There are several different types of boiler that you can install in your home and making the right choice that works with your needs is important. Here we look at everything from the latest combi to the traditional system boiler and discuss the pros and cons of each.
1. The Combination Boiler
Combination boilers (or ‘combi-boilers’) are probably the most common kind of boiler found in UK homes now and provide heating and hot water without the need for a water tank as they heat water directly from the mains when you turn on the tap.
They’re suitable for households with moderate to high heating needs and they have the added advantage that they don’t take up much space. The good news is that, because you don’t have a water tank, these systems are also highly efficient because there is much less heat loss as the water is heated and used instantly. Also the water is delivered at mains pressure, which means that you could get a powerful shower without the need for a separate pump.
Advantages of a Combination Boiler: –
- Compact size so ideal for smaller homes.
- Great for where there is no or little loft space.
- No hot water cylinder so more storage space.
- No cold water storage tank so frees up a loft for conversion.
- No risk of loft pipework freezing.
- Less pipework in the home makes installation typically cheaper.
There are a few small disadvantages. If more than one tap is used at the same time the combi boiler can struggle to deliver hot water to multiple sources that are being opened at the same time. Things like baths can often take longer to fill than with other systems. Despite these problems, the combi-boiler’s benefits far outweigh any of its cons.
2. The System Boiler
System boilers are similar to combination boilers but come with a hot water cylinder although there is no need for a tank in the loft, so it can be used for a home with little or no loft space or where the space is going to be used for conversion. They are also known as sealed boilers and are suited to larger properties where hot water needs to be delivered to several areas of the property at once. You don’t need to have a cold water tank in the loft but these boilers do take up more space than your standard combi-boiler. These boilers are also compatible with solar water heating systems.
Advantages of a System Boiler
- Great for homes with more than one bathroom.
- There is a constant supply of hot water to any number of taps at the same time.
- No need for a loft tank.
- Economical to run.
- Built-in components make installation quicker and neater.
There are a few disadvantages for system boilers one of which is that you have to wait for the hot water tank to heat up before you can use it and you can easily run out if usage is high. Also they cost more to put in and involve a little more in the way of plumbing. Because a hot water tank is used, they are not considered 100% energy efficient because of the heat loss even when lagging is used.
3. The Conventional / Regular Boiler
Regular boilers (sometimes known as traditional, conventional, open vent or heat only boilers) are ideally suitable to homes that already have a traditional heating and hot water system which is linked to a separate hot water cylinder. These boilers are full heating systems with the boiler component, hot water tank and gravity water tank up in the loft (to feed the hot water cylinder as well as a tank that maintains the water level of the central heating system). This type of boiler usually provides hot water to multiple outlets at the same time.
Advantages of a Regular Boiler
- Ideal for homes where a lot of hot water is used at the same time.
- Great for where there are two or more bathrooms.
- Good in areas were water pressure is low.
- Compatible with solar water heating systems.
As you might expect, they take up much more space than either combination or system boilers and are a lot more costly to install. Conventional boilers are more suited to larger properties with multiple occupations than family homes.
4. The Back Boiler
Back boilers are commonly considered somewhat old fashioned, which were quite popular in the 70’s and 80’s, and are generally installed behind a real or gas fire or stove.
The heat from the fire / stove is used to heat up the water and, while there are modern condensing varieties available nowadays, they are only installed if the home is suitable and there are no other options. There are far more efficient solutions available, including combination boilers.
5. The Condensing Boiler
Condensing boilers are not a separate kind of boiler but a function of modern boilers designed to make them more efficient. These capture any heat that is given off through a flue and use it to help heat the water.
That means you’re using less electricity or gas to power in your heating system which should lead to efficiency savings. Essentially, you can get any of the above heating systems with additional condensing capability.
There are a few different types of boiler that you can have in your home. If you are interested in a replacement boiler and would like to find out which boiler type will suit your home, then contact our friendly installation team here at Simon Turner Showrooms in Devon today.