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What Are The Main Types Of Boilers For Homes?

Selecting an efficient and cost-effective heating solution for your home can be daunting – but a boiler may provide the ideal solution to your problems. Boilers come in various models with unique features and benefits that may help you find one best suited to you. But how do you select the right one?

In this blog post, we’ll discover the main types of boilers currently available in homes today, and give our expert insight on what situations they’re best for. These options include combination (combi) boilers, conventional systems, condensing models and system designs – so you are better informed before making an important household decision.

Types of boiler heating systems and their uses

Home heating systems boast a variety of boilers designed to suit different needs and requirements, each uniquely tailored for optimal operation. Below is an outline of six of these different boilers and their respective uses.

Regular boiler (conventional or heat-only boiler)

Regular boilers are perfect for homes with a traditional heating and hot water system already installed. They require a cold water storage tank and a hot water tank. For instance, a regular boiler would be ideal for homes that have old radiator systems that can’t handle the high pressure of system or combi boilers.

System boiler

System boilers are ideal for larger households where multiple people will require hot water at once. While they require a storage cylinder to store hot water, most of the components of the heating and hot water system are already built into the boiler itself, making installation simpler and quicker.

Combi boiler (combination boiler)

These units provide both heating and hot water directly from one boiler, hence the name combination or “combi” boiler. This type of gas boiler operates by combustion (burning fuel). Combination boilers offer both an efficient and hassle-free option most suitable to smaller to mid-sized households, as there’s no need for an external water tank. 

As soon as you turn on your hot tap – for instance – the boiler will heat the water instantly for instant access to hot water.

Biomass boilers

Biomass boilers offer an eco-friendly alternative to conventional boilers. Using sustainable fuel sources like wood pellets, chips or logs as energy sources for combustion, they rely on renewable and sustainable sources to provide heat. 

Electric boilers

Electric boilers are highly efficient and take up very little space. Therefore they are one of the popular types of boilers for homes on the smaller side without access to a main gas supply or have restrictions for gas boilers (i.e., listed buildings or single-room apartments). They heat water on demand and are a great option for small to medium homes or apartments.

Remember, the type of boiler you require in your home depends heavily on its specific needs and circumstances, including the size of your property and your water usage. Always speak to a professional, like the experts here at Plumb-Tech, to get the best guidance on your purchase. 

Pros and cons of each type of boiler

To make your decision process a little easier, here are some of the unique benefits and drawbacks of each boiler type. 

Regular boiler (conventional or heat-only boiler)

  • Pros: Ideal for homes with an existing traditional heating system as it can handle low-pressure systems.
  • Cons: Requires a cold water storage tank and a hot water tank, making it less efficient space-wise. 

System boiler

  • Pros: Ideal for larger households; a quick and easy installation process due to built-in system components.
  • Cons: Requires a storage cylinder which can take up space, not as instant with hot water delivery as combi boilers.

Combi boiler (combination boiler)

  • Pros: Highly efficient, space-saving (no need for a separate water tank), and provides hot water on demand.
  • Cons: These types of boilers aren’t ideal for large households where hot water may be needed simultaneously at multiple points.

Biomass boilers

  • Pros: Eco-friendly, utilizes renewable energy sources, and can help reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Cons: Requires storage for potentially bulky fuel types (wood chips, pellets), and it also requires more maintenance than gas or electric boilers.

Electric boilers

  • Pros: Highly efficient, compact size, ideal for properties with gas restrictions or no access to gas supply.
  • Cons: Less suitable for larger households, especially where electricity costs may be higher than gas.

What size boiler is right for your home?

When it comes to boiler size, it’s essential to match the heating and hot water abilities of the boiler to the size of your household and your usage needs.

Small homes or apartments (1-2 bedrooms): If you live in a small apartment or a house with 1 to 2 bedrooms, a combi or electric boiler could be an ideal match due to their compact size and efficient heating capabilities. Typically, a boiler with a heat output of around 24-27kW should be sufficient.

Medium-sized homes (3-4 bedrooms): For medium-sized homes of three to four bedrooms and one or two bathrooms, system boilers would likely suffice as they can simultaneously meet multiple sources’ demand for hot water. An output of around 28-34kW should be adequate.

Large homes (5+ bedrooms): For larger homes with five or more bedrooms and multiple bathrooms, you may need a regular or system boiler due to their ability to provide constant hot water to several outlets at the same time. A boiler with a heat output of 35-42kW or more should meet your needs.

Be mindful that when choosing between the different types of boilers, your system must meet your unique heating and hot water needs, not simply that of your property size. 

For example – larger homes with fewer occupants may require smaller boiler sizes compared to smaller homes with multiple residents who all share hot water needs simultaneously. For sizing and pricing the perfect boiler for your home, always seek professional advice.

Need help choosing a boiler system? Contact Plumb-Tech. 

There are several types of boilers to choose from, each providing unique advantages and drawbacks. Before settling on one, consider the size of the unit, the number of people in your home, and your hot water heating needs. Also, be sure to consult a professional to help you achieve optimal efficiency and performance.

Our team of expert professionals at Plumb-Tech is here to provide guidance to help you make an informed choice for your household – contact us now and schedule a consultation so we can help find you the ideal system for your home!

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