Which Boiler is Right For You
Do you know what type of boiler you have... combi, system or regular (heat only)? Do you know what type of boiler you want... straight replacement, combi upgrade, unvented hot water tank?
We are here to explain each type of boiler, help you work out what you have, what you need and the pros and cons of each.
A combi boiler combines heating and hot water production into one unit. Over the years combi boilers have got more efficient and more compact, so that modern units achieve very high efficiencies over 95% and can fit in a kitchen cupboard. Combi boilers are fitted without a hot water tank and as such there is no stored hot water, rather the unit produces the water instantaneously.
Advantages: hot water is always 'on tap' as it is produced when you turn on the hot tap. The manufacturer's warranty or guarantee is also more comprehensive as it covers the heating and hot water system.
Disadvantages: hot water performance in properties with multiple bathrooms in compromised, as the flow rates of the hot water can be reduced if more than one tap/shower is in operation at the same time. There is no back up if the boiler is down unlike a tank system where an electric immersion can produce hot water in an emergency.
System boilers are usually found in newer housing developments. Like a regular boiler, they work with a hot water tank. Unlike a regular boiler, many of the components (such as the pump) are integral to the boiler and no F&E tank is required. Systems boilers work with an unvented hot water tank.
Advantages: lots of stored hot water which is great for properties with lots of bathrooms (and teenagers).
Disadvantages: more external components that are not covered by the boiler manufacturer's guarantee or warranty and more space consuming than a combi.
Regular boilers, sometimes called heat only or conventional boilers, work with a hot water cylinder. Regular boilers are common in older systems where there is a feed and expansion tank in the loft. New regular boilers can be installed on to the existing system and customers have the choice of retaining the F&E tank or sealing the system and removing the tank.
Advantages: replacing the unit is very economical, paricularly if its going back in the same location. In areas where there is poor water pressure a gravity system will work to provide better hot water flow rates than a combi systems.
Distadvantages: more external components that are not covred by the boiler manufacturer's guarantee or warranty and more space consuming than a combi.