Are you thinking about investing a new boiler, but are stuck on which brand to get?
Just like any product – from bicycles and cars, to boilers and radiators – there are always going to be brands that are cheap and expensive in equal measure.
However, as we all know, some of them can seem overpriced for what you’re getting, whilst others can just be cheap, badly made, and unreliable.
If you’re undecided on a boiler brand, one of the best ways to measure which will give you most value for money is to listen to what heating engineers are saying. After all, they’re the ones that spend time installing, servicing and repairing boilers on a day-to-day basis.
Who better to tell you which brands are worth the money, and which will end up costing you more in expensive repairs later down the line?
With that in mind, I’ve put my 20+ years of knowledge and experience to good use, to tell you which best boilers engineers (like myself) are currently rating the highest, and why.
1. Worcester Bosch
Current market leader and premium brand Worcester Bosch have been voted Which’s ‘Best Buy’ for six years’ running – voted for by customers AND engineers! I personally love them because they are:
- Easy to install and service
- Reliable and well-made
- Always in stock with parts readily available
- Diligently researched and developed
The company also puts a lot of time into training its dedicated engineers, so you know your boiler is in safe hands if you ever need a call-out under warranty.
Worcester Bosch is ideal if:
You’re looking for a reliable, well-made boiler and don’t mind paying a little extra for a proven product you can depend on.
Most popular boiler:
A firm favourite of mine and my customers is the Worcester Bosch Greenstar 30i combi boiler. It comes with up to an 8-year guarantee when fitted by a Worcester Bosch accredited installer + the brand’s own magnetic central heating filter and and is great value for money (still a bit pricier than competitors, but worth it).
I’ve always got on well with Baxi boilers, as there were hundreds installed when I had just started in the early ’80s. They were the good old British brand, although more recently, they had seemed to go along the lines of following the crowd for the past few years – which made them flag behind slightly.
Now they have refocused and are back with a bang. I love that they now offer a 10-year guarantee, and are standing out from the competition by offering a 33kw boiler where others are only offering 30kw – so you get more for your money.
Plus, they are also a good £200 – £300 cheaper than other premium brands likeWorcester Bosch and Vaillant – despite still being a premium brand themselves.
Baxi is ideal if:
You’re on the lookout for a boiler with a long guarantee from a well-known brand – and value for money is a number one concern.
Most popular boiler in the range:
My favourite is the Baxi Platinum 33HE, as it has the great 10-year, no quibble guarantee, and a fantastic flow rate, whilst being easy to fit and commission. I love this boiler as it can be fitted with a twin flue system that can be run in ceiling voids, and it’s also easy to service.
I personally don’t fit a lot of these boilers, however I haven’t had any problems with them so far, and speaking to boiler suppliers and other companies, these are a very popular budget boiler. A big selling point is the fact they arevery reasonably priced (dare I say cheap?).
They offer a boiler, flue kit and time clock in a special package price, along with a standard 2 or 5-year guarantee which can be upgraded for a small extra cost. Glow-worm are still fairly reliable for a budget brand, and are also part of the Vaillant Group, so have dedicated engineers and good customer service.
Glow-worm is ideal if:
You’re looking for a low cost boiler that is still fairly reliable. This brand is very popular for let properties and people carrying out renovations.
Most popular boiler:
My favourite is the Glow Worm Betacom range, exclusive from City Plumbing Supplies. They’re always readily available from stock, and a great price.
And the least favourite boiler brands…
DISCLAIMER: What I’m about to say is sure to be controversial to some, and is based purely on my own experience with the following boiler brands. I feel like you deserve to know the truth about which brands to avoid so that you’re not throwing your money down the drain.
I know that personally, I will not fit Ferolli boilers, mainly because I have known many engineers and customers alike who’ve been at their wits end with how unreliable they can be. I’ve carried out repairs on them a few times, but refuse to do so now.
The reason is it that the same boiler will likely then break down again and again, and every time (as an engineer) you feel obliged to go back, as you carried out a previous repair. So, I’ve found it does not make financial sense to repair them. However, don’t just take my word for it – check out the online reviews.
Another brand of boiler I do not personally recommend is Vokera. As a manufacturer, they do not have a great back-up service to fix faults under warranty, which is a huge red flag for me when recommending a boiler to my customers.
The company say they have their own dedicated engineers (and it may well be true), but in my experience – and after fitting a boiler that failed on its first day – they sent out a contracted local engineer who took three visits to fix the problem. It hasreally put me off the brand, despite no more recent problems.
3. Saunier Duval
Another I try not to get involved with is Saunier Duval. These boilers are no longer imported to the UK, however there are still a number of these installed in homes across the country. They tend to be old and hard to source parts for; not great when they were never the most reliable to begin with.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading which best boiler brands engineers like myself rate the highest (and lowest), and it’s wise to bear in mind that like all great things, popular boiler makes from yesteryear may not be as good now, and vice versa.
Google and the internet is your friend. Do your research, read blogs and look what other homeowners and engineers are saying online.
Remember, these are just my own personal experiences – perhaps your own are different, and you’re very welcome to share yours below in the comments. I’d love to hear your input!