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Types of Boiler

Types of boilersProperties require different heating requirements depending on the existing setup and demand of those that live there. If you are looking to buy a new boiler it is therefore important that you know which type of boiler will work in your home

Our handy guide below outlines the types of boilers available so you can establish which one you need to suit the requirements of your property. If you need any further assistance please get in touch.

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What is a Combi Boiler?

A combination boiler, commonly referred to as a combi boiler, is able to combine the dual functionality of heating your property and generating hot water from the one boiler unit.

Here’s an example of a central heating and hot water system layout using a combi boiler:



Combi boilers are becoming increasingly popular in homes up and down the UK for a variety of reasons, with over half of all the new domestic boilers installed in Britain every year now being combi boilers.

The combi boiler works as part of a closed hot water system and heats water as it flows past a heating component within the boiler. This water is then distributed around the property to your showers and taps using the mains water pressure. 

Combi boilers are renowned for providing hot water upon demand and the performance levels are only compromised if multiple hot water outputs are using mains water pressure at the same time i.e. running a hot bath and hot kitchen tap at the same time may affect the levels of heat and reduce water pressure.

The main things to look out for when buying a combi boiler are central heating output (which dictates how much energy the boiler can generate to keep your property warm) and hot water flowrate (which dictates the level of power at which the water can be distributed around the property). A heating engineer will be able to advise you as to the neccessary boiler specification you should be looking to invest in.

As a rough guide you can read the following articles:

Unlike regular and system boilers, no additional equipment (such as pumps or hot water cylinders) is required. This is great news if your home is not blessed with a lot of extra space as it means you can store your boiler neatly away in cupboard spacing if you need to. 

As no hot water cylinder or cold water cistern is required, the whole installation and servicing process is a lot quicker, helping to reduce maintenance costs further.

If you ware looking to buy a combi boiler you will simply need to buy a flue (to take waste gases outside of your home) and you may want to consider investing in a set of heating controls which will enable you to get your heating working how you want it to.


What is a Regular Boiler?

Regular boilers, also known as a conventional or heat only boiler, are fairly traditional in older properties across the UK and are commonly located in loft spacing as they require a little bit more space due to the use of hot water cylinders and cold water cisterns.

The regular boiler generates the heat for your central heating system directly but the hot water that is produced is stored in a hot water cylinder until it is needed. This stored supply of hot water is then drawn upon when hot water is required in the water outlets such as your kitchen and bathrooms.

A typical regular boiler system will include a boiler, heating controls, 1 hot water cylinder (often fed by a cold water storage cistern) and an expansion cistern. A heating engineer will be able to recommend the exact items you will need to replace if you are looking to upgrade your regular boiler system.

Here’s an example of a central heating and hot water system layout using a regular boiler:




What is a system boiler?

A system boiler is similar in some ways to a regular boiler in that it provides the heat for your central heating system and produces hot water that is stored in a hot water cylinder until it is needed.

It is however important to acknowledge the differences between system and regular boilers.

  1. A system boiler has been designed to make installation quicker and more streamlined largely down to the fact that many of the components required to provide efficient heating and hot water are built into the boiler itself.
  2. A feed & expansion cistern is not required with a system boiler as the hot water is pumped directly from the system boiler to the radiators and hot water cylinder. This helps to make the whole process more efficient and financially beneficial.

Check out our System Boilers

A system boiler can work as part of an open-vented and un-vented hot water setup. Example A shows a central heating and hot water system layout that utilises an open-vented hot water cylinder with a system boiler and example B shows a central heating and hot water system layout using a system boiler with a pressurised unvented hot water cylinder:




Still Confused? 

If you're still confused, it may be worth checking with a Gas Safe registered installer who will be able to specify exactly which boiler you will need. In some cases, going for a Worcester or Vaillant approved installer may increase the warranty period on your boiler. For more details, see our warranty news items below: