Back Boilers – A Viable Purchase Once More

Back boilers are, technologically speaking, primitive beasts.  They are ancient when compared to the technology of the latest combi condensing boiler, but there is still a place for them in many homes.  If you live in a house which has one that could do with replacement, or you have a property which just isn’t suited to a modern boiler, then a back boiler might be the solution.  You’ll need to look hard to find a boilers sale that features them, but they are out there.

What Made Back Boilers Popular?

They were, essentially, the first boiler design that allowed hot water to be produced, stored and piped to every part of the house that needed it.  In the 1960’s, when they were first introduced, you really had no other options if you wanted a reliable hot water system which was also affordable to the average family of the time.

As many houses of the era still had open fires, it was logical to place it in the chimney breast where it wouldn’t intrude or take up any precious space in relatively small houses and where it could take advantage of the heat from the fire to create hot water.  The back boilers started to lose out once gas was widely available to homes and new, more efficient boiler designs came onto the market.  They could produce more hot water in less time, and store it until it was needed (the system boiler) or even produce it on demand (the combi boiler).

So Why Have Back Boilers Disappeared?

For quite a while, back boilers weren’t allowed to be fitted in the UK due to onerous efficiency requirements.  The rules said that any new boiler had to be able to fit into the SEDBUK efficiency scale, which effectively meant that they had to have an efficiency of at least 78%.  That was difficult to achieve with the old technology and meant that people had a choice between keeping an old and possibly unreliable unit in service or paying out for a replacement boiler of a different design together with the cost of moving or replacing pipework to suit the new location.

Despite the obvious difficulties, one or two manufacturers recognised that there was still a market for the back boiler, not least in those properties which were listed and couldn’t afford to have a modern boiler intruding, or those just too small to take a modern boiler.  The end result was that Baxi, the company which had brought the original back boiler to households all over Britain, produced a new version which met or exceeded all the requirements and gave the design a new lease of life.

If you look for a back boiler in the next boilers sale you see, you might well see some very good deals.  They are often bundled together with a fireplace, so while you are installing a brand new boiler you also get an up to date appliance.  If your home has one already, or is a character or period building that has limited space, then make sure you give a back boiler serious consideration.

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