There’s a lot to consider when it comes to boiler replacement in the UK. It’s important to have an awareness of the types of boilers out there and what each type can provide to your home. Understanding your own energy needs is also important. For example, a larger house with multiple bathrooms or showers requires a particular boiler with a high power output.
Matching the boiler size to your home’s needs is crucial. If the boiler is not powerful enough to meet your needs it will compromise the quality of water pressure and fail to provide enough power to heat your radiators and your hot water. On the other hand, if your boiler is too big, it will waste energy which will reflect in your monthly bills.
Each type of boiler offers something different and is suited to a particular household.
Combi boilers (short for combination boiler) are the most common boiler type in the UK. This is because they are extremely efficient for multiple reasons. Firstly, they take up comparatively little space in your home. This is because they are contained to one single unit that does the job of providing heating for rooms and hot water outlets, as well as pumping it around your home. Therefore, most combi boilers can neatly fit inside a standard kitchen cupboard and some can also be wall-mounted.
They are also effective in saving energy during their operation. Rather than storing hot water within the system, combi boilers provide hot water on demand, taken straight from the mainlines. This saves energy since there is no heat loss from storing hot water in a hot water cylinder from an alternative system.
While combis might seem like an obvious choice for these reasons, they are best suited to small to medium-sized homes. Since they are so compact, they only pack enough power for homes with one bathroom. Although some manufacturers have released combis that have a considerably high kW output but do make sure to compare them with alternative types as they might come at a premium cost.
A system boiler uses a hot water cylinder to directly power your central heating and produce hot water. This is separate from the main unit. However, they are similar to combi boilers in that they also take their water supply directly from the main lines and so they will not require another tank for cold water which will save you some space.
System boilers are better suited to larger homes since they can provide enough hot water for more than one outlet simultaneously without compromising the water pressure. Smaller homes will likely not require a system boiler since their demands won’t be as high as a larger, busier household.
Regular, also known as ‘heat only’ or conventional boilers, have been around the longest from the list of boiler types. These boilers provide hot water to power your central heating and your domestic hot water outlets.
They will also require a separate hot water cylinder as well as a cold water tank to provide the water that the boiler will heat, rather than taken from the mains like in the other two examples.
The water tank feeds cold water to the main boiler unit from high up in the loft, to help keep a constant flow of water. Because of these additional units, regular boilers do take up some space. Since these boilers store their own supply of hot water, they are a good match for homes with high heating and hot water demands. However, once the hot water is used up from the cylinder, it will take some time to refill.