What is a Back Boiler?

Back Boiler

What is a Back Boiler

Back boilers are attached to the back of a fireplace or stove and have been named accordingly.  They became popular during the 1960s, continuing through to the 1980s, but are now rather outdated, having been bypassed by condensing boilers.

Initially, they were designed as a supplementary heat source, as opposed to a soul provider, working by utilising the excess heat from a fireplace.  They were, however, eventually developed to completely replace an existing system.

Back Boilers Lack of Efficiency

One of the major shortfalls of back boilers is their efficiency ratings.  They are generally only around 78% energy efficient, in comparison to the 98% levels attainable from some condensing boilers.

Government and EU building regulations, which stipulate a minimum of 86% boiler energy efficiency rating, have driven a major reduction in the use of back boilers.

A poor energy efficient boiler is not only bad for the environment but will also increase a household annual energy bill.  Replacing back boilers with a 78% energy efficiency rating with a new condensing boiler can save an average house hold up to £155 a year on heating bills and 610KG CO2..

In addition to damaging the environment, this lack of efficiency, too, can damage your pockets;  the less efficient your boiler, the less cost-effective it is.  As a result, the cost of replacing your back boiler with a condensing one is likely to save you money in the long run.

Back Boilers and Safety Concerns

Another issue for anyone who owns a home, or anyone who is looking to purchase a home, with a back boiler fitted, is safety.  Unused back boilers can cause problems, largely as a result of old water, which creates pressure under heat and can explode.

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