Here in the UK boiler is a main source to generate the heat for central heating and domestic hot water by the use of natural gas. Depending on the size, style and heat loss of property, the size of the boiler is decided by the gas safe engineer. There are mainly 3 types of heating system and boiler in the UK.
1. System Boiler
System boilers, sometimes known as closed vent boilers, are the perfect choice if you think you’ll need a heat-only boiler but don’t want lots of external components. This is because many of these external components are built into the body of the boiler, as with a system boiler.
A system boiler still has a hot water cylinder, but the feed and expansion tank (usually in the loft) is replaced by an expansion vessel in the boiler. This also typically contains the circulation pump and may house some of the valves.
Pros of system boilers
System boilers are good for large homes where hot water may be required at more than one tap at a time.
You don’t need the space for a large cold water tank in the loft, like you do with a conventional heat only boiler.
Brilliant if you live in an area with low mains water pressure.
Cons of system boilers
You still need space for a hot water cylinder
System boilers can cost more to install than a basic Combi boiler
Like conventional heat only boilers, they are not quite as efficient as Combi boilers as you will lose heat from the stored hot water in the hot water cylinder.
Once the hot water has run out from the hot water cylinder, you will need to wait for it to heat up again before you can use the hot tap.
2. Regular Boiler
Unlike a Combi gas boiler system, an open-vented heat-only gas boiler system (with a water tank) has components housed externally from the boiler, such as a circulation pump. This type of system will also usually require cold water, as well as feed and expansion tanks in the loft.
Heat-only boilers are also known as conventional boilers.
With a heat-only boiler (also known as a conventional boiler system), the hot water is stored in a hot water cylinder or hot water storage tank. You will also normally have an on/off switch – so you can heat water in the storage tank when you know you are going to need it, and leave it switched off when not in use.
Pros of heat-only boilers
Heat-only boilers are better suited to larger households where several people frequently need to use hot water. They also require space for a cold water feed tank, usually in the loft.
Cons of heat-only boilers
They don’t give you hot water on demand, so you will have to wait for the water to heat up again once the storage tank runs out of hot water. If you run a bath, for example, you may have no hot water for a while afterwards.
Because you don’t get hot water on demand, they are a bit less efficient than Combi boilers, simply because you will gradually lose heat over time from the hot water cylinder.
3. Combination Boiler
A Combi boiler, also known as a combination boiler, is a type of condensing boiler. Combi boilers are highly efficient and compact, making them ideal for smaller homes. The name Combi comes from the fact that these boilers are able to act as both a water heater and a central heating unit. Thanks to their space saving features, Combi boilers are one of the most popular choices in the UK – accounting for over half of domestic boiler installations each year.
Combi boilers work by heating water directly from the mains, so you don’t need a hot water storage cylinder or cold water tank. This is ideal for smaller properties without airing cupboard or roof space. This heating method also makes them very energy efficient and affordable to run, as water is not heated and stored (and thus wasted if it’s not used). While Combi boilers have some great advantages, there are also considerations you should make before going ahead with an installation.
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