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When it comes to home improvements, a replacement boiler is one of the more expensive activities you are likely to carry out, but also one of the more important. Most of us cannot live without a boiler to provide heating and hot water. In the UK gas is the main form of energy available and so boilers are an essential household item.

So if it becomes clear that your boiler needs to be replaced, you need to make sure that you do your homework to get the best possible deal and to get value for money. It is not always wise to choose the cheapest boiler, but equally you may find that a more expensive one is not right for your needs.

How much for a boiler?

A recent Which? report found that boiler prices range between £600 and £2,500 and installation costs vary almost as much. So it is clear that there is a mind boggling array of boiler options to suit all budgets and choosing the right one could be tricky.

You will first need to work out which type of boiler you need. Most people will opt for a combi boiler which will provide central heating and hot water. These are considered to be the most efficient and work well in most homes. On average you can expect to spend around £700 to £900 on this type of boiler. You can go as high as £1200, but this would be best for a larger home with high hot water and heating needs.

Heat only boilers have a similar price range, but you will have the inconvenience of needing to heat a hot water tank full of water each time it is required.

Government grants

Financial assistance is available in the form of a replacement boiler grant to those in receipt of certain qualifying benefits. If you receive child tax credit, pension credit or income related benefits, and your current boiler is more than 14 years old, you may be entitled to a free replacement boiler.

Installation costs

Boiler costs tend to vary more when it comes to installation because it depends entirely on what type of system is in place already, what you are replacing it with and whether you want the boiler moved or water tanks replaced or moved.

Which? suggest that the installation of a boiler into the same position as the old one will cost around £600. If the boiler needs to be moved the cost will increase to between £1500 and £1800. Of course if you are changing from a heat only system to a combi you will need to make alterations to your hot water tank system and this will add to the cost.

It is extremely important that you make sure you have a qualified person doing the installation for you. They must be gas safe registered and it is your responsibility to check that this is the case. If you get a very low quote you may discover that they are not properly qualified and it is never worth it to save money in this way. Not only is it illegal, it could be unsafe.

For those in receipt of qualifying benefits, you may even be entitled to a free replacement boiler grant.

Utility company installation

If you prefer to have the work carried out by your utility company and to have the boiler and installation done together you can expect boiler costs to between £1,000 and £4,000 for the entire service. Often this includes boiler cover for six months or a year and a warranty.

It is also worth pointing out that utility companies often have boiler offers which include scrappage schemes and interest free loans to help you pay for the installation.

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