Vokera Boiler Review: When (and When Not) to Buy?

Vokera is one of the most popular boiler brands in the UK and Ireland, with more than a million and a half heating appliances sold during its 30-year history.

It is known for being one of the best value brands around, with prices starting from less than £500 at the time of writing in November 2018.

But are Vokera boilers any good? And how do they compare with other leading boiler brands like Worcester Bosch and Vaillant?

To help you decide, our boiler experts have put Vokera boilers to the test based on the things that matter most: value for money, range of models, efficiency, repairs service - and we share real customer reviews from Trustpilot and Which? insights, so you get the full picture.

Read on for our full-fat Vokera boiler review, or save time by completing the form at the top of this page, and get bespoke boiler quotes to compare Vokera with some of the most trusted boiler installers in your area.


In This Vokera Boiler Review Guide in 2018:



1. Vokera Customer Reviews and Ratings

vokera boiler

Vokera may be one of the most popular boiler manufacturers in the UK, but it is only rated as average by real users and heating experts. Currently, 4 out of the 6 reviews for Vokera on Trustpilot are negative, while only 2 are excellent. That doesn't sound good, but 6 reviews is not that many to base it on.

Rivals like Worcester Bosch and Viessmann both rank much higher - just remember that although these brands are more reliable, they are also around 20% more expensive on average.

Below are the impartial ratings Vokera boilers get from Trustpilot, Which? and our own boiler experts.

Brand
Trustpilot Score*
Which? Score*
The Eco Experts Score*
Vokera
6/10
50%
Ideal
5.6/10
58%
Viessmann
8.3/10
84%
Worcester Bosch
9.1/10
92%


Seen something you like? Get the full picture on our no-nonsense best boiler brands page here.



2. Types of Vokera Boiler

All Vokera boilers are condensing boilers. This means they recover some of the heat which would normally be lost through the flue and reuse it, and are dramatically more efficient than older, non-condensing boilers.

Since 2005, it has been a legal requirement for new domestic gas boilers to be condensing unless this is not possible.

As well as combi, system and conventional boilers, Vokera also makes water heaters, hot water cylinders, solar thermal panels and heat pumps.

All its boilers are designed and tested at its factory in northern Italy to guarantee quality; Vokera's parent company, Riello, has been making fuel burners for nearly a century.

There are three main types of boiler: combi, system and conventional (also known as regular or open vent). Vokèra makes all three.

Combi boilers

Combi boilers provide unlimited heat for central heating and hot water on demand. There is no tank or water cylinder in the loft or airing cupboard – the water is simply heated as required – so they are space-saving and very convenient.

However, they deliver water at mains pressure, so some people prefer other types of boiler if their water pressure is low or they use hot water in several places at once.

Conventional boilers

Conventional boilers are the type with a hot water cylinder and tanks in the loft. They are not as convenient as combis as hot water is neither immediate nor unlimited, but some people in larger households prefer them as they do not rely on mains pressure.

They are also compatible with solar thermal panels, which are difficult to combine with a combi boiler.

System boilers

System boilers heat water using a hot water cylinder, but since there are no tanks in the loft, there is still less pipework – and less space taken up – than with a conventional system.

Otherwise they share most of the pros and cons of a conventional system, including compatibility with solar panels.



3. Vokera Boilers: A Decent Range of Models

vokera boilers

Vokera has made a boiler for most needs (even on a tiny budget). Here is a summary of the different boilers Vokera makes.

Evolve

Evolve is a range of nine combi and system boilers, all A-rated – with a Vokera BeSMART thermostat, their rating goes up to A+.

  • Models: 24C, 28C, 32C, 36C, 42C
  • Liquid crystal display to make them easy to operate
  • Built-in carbon monoxide monitor shuts the boiler down if there is a leak
  • Work with both natural gas and LPG
  • Frost protection: Protects the boiler from damage during cold weather
  • Warranty: Increases from seven years to ten if you opt for BeSMART controls
  • Compact: The Evolve 24Cand 28C measure 74cm x 42cm x 27.5cm and are small enough to fit into a cupboard

Unica i

Unica i combi boilers are designed to reduce their output in line with the demand in the home to save energy, and are endorsed by the Energy Saving Trust.

They are A-rated for efficiency, increasing to A+ for the Unica i32 if you add smart controls or weather compensation.

  • Models: i28, i32
  • Frost protection
  • Size: 78cm x 40cm x 36cm

Vision

The Vision range is made up of lightweight and compact combi and system boilers which can fit in most standard kitchen cupboards.

With smart controls, their energy efficiency rating rises to 97 per cent for the combis, and up to 93 per cent for the system boilers.

  • Models: 25C, 30C, 25S, 30S
  • Frost protection
  • Size: 72cm x 41cm x 25cm

Compact A

Vokera’s entry-level condensing combi boiler is designed to be easy to operate as well as compact and light enough to fit in most kitchen cupboards.

This model is endorsed by the Energy Saving Trust.

  • Models: 25A, 29A
  • Frost protection
  • Weight: The 25A weighs just 26kg, the 29A a kilogram more
  • Size: 72cm x 41cm x 25cm

Mynute i

This system boiler is compatible with underfloor heating, as it has two built-in temperature ranges to suit either high or low temperature systems.

  • Models: i20, i30
  • Frost protection
  • Backlit LCD display
  • Anti-seize function
  • Size: 78cm x 40cm x 34cm for the Mynute i20, 78cm x 40cm x 34cm for the Mynute i30

Mynute VHE

The Mynute VHE is a conventional condensing boiler, A-rated for energy efficiency – 93% for the 15VHE, 91% for the 20VHE.

The 15VHE is small enough to fit in a kitchen cupboard and weighs just 25kg, while the larger 20VHE weighs 28kg.

  • Models: 15VHE, 20VHE
  • Frost protection
  • Compatible with solar thermal panels
  • Anti-seize function
  • Size: 64cm x 34cm x 34cm (15VHE), 74cm x 40cm x 34cm (20VHE)
Boiler
Type
Output Range
Flow Rate (liters per minute)
Energy Efficiency Rating
Energy Efficiency (%)
/warranty (years)
Evolve
Combi / system
18kw to 35kw
10.7 to 17.2 (combi)
A
94%
7
Unica i
Combi
20kw to 30kw
11.5 to 14.7 (combi)
A
Up to 94%
5 / 7
Vision
Combi / system
20kw to 25kw
10.2 to 12 (combi)
A
Up to 93%
5 / 7
Compact A
Combi
20kw to 25kw
10.2 to 11.9
A
93%
5
Mynute i
Combi
20kw to 30kw
N/A
A
93%
5
Mynute VHE
Conventional
15kw to 20kw
N/A
A
Up to 93%
5 / 2




4. Price and Value for Money: Cheap But Not Always Cheerful

vokera boiler cost

Vokera boilers cost between £550 and £1,200, depending on the type you go for. That makes them around £300 to £500 cheaper than your average Vaillant or Worcester.

But how do they compare? Most heating engineers do not recommend cutting costs when you buy your new boiler - you can end up paying much more further down the line, with a shorter warranty, or having to fork out a couple of grand for a new boiler in the near future.

So, how much can you expect to spend on your new boiler? To use our free boiler cost calculator, just click here.

Compare Vokera and Other Boiler Quotes Here

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5. Boiler Efficiency

Smart Controls

An efficient boiler means a low cost boiler to run. Vokera says smart controls can improve a heating system's efficiency by up to 5%.

OpenTherm

All Vokera boilers are compatible with OpenTherm, a system which hooks up the boiler to the thermostat, which ramps up its efficiency.

Rather than switching on when the temperature is too low and off when it's too high, OpenTherm alters the boiler's flow temperature to keep the room temperature steadier, meaning the boiler is more efficient (condensing boilers often work more efficiently at lower flow temperatures).

Weather Compensation

Many Vokera boilers already incorporate weather compensation, but an external weather compensation sensor can also be added to many systems.

This adjusts the boiler in response to the temperature outside, so that again, your home stays at a steadier temperature and your boiler is more efficient.

BeSMART

Vokera boilers can also work with the BeSMART system, which allows you to control and adjust your heating and programme your thermostat from anywhere in the world via your smartphone, tablet or desktop.

BeSMART was designed to help you cut your bills, but also alerts both you and the Vokera Service Centre if something goes wrong with your boiler.

Seven-day programmable room thermostat

This gives you control over heating timings and temperatures for a week, allowing you to set the boiler to come on at particular times each day.

Hot Water Cylinders

Vokera makes two kinds of unvented hot water cylinder: single coil, which are commonly used with system and conventional boilers, and twin coil, which can be used with solar panels (one coil is connected to your boiler, the other to your solar panels).

Vokera's Aquaflow cylinders are made from stainless steel and have a flow rate of up to 50 litres per minute.

By contrast, the best flow rate you'll get from one of Vokera's combi boilers is 17.2 litres per minute. They range in capacity from 120 to 300 litres, and come with a 3kw immersion heater and a 25-year guarantee on the tank.

The company also manufactures a gas water heater called Aquanova.



6. Renewable Energy

renewable energy

Vokera manufactures both solar thermal panels and air source heat pumps.

Solar thermal panels: Help you save with the Renewable Heat Incentive

Solar thermal panels are made of tubes, called collectors, that are filled with liquid which is warmed by the sun’s heat. The warm liquid is pumped through a coil in your water cylinder to heat your water.

There are two types of solar collectors: flat plate and evacuated tube. Vokera's Zenith range includes both.

Vokera solar thermal panels are accredited by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, which means they are considered a reliable manufacturer and you will be eligible for payments through the Renewable Heat Incentive.

They also have the Solar Keymark, which shows that they fulfil European standards, and meet British and European Standard BS EN 12975.

The flat plate collectors are backed by a ten-year warranty – although they should have a life expectancy of at least twice that – while the evacuated tube collectors are backed by a two-year warranty.



Air source heat pumps: For more efficient energy

Air source heat pumps extract heat from the air and use it to warm your home. They can do this even when the air is cold.

Vokera's range of air source heat pumps, called AriaPRO, is available in five sizes, from 4kw to 15kw.

Vokera states its heat pumps can reach a coefficient of performance of 4.2, which means they can produce more than four times the energy in heat that they take in as electricity.

As with Vokera's solar thermal panels, its heat pumps are accredited by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme. They use the chlorine free refrigerant R-410A, which was designed not to damage the ozone layer.

This graph gives you an idea of how efficient your Vokera boiler can be:

Flow Temperature
Outside Temperature
4kw
6kw
8kw
12kw
15kw
35°C
2°C
3.1
3.1
3.1
3.1
3.1
35°C
7°C
4.05
4.2
3.91
3.91
4.06
45°C
2°C
2.6
2.6
2.6
2.6
2.6
45°C
7°C
3.2
3.01
3.16
3.01
3.21
55°C
7°C
2.71
2.58
2.3
2.48
2.8


Vokèra's solar thermal panels and air source heat pumps can be used together, though you will still need a boiler or something else as a backup.

It is also important to make sure your home is properly insulated and draught-proofed if you are going to install an air source heat pump, as otherwise it won't be able to heat your home effectively.



7. Repair and Service Plans: Affordable Repairs But Short Warranty

Vokera employs its own engineers and offers fixed price repairs, extended warranty plans and annual service plans - but on occasion, they rely on local engineers.

A fixed price repair includes the cost of the call-out, labour and parts. You can also choose to add a year's cover against any further breakdowns.

Just note Vokera boilers come with just 2 years’ warranty as standard, compared with between 5 and 7 years for the best boiler brands.



8. The Verdict: Are Vokera Boilers Any Good?

Vokera boilers are known for being cheap rather than good. On average, you save around 20% buying a Vokera boiler rather than a leading brand like Worcester Bosch or Ideal, which makes them popular among bargain hunters.

But be careful: cheap boilers are often made cheaply and will tend to break down more often. That means you can pay far more in the long term getting it repaired and replaced sooner.

Not sure a Vokera boiler is really for you? Check out our best boiler brands page here to find the right one.

So, if cutting your upfront costs are your thing, Vokera boilers are some of the cheapest boilers around. But if you're more of a long-term bargain hunter, click here to use our free quote-finder and compare quotes from the leading boiler installers in the UK.

Compare Vokera and Other Boiler Quotes Here

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