Picture of a man fixing a boiler

Local Heroes Guide to Different Boilers

Posted on 07/05/2018

If you’re thinking of upgrading your boiler the range of choices can seem a little complicated at first. Let us help you out by breaking down the main types of boilers available.

There are essentially three boiler types.

Combi

First up we have the combi boiler, short for combination, which is so called because they provide both heat and hot water.

The good thing about combi boilers is that you don’t need a water tank or cylinder, which means they take up a relatively small amount of space - no more massive water tank in the loft! They also provide unlimited heat and hot water whenever you need it.

Combi boilers don’t require water tanks or cylinders and provide unlimited hot water on demand

There are a couple of drawbacks, however. You might find that there is reduced water pressure if you’re using multiple taps with a combi boiler. And installing a combination boiler can be a little tricky.

System

Next, we have the system boiler – also known as a sealed system boiler. This is a boiler with a water cylinder, which is normally stored alongside the boiler or in an airing cupboard.

Again, there’s no need for a loft tank with a system boiler. And unlike the combi boiler you can have hot water coming from multiple taps with great pressure.

System boilers do require a water cylinder but can provide hot water to multiple taps with great water pressure

But with a system boiler the hot water isn’t always instantly available; in fact it could run out and you’d have to wait for it to reheat. You also need enough space for both your boiler and the cylinder.

Conventional

The third boiler type is the conventional, or regular, boiler. You might also hear people call this an open vent boiler.

Conventional boilers need both a water tank and cylinder, so you’ll need to have enough space for both those things. You should find water heats quickly with a conventional boiler, though again it can run out and you’ll have to wait for it to reheat.

Convention boilers require a tank and cylinder but will heat water very quickly

But if you’re in a bigger household and need to have hot water in multiple rooms at once the conventional boiler is a great choice for that purpose.

Condensing

Finally, you might see boilers described as being condensing boilers. Strictly speaking this isn’t a type of boiler, it’s actually a feature of a boiler. And in the UK all new boilers have had to be condensing since 2005.

Boilers with a condensing feature reuse heat and can save money on energy bills

These boilers are energy efficient, and work by capturing some of the heat that traditional boiler models would lose through their flue. They then reuse that heat – which can help you save money on your energy bills.