Deciding which boiler will make an efficient and practical fit into your home and lifestyle can be confusing. There are three main types of boilers – including combi boilers, system boilers and regular boilers – each of which have their own range of advantages and homes to which they are best suited.
Should your new boiler be fitted into your existing system, then it’s important to consider the cleanliness of your existing pipework and radiators as this could cause damage to your new boiler.
A combination or ‘combi’ boiler is both a high efficiency water heater and a central heating boiler in one single, compact unit. Combi boilers heat water directly from the mains when you turn a tap on, so you won’t need a hot water storage cylinder or a cold water storage tank in the roof space.
This type of boiler is very cost effective and energy efficient as the water is heated instantly rather than being heated and then stored in a cylinder. An extra benefit is that hot water is delivered by mains pressure, meaning you can have a power shower with no need for a separate pump.
The benefits of combi boilers include: –
- Compact in size, making combi boilers great for smaller properties
- Ideal where there is little loft space
- No need to have a hot water cylinder, meaning an increase in living space
- No cold water tank storage meaning more loft space
- No risk of pipework freezing
- Less pipework in the home, meaning the installation cost is cheaper
This type of boiler needs 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. There is also no need for a tank in the loft, so it is an option in a home with little or no loft space, or where the space is earmarked for a conversion.
System boilers are also compatible with solar water heating systems which deliver environmental benefits as well as lower energy bills.
The benefits of system boilers include: –
- Great for homes with more than one bathroom
- Constant supply of hot water to a number of taps at the same time
- No need for a loft tank, creating more space and a significantly reduced risk of leaks or frost damage
- Economical to run
- Built-in components make installation quicker and neater
Regular boilers – also known as ‘traditional’, ‘conventional’ or ‘heat-only’ boilers – are ideally suited to homes that already have a traditional heating and hot water system, which is linked to a separate hot water cylinder, with a tank that maintains the water level of the central heating system.
Regular boilers may be the best option when it comes to replacing an existing boiler. If the property has an older radiator system, it may not be able to cope with the higher water pressure that is delivered by system or combi boilers.
The benefits of regular boilers include: –
- Perfect for homes where a lot of hot water is used at the same time
- Ideal for properties with more than one bathroom
- A good choice when it comes to water pressure being low
- Compatible with solar water heating systems for a lower carbon footprint and lower energy costs