Deciding on a boiler can be confusing, as you need to choose an efficient option that fits your home and lifestyle. The information below shows the main types, how they work, their advantages, and what kind of homes they suit best!
A combination or 'combi' boiler is both a high-efficiency water heater and a central heating boiler in a single compact unit. Combi boilers heat water directly from the mains when you turn on a tap, so you won't need a hot water storage cylinder or a cold-water storage tank in the roof space.
They are also very cost-effective and energy-efficient, as water is heated instantly rather than being heated and then stored in a cylinder. An added benefit is that hot water is delivered at mains pressure, which means that you could get a powerful shower without the need for a separate pump.
Compact sizes make combi boilers perfect for smaller properties. This is ideal where there is little or no loft space. Living space is also increased due to the absence of a hot water cylinder. As well as this, you’ll have space for a loft conversion, as a combi boiler doesn’t need a water storage tank. There’s also no risk of your loft pipework freezing, and less pipework typically makes an installation cheaper too.
System boilers require a cylinder for storing hot water. However, the major heating and hot water system components are built into the boiler itself, making it quicker and easier to install. In addition, there is no need for a tank in the loft, so it can be an option in a home with little or no loft space, or where the space is earmarked for a conversion.
These boilers are also compatible with solar water heating systems, which deliver environmental benefits as well as lower energy bills.
Ideal for homes with more than one bathroom, you’ll receive a constant supply of hot water to any number of taps at the same time. There’s also no need for a loft tank, which frees up space and eliminates worries about leaks or frost damage. Due to this, they’re also economical to run, and built-in components make installation quicker and neater.
Regular boilers – sometimes known as a traditional, conventional, or heat-only boilers – are ideally suited to homes that already have a traditional heating and hot water system. These are linked to a separate hot water cylinder. These boilers also need a cold-water storage tank in the loft to feed the hot water cylinder, as well as a tank that maintains the water level of the central heating system.
A regular boiler may be the best option for replacing an existing boiler if the property has an older radiator system, as it might not be able to cope with the higher water pressure that is delivered by system or combi boilers.
These boilers are perfect for homes where a lot of hot water is used at the same time. They are also ideal where there are two or more bathrooms. If water pressure is low, these are a cost-effective option, and they are compatible with solar water heating systems too. This results in a lower carbon footprint and lower energy costs.