If you’re looking for a new boiler, you may wonder what are the different options available and more importantly which are most suitable for your needs. This guide to buying a new gas boiler is intended to help you navigate the sea of options so you get the most from your purchase.

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The different types of central heating systems available on the market

Type, size and make are all aspects to consider when buying a new boiler, and your choice will impact how efficient your heating system works. Selecting the right boiler for the job will save you money year on year, so it’s important to know how they work.

There are three main types of gas boiler to consider, they are:

  • Combi (combination)
  • Conventional
  • System

We will go through the differences between these three boiler types. By the end of this article you’ll have a good understanding of their differences, helping you find the most suitable new boiler system for your home.

Combi boilers

Combi boilers are the most popular type of boiler in the UK; they make up over half of all new boilers being fitted. They were designed to save space in homes, operating as a highly efficient water boiler and a central heating boiler. As an all in one boiler solution the combi boiler removed the need for a separate hot water cylinder, saving space in homes.

Reasons to get a new combi boiler

  • Water is heated straight from the mains, so you get hot water on demand. Combi boilers also deliver the water at mains pressure, removing the need for a separate pump or power shower.
  • There is no tank in the roof, cutting the costs involved with installation such as materials and cost.
  • Saves space because there is no need for a hot water cylinder or pump.

Downsides to a combi boiler

There are a few considerations to make when buying a combi boiler:

  • The level of water pressure in your house is dictated by the strength of your mains water pressure. When multiple taps are on around the house, the pressure may go down.
  • As the water is heated on demand it may take a few seconds to heat up, resulting in waste water.

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Conventional boilers

Conventional boilers are generally found in older properties. They are the perfect new boiler for homes where there is a high demand for hot water or in buildings where there are a large number of bathrooms. While offering an effective solution, the hot water cylinder and a cold-water tank that might cause a problem for small homes.

Reasons to choose a conventional boiler:

  • Conventional boilers are able to send hot water to multiple rooms in a property without weakening water pressure.
  • An immersion heater can be added to the water cylinder. This means if your boiler breaks down, you still have a hot water backup.

Downsides to a conventional boiler:

  • You may not get instant hot water because, unlike the combi boiler, water isn’t instantly heated. Instead you’ll need to program your thermostat to preheat the water beforehand. This can be a problem if you use a lot of hot water because you may run out before the tank is refilled.
  • Space is also an issue for conventional boilers. Smaller home owners may find that there isn’t enough space in their loft for the hot water cylinder and cold water tank.

System boilers

A system boiler works on the same principles as a combi boiler, heating water directly from the mains. Where they differ is that the system boiler also has a storage cylinder making it an ideal new boiler choice for households that use high volumes of hot water.

Advantages of installing a system boiler

  • System boilers are the ideal choice for households where a lot of hot water is consumed, take for example a B&B or large family house. The stored water in the tank means multiple taps can be used without a drop in pressure
  • As system boilers are compact, installation is often quicker and easier to perform than other boiler types. The all-in-one design of the boiler makes it a popular choice for homeowners that have space issues

Downsides to a system boiler

  • Although compact, system boilers take up more space than a traditional boiler. This is because there is a hot water tank included in the unit. Overall, you won’t need a cold water feed tank or cylinder in your roof, which is a key benefit of the system boiler.
  • Tank size can be an issue so ensure the tank size you specify is correct for your needs. Retrofitting a replacement tank would be an expensive mistake.

Final thoughts

As with most things, there are always pros and cons with a new boiler purchase. If in doubt why not contact a local Gas Safe engineer who will be able to advise you on which boiler type is most suitable for your property. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience that could help you prevent making the wrong purchase.

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