It can be a challenge to understand what boiler to choose, or indeed what boiler you already have if it was installed before you moved in.
There are quite a few different types of boiler out there so first we’re going to run through what these are and the differences between them.
We’re going to just look at 3 different types of boiler – The 3 you will most commonly find in domestic households.
- A regular boiler
- A system boiler
- A combi boiler
What is a regular boiler and how does it work?
Perhaps the most conventional type of boiler around is the regular boiler – Sometimes it’s even called that! This type of boiler is often found in older homes that haven’t yet updated their boiler or heating system to a more modern one.
A regular boiler provides heat only. This heat is then used to either heat the radiators in your home, or to heat stored water in the hot water cylinder. When you use hot water, it is delivered from the hot water cylinder to your taps.
Because the hot water is stored, you have to use energy to heat the water and keep it hot, so it is ready for when you want to use it. The stored hot water is not used to heat the radiators in a normal open vent hot water system.
A regular boiler does not have the pump or the control valves internal to the boiler. As we’ve said above, it also requires a hot water cylinder, so for these reasons a regular boiler system takes up a lot of space.
What is a system boiler and how does it work?
You tend to find the system boiler in bigger properties as it is better at meeting the heating demands of a larger household. It can cope with providing multiple hot water outlets (for example, multiple bathrooms, with water at the same time).
Both Regular and System boilers are versatile – You can fuel them in 3 different ways:
- Natural gas
The only major difference between a system boiler and a regular boiler is that the system boiler has the pump inside it (a regular boiler has the pump somewhere else) but the heating system control valve is still outside the boiler. System boilers still have a hot water cylinder, they still heat the radiators directly and provide hot water to the taps from the hot water cylinder. (As with the regular boiler the hot water cylinder is not used to provide hot water to the radiators).
Due to Regular and System boilers both using the same fuels, they are largely interchangeable. The only difference would be where the pump goes.
What is a combi boiler and how does it work?
Commonly known as a combi boiler, the combination boiler provides your home with both heating and hot water directly from a mains connection.
They are in effect a central heating boiler and a demand flow hot water heater in one. They do not need to have a hot water cylinder. This is because when a hot water tap is turned on, the boiler detects the flow of water and heats the cold water flowing through the boiler using a heat exchanger, delivering hot water to the hot taps.
When in central heating mode it heats the radiators in the same way as a regular or system boiler. For the central heating, the combi boiler heats the water based on ‘what it’s been told to do’ – either from what it’s been programmed or via a room thermostat.
Due to the combi boiler providing a water heating system and a central heating boiler system all in one, it tends to be the most common type of boiler in domestic households here in the UK market.
The combi boiler is a popular choice because it provides all your hot water and heating from one unit. No hot water tanks like the regular or system boilers we’ve just talked about.
It’s also versatile with its fuel options and can be powered by;
- Natural Gas
What are the advantages of a Combi boiler?
You’ve probably already worked out some of the obvious advantages of a combi boiler from what we’ve outlined above. There are quite a few reasons why choosing a combi boiler could be a better choice for your home.
- One Compact Unit – Combi boilers provide heating and hot water from one unit. As a system they take up less space than a regular or system boiler as they don’t require a hot water cylinder or external pumps. This means they take up less space in your home as well as requiring less pipework on installation.
- Fast and Convenient – Combi boilers can provide instantaneous heat to your radiators and hot water to your taps. They are the fastest boiler available.
- Heat Only When you Need It – Because the hot water isn’t stored, you aren’t needing to heat it all the time in order for it to be available. The boiler only heats the water when it’s detected as running.
- Ideal for Smaller Homes – Combi boilers work particularly well for smaller properties and flats or apartments. (You may have read elsewhere that larger properties with more than one bathroom could find that this boiler doesn’t perform as well with multiple hot water demands,. However combi boilers are usually sized in accordance to the demands of the property, and so one with a larger power output would be matched to cope with larger demands of heating the hot water).
- Condensing Combi Boilers – All new combi boilers are condensing boilers. It is now a legal requirement that all newly installed combi boilers are condensing boilers. This is to help improve efficiency. A condensing boiler recycles wasted exhaust fumes created during operation and re-uses this gas along with water vapour and steam back through the system. This means that some of the heat and water is retained, thus making it a more efficient boiler option. (If replacing a regular or system boiler, they also now have to be upgraded to condensing boilers).
You can find out more about the different types of boiler and which would be best for your home here.
New Boilers with Aura Heating
If you’re reading this blog because you’re in the market for a new boiler then head over to our website where you can get a free online quote in under a minute.
Or if you’d rather talk it through with someone then give our friendly customer service team a call on 02393 850189.