There are many different types of boiler and choosing between them can be confusing.
But operating across Greater Manchester, Cheshire and the broader North West, we know how important it is to return to a nice warm home at the end of a particularly chilly day.
About this boiler guide
We’ve produced this brief guide to help you choose the right boiler for your home. It starts with some important information about the main types of boiler that you will choose from before posing a series of questions that will help you decide on the most appropriate unit.
If your boiler needs replacing, this guide should help you make the right decision for you and your family.
Condensing boilers are by far the most common in UK homes. Using up to 90% of their heat, condensing boilers are for more efficient than old gas boilers.
In fact, if you replaced an old G-rated non-condensing boiler with a brand new condensing one, you could save more than £300 on your heating bills every year.
Today, most boilers available for sale are condensing boiler, but there are some different types, including combi boilers and system boilers – so we’ve covered these in more detail below.
Combi boilers are the most common type of condensing boiler. Mainly suitable for small homes and flats, these boilers combine water heating and central heating in a single unit, making them more efficient an easier to install.
With a combi boiler, your water gets heated as soon as you turn on the tap, so there’s no need for hot or cold water storage. There can be drawbacks to combi units, but they are highly efficient and can supply great water pressure.
Advantages of a combi boiler:
- No hot or cold water tanks taking up space
- Highly efficient
- Easy to install
A system boiler is another kind of condensing boiler, but one that needs a cylinder to store hot water. This means that you’ll have to allocate some space in your house for a small tank, but it also means you get more reliable hot water.
These boilers are also compatible with solar water heating installations and, unlike conventional boilers, there’s no need for a big cold water tank – which is good if you’ve got your eye on a loft conversion.
Advantages of system boilers
- Great for homes with more than one bathroom
- Hot water from multiple taps at once
- Compatible with solar water heaters
- No need for a loft tank
Also known as regular boilers, traditional boilers or heat only boilers, conventional boilers are suitable for homes that already have a traditional heating and hot water system linked to a separate hot water cylinder. These boilers also need cold water storage in the loft.
If your property has an older radiator system then it may be easier and cheaper to replace the boiler with an updated conventional system. This way you won’t put too much pressure on the system.
Advantages of conventional boilers
- Good for homes where lots of hot water is used at the same time
- Good in areas with low water pressure
- Compatible with solar water heating systems
Oil and LPG boilers
Using an oil or LPG boiler is only for homes that aren’t connected to the gas mains. In terms of construction, there’s no real difference between oil or LPG boilers and combi, system or conventional units. The main point of difference is that they use different fuels.
With oil, LPG and other liquid fuels, the fuel is typically delivered to your home on a tanker. This can cause some logistical headaches and it’s usually a little more expensive, but it’s the only option for some homes.
Advantages of oil and LPG boilers
- Essential for homes that aren’t connected to the gas mains
- Reliable source of fuel
What boiler is right for me?
Here’s some basic questions that will help you choose the right type of boiler for your home.
Are you connected to the gas mains?
How many people live at home?
How many bathrooms do you have? How many people want to use hot water at the same time? Answering these questions will help you determine the right type and size of boiler.
If you have a big home and a large family, a conventional or system boiler might be more appropriate to meet your hot water needs. If you’ve only got a small house or a flat where there’s not as much demand on the water pressure, a combi boiler will be fine.
If you do get a conventional or system boiler, you need to make sure it’s the right size. Too small and you won’t get enough hot water. Too big, on the other hand, and you might find that your bills and emissions rise unnecessarily.
Have you got a loft or airing cupboard?
Some boilers like conventional boilers and system boilers need more space for storing hot and cold water.
System boilers take up less room, so if you have a big family but limited space for hot and cold water tanks, then this is probably the best choice for you.
System boilers are also great if you want to convert your loft into another room, just make sure you’ve got an airing cupboard or another suitable space for the hot water unit.
How many radiators do you have in your home?
This will help determine what kind of power needs to go into your boiler. The higher the kilowattage – the better your boiler flow rate will be.
Don’t worry about working this out yourself though, a trustworthy boiler engineer will be able to offer the best advice.
Still not sure what type of boiler to choose? A member of our team will be able to help. Call: 0161 667 1490.