A guide to types of boilers - which is right for your home?
Choosing the perfect boiler for you and your home can be a bit of a headache. What seems to be an expensive white box stuck on your wall that, as if by magic, keeps your living room warm. With so many different types, sizes, and models - finding the right one is confusing to say the least.
Here at BOXT, we’re always looking for new ways to make your life stress-free. That’s why we’ve made this helpful guide to assist you through any boiler conundrum. Reliable, efficient, and reasonably priced - that perfect boiler is out there. But where do you start? Well, you’re at the right place...
What is a Combi boiler?
A combi boiler (short for combination boiler) means you receive hot water and heating instantly to your home from a single unit. This means that additional tanks or cylinders aren’t unnecessary. Due to its versatility and simplicity, combi boilers are the most common boiler you'll find in British homes.
- Save space.
The combi boiler is the most popular choice for families in the UK. Thanks to its compact design and simplicity this boiler is ideal for most sized homes. This means the boiler can be fitted to almost anywhere in your home - from a cupboard in the kitchen to a wall. It offers you flexibility.
- Immediately heats your home.
There’s a reason it’s the most popular choice. Whenever needed, a combi produces water directly from the mains. As a result, hot water is immediately sent to your taps and showers.
- Excellent efficiency.
Rated ‘A’ for efficiency a combi only heats up water when you need it. Unlike a standard boiler which heats up and stores the heat. A more efficient boiler means less energy is being wasted. This means you’ll save money every month when the bills come in.
Cheap to install and repair.
In comparison to other types of boilers, a combi boiler isn’t quite as complex. With just one single unit generating the heat, additional cylinders aren’t needed. This means installation and maintenance is far cheaper. Consequently, you save money in the long run, as you won’t be spending so much for any repairs.
What is a standard (conventional) boiler?
A standard boiler requires both a hot water storage cylinder and a cold water tank. The cold water storage tank is normally stored in a loft space, while the hot water tank is in the airing cupboard, which means standard boilers are most commonly found in older or larger properties. Nevertheless, if you’d like to replace your standard boiler with a new more modern one that’s still possible.
- Make sure you have space.
A standard boiler is much more suited to larger homes. The reason for this is because they require an expansion tank, a cold water tank, and a hot water storage tank meaning you’ll need enough room to place them all - ideally in the roof e.g. loft. This is due to gravity which then allows the water to be distributed throughout your entire home.
The use of a separate water cylinder allows a standard boiler to heat the water for your home. This is usually kept in an airing cupboard - therefore you would normally find this in an older property with plenty of room. Again, good for a larger home when multiple showers may be on at the same time.
- Higher installation and maintenance costs.
It’s worth noting that with a standard boiler, because of the additional tanks - there will have higher installation and maintenance costs. Unlike the combi boiler, which is just a single system unit, a standard boiler has multiple components.
What is a system boiler?
A system boiler requires a hot water storage cylinder as well as the unit itself. Quick tip: if you're unsure, a classic system boiler trait is that you'll notice a pressure gauge at the front of the boiler unit. System boilers tend to be more suited to larger properties as they're highly effective at distributing large amounts of water throughout a property.
- Make some room.
In contrast with a combi boiler, a system boiler requires more space. A system boiler uses an expansion vessel and a circulating pump, consequently their design eliminates the need for a tank in a loft space. By comparison to a standard boiler where the tanks are stored in the loft.
If you have an airing cupboard or cupboard space that you don’t really use, then this would be the ideal place for a system boiler. One of our skilled engineers at BOXT can help you decide where would be best to situate your system boiler. Chat with us via our live chat. Simply drop us a message and we’ll get back to you right away.
- Strong water pressure.
A huge benefit of a system is the strong water pressure. Meaning you can have more than one shower running at the same time or multiple taps. Ideal for larger households with several bathrooms.
What is a back boiler?
Fitted behind electric or gas fireplaces, back boilers provide both central heating and hot water to a property. This type of boiler is considered unsafe and it's recommended you convert to a combi boiler if you currently have one. Once popular in the 1960's, back boilers produce hot water and heating like any other boiler type - but with a poor efficiency rating of 80%.
- Expensive to run and repair.
Back boilers don't come cheap. In fact, they're highly expensive to run. Because they're outdated, many parts are difficult to find - meaning repairs to back boilers can be expensive.
Which boiler model is right for my home?
We understand a boiler isn’t going to be the most exciting purchase you’re going to make this year. However, it is an essential one in creating that relaxed and comfortable atmosphere in your home.
All boilers differ in price. Which is why when it comes to selecting your boiler as part of your boiler plan, doing a little bit of research does no harm e.g. reading reviews. This helps you to find the brand that best suits your home’s needs and your financial situation.
Manufacturers such as: Worcester Bosch, Viessman, Vaillant, and Ideal are arguably the most popular and well established boiler manufacturer’s available. Interested in a fixed price quote? Answer a few questions about your property and you’ll see a list of boilers that are best suited to you.
Selecting the appropriate boiler for you is totally dependent on you and your home’s needs. The size of your home is going to affect your choice in boiler size and type. The larger your home, the more powerful boiler you will need. When it comes to finding the model, research is key.
Our expert engineers are here to help you through all of this. For more advice, information, and any boiler related questions that need answering - chat with us via our live chat. Or, speak directly to one of our expert engineers on, 0800 193 7777.
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