The Best Boiler To Buy For Scottish Homes

When it comes to buying a  new boiler in 2024, you need to consider models that will deliver a high level of energy efficiency. You also need to consider boilers that produce low carbon emissions, especially if you’re sticking with oil and gas boilers.

However, with so many boilers makes and models on the market, it can be difficult to decide which boiler would best suit your home. In this guide, we’ll highlight the best hydrogen-ready, zero-carbon, electric, and direct emissions heating systems on the market today.

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Which Is the Best Boiler to Buy for 2024 in Scotland?

The best boiler to install in 2024 in Scotland is probably Electric Heating Company’s Mercury Electric Combi Boiler if you’re looking for an electric boiler or the Viessmann Vitodens 100-W if you’re looking for an energy-efficient gas boiler.

However, the best boiler for you and your household depends on several factors.

Boilers with low greenhouse gas emissions

If you’re looking to lower your carbon emissions without installing heat pumps, you should choose an electric boiler. An electric boiler will make your home net-zero ready, and help you reduce your home’s greenhouse gas emissions quite significantly.

Scotland will eventually be phasing out natural gas boilers. As a replacement, the Scottish government will be encouraging more homes to lower their carbon emissions by switching to an electric boiler (or an alternative, electric-powered heating solution, like heat pumps). So, you could get ahead of the boiler ban curve by switching to an electric boiler.

Hydrogen-ready boilers

However, the drawback of electric boilers and heat pumps is the high price of electricity versus gas. Plus, sometimes it’s easier to replace your old gas boiler with a new gas boiler. In April 2024, direct emissions heating systems will no longer be installed in new homes in Scotland – but that’s not to say they can’t be installed in old homes.

So, if you have to stick with direct emissions heating systems like gas and oil boilers, look for one that is labelled as a 20% hydrogen-ready boiler. This means that the boiler can be powered by a mix of natural gas and hydrogen, which is better for the environment.

Heat pumps

If you’re thinking of adding heat pumps to your home heating system to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, it may be a good idea to get an electric or 20% hydrogen boiler to work alongside them. In winter, heat pumps can struggle to absorb sufficient heat. Electric and hydrogen boilers can provide the backup that heat pumps require to keep your home warm through the winter.

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Top Ten Best Boilers 2024

To give you an overview of what the overall best boilers are in Scotland (we’ll go into more depth on each boiler model throughout the article), here are the top 10 boilers currently on the market:

  1. Elnur Mattira System Electric Boiler
  2. Electric Heating Company Mercury Electric Combi Boiler
  3. THERMAflow High-Efficiency Electric Combination Boiler
  4. Worcester Bosch Greenstar 4000
  5. Vaillant EcoTec Pro Combi Boiler
  6. Viessmann Vitodens 100-W
  7. Baxi Duo-Tec 33 Boiler
  8. Worcester Bosch Greenstar Heatslave II Oil Combi Boiler
  9. Viessmann Vitorondens 200-T Oil System Boiler
  10. Grant Vortex Blue

Best Electric Boilers

Electric boilers are the most popular component of an electric heating system. If you’re looking to update your hot water and central heating systems to be greener and more energy efficient, electricity is the way forward. Most modern electric boilers now come with 100% energy efficiency – which is much higher than some traditional oil and natural gas boilers.

Instead of combusting fossil fuels, electric boilers create heat energy by applying electricity to internal heating elements. Cold water, supplied by the mains water supply, passes through this heating element and becomes warm. Therefore, the inner workings of an electric boiler can easily be compared to that of a conventional kettle.

There are three main types of electric boilers available:

  • Combi boilers – perfect for smaller homes. They consist of a single unit and do not feature a separate water tank. This makes them more flexible in terms of space. Instead of storing heat, combi boilers provide heat and hot water on demand.
  • Heat-only boilers – If you’ve got a bigger home, you require more heat. Therefore, you need a heat-only boiler. This boiler type consists of a boiler and a separate water cylinder, which allows it to store hot water ready for use.
  • System boilers – These are similar to heat-only boilers, but come more compact and tend to deliver greater efficiency.

The best electric boilers currently on the market include the following:

Elnur Mattira System Electric Boiler

  • Efficiency: 100%
  • Energy rating: A
  • Central heating output: 3 kW – 15 kW
  • Boiler warranty: 2-5 years
  • Estimated price: £1,000 – £1,200

If you’ve got a big household, you need either a heat-only or a system boiler. The Elnur Mattira System Electric Boiler provides central heating only, while the connected hot water storage cylinder stores and releases hot water when necessary.

While only a short warranty period is available for this boiler, it comes built with premium materials and is designed to last. For example, the boiler itself is made from insulated steel and stainless steel shielded elements, both of which are sure to provide long-term durability.

The boiler comes with a wide range of central heating output options, ranging from 3 kW up to 15 kW. Few boilers are available that provide this kind of central heating output range. You can choose the exact amount of output you require, and this system boiler will provide you with enough heat for several bathrooms and bedrooms.

Other notable features of this boiler include:

  • 6L heating expansion vessel
  • Heating temperature limiter 100 ºC
  • Heating flow detector
  • Digital display

Electric Heating Company Mercury Electric Combi Boiler

  • Efficiency: 100%
  • Energy rating: A
  • Central heating output: 12 kW, 14 kW, 19 kW, 26 kW
  • Boiler warranty: 5 years
  • Estimated price: £1,527 – £1,849

The Electric Heating Company have emerged as one of the key players in the electric heating market, and their Mercury Electric Combi Boiler stands as one of the best examples of their quality. If you have a small home with no connection to the mains gas supply, the Mercury can be the perfect addition to your home.

Not only great for conventional heating and hot water, the Mercury model also works excellently alongside electric underfloor heating. Given that it is a combi boiler, it also fits in pretty much any setup. If you’ve got limited space in your home, this is a great solution.

It comes in a range of central heating output options, from 12 kW up to 26 kW. This allows you to choose the most efficient option that best meets your heat requirements.

Other notable features of the Electric Heating Company Mercury Electric Combi Boiler include:

  • Weather sensor
  • ERP ready
  • Summer/winter modes
  • Digital screen

THERMAflow High-Efficiency Electric Combination Boiler

  • Efficiency: 100%
  • Energy rating: A
  • Central heating output: 10 kW – 18kW
  • Boiler warranty: 25 years (for the cylinder)
  • Estimated price: £3,000 +

If you want to make a net zero home, the THERMAflow High-Efficiency Electric Combination Boiler can help make your home as green as possible. It is designed to create heat energy when tariffs are at their lowest. Unlike other electric combi boilers, this THERMAflow boiler has a high heat capacity, meaning it can store and release heat as necessary.

This storage setup allows you to save massively on your electricity bills. According to Thermaflow, this boiler can save you up to 40% in heating bills. In addition to this, this boiler is also designed to be used alongside a wood-burning or solar thermal energy system, allowing you to reduce carbon emissions significantly.

Other notable aspects of this boiler include:

  • Easy maintenance
  • Quiet operation
  • Wireless thermostat compatibility
boiler installers

Best Combi Boilers

Combi boilers, as we’ve already explained, are great for those who live in small properties. This is because combi boilers (short for “combination boilers”) combine all the essential parts of a central heating system into one unit. You can, therefore, be more flexible with where you install your combi boiler, given that you only need to worry about finding the floor space for a single appliance.

Combi boilers can provide both central heating and hot water. Instead of storing heat for you, a combi boiler creates heat and hot water on demand. When you turn the tap on, the gas burner inside the combi boiler is ignited which warms the heat exchanger. Cold water then flows over this heat exchanger, coming out the other end as hot water.

Gas-powered combi boilers remain the most common type of combi boiler used throughout Scotland. However, it’s also possible to get oil, electric, and LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas) combi boilers.

Despite their small size, most contemporary combi boilers come with a pre-heat system, which stores a small amount of water. This allows for instant hot water. Generally, the speed at which heat and hot water can be produced depends on the capacity and model of the boiler.

The best combi boilers currently on the market include:

Worcester Bosch Greenstar 4000

  • Efficiency: 94%
  • Energy rating: A
  • Central heating output: 24 kW
  • Boiler warranty: 10-year warranty as standard
  • Estimated price: £1,100 – £1,300

Worcester Bosch is a name you can trust, and the Greenstar 4000 remains one of its most popular and high-functioning products. This hydrogen-ready boiler can deliver a high level of efficiency when it comes to the combustion of gas, with an efficiency percentage of 94%. While this isn’t as high as you get with electric boiler models, it is still a significant level for a gas combi boiler.

Gas isn’t the only thing this boiler is efficient with. It comes with a ‘Quick Tap’ function, which helps you save on water. Even if you live in an area with low water pressure, this gas boiler can transform it into high-pressure hot water, ensuring your baths and showers are as comfortable as possible.

Other notable factors of the Worcester Bosch Greenstar 4000 include:

  • Quiet operation
  • Wireless control via the Bosch EasyControl
  • Simple colour touchscreen display

Vaillant EcoTec Pro Combi Boiler

  • Efficiency: 94%
  • Energy rating: A
  • Central heating output: 24 kW, 28 kW, 30 kW
  • Boiler warranty: 10 years
  • Estimated price: £1,000 – £1,200

If you’d like to keep your home heating gas-powered, the Vaillant EcoTec Pro Combi Boiler delivers great efficiency and supreme design. While most gas and oil boilers are difficult and therefore expensive to repair, the Vaillant EcoTec Pro rarely breaks down – when it does, it’s one of the easiest boilers to fix. These German-designed boilers are built by hand at Vaillant’s Derbyshire plant.

Another aspect that makes this Vaillant boiler different from other oil and gas boiler designs is its quiet operation. The EcoTec Pro Combi has been awarded with a Quiet Mark status.

The boiler’s dimensions are H 720 x W 440 x D 338, which makes for a super compact build. It’s a perfect combi gas boiler for homes with limited space.

Other features of this boiler include:

  • Can be used alongside Vaillant’s vSMART technology
  • A low NOx burner
  • Frost protection

Viessmann Vitodens 100-W

  • Efficiency: 98%
  • Energy rating: A
  • Central heating output: 30 kW
  • Boiler warranty: 12 years
  • Estimated price: £1,400 – £1,500

If you’re looking for a gas combi boiler that provides the best energy efficiency, look no further than the Viessmann Vitodens 100-W. If you opt for a gas or oil boiler, you normally have to accept an efficiency rating of around 94%. This Viessmann model delivers an impressive 98% efficiency, which is about as close to 100% as you can get with a gas boiler.

Not only is it efficient, but this boiler is also sleek and aesthetically pleasing. If you have to have your boiler exposed, the Viessmann would definitely keep your room looking stylish.

It can also be easily controlled from your phone using the ViCare App. The boiler itself also features a touch screen, which makes selecting the heating settings you’re after a straightforward process.

Other notable features of this Viessmann boiler include:

  • It’s 20% hydrogen ready
  • LPG-ready
  • Frost protection
  • 12-year warranty available
  • Compatible with solar and mixed heating solutions

Baxi Duo-Tec 33 Boiler

  • Efficiency: 92%
  • Energy rating: A
  • Central heating output: 28 kW
  • Boiler warranty: 7 years
  • Estimated price: £1,000 – £1,100

Baxi is known for delivering quality electricity and gas boilers. The Baxi Duo-Tec 33 Boiler is the best of the company’s range of natural gas boilers, as it delivers quality at a budget-friendly price. Plus, with a central heating output of 28 kW, small and medium homes featuring around 15 radiators could use this boiler to warm their entire home.

It comes with a solid flow rate of 13.5l, which satisfies the industry standards. Plus, its small build size means that it can fit into a range of spaces. Typically, this boiler can be found in a kitchen or bathroom cabinet.

On top of all this, the Baxi Duo-Tec 33 Boiler is hydrogen-ready, meaning it can help you lower your carbon emissions should you decide to switch to a 20% hydrogen mix.

Additionally, the Baxi Duo-Tec 33 Boiler has the following plus points:

  • Easy-to-read display
  • User-friendly controls
  • Straightforward installation
  • Features an integral filling loop

Best Oil Boilers

Oil boilers work similar to natural gas boilers. Oil is ignited in a combustion chamber. The heat created is used to heat up cold water via a heat exchanger. Oil boilers are a great solution if you want to use a traditional heating system but aren’t connected to the gas main (like four million homes across the UK).

However, oil boilers do need a lot of floor space. In order to contain the oil, these boilers require a separate fuel storage tank.

Oil boilers are not as popular as they once were. Like natural gas boilers, oil boilers burn fossil fuels to operate. Those looking to make their home more environmentally friendly or use a more efficient heating system are switching from oil boilers to electric boilers.

Plus, oil boilers will be gradually phased out in the coming decades. In Scotland, the Building (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2023 (New Build Heat Standard) will come into place on April 1st 2024.

However, no current regulations are stopping you from replacing your old oil boiler with a new one. Doing this may be the most economical option, as it saves you from updating your entire heating system.

If you’re looking to have your old oil boiler replaced, consider the following options:

Worcester Bosch Greenstar Heatslave II Oil Combi Boiler

  • Efficiency: 90%
  • Energy rating: B
  • Central heating output: 18 kW, 25 kW, 32 kW
  • Boiler warranty: 7 years
  • Estimated price: £2,200 – £2,500

Worcester Bosch has been able to make traditional oil boilers relevant in the modern world with the Heatslave II. Its sleek design will compliment your kitchen, where it can suitably be installed. Its compact size ensures that it can fit underneath your kitchen worktop.

The controls on this boiler are concealed behind a drawer, which further adds to the boiler’s solid look.

While it won’t lower the carbon emissions of your home heating systems, it can be used in an environmentally conscious way. For example, this boiler can work alongside wood-fired boilers and solar sources of energy. It also features an eco-hot water mode, allowing you to save money as well as the planet.

Other key features of the Worcester Bosch Greenstar include:

  • Precise hot water and heating control
  • Comes in a range of sizes and capacities
  • Suitable for small, medium, and large homes and buildings

Viessmann Vitorondens 200-T Oil System Boiler

  • Efficiency: 97%
  • Energy rating: A
  • Central heating output: 20.2 kW, 24.6 kW, 28.9 kW, 35.4 kW, 42.8 kW, 53.7 kW
  • Boiler warranty: 7 years
  • Estimated price: £5,000 – £5,300

The Viessmann Vitorondens 200-T Oil System Boiler is a floor-standing oil boiler that provides a high energy efficiency of 97%. The high price of this boiler is worth it when you consider the premium cast-iron design of the boiler itself.

However, given the addition of the storage cylinder, you’ll need plenty of room to comfortably fit this oil boiler in your home. Once set up, you can choose whether to have this boiler with an open flue or room sealed. A flue gas silencer is fitted onto this boiler, which ensures it maintains quiet operation.

You can easily control this Viessmann boiler via the ViCare app, which allows you to control your oil boiler even when you’re not at home. It also allows you to contact your heating contractor should you need to.

Basically, if you need to replace your current oil boiler and would like to install another, the Viessmann is a great modern option that comes with smart controls.

Other important aspects of the Viessmann Vitorondens 200-T Oil System Boiler include:

  • Plain text and graphic display on the unit
  • Seasonal efficiency
  • All EL fuel oils can be used

Grant Vortex Blue

  • Efficiency: 94.5%
  • Energy rating: A
  • Central heating output: 21 kW – 36 kW
  • Boiler warranty: 10 years
  • Estimated price: £2,100 – £2,605

The Grant Vortex Blue comes with a range of installation options. This home heating system can be stored either inside or outside, which makes it extra flexible when it comes to home layout.

In terms of performance level, this boiler has low toxic nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. This is thanks to the blue flame burner found within the boiler, which ensures efficient and reliable heat for your home.

Installer-friendly, the Grant Vortex Blue is made to directly replace your older oil-burning boiler. If you’re sticking with direct emissions heating systems, this model is a great option if you want an easy and affordable installation.

Other notable aspects of this boiler include:

  • Compatible with biofuel
  • Quiet operation
  • Easy to service and fix

Which Is the Best Boiler Brand?

The best boiler brands for both direct emissions heating systems and boilers with low carbon emissions include Viessmann, Worcester Bosch, Vaillant, and the Electric Heating Company. However, there is no boiler brand that we can single out as being the “best”. Each of the aforementioned brands delivers high-quality boilers that excel in their own way.

How to Find the Best Deals for Your New Boiler

To find the best deal on your boiler, you should speak to multiple installers and gather a range of quotes. From this point, you can determine the best deal for your new boiler. Many engineers and boiler companies are looking to take advantage of the new build boiler ban. For this reason, it’s more important than ever to compare prices before agreeing to a deal.

Whether you want to lower your carbon emissions or stick to natural gas, it’s always better to shop around rather than simply settling on the first deal you come across.

FAQs

The cost of a mid-range or top-tier combi boiler falls somewhere between £1,000 and £2,000. However, if you’re on a budget, it’s possible to buy a new combi boiler for as little as £500. It’s worth noting that these estimated costs do not include installation. Installation costs could take the price upwards of £3,000. The overall price depends on the complexity of the installation.

The most reliable boiler brands in the UK include the likes of Worcester Bosch, Baxi, Ideal, Viessmann, and Vaillant. These brands have long been supplying quality boilers to households throughout Scotland and the UK. They still supply quality traditional oil and gas boilers, but have also embraced the future and created some great hydrogen-ready, electric, and combi boilers, too.

Electric boilers tend to deliver the most energy-efficient heating and hot water. For example, the Elnur Mattira system electric boiler and the Electric Heating Company Mercury electric combi boiler both deliver 100% energy efficiency.

The Viessmann Vitodens 200-W System and the Viessmann Vitodens 100-W are two of the most energy-efficient systems and combi boilers. They can each deliver an energy efficiency of 98%, meaning only 2% of the energy you pay for is wasted. Given that you can still buy boilers that deliver less than 90% efficiency, these Viessmann models deliver a high level of efficiency.

Yes, several government grants help households buy new boilers. Specifically in Scotland, you can benefit from the ECO 4 scheme. The target audience of this scheme is low-income households who currently have an ineffective, low-efficiency, or totally broken boiler. If you qualify for the ECO 4 scheme, you could receive a grant that you can spend on buying and installing a new boiler.

Final Thoughts

If you’re getting a boiler for a new build, you should invest in an electric boiler. This would be the best means of keeping the carbon emissions of the new build low, and getting it on target to meet net zero. Specifically, we’d recommend Electric Heating Company’s Mercury Electric Combi Boiler.

However, while the boiler ban coming into effect in 2024 will prevent natural gas boilers from being installed in newly built homes, they can still be fitted into existing homes. If you decide to stick with natural gas, make sure the boiler you pick comes 20% hydrogen-ready to keep your carbon emissions low.