Boilers In Loft Conversions




boilers in loft conversions - plumber working on new boiler in loft

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It is sometimes the case that when converting the loft the existing boiler will need to be replaced. But if you have a fairly new boiler it should be powerful enough to cope with the additional workload and it’s unlikely you’ll need to replace. However, if the current boiler is a few years old you will have to replace it with a new combi-boiler.

When you’re planning a loft conversion there is so much to think about. It does seem to be a never-ending list. And, it’s the nature of the beast that some quite radical elements aren’t immediately apparent. One of these is that you will need a new boiler to cope with the extra demand a new room in the roof will place on your home heating system.

Why your new conversion may need a new boiler

As we’ve already mentioned the addition of new radiators or a bathroom in the loft may require a more powerful boiler. And, for older houses which have a water tank in the loft, that tank will more than likely have to be relocated.

The good news is that there is nothing particularly challenging about this and sometimes a plumber will be able to carry out the work. However, should a new boiler be needed then a Gas Safe engineer will be required. But before we think about the boiler lets address the elephant in the room. Or rather the water tank in the loft.

Loft water tanks

No water tank? No problem. Got a water tank? Slight problem.

The chances are you’re going to have to move the tank. Unless you want an unusual feature in the middle of your new loft conversion. Let’s assume you don’t.

The good news is that it isn’t too much of an issue. A plumber will be able to relocate and conceal the tank for you.

But the best solution of all is to get rid of the tank. If you’re upgrading your property with a loft conversion you may as well bin off that outdated tank. It’ll add a few quid to the cost of your loft conversion but upgrading your heating to a combi boiler will banish the need for a water tank forever.

And don’t forget that getting rid of the water tank will give you even more room in your loft conversion.

We’ll talk more about combination boilers shortly but suffice to say they are easier, cleaner, and more efficient with hot water on tap.

Radiators and a new boiler for the loft conversion

If you have an ageing boiler you may need to replace it. Adding new radiators or possibly showers in en-suite bathrooms in the loft means that old heating systems may be overwhelmed and unable to cope with the new demands placed upon it.

That being said, if your heating system is relatively new you shouldn’t have any problems, probably over half of the loft conversions carried out in the UK don’t need new boilers.

However, it can be very cost effective and practical to incorporate a new heating system when converting the loft.

Boilers tend to last around twenty years before they need to be replaced and if your present one is over ten years old then it would be worthwhile thinking about upgrading the boiler when you carry out the loft conversion.

If your loft conversion has a bathroom you have to consider whether the current boiler will be able to supply hot water at a high pressure while servicing all the radiators and bathrooms in the house.

Before making any decision you need to get advice from the experts. Your builders will have gas engineers they work with or you can get independent advice. The engineer will be able to tell you if your current boiler is powerful enough to cope with the extra demands that will be placed upon it.

Electric heating

You do of course have the option of reducing the burden on your boiler by installing electric underfloor heating. It’s not always easy to install but underfloor heating can sometimes be a viable alternative and may well negate the need for a new boiler.

Once again this is something which should be discussed with your loft conversion company or project manager.

Boilers in loft conversions

Installing a new boiler and upgrading the heating system is carried out during the first fix plumbing stage.

Any work must be done by fitters who are on the Gas Safe Register. The GSR replaced the old GORGI scheme but the principles are the same. Only qualified tradesmen are allowed to work on boilers and heating systems.

And let’s face it you don’t want the bloke down the pub working on your gas heating. Using a registered engineer makes so much sense (not to mention you don’t have a choice).

For those building a DIY loft conversion this element of the work must be turned over to the professionals.

What type of boiler?

A loft conversion is a perfect opportunity to upgrade your old boiler and most homeowners will find that the best type of unit to use is a combination boiler.

This type of boiler is rapidly becoming very popular and is probably the best selling type of boiler in the UK today.

There are many advantages that combination boilers have over the other types of boiler. They are very efficient and robust and will easily cope with extra radiators.

A combination boiler will also supply hot water instantly and in any quantity needed; you will never need to wait for the water tank to fill up.

The reason for this is that separate tanks are not required and though a combination boiler is larger than other types it is well worth the effort to fit one into your plans.

The biggest drawback with this type of boiler is its price.

They are significantly more expensive than other boilers but this expense is recouped by the ease in which they are installed and that they don’t require extra tanks or plumbing. A combination boiler is highly recommended for your new loft conversion.

Let’s wrap it up

A combi boiler is by far and away the best solution for loft conversions though, if you have a relatively new boiler, it should be powerful enough to cope with the extra load from a loft conversion. Especially if there is no bathroom component to your new loft room.

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