Do you want to know if you should choose a boiler or combi boiler for the home you live in? You might also be curious about how they compare.
You should be confident in your choice of any boiler. This is a big decision.
We’ll answer the following questions in this guide:
What a combi boiler is?
What is a system boiler and how does it work?
Comparison of combi and system boilers?
Compare the two types of boilers?
How do you know which boiler type is best for your home?
What is a combi boiler?
Combination or combi boilers are the most popular type of domestic boilers in UK homes.
These units are usually wall-hung and draw cold water directly from a mains water supply.
This allows them to supply hot water on demand as well as central heating water from one unit.
Because of their compact, lightweight design and ability not to require a tank, they are ideal for small spaces
The modern combi boilers are extremely efficient and A-rated. This means you can save money on heating costs and reduce carbon emissions by swapping your older G-rated model.
These qualities, when combined, make them very easy to use, install, and maintain, which is why they are so popular.
What is a system boiler?
System boilers work differently from combi boilers because they are used in conjunction with a hot-water storage cylinder?
The main boiler heats water and then feeds it to the hot water storage tank cylinder. It is kept warm and stored there. This allows them to supply hot water to multiple taps or showers. A combi boiler might not be able to keep enough water pressure.
What is the difference between a system boiler and a regular boiler?
While both are considered “heat-only” boilers they are not system boilers. A system boiler is an upgrade to a regular boiler.
System boilers have more components internalized within the boiler unit. This includes an internal pump. It is possible to save space and speed up installation by not requiring a cold water tank in a loft.
System boilers are preferred over regular boilers. However, there are some situations when they cannot be installed.
The pros and cons of Combi Boilers
Modern A-rated combi boilers achieve efficiency ratings of 91%+. This means that you will not only save money on heating but also emit less carbon than older boilers.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, you can save approximately £580 per year by trading in your old boiler for a newer boiler.
Combi boilers are unlike other types of boilers. They have all internal parts in a single wall-hung unit and don’t require a tank. They don’t take up much space making them great for smaller properties, such as flats or bungalows.
A few combi boilers can also fit in a standard-sized kitchen cupboard. This makes them easier to conceal.
Hot water available on demand
Combi boilers heat hot water from the mains. It offers maximum convenience when the tap is turned on.
Boilers that need a tank are not always able to do so because the water supply is limited. Once you’ve used up all of the water in the tank, you might have to wait until it can refill or reheat.
Delivery of high-pressure water
Combi boilers draw water from the mains. This ensures that the water pressure is constant and usually stronger than other boiler types. Regular boilers can also be used, but this will depend on your local water pressure.
May have difficulty with hot water requirements
Combi boilers heat water as it is needed and don’t store water. It may not be able to maintain water pressure if there are two showers.
Slower flow rates
The water is heated upon demand so you might have to wait for it to heat up before it can be delivered to your outlet. When you turn on the hot tap, it will automatically turn on.
It takes only a few seconds. However, you won’t experience the same delays if you have a system boiler.
Relies on mains pressure
Combi boilers work by the pressure of water from the mains. If it is low, then the pressure in your home may be too.
Older homes and heating systems might not work together
Combi boilers draw their water pressure from mains. This can cause damage to older heating systems or pipework.
A regular boiler is recommended in these situations.
The pros and cons of system boilers
Can serve high hot water demands
System boilers can be used in conjunction with hot water storage tanks to provide hot water for multiple outlets at once.
A combi heats water as needed. It takes up less space than regular boilers
System boilers have more internalized components. They draw their water from the mains and do not need a cold water tank in a loft.
Compatible with solar
It is possible to hook up the hot water storage tank to a solar panel system, and have the water heated using the natural thermal energy from the sun.
Solar heating can help reduce heating costs and carbon emissions.
High pressure and rapid hot water flow
The system boilers are equipped with an internalized water pump that stores hot water in a storage tank. Hot water can be delivered directly to your taps and you don’t need to wait for it to heat.
Cons of system boilers
Installation requires a lot of space
The tank and system boilers must be installed in your home.
Instant hot water in a finite quantity
System boilers heat large amounts of hot water in a cylinder relatively slowly. This means that if your boiler is off for a long time, it will be waiting for the water to warm from cold. This could prove difficult for your patience.
The tank experiences constant heat loss
Hot water loses heat as soon as it is delivered to the tank. It is important to ensure that your hot water storage container is properly insulated.
Maintenance and repair are more difficult as system boilers are more complex than combi boilers. This means that it can take more time to fix and diagnose any problems.
How do you know which boiler type is best for your home?
You can see that there are no perfect boilers. The one that works best for you and your home is largely determined by the following:
- Your hot water demands
- The size of your property
- Hot water needs for the future and now
System boiler vs combi boiler summary
The most important factor in deciding whether you need a combi boiler or a system boiler for your home is your hot water demand.
Are multiple bathrooms being used simultaneously? It is recommended that you use this system…
A system boiler is the best option if you have a growing family who will likely use multiple bathrooms simultaneously.
A combi boiler is recommended for all other situations.
- There are many power options available.
- Extremely efficient
- It is easy to fix and maintain
- There are no other components that could fail.