Combi? System? or Regular?
When a boiler needs replacing, most of us would probably choose a newer model of the same type, but there are good reasons for getting your home checked by an experienced Gas Safe engineer before you make a decision.
The size of a house, the existing central heating system and hot water supply all need to be considered and even if the previous boiler seemed OK, getting a proper check and recommendation might lead to your ending up with a more efficient and cost-effective appliance.
There are three types of boiler
The combi, or combination boiler is the one most of us will be familiar with.
This is a high efficiency water heater and a central heating boiler in a single unit – hence combi – that works directly from the mains water supply to the house and therefore does not need a water cylinder for storing hot water, which is heated when you turn on the hot tap.
It has its advantages in that you only pay for the hot water and heating that you actually use and it means that in a smaller house, there is no need to use up space with a hot water cylinder or a cold water tank in the attic.
Provided that you have adequate mains water pressure there will also be no need for a separate pump for a shower.
This type of boiler is suitable for smaller houses.
If your house has multiple bathrooms and you need a constant supply of hot water to multiple taps at the same time, you may be better off with a system boiler.
You will need a hot water cylinder, but not a cold water loft tank. A system boiler is also compatible with solar water heating systems, making it an energy efficient solution that can lower your bills.
Regular boiler (sometimes known as traditional, conventional or heat only boilers) are for homes that already have a traditional heating and hot water system which is linked to a separate hot water cylinder. They also need a cold water loft tank for the hot water cylinder and another to maintain the level of the heating system.
If your home has multiple bathrooms, an older style radiator system that you can’t afford to replace, and also suffers from low water pressure, this may be the best option. The regular boiler is also compatible with solar water heating systems.
So before you replace your old boiler it is worth having your home properly surveyed.