PLEASE NOTE: We don’t sell boilers - we just show all the boilers that you might
want to see to make your choice.
We also give you general review information on the boiler manufacturers, buying a
boiler, and just how
easy (or not!) it is to get in touch with manufacturers.
Just find the boiler that suits your needs
...But first read all about boilers at the foot of this webpage
Buying a link on BoilerBuddy.co.uk
If you are a retailer of boilers, you can buy a link (click direct to your website
page) for 50p per boiler, per week - minimum period 13 weeks. The price we show will
be your price.
We can link direct to your website pages for £1 per link, per week - minimum period
The BoilerBuddy test of service:
We evaluate each boiler manufacturer to see how well they respond to an enquiry,
by phone and by email. We also evaluate just how easy it is to contact them by navigating
their website, and their website in general. Times when phone calls are made are
always mid-a.m. These evaluations are repeated and logged. This results in a star-rating
system - shown next to the manufacturer’s name. We contact every manufacturer with
a service enquiry, and see how well they respond. Last contact: 22/03/16 between
9.50 and 10.15
It should be noted that only one boiler manufacturer responded to our email asking
for information on their products (Johnson & Starley)! This is a terrible indictment
of the ability of boiler manufacturers to conduct themselves professionally, and
sadly indicative of many companies. No staff, from any other company, actively wished
to promote their products - even when the enquiry was aimed at their marketing departments...and
we give them a listing of their products completely FREE! One company (Ariston) deleted
our email without even reading it, and Glow-worm refused to give us an email address!
Disclaimer: ALL the information here is provided on the websites of the manufacturers
as shown. We do NOT therefore accept any liability for incorrect information
‘Our rating’ means our assessment of the company based on contact, response, and
their website. It isn’t our evaluation of the company’s products.
‘?’ means the information was assumed, but not given by the manufacturer.
‘Max HW flow in LPM’ means the hot water flow rate of a combi boiler - usually at
a 35 degree c rise. So if your mains cold water is at 15 degrees c, then the flow
of hot water will be ‘x’ if the temperature at the nearest tap is 50 degrees c. For
a low kilowatt output boiler this could be as low as 9 litres per minute. On a very
cold Winter’s day, you might only get a temperature of 40 degrees c (water coming
in at 5 degrees and boiler raising it 35 degrees) from that tap at 9 litres per minute.
This wouldn’t be efficient at filling a bath, and would only be barely good enough
for a shower. Even then, anyone else in the property, attempting to draw hot water
at the same time, would severely affect the shower’s performance.
So you want to buy a boiler?
'Boiler' is a misnomer. Certainly, in days gone by, boilers could indeed accidently
boil. But modern domestic boilers have their maximum temperature set at no more than
82c, sometimes less.
Make sure you choose a boiler to suit your system. There are three types of heating
1. Heated by a regular boiler
2. Heated by a system boiler
3. Heated by a combi boiler
What does this mean?
A regular boiler (sometimes called a ‘heat only’ boiler) is one that heats the heating
system radiators, but also heats a cylinder of hot water usually located in an 'airing
cupboard'. There are therefore two water systems. Years ago, this was the only system
there was. It usually consists of a boiler, a cylinder, two tanks in the loft (main
tank and expansion tank), plus a pump, diverter valve, and programmer.
A system boiler does away with the expansion water tank. Instead, the system is pressurised.
Very often, a 'heat bank' (instead of a cylinder) is fed by hot water from the boiler.
This allows for mains pressure hot water. System boilers very often feed underfloor
heating systems. System boilers have the pump built-in, but a diverter valve is still
required to divert the heated water to either the radiators or the store of hot water.
Obviously, there are still two water systems.
A combi boiler combines the heating and hot water in one boiler, so there are no
tanks or cylinders. The system is pressurised. The water that is in the taps is NOT
the same water that is in the radiators (there are still two systems). The pump is
built-in, and so is the diverter valve. A combi boiler can only heat either the hot
water being demanded, or the heating at one time. So the hot water takes priority
– the heating will not be fed with hot water until the hot tap is turned off. The
smaller the output (in kilowatts) the less will be the flow of hot water. Generally,
a '24' boiler is only really suitable for a single person in a flat. For a larger
family, a combi boiler can still be used, but it should generally be at least a '35'.
It means that there will be sufficient heat available to allow a good flow of hot
water. Even then, it may only be able to supply one hot tap at a time. If great hot
water flow is your priority then you might look to a system boiler instead of a combi,
together with a thermal store or heat bank.
Thermal stores and heat banks:
These are NOT boilers. They hold heated water, then give it up on demand. A thermal
store stores hot water. The heat energy will be passed to mains cold water flowing
through a heat exchanger. A heat bank will 'bank' hot water under pressure, then
release it to a tap on demand. Thermal stores are vented (meaning they have a small
expansion tank) whereas heat banks are pressurised cylinders that obviously are not
vented. Unvented heat banks require qualified installers and regular servicing. Vented
thermal stores require neither. Our advice would always be to opt for a thermal store
over a heat bank – though heat banks are far more common. It's possible to get thermal
stores and heat banks that are electrically heated (by immersion heaters) rather
than heated by a boiler. These are very simple units that don't (usually) require
pumps and valves, and therefore tend to be more reliable. There are a few thermals
stores that do use a pump, and this decreases their reliability factor. The quality
of the immersion heaters is also paramount to this reliability. Choose wisely, as
these appliances tend to be twice the cost of a boiler.
Gas is cheapest, but only the actual fuel. Gas boilers require regular servicing
and maintenance, and it may be prudent to take out insurance to cover faults and
breakdowns. This should be factored in to your calculations when thinking about which
fuel. It is often overlooked by very many people who should know better. The longevity
of the appliance matters very much as well. If your gas boiler costs £2,500 to replace,
and only lasts 10 years, then that's £250 EVERY YEAR that you should be adding in.
Electric heating (by underfloor heating, fan heaters, etc.) can work out only a little
more than gas when these factors are taken into account. Electric heating tends to
get a bad press because those that argue against it tend to be ignorant of the true
costs of running a gas boiler. Electric heating isn't just more reliable, it is much
more controllable as well. Oil is either loved or loathed. When oil is cheap then
it's great. But you have to have regular deliveries, a tank of oil on your property,
and regular servicing. The smell of an oil boiler isn't pleasant, and the fumes contribute
to poor air quality. Biomass (wood) is the new kid on the block, and the boilers
are around three times the price of a gas boiler to supply and install. They bear
little relation to the wood-burners of old. Their appeal is mainly to the 'eco-concious'
and those with the time to maintain the fuel needed. The choice nowadays tends to
be between electric and gas. Gas is relatively cheap, but requires maintenance, and
there are reliability issues. Electric has an excellent reliability appeal, and great
ease of use, but suffers from relatively high fuel costs. There are lots of 'compare'
websites between the two fuels that (for reasons best known to themselves) rate electric
costs much higher than you can actually get it for if you shop around. We've seen
electricity for just 9p per kWh. It should be remembered that gas is less than half
this, but comes with issues that you wouldn't have with electric heating. Consider
your fuel choice wisely...it's not just about the cost! You want a system that is
reliable, easy to use, controllable and convenient.
The 'best' boiler
The best boiler is going to be any boiler that doesn't let you down! Having no heating
on a freezing cold day is horrible. But perhaps having no hot water is even worse.
At least with no heating you can go to your local diy store and buy an armful of
electric fan heaters. But being without hot water nowadays is an unthinkable thought.
So reliability is the key. Usually, simplicity results in reliability. We've seen
crazily-complex appliances that were seemingly designed by a complete idiot. If you
want to choose a combi boiler then you really should only consider a high-output
model if you have a family. Combi boilers of around 24 kilowatts are really only
suitable for one person living alone. Family demands mean a good flow of hot water
(per minute), so look for a high output model of perhaps around 15 litres per minute.
Be wary of buying some obscure make that you've never heard of. If it goes wrong,
you may struggle to find an engineer who would be willing (and even competent enough)
to tackle the fault issue. Always consider taking out insurance for maintenance anyway.
If your boiler goes off during Christmas week, you may find it difficult to get anyone
to fix it even if it is a well-known make. At least with insurance they have a duty
(hopefully!) to fix it promptly.
Don't be tempted to site your boiler in your loftspace unless absolutely necessary.
First of all, some public liability insurance companies are reluctant to cover an
engineer if he has to use a non-standard staircase to enter your loftspace. Lofts
aren't always floorboarded, either. Secondly, many homeowners tend to cram their
loft with junk. You would have to make a clearing through that junk for your engineer
to get to the boiler. Loftspaces are cold in the Winter and hot in the Summer, and
almost always full of fibreglass particles. Your engineer won't be keen to work on
your boiler! If your engineer refuses to go up there, don't be surprised. Modern
boilers are quiet, so it would be better to site it in a cupboard, even if it's adjacent
to a bedroom. A garage is a great place for a boiler, but check with your insurance
Don't be frightened by what you hear about boilers. They are very safe appliances.
Indeed, many of the reliability issues that dog gas boilers tend to be related to
safety devices failing, which shuts the boiler down as a 'failsafe'. For a modern
boiler to emit carbon monoxide, a whole series of faults have had to have occurred.
The normal products of gas combustion are carbon dioxide (a harmless gas) and water
vapour. But if you have to site a boiler in a child's bedroom, and that worries you,
then go for an electric boiler. With anything other than an electric boiler, ALWAYS
have a working carbon monoxide detector positioned close by.
We list ALL the boilers that
you can buy in the UK...
Choose your fuel:
334 boilers listed!
Our star rating system will be fully uploaded soon, but as you can see from the results
so far, no manufacturer is going to be classed as ‘Excellent’. Some of the boiler
manufacturers didn’t even reply to an email requesting service for a fault on a new
boiler! The highest-rated manufacturer so far is ATAG, while the lowest rated is
We will be awarding a ‘Best Buy’ on a combi boiler when all the results are in.