Central Heating Services
Are you looking for a brand new central heating system or an upgrade to your existing one? Smart Gas Solutions offer a wealth of experience in servicing and replacing central heating systems.
Let us explain the various types of boiler systems available below.
Why should I choose a gas combi boiler?
Gas condensing combi boilers are are by far the most popular choice of boiler in the UK. They are usually recommended because for the average household, they are the most efficient way to provide hot water and heating. Comprising or only one single unit, they are very space efficient and with new technology it is now possible to save even more space with an ultra compact model. Combi boilers are also very simple to install, operate and maintain.
What is a combi boiler?
In a gas combi boiler, the word ‘combi’ is short for ‘combination’. It is called a combination boiler because it is a single unit which serves two functions – heating and hot water. One of the key attractions of a combi boiler is that no separate water heater is required. Many older homes had an immersion heater located upstairs in an airing cupboard, supplied by a header tank in the attic. When hot water was required, it was necessary to heat up the immersion heater in advance. As well as being much less efficient than a combi boiler, this system required a lot of space and was impractical.
Why are gas combi boilers more efficient?
The main reason that combi boilers are more efficient is that water is only heated when you need it. They are designed to maximise the amount of energy that is directly used to heat the water, and there is no need to heat up and store more water than is required. This helps to reduce your carbon footprint and also cut down on your energy bills.
How does a combi boiler work?
A combi boiler works by taking water directly from the mains. When you turn on a hot water tap, the gas burner is ignited and a powerful system called a heat exchanger transfers the energy to the water. This system allows hot water to be generated almost instantly.
To help deliver hot water even more quickly, modern boilers also have a built in pre-heat system. This is a small reservoir of water that is always kept at a certain temperature and means that you will instantly have hot water when you turn on a tap. Most boilers will turn on the burner around once an hour to keep this reservoir hot, which is why you may notice your boiler turning on even when nobody is running a tap. It is possible to increase your boiler’s efficiency even more by turning off this function, however in most domestic environments this is not recommended.
A combination or ‘combi‘ boiler is both a high efficiency water heater and a central heating boiler in a single compact unit. Combi boilers heat water directly from the mains when you turn on a tap, so you won’t need a hot water storage cylinder or a cold water storage tank in the roof space.
Conventional boilers can also commonly be referred to as regular boilers, open vent boilers, or heat-only boilers. Whilst there are many different names for this type of gas boiler, they refer to a boiler which provides central heating and hot water through a hot water cylinder, often installed in an airing cupboard, and a cold water tank which is usually installed in the loft.
A regular boiler is the perfect choice for larger households with multiple bathrooms, as they can provide a lot of hot water all at once.
A system boiler, in contrast, features a separate cylinder for storing hot water. Although the major heating and hot water system components are built into the boiler, the hot water is stored in the cylinder. This means that a constant supply of hot water can be provided to a large number of taps and showers at the same time. This makes it the ideal choice for a home with multiple bathrooms.
What’s the difference between a system boiler and a combi boiler?
A combi or ‘combination’ boiler is responsible for providing both your heating and hot water within a single, compact unit. They are often a good choice for flats and family homes, especially where space limitations mean that it is not possible to accommodate a header tank or separate hot water cylinder.
There are, however, limitations to combi boilers. In particular, they are not well suited to homes that have a high demand for hot water as they are only designed to support one outlet at a time. Because combi boilers typically switch the burner from heating to hot water when there is demand, heating performance can also be impacted in high demand households