Choosing Boilers

It’s vital to select the most efficient boiler you can and in a suitable size. Aim for a minimum of a five-year warranty. The boilers that work best are the room-sealed, fan assisted type that takes air from outside the building and forces out combustion products using a fan.

Gas boiler, oil or LPG boiler?

Gas boilers use natural gas, which channels into your home using an underground setup of pipes. This is the most frequently used method for heating homes. It’s also the most economical option. Heating oil is a liquid and is generally cheaper than LPG. The benefit of LPG is that you can use it as fuel for your gas fire or oven while heating oil is more restricted to the boiler only. The boiler itself is very similar but the key differences come with the charges and costs for the numerous fuels.

Combi boiler or conventional boiler?

Combi boilers function as closed systems providing hot water for both the central heating system and the taps heating the water directly from the mains. This means there’s no need for hot a water storage cylinder in the roof space. Combi’s are cheaper, easier and quicker to fit than system boilers as well as well space saving due to the lack of a cistern. Delivery of water is at mains pressure so you can enjoy a more powerful shower.

It’s a primary system, so it’s only satisfactorily deals with one heating need at time. While ideal for small families with one bathroom, larger families will experience poor flow rates when using various outlets simultaneously. The performance also relies on the diameter of the pipe entering the property, if it’s less than 22mm, then a combi is a bad choice.
Most people now buy conventional boilers as replacements for homes with an open-vented heating system. The water out of the taps will flow at a good rate and supply hot water instantly. This is the ideal setup for a power shower, which requires cold water feed from the boiler and a separate electric tank.

However, conventional boilers are more costly to set up because they require more pipework and also take up more space. If the positioning of the cistern is not proper, they can suffer from low pressure, meaning extra shower boosters may be required and hot water can run out.

Getting the right size of a boiler

Not long ago, it was common practice to oversize boilers by about thirty percent, but today people consider that as uneconomical, making it vital to identify the right size for your home. Once you know the heating requirements of each room in kilowatts, you can size your heating emitters and then you will know if the boiler you buy will be big enough to heat the whole system efficiently.


Naturally, boilers run at single flow temperature, which will be right for either the central heating or the hot water but not both. Central heating controls are evidently essential. The ever-present room thermostat with a timer is the bare minimum, enhanced with zone controls or radiator thermostats. These allow temperature and time control for each room, guaranteeing that heating of unoccupied rooms is not at the same time or to the same temperature.




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