July 2, 2021

Boiler Types: An In-Depth Guide

“What is the ideal boiler type for my home?” is a common enquiry we get here at Elite Group. There are a variety of boiler types available, and the best one for your house will be determined by your energy source, home size, and heating and water needs.

We’ll go through the distinctions between the various boiler kinds, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each. It will tell you which boiler is the most cost-effective, energy-efficient, and ecologically friendly for your house, so you can make an educated decision.


Condensation Boiler

A condensing boiler isn’t always an individual kind of boiler. Since 2005, every boiler installed in the United Kingdom must be condensing. This is because it helps to increase energy efficiency while also reducing your carbon impact and electricity costs. Condensing boilers are the most energy efficient, and they play an essential part in building environmentally friendly houses.

Positives of a Condensing Boiler

Condensing boilers are 90 percent more efficient than earlier types previously installed in UK households in terms of energy and cost. Aside from being healthier for the environment, the advantages for your house include a more efficient source of heating. They are usually more costly, but the money saved on bills over time should more than make up for it in the long term.

Condensing boilers are excellent for smaller houses since they do not need the installation of a water storage tank. There are several small designs available when it comes to the size of the boiler itself, limiting the amount of room they will physically take up.

Negatives of Condensing Boilers

Frozen pipes: These boiler types need a condensate pipe to go to an outside part of your house, and the cold weather may damage this pipe throughout the winter. If the condensate pipe freezes, it may prevent the boiler from functioning; however, running warm water over it helps to thaw it out and is typically sufficient to resolve the problem.

High maintenance costs: Because of the engineering that goes into a condensing boiler, it has a lot of complicated components. Because of this, they may be more expensive to fix when it comes to providing upkeep. To prevent any issues, it is essential to get the boiler serviced once a year by a Gas Safe certified expert.


Combi Boilers

Combi boilers are one of the most common kind of boiler types installed in the United Kingdom. This is due to the fact that they eliminate the need for water tanks or cylinders in the house while still guaranteeing that you have hot water and heat whenever you need it. Combi boilers may be either gas or electric, depending on your home’s existing setup. They are also said to be highly energy efficient, which means that not only do you save room by not having to build a tank, but your power costs are also reduced, saving you money.

Positives of a Combi Boiler

Combi boilers are typically smaller in size than other boiler types. They also don’t need storage tanks, so individuals who live in apartments and small houses will be able to benefit from a fantastic heating system without sacrificing too much room.

Cost and energy efficiency: Combi boilers guarantee that you only heat the water you need, using much less energy and keeping your energy costs low throughout the year.

Strong water pressure: Having a high-efficiency boiler is useless if the water pressure at the faucets is inadequate. Fortunately, as long as the mains pressure is enough, combi boilers should provide just that.

Short installation times: A new boiler should be installed as soon as feasible, and a combi boiler is fast and simple to install. They are simple to fix when it comes to repairs and upkeep, keeping expenses low and manageable.

Combi boilers offer continuous hot water anytime it is required, eliminating the need to wait for the water in a tank to heat up.

Negatives of a Combi Boiler

Shower compatibility: If you have a power shower, it is unlikely that it will operate with a combi boiler.

The pressure of the water is governed by the mains.

Problems with the mains supply: Before installing a combi boiler, ensure sure the mains supply has a high flow rate to get the most out of the system. If this is not the case, another solution may be preferable.

If you have more than one bathroom, a combi boiler will not allow both get hot water if a shower/bath/tap is being used at the same time. This is inconvenient if more than one person need hot water.


System Boilers

A water cylinder (located in an airing closet) but no water tank are included with system boilers, which are also known as sealed systems. They are one of the best boiler types for houses with several bathrooms since they offer a continuous supply of hot water. System boilers are also a suitable choice for houses without a loft or for converting a portion of the house that already has a heating system. They may also be utilised in combination with solar water heating systems for the really ecologically concerned, while also offering excellent energy efficiency.

Positives of a System Boiler

Easy to install: Unlike some other kinds, system boilers come pre-installed with many of the components required to get the heating system up and running, making the installation procedure a breeze.

Use several sources of water: If you live on a big property and need to operate multiple baths, showers, or taps at the same time, the storage tank will not create any problems.

System boilers are compatible with solar thermal panels: Households using solar thermal systems will discover that system boilers are compatible. This is an additional method to minimise your carbon footprint and energy costs.

Negatives of a System Boiler

Because a system boiler requires a hot water storage tank to function, it is not appropriate for smaller houses that lack the necessary space.

Heat loss: As hot water sits in the storage tank for extended periods of time, the temperature drops. Although this comes at an additional cost, it should be insulated to prolong the duration the water keeps the heat.

Limited hot water: How much water is accessible at any one moment is determined by the size of the water tank you have placed. When it runs out, you must reheat the water from the beginning before using it again.


Conventional Boilers

Depending on who supplies them, conventional boilers are also known as regular, normal, heat only, or open vent boilers. They have a water cylinder as well as a water storage tank. These are typically found in bigger homes with several bathrooms or for families that need a continuous supply of hot water. Regular boiler types operate best in older homes that already have traditional heating systems. This simplifies installation, and any necessary modifications are usually minor. They operate well with solar heating systems in terms of energy efficiency, lowering costs and reducing carbon emissions.

Positives of a Conventional Boiler

Multi-use: Because the water originates from the same cylinder, several showers, baths, and taps may be used at the same time without altering the water temperature or pressure.

Great replacement system: Installing a standard boiler in lieu of an older system typically requires very little piping, making it a reasonably painless operation to complete.

Works with immersion heaters: An electrical immersion heater may be installed in the water cylinder as a backup in case the boiler fails suddenly.

Negatives of Using a Conventional Boiler

Smaller houses don’t usually have a conventional boiler since it requires both a loft and an airing cupboard to keep it.

Water temperature loss: Hot water can only be kept at a particular temperature for a certain length of time before it begins to cool and has to be replaced.

Heating times: Before you can use hot water, you must first wait for a conventional boiler to heat the tank. This entails limiting how much you use.

It has to be reheated the day before.

Installation issues: Companies often take longer to install a conventional boiler since there is more piping and different components to be installed.


Gas Boilers

Given that gas is used in over 23 million homes in the UK, it’s no wonder that it’s also one of the most used boiler types for their homes. Gas boilers relate to the fuel used to produce heating rather than a specific kind of boiler, which is why gas boilers may be placed in conventional, combi, and system boilers.

Positives of a Gas Boiler

Lower operating costs: When compared to electric boilers, gas boilers are up to 3-4 times cheaper to operate per kWh. As a result, you get more bang for your buck since they are more cost effective.

Environmentally friendly: While gas is still polluting the environment, it is the cleanest fossil fuel for residential heating. In comparison to oil, it emits less than half the CO2 and a third less than coal.

Negatives of a Gas Boiler

Gas connection: You cannot install a gas boiler unless you are already connected to the gas grid. Because connecting your house to the gas grid isn’t free, it’s an additional cost to consider.


Electric Boilers

Although gas boilers are the most common in the UK, electric boilers are installed in millions of houses. They’re the obvious option for properties that aren’t linked to the gas grid, and they’re one of the best boiler types for smaller houses. The water that goes through an electric boiler is warmed by the heating element before being delivered to the tap in use. They are considered to be less wasteful than gas boilers since they decrease the quantity of heat wasted throughout the operation.

Positives of an Electric Boiler

Electric boilers do not lose heat as gas boilers do, and they operate at almost full efficiency virtually all of the time. This implies that the quantity of heat in the water is maximised for a longer length of time.

Installation is simple: An electrical boiler’s technological make-up is not excessively complicated. This makes them less expensive and simpler to install, as well as taking up less space. They’re also safer than gas boilers since they don’t produce as much carbon monoxide.

Negatives of an Electric Boiler

Operating costs: Adding an electric heater to your home can substantially increase your energy expenses. Because gas is less expensive than electricity, you should consider if it is worth it to pay to join the gas grid or to remain on the grid.

Better for smaller houses: Those who live in bigger homes are unlikely to get the full advantages of an electric boiler. If you have a big family, you will need a lot of water, and an electric boiler will be unable to keep up with the demands.


Which of these boiler types is best for my home?

Every house is unique, as are the people who live in it. That means you have certain needs, and you need a boiler that can fulfil them without letting you down. Anyone who lives in a smaller home with a single bathroom should, in most instances, install a combi boiler. Larger homes with several bathrooms, on the other hand, benefit from both system and conventional boilers.

Have you given it any thought? It’s possible that a clog or buildup is causing your central heating system or boiler to be less effective than it should be. If that’s the case, we can assist you.

Our multi-skilled experts can also install boilers, so if your old one has failed or you’ve chosen to replace it, give us a call. Vaillant, Worcester, Bosch, Potterton, Baxi, Alpha boilers, Vokera, and a variety of other boiler brands are all known to us. We’ll install your new boiler with little disruption and at a cost that’s affordable.

Get in contact with our staff now or request a callback to get an experts perspective. You may even be eligible for a free boiler upgrade via the government funded ECO3 Scheme.