to replace all gas boilers by that date.

Until that reality is different it is hard to envisage major change, excluding the choices made for new-build homes of course, in the near future. Indeed, while the 2050 net zero target is a legal requirement, nothing has yet been put into law for the 2025 ban on new home gas boilers.

So, we don’t know what alternatives will definitely look like yet.

Boilers compatible with hydrogen gas are exempt from the 2025 ban, since the government aims to replace natural gas with the clean-burning alternative. This will be a slow change, and a gas combi boiler bought today is still highly likely to be burning natural gas for its entire life span.

Chances are good that electric combi boilers, relatively rare as they are, will not face a similar ban.

Heat pumps have gained a lot of coverage in recent years as an alternative to gas boilers. Heat pumps draw heat from either the air outside, or from the ground. They use electricity instead of gas, and their efficiency stems from the fact that they produce more heat than electricity they use.

They also don’t burn any fuel and emit no carbon dioxide. These advantages are great for their possible use in a lot of homes, but they’re still not perfect. Heat pumps aren’t suitable for every home, and they’re more expensive to run since electricity costs more than gas to consume.

Combi boilers are still highly efficient heaters. Since 2005, all combi boilers in the UK have had to be condensing boilers by law. This means that these boilers now recycle the hot waste flue gases to preheat the water entering the boiler, making the process of home heating far less wasteful.

Combi Boiler Installation with Bumblebee

We’ll tackle every last thing needed for a fresh combi new boiler installation. We know that you don’t want your home crawling with engineers, so we bring as many people needed for a quick and painless job, and we treat your property with the utmost respect.

If your job is an emergency, we always endeavour to get out to you as quickly as possible. We keep a large local team, meaning we can normally get to you swiftly and fix whatever needs fixing.

Once the job is completed and your old boiler has been taken away, we’ll register your new system with both the manufacturer and Gas Safe. All that’s left is for you to sit back and enjoy your new system.

You can get a quick online quote using our Instant Boiler Quotation tool, or you can phone our team on 01925 568281. We keep a full-time office staff so we’re always ready to answer your call and answer any questions you might have.

Get in touch with Bumblebee Plumbing & Heating today. We’ll handle the rest.

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