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The best combi boilers 2022

With combi boilers being the most popular type of boiler installed in the UK today, it’s no real surprise that there’s a lot of choice when it comes to the make and model - and this can be overwhelming! Here, at The Heating People, we pride ourselves on finding the perfect boiler to meet your needs and budget. But if you want to get the lowdown on our personal favourites before your survey, then this blog’s for you!

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Wondering if it’s time for a boiler replacement? If so, you’ll want to know what the best combi boilers of 2022 are…

With combi boilers being the most popular type of boiler installed in the UK today; it’s no real surprise that there’s a lot of choice when it comes to the make and model. And this can be overwhelming!

At The Heating People, we pride ourselves on finding the perfect boiler to meet your needs and budget. But if you want to get the lowdown on our personal favorites before your survey, then this blog’s for you!

We believe that Vaillant, ATAG, and Worcester Bosch offer the best boilers on the market.

All these brands offer outstanding engineering, efficiency, reliability and guarantees. So, whichever you choose, you’ll have a great boiler.

But in no particular order, here are our top 5…

1.   The ATAG iC Economiser Plus

An ATAG Economiser Plus.ATAG describe their revolutionary iC Economiser Plus boiler as: ‘the combi of the future’; because of its revolutionary industry-leading innovation. And we would have to agree that it’s pretty special.

The main reason we love ATAG’s iC Economiser Plus; is because it has an in-built flue gas heat recovery system (FGHRS).

Flue Gas Heat Recovery Systems or ‘FGHRS’ are energy devices. They enable your boiler to reuse or ‘recycle’ heat that would otherwise be wasted as gases out of the flue.

This means that you’ll need to burn less fuel to heat your home; saving you money on your energy bills, whilst also reducing your carbon footprint.

The fact that the Economiser has this built in; means that it is automatically compliant with the Boiler Plus legislation, which sets out the law on boiler efficiency.

In case you didn’t know; the Boiler Plus requires that all new combi boilers have one of four energy saving devices fitted:

So, by having built-in FGHRS, no other add-ons are needed to make the Economiser Boiler Plus compliant.

What are the other key features of the iC Economiser?

Let’s look at why we rate the ATAG Economiser…

Highly reputable company that is loved by customers

Liam next to an ATAG boiler installation.We’re proud to be ATAG Selected Partners. Because ATAG’s boilers aren’t just the most efficient in Europe, they’re built to last.

ATAG don’t skimp on their components, using only the highest quality stainless steel and brass components.

This is why they come with the longest warranties on the market. ATAG is a favourite with customers too, and is the UK’s highest rated boiler brand on Trustpilot.

 iCon stainless steel heat exchanger

We also love the Economiser because of its unique iCon heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is a vital component in all boilers. It’s the bit that transfers the heat from the fuel (usually gas) to the water.

What’s special about this one is that it’s made from stainless steel and; uniquely, it maintains 98% of its original efficiency levels throughout its lifetime. It therefore comes with a unique lifetime replacement guarantee.

According to ATAG, it is the most efficient heat exchanger in Europe, with the lowest Nitrogen Oxide (NOx)  emissions.

Guarantee of up to 14 years

ATAG has such faith in their boilers, that they come with hefty guarantees. Every ATAG boiler carries a 10 year guarantee as standard with options up to 14 years.

This means that if something goes wrong with your boiler within the guarantee period; ATAG will cover the cost of all parts and labour.

So you can be pretty confident that if you choose to invest in an ATAG boiler; you’ll have peace of mind for at least a decade!

But you need to have an annual service with a Gas Safe engineer in order to preserve your guarantee.

 Excellent energy efficiency

All ATAG boilers are ErP (Energy-related Products) A-rated. And adding an ATAG ONE or TADO V3+ internet-connected Smart controller; can further boost your heating system efficiency to an impressive 98% (also known as A+).

A more efficient boiler doesn’t just help the planet by reducing your carbon footprint. It also reduces your energy bills since it needs to burn less fuel to do its job.

More efficient with third party smart controls

An ATAG boiler with a speech bubble. All the boilers featured in this blog are compatible with third party smart controls, such as Nest and Honeywell. This means that you have much greater control over your heating, from wherever you are, at any time of day.

You’ll have smarter control of your heating, remote access, and the promise from manufacturers of energy savings of between 20-30%.

However, another reason we love ATAG, is because ATAG works better with third party controls than boilers from other manufacturers.

This is because ATAG Speaks in open language or ‘opentherm’. Rather than the simple on/off communication used by the other boilers; opentherm allows two-way communication between your boiler and smart controller.

Weather compensation

As well as having built in FGHRS, ATAG’s combi boilers also come with an outside weather compensator. Which is yet another of the four energy saving devices from the Boiler Plus legislation.

The Heating People favour weather compensation over other energy efficiency devices; because it offers the biggest efficiency gain and is a simple technology to integrate.

Weather compensation devices monitor both the temperature inside your home, and the temperature outside, and adjust your boiler’s operation accordingly.

This allows your boiler to run at a lower temperature; saving energy (and money) and avoids spikes of over and under heating.

Available in three sizes

The Economiser comes in three power outputs: 27kW (12.6 litres);  35kW (16.1 litres); and 39 kW (17 litres). 

This means that there will be a size to meet your home and lifestyle. But don’t worry about knowing what size you need. We’ll calculate that for you through a heat loss calculation during your survey.

2.   The Vaillant ecoTEC exclusive with green iQ

The EcoTEC exclusive with green iQ is Vaillant’s premium boiler. And they describe it as ‘the best in the business’ – and we rate it too.

The ecoTEC exclusive is one of our favourites because it has Vaillant’s unique Green iQ mark. This means it gives you the ultimate in energy efficiency, the lowest fuel consumption and lowest running costs.

Another nifty thing about this boiler is that it’s so smart it can adapt itself. So it’s always giving you the precise level of heat you need – which means less waste and lower fuel bills.

It’s best suited to homes with a high demand for hot water and central heating. For example, a property with more than 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms/en suites.

What are the other key features of the ecoTEC exclusive?

Let’s look at why we like the Vaillant ecoTEC Exclusive…

Highly reputable company that is loved by customers

We’re proud to be Vaillant Advance Installers.

Vaillant has built up a solid reputation for quality over the last 140 years. Vaillant actually invented the combi boiler and their award-winning boilers are renowned for their reliability, performance and efficiency.

Excellent energy efficiency

Vaillant pride themselves on their focus on sustainability, with ‘thinking ahead’ being their motto. This is reflected in their products’ high energy efficiency ratings and low emissions.

All Vaillant boilers are ErP (Energy-related Products) A-rated; which can be further boosted to A+-rated when combined with their vSMART heating controls.

FGHRS

Cycling arrows.Another fantastic thing about the exclusive (as with the ATAG iC Economiser), is that it comes with in-built FGHRS. This helps improve efficiency, and reduce energy bills.

Green iQ

The ecoTEC exclusive has green iQ. This is Vaillant’s quality label for green technology. Only appliances that meet highest standards in the fields of sustainability, efficiency and connectivity have the green iQ label.

The reason for the ecoTEC exclusive carrying the label is that it has an impressive modulation of 1:10; which gives the boiler a high level of efficiency with lower fuel bills. The boiler can adapt itself to give only the exact heating output you require, ultimately lowering fuel bills.

The exclusive is Vaillant’s most eco-friendly boiler, with 85% of its parts being recyclable at the end of its life. 

Quiet mark approved

If noise from your boiler bothers you, then a Vaillant might just be for you. Even when running at their full capacity, Vaillant boilers are renowned for their quiet performance.

Just like all of their models, the exclusive has been awarded the Quiet Mark accreditation; by the International Eco-Award Scheme; to manufacturers of the quietest products.

Guarantee of up to 10 years

The exclusive comes with a 5-year guarantee as standar. This can be extended to 7 years when you book a Vaillant Advance installer. Or 10 years when fitted with a Boiler Protection Kit by a Vaillant Advance installer, such as The Heating People.

Available in two combi models covering 35 or 43kW output

The ecoTEC exclusive range consists of two large output combi boilers, which are suitable for larger homes with multiple bathrooms. The 43kW model delivers Vaillant’s highest ever flow rate of 17.8 l/min.

 3.   The Vaillant ecoTEC plus

The ecoTEC plus is a higher spec version of the Vaillant ecoTEC pro. And is described by Vaillant as their ‘flagship’ boiler.

With its range of heating outputs; it’s flexible enough to meet the demands of a whole range of different homes and lifestyles.

It’s an efficient choice because its smart technology means that it knows when you don’t need as much heating power. And can drop to using 16% of its maximum power, which is better for the environment, and your wallet!

The ecoTEC plus is typically best suited to medium sized properties (from 2 bedrooms with 1 bathroom to 3 bedrooms with 1 bathrooms + ensuite).

What are the other key features of the ecoTEC plus?

In addition to what we’ve already said about Vaillant as a company; here are some of the reasons why the ecoTEC plus is one of our favourite combis:

Available in four combi models

The Vaillant ecoTEC plus comes in four combi models: 25, 32, 35 or 38kW heating outputs. This means that there will be an option to suit your home and lifestyle.

Guarantee of up to 10 years

The EcoTEC plus comes with a 5-year guarantee as standard; which can be extended to 7 years when you book a Vaillant Advance installer. Or 10 years when fitted with a Boiler Protection Kit by a Vaillant Advance installer, such as The Heating People.

Quiet mark approved

As with all their models, the ecoTEC plus is Quiet Mark approved, so it’s whisper quiet!

User friendly

The ecoTEC plus has a standard control panel installed on the front of the boiler; which is hidden away by a flap. The display on the front will also show any fault codes if something has gone wrong with the boiler. This makes it easier for engineers to be able to diagnose the problem quickly.

4.   The Worcester Bosch Greenstar 4000

Worcester Bosch Greenstar 4000New for 2021, the Greenstar 4000 is the new and improved successor to the hugely popular Greenstar i.

Worcester describe the Greenstar 4000 as being ‘instantly familiar and yet totally transformed’.

It features many of the much-loved features of the i series; whilst boasting improvements in speed and ease of installation; commissioning and servicing; alongside improvements in efficiency and control.

And the good news? Worcester have priced it the same as its predecessor.

To find out how the Greenstar 4000 compares to the old Greenstar i, check out our related blog here.

What are the other key features of the Greenstar 4000?

Let’s look at why we rate the Greenstar 4000…

Highly reputable company that is loved by customers

An engineer and a customer next to a boiler.The Worcester Bosch Group has built up a solid reputation for quality over the last 50 years. Which? has helped them to become a household name by giving them the highest brand score for several years running.

Feedback from customers is consistently positive for Worcester Bosch, indicating a high level of customer satisfaction.

YouGov have ranked Worcester Bosch as the UK’s best value boiler brand; the most recommended boiler brand; and the best quality boiler brand.

You can check out other reasons why you should consider a Worcester boiler here.

10 year guarantee

Worcester Bosch provides hefty 10-year warranties. So you can have peace of mind that should anything go wrong, you’ll be covered.

However, this is only when the boiler is installed by a Worcester Accredited Installer, such as The Heating People. You’ll also need to have your boiler serviced annually to maintain your guarantee.

Excellent energy efficiency

The Worcester Bosch Greenstar 4000 is A-rated for energy efficiency, with an impressive 94% efficiency.

And according to Worcester Bosch; adding a Bosch EasyControl internet-connected Smart controller to their Greenstar range of boilers; can further boost your heating system efficiency to an impressive 98% (also known as A+).

The Greenstar 4000 has a 1:10 modulation range that reduces gas consumption, energy bills and wear and tear on components.

The 25 and 30kW combi can modulate down to 3kW and the 12kW system to just 1.9kW!

So, as well as being environmentally friendly; this can save you a lot of money on your energy bills. What’s not to like?!

Stylish

The Greenstar 4000 is Worcester Bosch’s mid-range boiler, sitting between the 2000 and 8000 boilers.

But this boiler could easily be mistaken for the premium 8000 Lifestyle range of boilers. With its curved edges; and LCD digital display; it’s a more modern look compared to the traditional white box in the corner.

User friendly LCD control panel

The Greenstar 4000 has a pioneering control display which is similar to the 8000 Style. The user-friendly LCD display provides you with complete control of the boiler and heating system; for faster commissioning and future fault-finding, system control, servicing and current boiler status.

Available in 25 kw and 30kw combi boilers

You can also opt for a system boiler in 12kW, 15kW, 18kW, 21kW and 24kW outputs.

You might be interested in our related blog: Worcester Bosch Greenstar 2000.

 5.   The Worcester Bosch Greenstar 8000 Life

Worcester Bosch Greenstar Lifestyle boilers.The Greenstar 8000 Life is part of Worcester Bosch’s Lifestyle range, which is the premium offering from the brand.

The Greenstar 8000 Life is a direct replacement for the much loved Worcester Bosch Greenstar CDi Classic.

It retains all of the popular features of the Classic, but features a modern new design; greater energy efficiency; and a range of other extras designed to make controlling your heating and hot water easier.

What are the other key features of the Greenstar 8000 Life?

In addition to what we’ve already said about Worcester Bosch as a company, here are some of the reasons why the Greenstar Life is one of our favourite combis:

Excellent energy efficiency

The Greenstar Life is A rated for energy efficiency, and exceeds the energy efficiency of the CDi Classic; with 94% energy efficiency available.

It also has an increased modulation ratio (1:10); to improve fuel efficiency, user comfort and boiler longevity by preventing on/off cycling.

Design-led aesthetics

Up until recently, boilers have been thought of as ugly white boxes that are hidden away out of sight.

But Worcester Bosch have turned that on its head.

Their Lifestyle range of boilers feature sleek and contemporary design reminiscent of an iPhone.

Rather than being hidden away in a cupboard; these Lifestyle boilers are styled specifically to look great taking centre stage in modern kitchens.

The Life is available in gloss white, but with the Style, you can also choose gloss black – an industry first!

Powerful

A boiler next to a boy dressed as a superhero.Both Lifestyle boilers are available in outputs of up to 50kW for combi boilers. Making them the most powerful wall hung combi boilers on the market.

This means that they’re suitable for larger properties with multiple bathrooms, and a high demand for hot water.

But you need to be careful here. A 50kW boiler is only great if you actually need it! When it comes to boiler sizing, bigger isn’t necessarily better.

Whilst it can be tempting to oversize the boiler, ‘just in case’, this is a mistake.

If you choose a larger boiler that has a much higher capacity than you need; you’ll be wasting money not only on the initial purchase; but also on escalating energy bills.

You might also end up needing to repair your boiler due to damage caused by boiler cycling. But don’t worry, The Heating People will be able to tell you precisely how much power you need.

12 year guarantee

The Worcester Bosch Greenstar 8000 Life comes with a guarantee of up to 12 years when installed by a Worcester Bosch accredited installer; such as The Heating People.

This gives you peace of mind that should anything go wrong, the manufacturer will cover the cost of repairs.

Final thoughts…

We hope you’ve found this article helpful. You might like our related blog: Pros and cons of combi boilers.

For tailored advice on the perfect boiler for your home, give us a call today to book your free survey.

Useful Links:

ATAG website – Economiser combi boilers

Which? Review of Vaillant ecoTEC with Green IQ

Vaillant website – ecoTEC Exclusive

Worcester Bosch website – Greenstar 4000

Worcester Bosch one page consumer PDF on the Greenstar 4000

Which? Review of Worcester Bosch Greenstar Life

Worcester Bosch website – Greenstar 8000

Quiet Mark – Vaillant ecoTEC