Choosing the correct boiler for your requirements is probably slightly more difficult than it used to be. Advances in technology have provided a wide range of options, some of which are more suitable for certain types of homes than others.
The conventional boiler used in many of the nations homes works by focussing a jet of gas onto a heat exchanger. Water is passed through this and the water is heated. It is then stored until it is required, usually in a copper cylinder. The water waiting to be heated is usually stored in the loft of a home in feeder and expansion tanks.
This system does not allow heating on demand, but it is generally a reliable system. Because this system is so simple and has basic controls it is both easy to use and maintain. As maintenance costs are low, this can be a viable option for many. This system can be fitted into almost any type of home, but may not be the most efficient or cost effective for smaller properties.
Combination or Combi boilers have become the most popular boilers over recent years. Hot water is supplied through the boiler directly from the mains, meaning that there is no need for extra storage tanks, saving considerable amounts of space. This is also useful if storage space is not available in smaller properties such as bungalows or flats.
The technology used to run these heaters does mean that they are more complex and arguably more unreliable, however they are now widely used and the most popular form of new boiler installed in the United Kingdom. As these units supply both hot water and heating, it can mean that if and when they do break down it can be a major problem, as they usually supply water for baths showers and sinks.
Combi units can take up to forty seconds to start heating water and the power of the flow can be reduced if more than one tap is used. By adding a storage tank to your Combi you can improve performance, as the water is less likely to run out and this also enables you to use more than one tap at once. You may find that the flow rate of water from this type of system does not match that of a system storage tank.
A System boiler is similar to a conventional boiler but has all the important components installed within the boiler, meaning less space is required. This also means that installation costs are drastically reduced. This type of system is excellent for homes where there is more than one bathroom and many older heating systems are replaced with a system boiler set-up.
Recent legislation requires that the efficiency levels of boiler systems are much higher than what was previously requested. Luckily, many of the present day gas boilers available on the market meet the SEDBUK ‘A’ rating, the highest rating available. This ensures that almost ninety five per cent of the heat is available to be used.
Older boilers were only capable of producing in the region of fifty to sixty per cent. This efficiency unfortunately does come at a price, with some systems expensive to install, although running costs are far lower. Expect to pay in the region of £1,750 – £3,000 for a new boiler with a combi like-for-like replacement being the cheapest and back boiler replacement the most expensive, as these are no longer available it will need to be converted to a standard wall hung boiler.