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Boilers, Solar PV, Thermodynamics

Combi Boiler vs Conventional Boiler: Which Is Best for My Home?

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Whether your boiler’s on the blink already, or you’re simply seeking to upgrade it, knowing the options on offer should always be your first port of call.

From conventional boilers, to combi boiler configurations, the range of systems available is truly staggering.

But which is best overall? And, ultimately, which option is right for your home?  It’s time to find out….

What is A Combi Boiler?

Put simply, a combi boiler features a high efficiency water heater, with a central heating boiler system.

Both features are integrated into one unit, to create a compact boiler that can be fitted into any space-making them ideal for smaller homes.

They are also far more cost-effective to run than conventional boilers, as water is heated with immediate effect, rather than requiring a two-stage process of heating and storage.

Additionally, hot water is delivered at the same pressure as the mains, enabling you to enjoy a hot shower, safe in the knowledge that the water temperature will remain consistent, with minimal fluctuations.

Indeed, this is often not possible with a conventional boiler; a separate pump will often be needed to achieve the same effect, all adding, inevitably, to the final price you pay.

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Generally speaking, you’ll usually find conventional boilers situated in period properties, where the high-water pressure requirements of such homes would make a combi boiler an ill-advised investment

When Would A Conventional Boiler Be A Better Option?

Although a little more expensive than the combi models, conventional boilers do have their merits, with two predominant plus points being their suitability for larger homes, and the fact that they can be easily combined with a solar hot water system to meet your requirements.

As with most products, they do, unfortunately, have their drawbacks as well. For starters, you can only use as much hot water as is available in the tank at the time. 

Needless to say, this is far from ideal-especially in the mornings when it can feel like a military operation just to get everyone up, showered, and ready to face the day. In these instances, the lack of reliability can cause concern, and make suffering a lukewarm shower pretty much par for the course.

Generally speaking, you’ll usually find conventional boilers situated in period properties, where the high-water pressure requirements of such homes would make a combi boiler an ill-advised investment.

Is A Combi Boiler A More Energy Efficient Choice Overall?

Absolutely! As water is heated instantly, rather than being stored in a cylinder, it’s fit for use right away, meaning that you get a persistently powerful shower, rather than an intermittent supply of hot water.

As they only produce hot water when needed, they don’t require the same outlay to run as a regular boiler, making for substantial savings over time.

For a one to two-person household, combi boilers prove ideal; in these situations, the demand on the boiler is far less, and this boiler type will be able to easily accommodate such needs.

Considering a loft conversion? By installing a combi boiler in your home, you can make this dream a reality, as the system doesn’t require a cold-water storage tank in your loft space to work its magic. Perfect!

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As far as boiler models are concerned, a condensing combi boiler is the greenest contender. It’s manufactured with an energy efficiency rating of 90% or more, ensuring that it meets the very latest regulations

What About Condensing Combi Boilers?  Are They Worth the Extra Expense?

Absolutely! In fact, these days, this boiler type is pretty much the rule, rather than the exception.

As far as boiler models are concerned, this one’s the greenest contender. It’s manufactured with an energy efficiency rating of 90% or more, ensuring that it meets the very latest regulations.

So, what’s the science behind their success?

Put simply, they use heat in the waste flue gas to pre-heat the chilly water going into the boiler, resulting in an impressive level of efficiency that’s unmatched by a regular boiler.

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The primary determiner of cost will, unsurprisingly, be the overall size of the system. In general, the appropriate system size will be dictated by your house type; a compact apartment will require a relatively small system, whereas a large house with multiple occupants will need a bigger boiler to meet the demand

What About Cost? Do the Prices Between Boiler Types Vary Considerably?

Determining the average cost for a boiler is no mean feat; there are a vast range of variables to consider, all of which affect the overall price you pay.

The primary determiner of cost will, unsurprisingly, be the overall size of the system. In general, the appropriate system size will be dictated by your house type; a compact apartment will require a relatively small system, whereas a large house with multiple occupants will need a bigger boiler to meet the demand.

If you’re seeking to stay in budget, then the best way to ensure you achieve this is to replace like for like. This means a regular boiler should be replaced with a regular boiler (albeit an upgraded version), and a combi boiler with the same system that’s currently in place.

Want to swap for a different system entirely? This will, unfortunately, be a far more labour-intensive job, as several pipework changes will be needed-all adding to the final price you pay. 

Although this will only set you back a few hundred pounds more than the same system replacement mentioned above, if you have a strict remit in terms of cost, a like for like substitute will be your best bet.

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If you’re seeking to stay in budget, then the best way to ensure you achieve this is to replace like for like. This means a regular boiler should be replaced with a regular boiler (albeit an upgraded version), and a combi boiler with the same system that’s currently in place

When’s the Best Time to Replace My Boiler?

If your boiler packs up (we’ve all been there!), then the answer to this question is pretty much ASAP! However, if it’s a project you’ve been mulling over for some time, then it’s definitely worth setting aside a week or two for this task-as well any other lingering home improvement projects you’re aiming to do.

Installing insulation at the same time as upgrading a boiler provides a two-fold solution; for one, you’ll have a regular source of hot water when you need it, and, moreover, you’ll also be provided with additional property protection, thanks to the insulation.

In the latter instance, choosing between the options on offer can be challenging-our advice in this instance would be to consider the long-term value proposition of each material, not just the initial outlay.

By tackling both tasks simultaneously, you will experience far less hassle and upheaval; you may need to run new pipes under the floorboards, and you can use this opportunity to apply an effective insulation product, such as spray foam, whilst you’re at it.

How Can I Get the Very Best Deal for My Boiler?

It’s simple-by using our brand new online estimator! This snazzy system will provide you with an accurate estimate in matter of minutes.

Simply select your boiler, browse the additional add ons, and you’re good to go. Once you’ve finalised your quote, a member of our team will be in touch to arrange installation at a time which suits your schedule. Sorted!

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