Heating is responsible for 55% of what you spend annually on energy bills. That’s over half, so an efficient boiler can make a big difference. Well maintained boilers burn and use their fuel efficiently but will still lose some heat through the hot gasses that escape up the flue pipe. Here at Plumr, we understand the increasing demand of energy bills and aim to help our customers reduce their costs but increase their system efficiency.
Modern boilers are increasing in efficiency for many reasons. The main advantage is that they are all condensing boilers. Due to having a large heat exchanger, it recovers more heat and sends cooler gasses up the flue pipe, reducing the amount of heat loss. In some instances, flue gases can become so cool that the water vapour in the gas condenses, recovering even more energy and increasing efficiency.
If it is time to change your boiler, you need to start by deciding what type of boiler is right for you. Here are some things to consider:
Boiler Types Explained
You’ll need to determine the size and boiler type you need before you can consider which is the best boiler system to install. Most older gas and oil boilers have a separate hot water cylinder to store hot water instead of providing it directly from the boiler tank. If you’re looking to replace this kind of boiler, you can buy a new regular boiler and keep the hot water cylinder or buy a combi boiler that doesn’t require a cylinder.
A regular boiler is generally more efficient at producing hot water but does lose some heat from the hot water cylinder, so a combi boiler could be more efficient overall. You’ll need to consider things such as heating demands and hot water usage when choosing a boiler. Generally, larger families with a high hot water demand are better to choose a regular boiler, but smaller households with smaller demands can opt for a combi boiler.
Boiler Size Calculator
There are a number of factors to consider when determining the boiler size for your home. You’ll need to count the number of radiators, the more you have the higher your hot water demand will be. For combi boilers, use this guide as a ball – park estimate.
- Up to 10 radiators: 24–27 kW
- 10 to 15 radiators: 28–34 kW
- 15 to 20 radiators: 32–40 kW
- Up to 10 radiators: 12–15 kW
- 10 to 15 radiators: 18–24 kW
- 15 to 20 radiators: 30–40 kW
To get a definite boiler size before installation, it’s always best to book a consultation with an engineer.
So Which Boiler Should You Choose For Your Home?
A combi boiler (short for ‘combination boiler’) is both a high efficiency water heater and central heating boiler in one compact unit. Combi boilers heat water directly from the mains when you turn on a hot tap. This eliminates the need for a hot water cylinder or cold water storage tank. Combi boilers are perfect for smaller families and single person households. Due to heating water as it is needed, the system is more energy efficient and eco friendly.
Combi boilers are very space efficient due to their condensed size. If you’re looking to relocate your boiler then this might be the perfect option for you. An added advantage is that hot water is delivered at mains pressure. This means you can get a powerful shower, without the need for a separate pump. Another advantage of a combi boiler is due to the condensed system, there is less pipework involved in the installation process making it cheaper. This also reduces the risk of a boiler breakdown due to frozen or burst pipes, reducing emergency plumbing costs.
System boilers require a cylinder for hot water storage. The main heating and hot water system components are built into the boiler itself. This makes the system quicker and easier to install. System boilers are perfect for homes with little or no loft space as they don’t require a water tank in the loft. These systems are compatible with solar heating systems so provide environmental benefits as well as lower energy bills. System boilers are perfect for families. Due to the hot water stored in the cylinder, the system should easily keep up with hot water and heating demands whilst keeping costs low. It can keep up with hot water demand from different taps at one time, so is perfect for homes with more than one bathroom.
Heat only boilers
Heat only boilers (also known as regular or conventional boilers) are best installed in homes that already possess a traditional heating and hot water system, linked to a separate hot water cylinder. The system also requires a cold water storage tank, placed in the loft, to feed the hot water cylinder as well as a tank to maintain the water level of the central heating system. This system is the best option for replacing an existing boiler in a property that has an older radiator system. Older radiators may not be able to cope with high water pressure delivered by combi or system boilers. Heat only boilers are the perfect option for homes in areas where water pressure is low, due to its manageable water pressure. The storage tank also makes this the perfect system for homes with a high hot water demand (more than 2 bathrooms) and homes that use a lot of hot water at the same time.
To get professional advice on the most efficient boiler system for your home and quotes on installation prices, contact Plumr today. Our gas safe engineers are all highly trained, and pride themselves on delivering constant quality customer service.