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Types of boilers and choosing the best boiler type for you

Boiler Types

Boilers come in various types and sizes, each designed to provide effective heating and hot water for different properties depending on their demands.

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Unfortunately, there’s no one-boiler-fits-all; for example, a 4-bedroom detached house with 2 bathrooms is likely to need a different boiler to a 2-bedroom terraced house with 1 shower room. Comparing models to find the right boiler for your home can be confusing, so here we advise the advantages and limitations of the three boiler types; Combination, system and conventional (also known as regular or heat-only boilers).

Combi boilers

Combination or “combi” boilers tend to be the most popular type of domestic boiler in the UK. They operate from one unit to provide heat and hot water as and when it is needed, so there’s no requirement for a separate water storage tank or cylinder. Combi boilers are available in wide range of sizes (in terms of kW output), so could be installed in almost any property. That being said, they are typically best suited to small to medium sized homes which aren’t likely to use lots of hot water from more than once appliance at the same time. Because combi boilers heat water on-demand directly from the mains water supply, water pressure could remain high even after long periods of heavy use. But unlike conventional boilers, you could experience a slight decline in water pressure if more than one appliance is using the boiler at the same time. This could make them less suited to homes with more than one bathroom.



System boilers

System boilers heat your central heating directly, whilst also supplying hot water to a storage cylinder. They have most of the individual components of a heat and hot water system built into the boiler unit, so whilst they do require a separate cylinder, unlike a conventional boiler they don’t require a cold-water tank too. Hot water is pumped through the radiators and the hot water cylinder, delivering a faster response which could be more economical and mean lower on running costs than a conventional boiler. We’d usually recommend a system boiler for larger properties that have a high demand for hot water for all different facilities, but don’t have the space for a cold-water tank.



Conventional boilers

Conventional boilers could heat your home very efficiently. It uses a storage cistern with two feeds one for hot water and one for cold water. When water is pumped through the system it will then either be heated up or stored as hot water and then used as and when it’s needed. To keep your home warm, water from the hot feed is pumped around your central heating system. Conventional boilers don’t rely on pressure from the mains supply and provides consistent hot water throughout the premises.

This type of boiler is typically suitable for homes with a sufficient amount of storage space for both the hot water cylinder and the cold-water tank, and that have a high demand hot water in more than one place at the same time.



Condensing boilers

Condensing boilers are not a technically a boiler type, condensing is just a feature that a boiler could include. For example, you could have a condensing combi boiler or a condensing conventional boiler.

Condensing boilers are designed with the aim to be incredibly energy efficient as they are designed to catch the heat that would usually escape from the system and re-use it. This means that less heat could be wasted whilst using the same amount of fuel as a non-condensing boiler; therefore, there’s potential to save on your heating bills. In 2005 it was made compulsory for all gas boilers to be condensing, so as long as you purchase from a reputable installer, you could be confident that you’re getting a condensing gas boiler.

To help you choose the right boiler type for your home, why not book a free appointment with one of our knowledgeable and friendly surveyors? They’ll talk to you about your demands and consider the condition of your current system to provide you with professional advice and a no-obligation quote.

This information is to be used as a guide only and is not a substitute for professional advice or assistance of a suitably qualified engineer. Help-Link accepts no liability for the information provided and any actions or damages caused by use of this information. Please see our Terms of Use for further details.

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