replacing baxi gas lpg boiler - advice on costs

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milkermel 

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Hi folks, hoping there is someone around who may be able to give me a little bit of advice!

We are currently look at a house to buy which has gas central heating using and old baxi boiler currently in the chimney area where coal fires were.

Now my idea is that as this boiler needs replacing anyway, is it possbile usually to get it out and then use the fire places after for log burner. apparently all the chimneys were left so can imagine an issue. But I will still be needing the Gas for central heating and hot water. How does this work with regards to the boiler etc - what sort of area will i need to find to put it in.

I have never had gas before so dont have a clue! have only ever had agas or rayburn on coal or wood - gas is a little more technical and goes boom so any advice appreciated.

Oh and also what sort of cost roughly are you looking at?

The chap selling house says it is fine and has been serviced, but Ialso remember hearing that these old boilers are not as efficient as the new one and would rather get it sorted before we tidy the house up!
 

roche 

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Just a thought - why not go for a back boiler on the log burner? You can use it for the central heating as well. During summer, use solar. Have an electric immersion for a bit of top up if you need it...
 

milkermel 

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tell me more?? Im up for anything that is more environmentally friendly, the cooker is on electric (would prefer rayburn, but that is a project for a few years time!!)

I have seen everyone having panels up everywhere, but wouldnt know were to start. any links appreciated.
 

The Cumbrian 

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tell me more?? Im up for anything that is more environmentally friendly, the cooker is on electric (would prefer rayburn, but that is a project for a few years time!!)

I have seen everyone having panels up everywhere, but wouldnt know were to start. any links appreciated.
I am sure somebody will come along with a better answer but if you google "Feed in Tarriff" or even probably F I T and solar power. However I think that they have recently got less attractive due to a cut in what is being paid for excess electricity generated.

Obviously also you need a roof which is pointing in the general direction of south to place them on.
 

region2 

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We're on LPG in the country with a newish combi boiler. Costs are comparable with naural gas combi boilers as they just change the jets and tweak the settings. We have a large losenge-shaped cylinder in the garden that gets filled automatically when it contacts Calor - costs 4-5 hundred quid to fill...

Suggestions:
GSHP - ground source heat pump - takes latent heat from ground to heat the house and water - need land (or you can have a bore hole) and bigger rads/pipes - costs typically 15k plus - need space for one or two fridgefreezer sized units in your house
ASHP - air source heat pump - same as above but takes heat from air. Similar costs, same equipment in house, A/C unit look-a-like externally
Solar Water Heating - large panels on roof - heat water in daylight (not necessarily sunlight) with immersion backup
Photovoltaic panels - south facing roof reqd with constant sunlight - 10-20k setup, free electric thereafter, can lease out roof to 3rd party
Nearby water course - hydro-electric power
Live in New Zealand - bore hole for hot water

Speak to your local Council for local grants and advice - Planning and Building Regs might be reqd.

We're sticking with gas with good insulation, thermostatic radiator valves and double glazing. Building an extension next year to provide fireplace and chimney for more sustainable heat sources (and a roaring fire!)

R2
 

oliver90owner 

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milkermel,

We had a boiler behind the gas fire in the lounge. Cross room draughts, chimney noise room ventilation were always an issue.

We still hear the chimney noise. Still have some of the draughts.

A balanced flue boiler was installed elsewhere - not a condensing boiler, as the savings were insufficient at the time (and may well be marginal now, from reports of boilers not operating in that mode for much of the time) - so no need for extra ventilation grills for the boiler.

A wood burner is a good option, but do not think everything is positive. More work cutting, chopping, collecting, carrying, ashing out, re-decorating, less than instant heat from cold, etc etc. My step son in law fitted one and tells everyone it was the best single thing he has done with the house (OK, he lives a little remotely in Scotland, so there is plenty of fuel available locally). It most certainly works for them.

Gas is convenient and has got much more expensive. You cannot store it, either, so cannot stock up when it is cheaper.

Insulation, draughts and other heat losses are better addressed first as a smaller installation, than was originally fitted, may be more efficient and considerably cheaper.

As efficiency is always assessed at the optimum and an overly large boiler may never operate optimally.

So there are a few considerations. There will likely be a lot more. Just remember that while salesmen will always quote the different losses (of roofs, walls windows, etc) exactly 100% of the energy purchased to heat your house is lost - yes all of it - and the most important thing is how long does this really take and can that time be extended? That's insulation, etc.

I fitted an electric oven, but gas hob. Gas hob is great, not so sure about the oven. Fitted, so even consumes energy to cool itself down!

Microwaves are good, but don't believe all the energy saving hype - they don't have a huge noisy fan for nothing - a kettle is about 90% efficient for heating water, whereas a microwave doing the same would only be about 50% or a little more! They are most at home reheating meals, is my take on them.

We bought one of these halogen top-heat free-standing things (JML make) just over a year ago and it has been a revelation. Much better for most things (for the two of us) as only a kilowatt, quick to heat and cooks quickly with a strong fan disribution for the heat. Not sure how long-lived the fan might be but they seem to be 'cheep, cheep' on the net sales place, usually.

Not quite so quick for toast but if it saved buying a new toaster, the capital savings would pay for the extra running costs for a long time....

Then there are renewables. You may want to consider some as they may be relevant and easier to install/plan for, before making other changes/decisions.

Regards, RAB
 

oliver90owner 

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Re the bits suggested by R2 - ask Brossy about those - some are better than others - or pop across to the ******** forum - loads of good info there.

GSHP expensive to install but can be good (running water heat source might be good, too)

ASHP - probably not so good. They quote COPS (efficiency) which may be somewhat misleading and may not be so good.

Under-floor heating likely is a better way to go with heat pumps as the grade of heat energy is somewhat lower than that of fuel burning systems.

Everyone, who can, should have thermal solar panels - just not at the cost of a lot of 'supplier cowboys'.

PV - the bubble will loikely burst when the FITS are reduced and panels might be a lot better value for money than just at present.

They should all be considered, but beware - there are a lot of cowboys out there among the dedicated professionals.

Regards, RAB
 

BeeJayBee 

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We are currently look at a house to buy which has gas central heating using and old baxi boiler currently in the chimney area where coal fires were.

Now my idea is that as this boiler needs replacing anyway, is it possbile usually to get it out and then use the fire places after for log burner. apparently all the chimneys were left so can imagine an issue. But I will still be needing the Gas for central heating and hot water. How does this work with regards to the boiler etc - what sort of area will i need to find to put it in.
If you replace the fire with a log burner you will probably be advised to replace the flue liner, which is easy enough to get done. If you do get one make sure you choose a model that has an ash pan with a lid, it'll keep the dust down. Check yellow pages for your nearest woodburning centre or woodburner supplier. Or you could give these people near Ringwood a call, they're very helpful http://www.multifuelheating.co.uk/

Standard conditions for putting in a new gas boiler, check government regulations and get local supplier/fitters to give you quotes. BG will be at least double or treble their price.
 

roche 

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The great thing about solar thermal (water) is that it provides about the best bang for your buck out of all the renewables. And it is simple. So too are backboilers on log burning stoves.

As RAB says, solar electric is a bubble about to burst. Also I agree entirely with the underfloor heating thing, particularly if it is wet rather than electric.

Heat pumps, either air or ground sourced, only really come into their own when the only fuel available is electricity. They are also quite complex...

So - wood burner with backboiler and solar water heating for summer and an electric backup. Probably the simplest solution. Lost of insulation, and convert to underfloor heating sometime if you can...
 

Luminos 

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We replaced our electric water heater with an air source heat pump 2 years ago; it saves around 12 euros a month from our bill.
BUT it was expensive compared with an electric boiler (1999 euros as opposed to 600 euros in the local DIY store).
We were warned that whilst it's adequate, we might need to boost it with "normal" electricity if we have visitors staying.
 

Pete D 

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Hi we live in a small village with no mains gas, just electric. Our uncontrollable ridiculously expensive night storage heaters had to go and we considered all the options previously mentioned, along with oil.
We settled on a Ground Source Heat Pump. WOW, what a good choice.
7kw heat pump and 13 radiators installed by me and a mate for a total of £11k when you knock off the £2k incentive payment I got back.
I could of done it cheaper but the wife wanted pretty radiators and I used all copper pipe instead of plastic.
My friend and I attended a 1 day course (free from the supplier) and off we went. A good dollop of common sense was the only other attribute amongst my skill set that was relevant.
It took us a week to install the rads and test them and 2 days to make the final connections. We installed the pump in our garage and I was able to remove my water storage tank in the loft and completely do away with the airing cupboard thus making the spare room that no body uses bigger. !
The ground works took me a weekend with a couple of mates and a digger.
Mates are great but I insisted on paying them which came to a grand.
3 years on and we are warm (the wife never feels cold anymore) and our monthly electric bill (the only fuel we have) has dropped from £140 to £85 in a rising market so in reality its probably halved. This is for all heating and hot water.
Its was a bit of an upheaval for us with having to install the rads but it was certainly worth it. We have 4 bedroom detached 30 year old house, well insulated.
My number one tip would be use as much space as possible for the ground loop to make it more efficient.
We used ICE ENERGY to supply our pump who are the UK's biggest.
I have photos of the install and can talk about it for hours........
Pete D
 

milkermel 

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unfortunately wont be getting anywhere with land, however the wood issue for a woodburner isnt an issue - currently have 4year supply min of Ash that we are dealing with in exchange for clearing someones moles! ideal swap! hes happy he doesnt have to pay anyone and we have a lovely stash of wood cut to the size we want. Never have much problem getting wood, hence the thought of wood burner. Fairly used to the ash problem as we have never had anywhere in the last 18 years with central heating (tbh not sure i would remember how to use it!!) maybe i need to look at the back boiler option on the wood burner. dont use hot water for much else as there is electric shower in place - washing up - Dishwasher (sorry there is no other option!!!)
Thanks for all your advice - hadnt thought about a back boiler on fire. of to research
 

Brosville 

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Going on "what would I do your shoes?" - if you have wood and mains gas, use it!
Either go for a woodburner with backboiler, and/or wood or gas-fired kitchen range, and definitely go for some solar hot water heating so you can leave the sun to heat all your domestic hot water and turn off the rest for spring-autumn.

Probably the optimum system would be a new condensing gas boiler for backup and background heat and hot water in winter - woodburner with backboiler (use when you can), and the aforementioned solar hot water heating....
ASHP?, ten-foot bargepole job!

If you're looking at woodburners, the new Burley range are the dog's danglies!
 

Sean. 

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My parents had their original open fire with boiler stove replaced with one of the boiler stoves that is a free standing unit 6 months ago. Apart from it using 2/3 the amount of logs, and giving out a lot more heat it looks really good and the radiators are still warm in the morning. With the ash pan, you can always use a plant sprayer to mist the ash when you are emptying it.

The cost was for parts £1,100 - a 20kw one which is very big. They had all the pipes and connections there already so it made a fairly simply job, but messy getting the old fire place out!! A flue liner will cost from £300 to £450 depending on the length.
They got there one from 'wood burning stoves direct.com'

One thing I would look to do with the current setup is feed to hot water from the storage tank into the shower, to use less electric, if there is enough pressure.

Also with any type of system that burns stuff, make sure you get a carbon monoxide detector - only £30.
 

countryman 

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if you have all that ash logs go for a log burner with back boiler but make sure it is big enough (kva) with a stainless flue when we got ours we got one twice the recomended size glad we did it goes 24/7 through the winter apart from an hour each week when we let it go out to clean ash we just run it on a low setting and the heat permatates through the house the only disapointment was we did not get a back boiler we got one with the doors both front and back attacked the chimney to put lintels in and punched out the back of the fire place so its in the lounge and dinning room and the big plus we have not had the c heating on now for two years gas bill reduced from 300+ to 50 for the entire winter BRILLIANT so when it is blowey i smile because thats the fire wood for next year
 

rae 

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You have existing heating in place, so all of the interior cost is sorted. You simply need the source of heat.

Thoughts:

Modern gas boilers - efficient, but picky, need a lot of servicing. When we had one, we certainly weren't winning on costs. The joke in the trade is that they use less gas, but this is offset by the diesel the plumbers use when coming to fix them.

Heat pump - fine if your lifestyle suits it. Perfect if you're in all day, not so good if you 1) have radiators and 2) have no need for heat during the day. They produce large quantities of low grade heat, but can't do "I want that damn radiator really hot right now".

Oil - expensive

Electric - expensive.

If you have logs and are used to logs (as I am), take the opportunity to shove a Rayburn in. The boiler doesn't need fixing now (it works), so save the cash and next year gut the kitchen to include a Rayburn.
 

markp 

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I would think it's down to a few things. How long do you want to live there for? How much of an easy life do you want? How much money do you have?

I would fit a Worcester boiler, it is probably the cheapest option. Run around 90% efficient as long as you get the right kw for the house. Dont break down much (in my experiance). And you just turn it on (easy!).

If you can afford solar, heat source pumps then all very well. I would never dream of putting things like that at my house because I hate where I live and can't see I'll get the money back over the next six years.

This is just my opinion. :)
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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I would think it's down to a few things. How long do you want to live there for? How much of an easy life do you want? How much money do you have?

I would fit a Worcester boiler, it is probably the cheapest option. Run around 90% efficient as long as you get the right kw for the house. Dont break down much (in my experiance). And you just turn it on (easy!).

If you can afford solar, heat source pumps then all very well. I would never dream of putting things like that at my house because I hate where I live and can't see I'll get the money back over the next six years.

This is just my opinion. :)
:iagree:
Worcester Bosch convection boiler - reliable and one of the best on the market at the moment 2 year warranty, first service free, then take out a maintenance plan just before the warranty expires and you get an immediate service for continuity, if nothing else the annual payment for the maintenance cover is the same as the cost of a service.
 

theeggman 

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If you go with a solid fuel/wood back boiler you may need to cost in a change/enlargement to the flow and return pipes to the boiler as it will need to operate by gravity, thermal circulation to the hot tank and a 'heat leak' radiator.
Unlike other fuels wood etc. won't shut down when the mains fails and the pump stops, result boiling boiler, not good. Also if the boiler is producing more hot water than the tank and heating can use it will get too hot.

Tim :)
 

Bee-Key-Pur 

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Just a thought - why not go for a back boiler on the log burner? You can use it for the central heating as well. During summer, use solar. Have an electric immersion for a bit of top up if you need it...
This is what we had fitted when we took out the lpg boiler.

We also had to fit a new hot water cylinder so it could handle the hot water from the solar and the hot water from the wood burner back boiler, plus you will need the chimney lined, but as said, that's an easy job. All the radiators were connected into the new system without having to replace them.
For us it was the best thing and the house is nice and toasty all winter long, no easy task for a house of it's age... Without the solar, because we had that already, the new systen cost us about £5,000. The hardest part was finding an engineer that could work with the wood burner!!!
 
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