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What is a Conventional Boiler?

If you have an older home or it’s been a long while since you’ve had a change of boiler, then chances are you’ll have a conventional boiler installed. In this guide, we’ll explain how a conventional boiler works, the benefits of installing one and what the differences are between this type of boiler and other types of boilers. We’ll also discuss how you can find the best conventional boiler for your home.

What is a conventional boiler?

A conventional boiler heats your home through a separate water cylinder. The cylinder is kept in a loft space and this type of system is one you’d tend to find in an older property. However, they can still be a good choice for the right home, such as the modern household which has a higher demand for hot water or those with a larger number of bathrooms than the standard home. For a conventional boiler, you’ll need more space than if you were to have a boiler of any other type.

For more information about finding the best conventional boiler, chat to our engineers on live chat or use our ‘Find a Boiler’ online tool

How does a conventional boiler work?

Conventional boilers use hot and cold water storage tanks which are usually installed in your loft. The water is supplied by the mains which is connected to your boiler. Houses with a loft conversion or with no loft space at all won’t be able to accommodate this type of boiler due to lack of space.

The boiler lights up the gas or fuel, depending on which type it uses, with the heat exchanger warming up the water. The water is transported to the hot water storage tank for easy access. When your thermostat is set, the hot water then travels through your radiators to heat up your rooms. It’s also sent to water outlets so you get hot water in an instant when you turn on your taps or shower.

A conventional boiler also has an expansion vessel which controls the expansion of heated water. In doing so, it prevents pipes and water pumps from bursting, keeping a consistent flow of water pressure. The expansion tank in your loft is also filled with water as needed, which keeps your system’s water levels at a constant rate. If your heating system heats up too much water for example, then this hot water will be stored here until it is needed.

Can you still buy conventional boilers?

The simple answer – yes. It’s true that older properties tend to have conventional boilers installed, but that doesn’t mean they’re no longer fit for the modern home. In fact, as we mentioned previously, they’re still a great choice for those households that have a higher demand for hot water, such as those with multiple occupants or a large number of bathrooms.

However, smaller properties may not suit a conventional boiler due to the amount of space that is needed, so a different boiler type would probably be better suited to these properties.

Boiler types

What is the difference between a combi boiler and a conventional boiler?

Combi boilers and conventional boilers differ slightly and depending on your home’s needs, you’ll probably benefit from one over the other. It’s worth going through the differences between the two to avoid making the wrong choice.

It’s important to remember that these two boilers have to heat your home and provide hot water. Combi, or combination boilers don’t have any water tanks as they only heat up water when it is needed, such as when you turn on a tap or the shower. Conventional boilers heat water inside a tank and store it. There are no tanks required with a combi boiler.

The way these two types of boilers heat water will be different. Here’s how they both work:

  • Combi boilers don’t have any water tanks. As the water comes directly from the mains, it runs through the boiler which is quickly heated and runs directly from the taps or to the radiators when turned on.
  • Conventional boilers heat water with different tanks; hot, cold and expansion tanks. The cold water tank collects water from the mains. When hot water is needed, the cold water tank feeds water into the hot water tank which is then heated up. The expansion tank is only needed if too much water is heated at one time.

It’s worth doing some research into combi boilers to see if a conventional or combi would be the most appropriate for your household.

Are combi boilers cheaper than conventional boilers?

Because combi boilers aren’t as complex as a conventional boiler, the installation of them tends to be much cheaper. Because combi boilers are more modern, it’s also easier to get hold of replacement parts if anything goes wrong with your system.

If you have a traditional/conventional boiler or you decide to opt for one, you need to be prepared for a slightly higher cost for installation and maintenance. Also make sure that you have the necessary space in your home to keep one.

Should I replace my conventional boiler with a combi?

You can replace your boiler and heating system whenever you see fit. However, it’s worth noting that in doing so, you may need to do some refurbishing work afterwards due to the installation of new pipes, for example. If you choose to make the switch and have weighed up the pros and cons of a conventional boiler with your current set up, then it makes sense to also install some home insulation. Over time, this will lower the demand for heat in your home, giving you a bigger save on your energy bills.

What is the difference between a system boiler and a conventional boiler?

System boilers and regular boilers have a few differences. Conventional boilers were the initial systems built for central heating, and operate on a low system pressure. They’re fed water from a tank usually situated in the roof space. A system boiler is similar in the fact that they have an expansion vessel and circulating pump, but their design eliminates the need for a tank in the loft space.

The system boiler will save more space in the home because it doesn’t need any roof space. Installation of a system boiler would be quicker because a lot of the components are already built into the boiler itself. However, a conventional boiler may be better suited to your home if you have a bigger space to work with.

Find the best conventional boiler with BOXT

If you’re struggling to find the best conventional boiler for your home or you’re looking for more information and advice on the different types of boiler system available, then you’re in the right place. Our engineers here at BOXT are knowledgeable in terms of recommending your ideal boiler and installing it safely into your home, as well as helping you to compare prices of different setups. To chat with a professional or to request a quote, use our live chat feature.

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