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Which Boiler Should I Have Installed?

Deciding on the boiler can be tough...

It can be rather difficult when it comes to either installing a heating system or replacing an existing system with a new boiler because there are so many different types of boilers available. This begs the question: what type of boiler do you require for your home? 

Because there isn't a universal solution that works for every home, the answer to the issue of what type of boiler you need isn't obvious. There is no such thing as a "best boiler" that is suitable for everyone. However, in this blog post we'll cover off some of the key areas for consideration when it comes to finding a boiler best suited to you.

Boiler Fuel Types

Generally, the first step is to figure out what kind of fuel will be used to power the boiler. You may have a current fuel source and want to switch to something different, or you may have an existing setup that you want to keep.

The vast majority of households in the UK will use one of the following fuel types for their boiler:

Gas boilers

Gas boilers are the most common type of boiler in the U.K., these use mains gas supply for their fuel. Because these require mains gas supply, they are most commonly found in cities, towns and the more built-up parts of the country. Gas boilers required someone who is Gas Safe registered to carry work on them.

Electric boilers

Electric boilers are quite common and more likely found in smaller properties, otherwise, they are too costly to run. You can find most electric boilers in places such as small flats and bungalows.

LPG & Oil boilers

The types of boiler are less common and found in areas where there isn't a gas supply, which is mainly rural areas. LPG and Oil boilers require different qualifications to work on and most engineers can't offer this is a service. However, at United Heating we cover LPG and oil boilers.

Boiler functionality

When considering a new boiler, it's important to evaluate what the boiler will be used for. Are you looking for a boiler that can heat both your home and your water, or do you just need a boiler to heat your water? This will have a significant impact on the size and type of boiler you require.

You'll need to think about how many radiators you have as well as how many bathrooms you have. Also, something to ask is whether you have baths or just showers as this has a big impact on how much water you use. You should also think about the size of your household and what your heating and water needs are in your home (i.e. will multiple people need to use hot water at the same time).

Size of the boiler

It's time to start thinking about what size boiler you'll need once the fuel source and function of the boiler have been determined. Some of the considerations we've already discussed in this post can be used to calculate the size of your boiler: the number of radiators, bathrooms, and how often they are used. 

This is a crucial factor to consider because a boiler that is undersized for your home may not be able to keep up, leaving you with insufficient heating and cold water. The last thing you want is to run out of hot water when you need it most. Having a boiler that's too big for your property size, on the other hand, can be inefficient in terms of both performance and value. Ideally, you want a happy medium where you get all the heating you need but without spending a fortune on energy bills.

Type of Boiler

Because of the advancement in boiler design in recent years, there is a range of types of boilers available to you. You'll need to decide which type best suits your property and your heating needs.

Combi Boilers

A combi boiler is one of the most obvious choices when choosing a boiler for a new installation. These boilers have a high-efficiency rating and can help you save money on your heating bills. This type of boiler boils hot water on demand as well as providing central heating, a 2-in-1 solution that eliminates the need for water or storage tanks. Combi boilers come in a variety of power levels (kW), so you should be able to locate one that is powerful enough for your home. 

One of the common misconceptions about combi boilers is that they aren't powerful enough to fill a full bath with hot water. This may have been the case in the past, but contemporary combi boilers with large capacity flow rates are now available.

In most situations, a combi boiler is a great choice of boiler. They have long been preferred as they are compact in design and are great for space-saving as they're much smaller in size and negate the need for water or storage tanks.

However, combi boilers are not for everyone, you might want to avoid a combi boiler if your hot water requirements are very high. For example, if you have a home with multiple bathrooms and will need hot water simultaneously, it is worth considering whether a central heating system with a separate hot water tank would serve your needs better. If in doubt, please don't be afraid to get in touch.

Regular Boilers

A regular boiler (sometimes referred to as conventional or heat-only) is a traditional type of boiler. For this to work, you'll need a cold water tank and a hot water storage tank. The cold water storage tank is usually found in a property's loft, whereas the hot water storage tank is normally found in the airing cupboard.

There are several advantages to having a conventional boiler:

  • Firstly, these types of boilers can work in properties with very low water pressure since they feed water from a cold water storage tank rather than from the mains. 
  • Also, if you currently have an older standard boiler and want to replace it, you can utilise the existing piping and storage tanks. This avoids the need to convert your heating system which can sometimes be a costly operation.

System Boilers

When it comes to central heating boilers, the system boiler is comparable to a standard boiler. However, it does not require a cold water tank in the loft. This is ideal if you want to preserve space in your loft or if you don't have one at all. Rather than using a cold water tank, a system boiler will draw water for the central heating system directly from the mains.

However, a hot water cylinder is still required for system boilers to store hot water which has both pros and cons. On the one hand, once the water has been heated, it can be stored for hours without having to be reheated. One disadvantage is that if the water is cold, it may take some time to heat up, so you may have to wait before using your hot tap.

A house with very low water pressure may have problems with a system boiler, but this is uncommon. These boilers, like all modern boilers, are energy-efficient and can help you save money on your energy bills each month.

Where do I go from here?

Don't worry, we don't expect you to understand everything that we've just covered off, that what we're here for. We hope you've found this blog post informative but at the end of the day, our team of heating engineers are fully qualified and happy to provide you with professional, friendly advice. 

We are based in Whitchurch, Bristol and offer our boiler installation service throughout Bath, Stockwood, Keynsham, Swindon and the surrounding areas. Please give us a call on 0117 287 2847 or 07817790025 to speak with us or send us a message using our contact form.

You're also more than welcome to use our website's online boiler estimate tool to get an instant estimate. This gives you an idea of pricing without having to get an engineer round to conduct a survey first. Check out our boiler estimate tool here.