There are many types of boilers, each utilising different sources of energy and configurations, possessing their own advantages and disadvantages. Your choice of energy source and configuration will affect which brand of boiler you choose. The style and layout of your home and space you have available to you will also play a role in deciding on the type of boiler you opt for.
Combi (gas or electricity):
A combi boiler runs on either gas or electricity. It heats water on demand so there is no need for a large tank like conventional boilers. Very little space is taken up and there is no requirement to install a pump. They are suitable for almost all homes and heats water quickly. Without the need for a tank, there is no fear of “running out” of hot water so multiple people can use hot water at once.
Taking water from the mains supply and heating it, this type of boiler can supply hot water continuously, and is more energy efficient than boilers with separate tanks.
The main advantage is that they are compact, economical, cheaper to install as less piper work is required and provide unlimited heat and hot water on demand.
The only real drawback with the combi boiler is that you may experience a decrease in water pressure if multiple bathrooms or appliances are using hot water at the same time.
A conventional boiler is the type of boiler the majority of older houses have installed. These require two separate tanks and thus take up a larger amount of space than a combi boiler. Water is drawn from the main supply into a cold-water storage cistern – housed in the loft typically. Water from here then enters the boiler. Gas is used to heat this water and is then distributed through the home’s central heating system of radiators and taps when needed.
The main benefit of this system is that hot water can be used from multiple taps without fear of lower water pressure. The can also be cheaper to fix if individual parts are available. With a combi boiler, often times a replacement boiler is needed.
On the other hand, conventional boilers aren’t very efficient and can waste a lot of heat. The space required and the fact that hot water can run out quickly is a huge downside.
This type of boiler is very similar to a conventional boiler but doesn’t require two tanks. Rather, components such as an expansion cistern and a feed are built directly into the boiler.
The benefits of these boilers are that they tend to be quite economical to run, less space is required as no need for a tank in the loft, and like the conventional boiler, they can feed multiple taps with hot water.
The combi, conventional and system boilers are three of the most common boiler types found in homes, although you can get oil boilers and biomass boilers.
What size boiler should I get?
Regarding the size of your boiler you wish to install, research on the specific model you are looking into purchasing and its capabilities, to then work out the size.
Here is the general kilowatt to home size criteria:
- 24-25kw – suitable for homes with 2-3 bedrooms, with 7-10 radiators
- 28-30kw – suitable for 4 bedrooms and up to 15 radiators
- 33-35kw – suitable for larger homes with up to 20 radiators
- 40kw and up – suitable for mansions with more than 20 radiators
We hope by using our guide to the right type of boiler for you, you find your perfect one!