Purchasing a new boiler is a pretty big investment and deciding which type best suits your home and lifestyle can be a confusing task. Here at DTM Heating and Plumbing Solutions we aim to take the pressure off this decision and make the process a easy one. This blog will explain the main types of system, how they work and their advantages.
I will start with one thing which i hear a lot in customers homes, condensing boilers and combination boilers are not the same thing. People often confuse their conventional condensing boiler with a combi boiler. All new modern boilers whether they are a standard conventional boiler or a combi boiler are condensing. Condensing refers to the technology used to achieve higher efficiency so you get a condensing combi boiler and a condensing conventional boiler (with hot water tank). You can generally identify a condensing boiler by a white plastic pipe joining the underneath of the boiler.
Combination Boiler Heating System
A combination boiler or more commonly referred to ‘combi’ boiler is both a high efficiency water heater and central heating boiler in a compact single unit. Combi boilers heat water direct from the mains when a tap is turned on, so there is no need for a hot water cylinder taking up space in the airing compartment or for the big cold water storage tank in the loft removing the risk of frozen pipes in the loft also freeing up valuable space if you are considering a loft conversion. This is also a very cost effective way of getting hot water in your home as the water is heated instantly when needed rather than stored in a tank .Another benefit is your hot water will now be mains pressure meaning you could get a nice powerful shower without having to purchase a separate shower pump.
Typical system boiler heating system
System boilers require a hot water cylinder, however most of the other components you would typically see in the airing compartment are built into the appliance such as the pump, motorised valve and expansion vessel. A advantage to these systems is although you keep the main cold water storage tank in the loft you do get rid of the little heating expansion tank so this is a great option in a home with little or no loft space or if you are considering a conversion. The great thing about keeping your stored hot water cylinder is you get a constant supply of hot water to any number of taps at the same time, with a combi boiler you will typically notice a reduction in flow when someone opens another tap in the home.
Typical regular boiler heating system
Regular boilers sometimes called traditional, conventional or heat only boilers are suited to homes that already have traditional heating and hot water system. These systems keep the hot water storage cylinder, big cold water storage and central heating feed and expansion tank. These systems are sometimes best for older heating systems where the system might not be able to cope with the higher water pressures used to run a combi or system boiler. They are also a good option where the water pressure is low or where there are two or more bathrooms.