Category - Boilers
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Will Scholfield, Engineer

31 Jan : Updated 17 May ● 7 min read

What is a standard boiler?

Do you have an older home? Been a long time since you’ve changed your boiler? Then the chances are, you’ll have a standard boiler installed. In this useful guide, we’ll explain how a standard boiler works, what the benefits of installing one are, and the difference between this type compared to other types of boilers. We’ll also help you find the best standard boiler for your home. Read on for more information...

What is a standard boiler?

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

How does a standard boiler work?

Standard 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 is used) with the heat exchanger, thus 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 turning on your taps or shower.

A standard 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 standard boilers?

The simple answer – yes. It’s true that older properties tend to have standard 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 standard boiler due to the amount of space that is needed, so a different new boiler type would probably be better suited to these properties.

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

Combi boilers and standard 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. Standard 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.
  • Standard 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 standard or combi would be the most appropriate for your household.

Are combi boilers cheaper than standard boilers?

Because combi boilers aren’t as complex as a standard 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/standard 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 standard 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. 

If you choose to make the switch and have weighed up the pros and cons of a standard 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 standard boiler?

System boilers and regular boilers have a few differences. Standard 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. Not only does this save you plenty of space but money, too. System boilers don't require as many additional parts in comparison to a standard boiler - which means they're cheaper and simpler to look after. 

The system boiler will save more space in the home because it doesn’t need any roof space. Moreover, installation of a system boiler would be much quicker than a standard boiler. This is due to the fact that a lot of the components are already built into the boiler itself which means a little bit less hassle on the day of your installation. Although, if you have a bigger space to work with - a standard boiler may be better suited to your home.

System boilers also provide you and your home with excellent water pressure. By taking water supply directly from the mains, you'll notice stronger water pressure in your taps. 

Find the best standard boiler with BOXT

If you’re struggling to find the best standard 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 experts at recommending you the ideal boiler and installing it quickly and safely into your home. We’ll also help you to compare prices of different setups. To chat with a professional or to request a quote, use our live chat feature - today!

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