Boiler Guide

  A new boiler is a significant purchase and it pays to make the right choice. Here’s our guide to what we think everyone as a minimum ought to know about the heat plant that is the primary source of heating and hot water for most UK homes…

Types of boiler

The 3 different types of boiler are: Combination, Regular  and System. Within these 3 categories boilers can also differ with regard to the fuel that they run on (e.g. oil not gas for those without mains gas) and as to whether they are Condensing and Non-Condensing.

Combination or Combi

Combi Boilers both heat the water in your Central Heating System and produce hot water on demand by heating water straight from the mains. They are better suited to homes that enjoy a decent mains pressure and families with an average demand for hot water.

One attraction of a Combi is that it can save on space as you don’t need the hot water tank, feed tank and expansion cistern that can go with the other types of boiler. This space-saving advantage is one reason why Combi Boilers are the leading choice for our customers.

  • Produces hot water as and when you need it
  • No need for a hot water tank, feed tank and expansion cistern
  • Suits properties with decent mains pressure
  • Suits families with an average demand for hot water

Regular

Unlike a Combi Boiler a Regular Boiler provides you with hot water by heating the water stored in a hot water tank (typically located in your airing cupboard) via the means of a heating coil. You then use the hot water in this tank as required.

The use of a Regular Boiler together with a hot water tank, feed tank and expansion cistern is the traditional approach to hot water provision in UK homes. It can still be a good choice and can suit families with a higher demand for hot water and properties with a lower mains pressure.

  • Larger space requirement than Combi and System Boilers
  • Hot water tank facilitates Solar Thermal
  • Suits families with a higher demand for hot water
  • Suits properties with lower mains pressure

System

Just like a Combi Boiler a System Boiler produces hot water by heating water straight from the mains. However unlike a Combi Boiler it doesn’t do this on demand. Instead hot water is stored in a hot water tank for you to use as needed in much the same way as with a Regular Boiler.

A System Boiler and hot water tank is another option for families who are thinking of a traditional hot water system and Regular Boiler. Advantages include the fact that with a System Boiler a feed tank and expansion cistern for the hot water tank are not required.

  • Less space requirement than Regular Boilers;
  • Hot water tank facilitates Solar Thermal;
  • Suits families with a higher demand for hot water;
  • Suits properties with a lower mains pressure;

Condensing

A Condensing Boiler is simply a boiler that features modern heat exchanger technology that enables it to more efficiently burn fuel to heat your home. Condensing Boilers can exhibit efficiency ratings way in excess of those exhibited by boilers with older less efficient technology. It is now a legal requirement for all new and replacement gas and oil fired boilers to be Condensing Boilers.

Efficiency

This measures how good a boiler is at turning the fuel it runs on into usable heat energy for your home. The more efficient a boiler the less fuel it needs to heat your home and the more you save on your energy bills.

When considering whether to install a boiler you should always consider its SEDBUK energy efficiency rating. This is expressed as a % or on a scale of A through G and is representative of its average annual efficiency under typical domestic conditions in the UK.

Band SEDBUK efficiency rating
Band A 90% and above
Band B 86% – 90%
Band C 82% – 86%
Band D 78% – 82%
Band E 74% – 78%
Band F 70% – 74%
Band G Less than 70%