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Revealed: the boilers that won’t break down

Which? names most reliable boiler brands


Worried about your boiler breaking down? Now you can find out how reliable each boiler brand is before you buy, with the new Which? boiler reliability ratings.

Which? has surveyed nearly 4,000 of its members to find out which boilers brands are the most reliable and hopes the results will help consumers avoid boiler breakdowns in the future.

Which? boiler expert Lizzy Ruffles said: ‘Sitting in a chilly house waiting for a repairman is no one’s idea of fun, and the cost of fixing a boiler can be large, so it’s crucial to choose a boiler that’s reliable as well as efficient.

‘The two best brands we’ve found should ensure that you have a trouble free winter of hot water and heat.’

To find out how each boiler brand scores for reliability, members can read our boilers article in the September 2010 Which magazine, or a see a full list of Best Buy boilers in our online boilers review. If you’re not a member, you can subscribe to Which? magazine and try three issues for £3.

Boiler reliability scores

Some boiler brands are much more reliable than others, and our two top brands achieved scores of over 75% for reliability. However, at the other end of the scale, boiler brands Baxi and Ideal scored poorly.

To find out how reliable each boiler brand is, we asked 3,783 Which? members (May-June 2010) to tell us about their boiler (only those up to six years old) and whether they’ve had any problems with it.

The reliability score is based on the proportion that have had repairs, adjusted by the age of the boiler to ensure all brands are compared on an equal basis. It’s worth noting that only a tiny proportion of people’s boilers broke down totally in the first five years.

Customer satisfaction

We also asked our members whether they were satisfied with their boiler and whether they would recommend it to a friend. From this we calculated overall customer satisfaction scores – which ranged quite significantly from the best to worst brands.

The best brands had plenty of happy customers and scored over 80%, but the worst scored less than 60%. Keston customers stood out as being most unhappy with their boilers, giving Keston a score of just 35%.

Common boiler problems

As part of our survey we discovered that the most common issues our members have had with their boilers are problems with the built-in controls, and their boiler switching itself off.

Check out our boilers magazine article for more information and to see brand-specific common problems. And if you’re considering buying a new boiler, use the compare features and prices tool in our boilers review to find a Best Buy boiler that suits your home.

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