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The Different Types of Boiler

Three different types of boilers from three different brands, ideal, Worchester, and Vaillant

Given that boilers are slightly mystical to most people anyway, it’s not surprising that many are baffled by the different types of boiler available. Then add the confusion that seems to surround Condenser boilers, and the fact that, regardless of its actual configuration, by law every new combi boiler, system boiler, or conventional boiler that’s installed in the UK has to be a condensing one.

Boilers generally fall into three distinct categories; combi, system, or conventional types, all of which have their own advantages and drawbacks.  The types breakdown as:

Combi Boilers.

Regarded as the most efficient type for domestic use, combi boilers control both heating and hot water and supply both on demand.  By not having a hot-water tank, the combi boiler heats mains water instantly every time a tap is turned on, and are timed to heat boiler water as required, and there is no need for a cold-water tank either.  So, in not having that extra bulk of the tanks – and the convoluted pipework that goes with it – a combi boiler can save significant space.  But there are several other advantages too.  They are easier to install, supply hot water on demand, and are better to maintain too.  In addition, combi boilers are generally ranked highly in efficiency ratings helping to substantially reduce heating bills.

That said, they may not be a best choice in all cases, and may struggle in homes with low water pressure, or larger homes where more than one person may want a bath or shower at the same time.

System Boilers.

For houses with more than one bathroom, another different type of boiler is a system boiler could be the perfect option for keeping everyone happy. While they require a hot water storage cylinder, it’s not a water tank as such, and because many of the main components are actually built into the system, your boiler installation will be relatively quick and simple and the overall system fairly compact too. With this type of system, both the pump and the expansion vessel are inbuilt, eliminating the need for any header tanks. As there’s no need for a tank, a system boiler frees homeowners from worrying about pipe damage or leaks, while it also makes them much easier to maintain.

On the downside, if the tank is empty of hot water, you may need to wait to have a bath or shower, and the system will have to be planned out properly. 

Conventional Boilers.

Sometimes also referred to as traditional, regular, open vent or heat only boilers, these comprise both a cylinder and a water storage tank, and are not the best option if space is at a premium.  While they are able to supply large volumes of hot water to multiple bathrooms, it’s probably best to remember that this sort of unit is best suited to homes which already have traditional heating systems in place. If you are looking for a new boiler installation, your pipework may not need changing at all, but if it does, any changes are likely to be minimal.

Obviously, these types of boiler are space-intensive and hot water is reliant on what is stored in the tank, but if set on a timer, then you can be pretty much assured of a good shower or bath.

if you want to know more about the different types of boiler then please contact us via email or phone 0113 8500510

please only use a gas registered boiler installer when getting a new boiler fitted

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