What type of boilers are there, and which is best for me?

Boilers play a crucial role in providing heat and hot water. However, with various types of boilers available on the market, it can be challenging to determine which one is the best fit for your needs. In this easy-to-understand guide, we will explore different types of oil and gas boilers and discuss their pros and cons, helping you make an informed decision for your heating system.

different types of boilers

Regular Boilers

How do regular boilers work?

A regular boiler, also known as a traditional or conventional boiler, works by heating water through a heat exchanger using a fuel source like gas or oil. The heated water is then circulated through the central heating system, providing warmth to radiators, while also being stored in a hot water cylinder for later use. The system requires a separate cold water tank and a feed and expansion tank. Heating controls help regulate the system. 

  • Pros: Space-saving design, providing hot water on demand, efficient heating and hot water production, no need for a separate water storage tank.
  • Cons: May struggle to meet high hot water demands simultaneously, water pressure can drop when multiple taps are in use.
Regular boilers
Combi boilers

Combi Boilers

How do combi boilers work?

Combi boilers, short for combination boilers, work by providing both heating and hot water on demand from a single unit, without the need for a separate hot water cylinder or cold water tank. When hot water is needed, the combi boiler activates its burner, which heats the water directly as it passes through a heat exchanger within the unit. This allows for rapid heating and a continuous supply of hot water. Simultaneously, the combi boiler circulates water through the central heating system, providing warmth to radiators or other heat emitters.

  • Pros: Well-established technology, suitable for larger homes, compatible with existing heating systems, and can handle high hot water demands.
  • Cons: Less energy-efficient compared to other types, require a separate hot water storage tank, limited control over heating zones.

System Boilers

What are system boilers?

System boilers, also known as sealed system boilers, are a type of central heating system that provides heating and hot water using a pre-pressurized cylinder or tank. Unlike regular boilers, system boilers do not require a separate cold water tank in the loft. Instead, they incorporate the expansion vessel and pump within the unit, making them more compact and easier to install. System boilers work by heating water within the unit and then distributing it to radiators or other heat emitters for space heating. They also supply hot water to taps and showers via the pre-pressurized cylinder, ensuring a consistent and efficient flow of hot water throughout the property.

  • Pros: Suitable for larger properties with multiple bathrooms, easier installation compared to conventional systems, no need for a cold water tank in the loft.
  • Cons: Limited control over heating zones, hot water supply can be affected if the system runs out of stored hot water.
System boilers

Combination Boilers

  • Most Cost-Effective to Install
  • Not suited for Large Demand of Hot Water
  • Heat & Hot water on demand
  • Most Energy-Efficient
  • Most Compact
  • No need for a Hot Water Tank
  • No need for a Cold Water Tank
  • Not suited for large homes (2+ bathrooms)
  • Not always compatible with old pipework

System Boilers

  • Cost Effective
  • Suited for Large Demand of Hot Water
  • Hot water isn't instant
  • Energy-Efficient
  • Takes up space
  • Need for a Hot Water Tank
  • No need for a Cold Water Tank
  • Great for homes with 2+ bathrooms
  • Not always compatible with old pipework

Regular Boilers

  • Expensive Installation
  • Suited for Large Demand of Hot Water
  • Hot water isn't instant
  • Energy-Efficient if new Condensing System
  • Takes up space
  • Need for a Hot Water Tank
  • Need for a Cold Water Tank
  • Great for homes with 2+ bathrooms
  • Simple to replace an older system

What boiler do I need?

To determine the best boiler for your needs, several factors need to be considered:

  • How large is your property?
  • What’s your current heating system?
  • What’s the type and condition of your current pipework?
  • What’s the mains water pressure like?
  • What’s your budget?
Consider the pros and cons of each option to make an informed decision. For instance, if you’re extending your property and adding a bathroom, switching from a combi boiler to a system boiler may be advantageous. Alternatively, if you’re on a tight budget, a simple like-for-like swap is the most cost-effective option.
If you’re exploring oil boilers, additional factors must be considered such as:
  • Will you need planning permission for a flue or chimney?
  • Is it easy to find an oil or wood pellet supplier in your area?

Consulting with a qualified heating professional can help you assess your specific requirements and make an informed choice that meets your heating needs effectively. Get in touch with our team today for free advice.

Contact Us

Why not get in touch with us today – just fill in a few details below and let us do the rest.

Leave a Comment