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Choosing a Boiler – pros and cons of all the different types of boilers.


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 CHOOSING A
BOILER

Choosing the right Boiler for your Home

Choosing the right boiler depends on your property and individual needs. Some important factors to consider:

  • Position – wall hung or floor-standing models are available. The boilers distance from an outside wall or the roof will affect the type of flue you have (‘ Open ‘ or ‘ Room-sealed’ ).
  • Size of household – for example, does your boiler need to supply heating and hot water for a number of bathrooms?
  •  

  • Running costs – look for energy rating labels to compare costs.
  •  

  • Maintenance – some boilers require stringent servicing than others.
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  • Safety – all boilers require a regular service by a qualified professional. It is a legal requirement for
    gas boilers
    to be inspected by a qualified GAS SAFE engineer annually. Boilers or flues must not be altered without seeking expert advice.


Pro’s and Con’s of Boiler Options

Traditional Boiler

A cast iron heat exchanger heats the water, similar to a gas burner under a kettle.

Pros:

  • operates quietly and has reliable, easily understood controls
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  • huge range of sizes suit most properties

Cons:

  • fuel consumption is relatively high


Combination Boiler

The ‘Combi’ will provide both hot water for you central heating and your taps.

Pros:

  • ideal for a flat or small house because the lack of tanks saves space

     
  • instant hot water to your taps

Cons:

  • the internal workings are complicated and can be expensive to repair, so a maintenance contract or boiler insurance cover is advisable

     
  • not highly suitable for a large house where a number of people require hot water at the same time


Condensing Boiler

A modern gas boiler available for fully pumped systems or as a combination boiler.

Pros:

  • designed so that water returning from the heating system is used to cool the flue gases – this extracts heat which is normally lost
  • works best with radiator temperatures of about 60 ˚C (140˚F), but even at a temperature of up to 80˚C (176˚F) they are significantly more efficient than other boilers

Cons:

  • requires a fan assisted flue


Oil-Fired Boiler

Traditional, combination and condensing boilers can be oil-fired. They are generally floor-standing, though some are wall-hung models.

Pros:

  • one of the cheapest heating fuels available

Cons:

  • servicing costs are generally higher and deliveries must be planned

     

Back-Boiler

This boiler type offers gas, oil or solid fuel consumption.

 

Pros:

  • a ‘cosy’ look and feel as it includes a fire facility (solid fuel consumption)

Cons:

  • requires a natural-draught open flue

     
  • solid fuel back boilers work only when the fire is lit so an electric immersion heater is needed for hot water in summer