What Are Combi Boilers?
Simply put, a combination boiler is a compact unit that does both jobs of heating hot water from the mains and being the boiler for central heating.
Let’s have a look at the 3 types of set up you might not be aware of and then go through everything you need to know about combi boilers to make sure you have the research you need.
Types of Boiler Systems
Regular and system boiler setups require some sort of hot water storage tank which can take up extra room and needs to be considered if space is an issue. Traditional regular systems can also have cold water storage, usually in the attic, that provides water under gravity to the boiler. It would be worth knowing if you have one of these when contacting your heating company in reference to getting a new boiler.
The big difference here is that a combi provides hot water on demand. As soon as you turn your hot tap on the cold mains water travels through the combi boiler and is heated before it reaches you. This is one of the benefits of having one as there is no need for an extra storage tank and is more efficient as you only heat the water you actually need.
Why You Might Need To Change Your Boiler
From 2018 all new boilers in the UK are required to be 92% efficient. This means that only 8% of the fuel used to run the boiler is wasted in the process. This has a huge advantage of reducing carbon emissions to the environment and for you, drastically reducing your heating and hot water bills.
To give you an example:
- With a modern boiler, every £1 spent on energy = 8p wasted on the heating process (92% efficient)
- With an older non-condensing boiler, every £1 spent on energy = 45p wasted on the heating process (55% efficient)
So, even if your current boiler was 70% efficient this could save around £315 per year on energy bills. It would be wise to factor this is when thinking about the total cost of your new combi boiler system installation.
Combi Boiler Pro and Cons
- Its compact size makes it perfect for small homes/flats
- Ideal for properties with little or no attic space
- No water tank freeing up valuable space
- No waiting for hot water, heats instantly on-demand (short delay depending on how far the demand is from the boiler)
- Mains pressure feed meaning hot water is provided for a more powerful shower
- Can take longer to fill up your bath
- Hot water will flow slowly (water pressure) when more than one tap/shower running at the same time
- no access to hot water should the boiler fail
- Not ideal for a larger home or one with multiple bathrooms
Combination Boiler Summary
Combi boilers are very popular (over half UK sales) due to their compact nature, efficient running, and the potential to save significant amounts on your yearly energy bills.
Space-saving is also a big plus so consider a combi boiler if you’re planning on putting a coiler in a kitchen unit (hidden) or perhaps in an airing cupboard.
Combination Boilers can be incredibly quiet as there are no external pumps so this can also be a great benefit if the location of the boiler is an issue for you (close to a bedroom or in the living area).
The main disadvantage of installing a combi boiler would be that they struggle to produce large amounts of hot water at the same time. So if you have a large, busy household (running multiple showers/baths/taps) then perhaps select one of the larger output boilers (Worcester can provide 50kw combi boilers). This can give the best hot water output as the liters per minute increase with the bigger the KW output of the boiler. on a side note, the more powerful a boiler, the more expensive it becomes.
We hope that this has provided some background knowledge on what a combi boiler is and clears up some of the questions you may have. Please feel free to use our boiler installation quote tool which will give you an idea of how much a new combi boiler costs.
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