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

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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.

  • 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.


  • operates quietly and has reliable, easily understood controls

  • huge range of sizes suit most properties


  • fuel consumption is relatively high

Combination Boiler

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


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

  • instant hot water to your taps


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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.


  • one of the cheapest heating fuels available


  • servicing costs are generally higher and deliveries must be planned



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



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


  • 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