Condensing Combi Boilers May Have Been A Con

Have we been conned into replacing boilers with new ones that actually cost more to maintain and could be less green?

If you have a number of properties (and even if you just have one) you will know that the good old fashioned cast iron boilers lasted for 25 years + and you only really had to replace them if the parts became simply unavailable. (Smart landlords and letting agents always had an “old school” boiler repair man on their books with hair coming out of his ears, big mucky hands and a big shed full of old parts so as to keep old boilers going as long as possible.)

Rather neatly, the old boilers would have an immersion which would allow your tenant clients to have hot water whilst the old one was being repaired. This was very handy in the winter and most clever landlords would back this up with a ready stack of convector heaters to keep their tenants warm for a few days, whilst they got the broken boiler fixed. Everyone was happy.

Condensate boilers have been a legal requirement for 5 years now, but we already know enough to assess the durability of the new more efficient combi condensate boilers – and the news is not so good. With pumps at about £130, fans at £150 and heat exchangers at £300, replacement of parts ain’t cheap.

Also, when they go, you also lose the hot water too as there is no immersion so landlords and property owners find themselves under huge pressure to get the boiler fixed fast  -which of course allows them to be exploited by installers, often working for the big utility firms.

So I wonder if we have been conned into the new combi condensate boilers by the Green Lobby, the government (who let’s be honest believe all the boiler industry tells them especially about green issues) and of course, the installers on this issue.

Sure, the new condensate boilers are more energy efficient but the lack of lifespan and their poor economics makes me question whether this is even true. I have heard from many honest gas installers that you are doing well to get 10 years life out of them.

Once you add in the energy cost involved in their manufacture and add the environmental cost of  disposing of the old boilers onto the total carbon footprint, I’m not sure that even the claims that they are more green even stack up.

My advice is this: Until the performance of the new condensing boilers has demonstrably improved, you should keep your old boiler going as long as you can  – and ignore the likes of British Gas who will too often tell you that you need a new one (fitted and supplied by them, natch.)

Find the man with hairy ears and the big shed instead and see if he can keep your old reliable boiler going a little bit longer!

MORE ABOUT LETTINGFOCUS AND WHAT WE DO

LettingFocus.com is the home of Private Rented Sector and Landlord Information.

I’m David Lawrenson, a landlord and property investor myself for over 25 years and author of “Successful Property Letting” – the UK’s top selling commercially published property book for the last 3 years. 25,000 copies sold.

Services to Businesses and the Public Sector

Primarily I am a consultant to a range of organisations including banks, building societies, local authorities, social housing providers, institutional investors in build to let and insurers – helping them with their landlord facing or buy to let product strategies, marketing and services.

For example, I help banks improve their buy to let mortgage lending practices and I help housing associations / local authorities find private landlords (private rented access schemes, local letting agency models etc.)

I also write for property websites and am regularly quoted by the media.

Services for Private Landlords

We also find a limited amount of time to help landlords and property investors by coaching them in how to make money in the private rented sector using ways that work, which are ethical, fair to tenants and which involve minimal risk to the investor. We pride ourselves on giving independent unbiased Buy to Let Advice on a coaching basis or through our (very occasional) group seminars.

AT OUR WEBSITE LETTINGFOCUS.COM:

TO GO TO THE HOME PAGE OF THIS BLOG click here: Blog

You can use the tags and categories at the bottom of each post and over to the right to read blog posts on related posts.

Just click on the categories and use the pull down menu over to the top right to find all the posts on a specific topic. (If you should want to find relevant posts from before 30 April 2010 (on our old system) you can also click on LettingFocus’s Old Blog  – Categories, then search from the list for a topic that interests you.)

If you want to reply, please make sure you are on URL for this specific post – if you are on the Blog Home Page, you’ll need to make sure you click on the link to the right of the page. At the bottom of the post, you should see a space to “Leave a Reply.” (Spammers please note: We delete all spam.)

THE HOME PAGE OF OUR MAIN SITE click here: http://www.lettingfocus.com

For general info on our CONSULTING SERVICES and also to find a small sample of links to articles where our comments have been featured in the National Press please click here: Consultancy and Seminars

For ONE TO ONE PRIVATE CONSULTANCY FOR PRIVATE LANDLORDS click here: Property Advice

TO READ CLIENT TESTIMONIALS – from both organisations and private landlords click here: Testimonials

BUY “SUCCESSFUL PROPERTY LETTING” click here to Buy the Book at Amazon plus anything else at that Amazon sell. (If you are from an organisation and would like to bulk buy at least 50 books please ask us for special rates (which are lower than Amazon)).

To JOIN our Free NEWSLETTER containing regular news for landlords and details of our Events simply send an email to [email protected] – Please note we WILL NOT send spam or sell our mailing list to advertisers but please put us on your “white list” to ensure you receive our emails.

IF YOU HAVE A SITE WHY NOT LINK TO THIS BLOG OR TO OUR WEBSITE?

IF YOU SELL SERVICES TO LANDLORDS, YOU COULD BE A PARTNER ON OUR AFFILIATE PROGRAMME. Ask for details.

This blog is updated once a week, usually on a Monday or Tuesday (or more frequently when “hot” news items come up.

For my random thoughts on property and various other things that typically make me grumpy, please see our TWITTER PAGE: Twitter

Copyright of Blog: David Lawrenson 2010.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.