boiler repair

Three Common Types Of Boilers

Mar-2020 / 4 min read

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Many take having a gas boiler and central heating system in their homes for granted, barely paying proper attention to its maintenance and upkeep. For most, it’s just one of those things in the house that you don’t even give a second thought to… until it breaks down. Then everyone is on Google researching about “Boiler Repairs” and “Emergency Boiler Repair” and how to keep themselves warm. 

Nothing is worse than having a broken boiler in the middle of a harsh winter season. It can send anyone scrambling for their phones searching for ‘boiler repair near me’ or ‘how to fix your boiler’ at 1 AM in the morning. You do not want to spend a cold night, shivering under the blanket, teeth-rattling, unable to sleep and at risk of catching hypothermia so it’s best you take care of your boilers instead of ending up needing emergency boiler repair. 

There are a dozen ways to guarantee that your house is warm during the winter. You can opt to have installed a gas furnace, an electric furnace, a heating cover, a fireplace and chimney, or a heat pump. However, and many would swear by this, a gas boiler is still the best way to go. 

Since boilers give off radiant heat, objects in a room warm-up faster as compared to say an electric furnace which warms the air in a room first meaning objects heat up more slowly. Many prefer gas boilers than other centralized heating systems because they provide a more balanced heat throughout the room.

Unbeknownst to most homeowners, there are multiple types of gas boilers and you shouldn’t just choose a random one for your house. Each type is best fitted for a certain manner of use and house. There are numerous factors that you have to consider as to which type of gas boiler you should get. The number of residents, number of rooms, type of house, and even the electricity and gas costs in your area will affect your decision. Gas Safety should also be a priority.

The market is already filled with different boiler brands. It is definitely for the best if you do some research and take everything into consideration before deciding on getting a specific gas boiler. After all, you do not want to end up with an unnecessarily huge and expensive gas boiler, do you? Or worse, a cheap gas boiler that will not provide adequate heating for you and your family. Take also into account that certain items in your house like wooden furniture, or even the flooring, will not fare well with the constant cold meaning your centralized heating system must be up to the task of staving off winter.

Only trust Gas Safe registered engineers with handling your boiler installation and emergency boiler repair. This will ensure your safety. A non-registered engineer with cheap fixed pricing can be tempting especially if you’re on a tight budget. However, you and your house’s safety is not guaranteed.

Here are the three most common types of gas boilers together with a short discussion on their advantages and disadvantages.

Condensing Boilers

Condensing boilers are best known for being cost-effective and energy-efficient, able to extract over 90% of the heat from the fuel that they burn. The residual heat from flue gases is not wasted as they are also used by condensing boilers. From the get-go, they may be slightly more expensive than other types of boilers available but the savings, in the long run, will pay it off.

The problem with condensing boilers though is that it will require a regular checkup of whether you have frozen pipes or not. You need to make sure that these pipes are quickly melted through proper methods (i.e. pipe insulation and NOT a propane torch). A frozen condensate pipe can result in pressure build-up and cause a major problem that will cost hundreds of pounds to fix your boiler.

Pros of Condensing Boilers: 

  • Energy Efficient
  • Cost-Effective
  • Compact Design

Cons of Condensing Boilers: 

  • Frozen Pipes
  • Expensive Costs To Fix Your Boiler

Combination Boilers

Combination boilers are a type of condensing boiler but are smaller, making it ideal for smaller properties. Combination boilers also act not only as a centralized heating system but also as a water heater. There are numerous factors that became the reason why combination boilers have become the most popular type of boiler used, accounting for almost half of the UK like the need to downsize, easier and cheap to install, and the small amount of space needed.

Combination boilers also save a lot of resources as it only heats up water once you need it avoiding the circumstance of wasting energy on heating up water just for storage only for it not to get used. With combination boilers, you will also have hot water on demand eradicating those awful cold showers.

Pros of Combination Boilers: 

  • Small and could fit anywhere
  • Hot water on demand
  • Energy-effective
  • Cost-Efficient
  • Great water pressure
  • Easy and Cheap to Install

Cons of Combination Boilers: 

  • Requires Good Water Pressure
  • Incompatible With Some Showers
  • Can’t Accommodate More Than One Shower Every Time
  • No Water Storage

System Boilers

A system boiler is a heat-only gas boiler that has additional features inside the boiler itself like an expansion vessel and a pressure release valve. This will also need a hot water storage tank which will take up space. However, it doesn’t need a cold water storage tank so it’s still more compact than regular boilers. Because of the small hot water storage tank, once all the hot water has been used up, you need to wait for the boiler to heat the water again which takes a considerable amount of time.

Pros of System Boilers: 

  • Easy to Install
  • Can Accommodate Multiple Taps Being Used
  • Requires Less Space Than Regular Boilers
  • Compatible With Solar Thermal Systems

Cons of System Boilers: 

  • Will Need A Hot Water Storage Tank
  • Requires A Lot Of Space
  • When turned on, it heats water and stores it in the tank. Over time, the heat is lost resulting in a waste of energy
  • Limited Hot Water Storage

Given this knowledge, you can now determine which type of boiler you will need for your home. For example, a household with only one to three residents would really only need a combination boiler. It really depends on your needs and use. You can always talk to a gas safe registered engineer first before you choose to buy a gas boiler. It’s important that it fits your requirements perfectly.

Don’t make the mistake of buying from cheap boiler brands whose products can be quite flimsy. Boiler repair costs can quickly offset or even exceed the amount of savings you get. The hassle of calling for an emergency boiler repair should also be taken into account.

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