It is a good idea to replace your gas boiler if it is more than 15 to 20 years old even if it is still running.
New models can save up to 30% gas and are therefore self-financing, so to speak. In some cases a payback period for this investment is 5 to 6 years. And if you plan to move in the meantime, your new boiler will add up to the value of your property anyway.
On top of that, between 2020 and 2023, Brussels moves onto rich gas. Pre-1978 boilers are not compatible with this gas and therefore have to be replaced in any case. So it’s just as well to get ahead! Make the most of the Brussels Environment energy grants and save money..
There is no point in investing in more efficient heating if the heat is not kept inside your home. If your roof is not yet insulated, start with that!
Good insulation will make your old boiler more efficient and you can use the savings made to set aside money for your new boiler.
Buying a new gas boiler is a serious investment. So take the time to set your budget, meet professionals, compare quotes, etc.
A good plan: visit Batibouw and other building trade fairs held at the beginning of the year to make the most of special offers.
You can schedule your work during the summer: the ideal moment for work on your installation. The professionals are normally less busy and you can do without heating as the work takes place.
Condensing boiler or heat pump? Your heat pump options can be limited if you live in town, as there is not normally enough space for certain models. However, a reversible heat pump has the advantage of cooling your home in summer and is even more economical if it is supplied by photovoltaic panels.
Also, if your current boiler also produces the domestic hot water, perhaps the time has come to separate the two functions. A thermodynamic boiler will provide you with the same comfort and consume less. And your boiler will no longer have to tick over in summer just to give you a hot shower...
|Do you live in a in a block of flats? Be careful! Specific technical issues can arise, especially for shared chimneys.|
Nowadays, condensing boilers are fitted as standard. If your old boiler was not a condensing boiler, you are probably going to have to adapt your installation at 3 levels:
Replacing a gas boiler is an expensive business*. To reduce the impact on your pocket, investigate the energy grants available from your local council and from Brussels Environment. Take advantage also of special offers during building salons, for example.
Do you perhaps also have the possibility of taking out a social loan or energy loan at a very low rate? Remember that replacing your gas boiler will be a way of reducing your energy bill. Wouldn’t it be worth spending the same sum for several years to pay off a small loan rather than “burning” it indefinitely in a greedy boiler?
(*) In many of the old heating systems, asbestos wrap is used for the ducts. If this is the case in your house, keep in mind the additional asbestos removal costs.
The investment is still too much for you?
Don’t compromise on a programmable thermostat and outdoor probe when changing your boiler. This is another source of comfort and additional savings.
Also, take advantage of a visit from your heating engineer to have him check the thermostatic valves (and have them installed urgently if there are none!), as these valves have a limited service life. They can fail after ten or so years or simply seize, but can be adjusted easily.
Do not stop with the boiler replacement. Take a look at your heating habits as a whole.
New boiler: nothing but benefits!
A couple of weeks ago I had my boiler replaced and I haven’t yet regretted it for an instant. I am enjoying greater comfort and more safety... and I’m curious to see my first adjusted bill!
Sandrine and her husband have two children and live in Evere. They have just had their old central heating boiler replaced by a small condensing boiler which is more suited to the needs of the family. Sandrine gives the following account of it.
"We bought an apartment in an old single-family house. At first there was just one gas boiler for the whole house, but our neighbour soon had her own heating system installed in her flat. We didn’t have enough money for that, and for a while we made do with the old boiler.
But then the “safety” factor took priority. As we were expecting our second child and had just redecorated a number of bedrooms, we wanted a new boiler that didn’t pose any risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, for instance.
And now we’re on cloud nine! First and foremost, we have really saved space with the new boiler. It’s a very small wall boiler that doesn’t take up too much room in the utility room. And it makes far less noise! But what’s more, it’s measured on the basis of our real heating needs, which means that it is less powerful and uses less than the previous one. We also took the opportunity to have a room thermostat fitted.
I’m assuming that the adjusted bill next month will be a pleasant surprise!"
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