We all know that a boiler is one of key components in your home, it keeps you warm and comfortable all year round, when it is needed. But what people may not be aware of are the different types of boilers, and how they may be better suited to you and your property. The age of your boiler, how it is maintained and the type of your boiler will all affect how well it runs and what will be better suited to you. So, we are going to give you an insight into how to better understand and utilise these factors and heat your home in the best way.
A combi (combination) boiler, harnesses the power of a water heater and a central heating boiler, all in one powerful system, hence the term combination boiler. Combi boilers heat water directly from the mains, so there is no need for a hot water tank in your home.
Benefits of a combi boiler
- Combi boilers are much more efficient than other types of boilers, due to the fact that they heat water directly, and they do not have to heat water and then store it in a cylinder.
- Minimal storage space needed due to the lack of hot water cylinder and cold water storage tank.
- Combi boiler systems are smaller than others so they are ideal for smaller properties.
- Less pipework and a smaller system means that physical installation is cheaper.
- The popularity of combi boilers mean that most engineers are trained to repair and maintain them, meaning that it is easier to get them serviced.
- Combi boilers can be cleaner and safer due to the fact that they do not use cold water tanks, so there is no chance of rusting or decay, and water is always safe to drink.
Cons of a combi boiler
- You need good mains pressure to have a combi boiler. This is something that you should check before having one installed.
- If your combi boiler breaks down, you will be without hot water and central heating until it is fixed. However, as we mentioned previously, fixing them is much easier.
- There is more limited use of water with a combi boiler, the likelihood is that you cannot be running more than 1 shower or hot tap at a time, so they are not ideal for larger families.
Conventional/Heat only boilers
A conventional boiler provides heat directly to the radiators in your home, and works with a cylinder to heat your water. A heat only boiler will also require you to have cold water storage, so the storage space is much more necessary with this type of system.
Benefits of conventional boilers
- They are the cheapest boiler to purchase, so installation costs are lower.
- They are better for larger households, where more than 1 person may need to use the hot water at a time.
- They work well with older radiator systems, as system or combi boilers can cause leakages in old radiators.
Cons of conventional boilers
- You do not get instantaneous hot water, you will have to wait for the water to heat up before use. This means that if somebody uses the hot water for an extensive time, i.e. a bath, you may not have hot water for a while afterwards.
- You will lose gradual heat from your hot water cylinder, so this boiler system is slightly less efficient than your combi boiler.
- More storage space is needed in your house, as you need the hot water cylinder, as well as cold water storage.
A system boiler is very similar to your conventional boiler, but the difference is, it is not open vented. This means that it still uses a hot water cylinder, but many of the external components on a conventional boiler are integrated into the system boiler, like the pumps and valves. This system is slightly more modern and will generally be installed with an unvented hot water cylinder.
Advantages of System Boilers
- Once again, this type of boiler is good for larger homes that may require more than 1 person using hot water at a time.
- The large cold water tank that a conventional boiler needs is not required, which minimises some of the storage space needed.
- These boilers are ideal if you have lower water pressure.
Cons of System Boilers
- Although requiring less space than the conventional boiler, there is still additional storage space needed in comparison to a combi boiler.
- System boilers can be more expensive to install than combi boilers.
- Similarly to the conventional boiler, once the hot water has ran out, you will need to wait for it to reheat.
Making your decision
Now you have read through the pros and cons of these 3 types of boilers, you should be able to make an informed decision on what is best for you. Make sure you run any questions by your installer to ensure that you get the best system to suit your home.