Are you in the market for a new combi boiler, but don’t know which brands to pay attention to in 2016?
Combi boilers make up around 90% of the boilers we install nowadays. They’re so popular because they’re compact, and can free up a lot of space by getting rid of your old water tanks, PLUS they can provide almost instant hot water, whenever you need it!
However, as an experienced engineer, I know better than anyone that boiler brands can go in and out of favour over the years – just ask once-time household name Halstead where they are today (nowhere, as they fell out of fashion and parts are no longer widely stocked).
So, which boiler brands should you be paying attention to now? Good question.
Below, I’ve made a round-up of three of the best buy combi boiler brands of 2016, and why you should be buying them.
1. Worcester Bosch
First on our list is premium brand and current market leader, Worcester Bosch – but you don’t just have to take our word for it, as it’s been awarded the ‘Which Best Buy’ (as voted for by customers and engineers alike) for around six years’ running.
The brand’s boilers are overall very well made, and can run quietly (literally!) in the background for many years. Just like anything, occasionally there’s the odd problem with these boilers, but there are no known issues or constant faults which are often associated with other brands.
Here’s a full list of reasons why Worcester Bosch gets our vote:
- Which ‘Best Buy’ (voted for by customers AND engineers)
- A market-leading guarantee which can cover you for up to 10 years*
- A network of trained, accredited installers
- A vast range of boilers and sizes for every home and situation
- A magnetic central heating filter to protect your boiler
- Trained, dedicated engineers on-hand to attend call-outs
- A manufacturing plant in the UK – so parts are readily available
- Versatility – choose from vertical or horizontal flue for more options
*When installed by an accredited installer and fitted with Worcester Bosch’s own filter and controls. Guarantee only valid as long as your boiler is serviced annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Worcester Bosch is good for your home if:
You’re looking for a quality product with a great guarantee, and you don’t mind paying a few hundred pounds more knowing you have ultimate peace of mind and a trouble-free boiler for many years to come.
Most popular boiler model:
I think we’ve fitted every single model in Worcester Bosch’s gas boiler range, and the most popular model time and time again is the Worcester Bosch Greenstar 30i combi (the model that superseded the 28i Junior).
The reason it’s so popular is that it comes with an 8-year no-quibble guarantee when fitted with a Worcester Bosch filter and installed by a Worcester Bosch accredited installer. It’s a bit more expensive than competitors, however based on whole of life costs, it works out as one of the cheapest overall.
This boiler has a higher flow rate than the previous 28i junior, which customers appreciate. The 30i has enough power to heat 6 – 10 radiators, fill a bath and feed a high pressure shower, and I think this fits the average usage and need of most homeowners (hence the popularity!).
A good old British brand, Baxi is now back on top with good marketing and really great value boilers and guarantees. The brand used to be the market leader, manufacturing fire and back boilers, but were also famous for their ultra reliable, bombproof Baxi Solo.
They wavered a little when they merged with another brand (Potterton) and had the same sort of offering as many other brands at time. However, now they really have done their research and are producing exactly what homeowners want; boilers with 10-year guarantees.
Here are some of the best reasons Baxi is a brand to look out for:
- Ultra reliable boilers that last the distance
- A wide range of boilers to suit just about any home
- Up to 10 year-guarantee (as long as they are serviced annually by a qualified engineer)
- Manufactured in the UK, so parts are readily available
- An extra-long twin flue which can be concealed in ceiling voids
- Great value for money (you can often get more for your money than other premium brands)
Baxi is good for your home if:
You’re looking for a quality product from a recognised brand that’s also great value for money, with a long guarantee. Baxi have placed themselves well, and are offering more for less in terms of better outputs and flow rates than their competitors.
Most popular boiler model:
The most popular and favourite Baxi combi has to be the Baxi Platinum 33HE. Firstly, it comes with the great 10-year no quibble guarantee. Secondly, it has a 33kw output which equates to 13.5 litres per minute for the same price – if not less – than competitors want for a 30kw offering 12.3 litres per minute. Bargain!
The company who invented the combi boiler, Vaillant has also been awarded for having the quietest boiler currently on the market. Vaillant’s boilers are German-engineered, and the brand tends to turn out well-researched and developed products.
The brand’s boilers are well-designed, quality pieces of engineering that are usually incredibly reliable and built to last many years, with dedicated engineers for call-outs.
Here’s a brief overview of why Vaillant are so popular:
- Reliable, premium household name brand
- Forward-thinking company with well-designed boilers made to last
- Up to a 10-year guarantee (although you have to pay a bit extra to extend it)
- A wide range of boilers to suit most homes
- Parts readily available in the UK
- Dedicated engineers for call-outs
Vaillant is good for your home if:
You’re looking for a quality boiler, but aren’t worried about paying a little extra to have the quietest boiler around, knowing it’s well-made and is covered for up to 10-years under warranty.
NOTE: Unlike the other two brands above, Vaillant does NOT offer a compact range of combi boilers, so you won’t find one to fit in a standard kitchen cupboard.
Most popular boiler model:
I always have found the most popular model demanded by customers – and my favourite – is the Vaillant Ecotec Plus 832. Again, the 30kw output to the hot water is the most popular, so Vaillant are trying to up their game by offering 32kw for a little extra in price and performance.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading, and by now you should have a better idea of the best buy combi boilers for 2016! Remember, if something looks like a cheap deal on the internet, take it with a pinch of salt – you also have to purchase th flue, controls, pipework, fittings, inhibitors, specialist knowledge and labour.
Installing a new boiler in your home is an investment, so don’t cut corners. Always do your research and select a reputable brand. Get advice from a professional, and ensure it’s the correct output for your needs. A little extra investment in the beginning could save you in the long run.
Which is your favourite out of the brands above, and why? Let me know in the comments!