Boiler Types Explained: Which one is for me?

About Boilers

The concept of heating homes using a centrally positioned boiler has been popular for decades. Boilers are enclosed central heating systems where water is heated to desired temperatures. The heated water then circulates the building through pipes to warm up the house. There are three common types of boilers used by most homeowners and commercial properties: conventional boilers, combi boilers, and system boilers.

Choosing the best boilers for home or commercial use can be challenging. This is because there are several factors to be considered before buying or installing a new boiler. Such factors include property type, size of the property, water pressure, piping, and the number of showers. Here we outline the different boiler types, including their benefits, installation costs, and maintenance.

Conventional Boilers

What is a Conventional Boiler?

Conventional boilers, commonly known as regular or heat only boilers, are now popularly used as replacements for homes with an already existing hot water system and traditional heating. Conventional boilers function under the principle of stored water in the roof space. The stored water is then pumped into a separate hot-water cylinder. The cylinder then pumps the heated water to different areas of use within the property.

A conventional boiler can supply hot water to multiple bathrooms. Among the different types of boilers, the conventional boiler is ideal for large households. Since these boilers are suited for use in a property with an already existing traditional heating system, no changes are made on the property’s pipework. If there are any changes to be made they would be minimal.

What are the Benefits of a Conventional Boiler?

Conventional boilers work efficiently for homes with a low-pressure water supply.
They can supply hot water to multiple taps and bathrooms.
They are the cheapest boilers to install. There are only small replacement costs involved.
They are compatible with solar thermal panels which is incredibly energy-efficient.
They function well with old radiators. This is because they are best suited for homes with low-pressure water supply. Since hot water is supplied instantaneously, old radiators cannot be exposed to pressure which can often cause leaks.
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Conventional Boiler?

The cost of purchasing and installing a conventional boiler can vary depending on the size. On average, the cost of purchasing a new conventional boiler ranges between £500 to £1500. The installation cost varies depending on whether the boiler is to be installed within the same location or in a different location. The installation cost ranges from £1775 to £2150. Replacing an old heating system with a new boiler within the same location is cheaper.

How to Maintain Your Conventional Boiler?

Inspect and clean the boiler’s heat exchanger regularly.
Ensure there is a sufficient supply of clean water for the water storage cylinder.
Get a specialist in boiler installation and maintenance for regular check-ups.
Check for unusual noises from your boiler. Conventional boilers can produce some whistling or gurgling sounds when they develop some functionality problems.

Combination (Combi) Boilers

What is a Combination Boiler?

A combi boiler is a combination of a central heating boiler and a water heater; both compacted into a single unit. A combi boiler functions by heating water straight from the mains when required, eliminating the need for a cold-water storage tank or container. Water is heated instantly when a tap is turned on, rather than heating water and storing it up in a hot water cylinder.

Combi boilers are not only the easiest to install, but they are also the most cost-effective boilers and we consider them to be one of the best boilers for home use.

The mains pressure of the combi boiler delivers hot water to the showers and other taps within the property. You therefore will not require a separate pump to increase the shower’s pressure.

What are the Benefits of a Combi Boiler?

  • They are responsive to the rate of taps usage.
  • No delays in waiting for the central heating system to heat water.
  • Water is delivered at mains pressure, providing your bathrooms with powerful showers.
  • Minimal installation of pipework during boiler installation. They are easy to maintain.
  • It saves on space, as a hot water cylinder is not needed.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Combi Boiler?

There are different models of combi boilers which sell at varying costs.

A budget model ranges from £600 to £850, while a mid-range model will range from £800 to £1100. The cost of a premium model of the combi boiler ranges between £900 to £2000.

The installation cost of the combi boiler ranges between £1995 and £2650. The installation cost varies because of the installation requirements; whether the boiler is to be installed in a new location or if it’s replacing an old heating system.

How to Maintain Your Combi Boiler?

Regularly inspect pipework connected to your boiler to ensure they are fixed and clipped. All boiler types should be repaired and inspected by an expert.

Have a carbon monoxide detector to help you detect possible leaks and it’s important that you’re aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. If your combi boiler leaks, it is likely to release carbon monoxide into your home. This gas is hazardous to human health. If you notice any leakages, it is best to call an expert to check it out as soon as possible.

Get annual servicing for your combi boiler from experts.

Wash your boiler regularly to remove any debris that may accumulate over time.

Find out more about our boiler servicing options to make sure your combi boiler stays efficient.

System Boilers

What is a System Boiler?

A system boiler is a single unit structure that incorporates all the elements of a water heating system. An expansion vessel to store cold water, and the water pump, are all built into the system boiler. This type of boiler does not require a cold-water tank or a header tank. System boilers are compatible with solar thermal panels meaning you can use solar energy to heat the water. They are ideal for large homes with multiple bathrooms.

What are The Benefits of a System Boiler?

  • It saves on space as it does not require a cold-water tank or a header tank.
  • It is compatible with solar thermal panels, making it an ideal energy-efficient choice.
  • There is no need for an expansion vessel, it is inbuilt into the boiler.
  • There is a constant supply of hot water.
  • Works well for large homes with multiple showers.
  • How Much Does It Cost to Install a System Boiler?

The cost of purchasing a system boiler is similar to that of a combi boiler. The installation cost varies with different conditions. Such conditions include replacing a combi boiler with a new system boiler and replacement of a conventional boiler with a new system boiler. The cost of installing a system boiler in those two conditions can be relatively high. This ranges from £4000 to £4500.

Replacing an old system boiler with a new one is easier and cheaper. The cost of installing a system boiler in this condition is approximately £1900. It also takes less time to replace an old system boiler with a new one.

How to Maintain Your System Boiler?

Power-flush your boiler. This helps by checking the cold areas around the radiators, boosting the performance of the boiler.

Use carbon monoxide detectors. A faulty system boiler can lead to a leakage of carbon monoxide, which is harmful to your health. Read this article for more information about carbon monoxide poisoning.

Call a specialist for regular check-ups of your system boiler. Monthly or annual check-ups are necessary for the durability of your system boiler.

Clean your boiler regularly to avoid any debris from building up by speaking to one of our expert team about boiler care plans or regular boiler servicing.

You may also be interested in this article about how to check your central heating is working.