If you are in the market for a new boiler, it’s time to start researching your options. It’s important to consider everything available to you, because it could well be that a certain type of boiler will work out more cost effective over time according to your particular needs and circumstances. You may also be looking for an alternative solution if you do not have access to mains gas.
There are advantages and disadvantages to consider for every type of boiler, so let’s take a look at them over this two-part blog series. Here in part one we’re looking at gas condensing boilers and oil boilers.
Gas Condensing Boilers
The most common type of boiler for UK homeowners, gas condensing boilers are more energy-efficient than older mains gas boilers and use in the region of 90% of their heat.
How it works: Hot gas passes through a central chamber to heat up water. A second chamber uses the remaining heat to warm up water returning into the unit from the heating system.
The most popular condenser boiler is the combi-boiler. The hot water unit and cold water tank are housed in the same unit which means all your hot water and heating come from the same unit. For this reason installation is much easier.
Benefits: You don’t have to wait for the tank to fill so you can enjoy a constant supply of hot water to your taps. Also there’s no need to lose space with different tanks.
Disadvantages: Being a small unit, maximum pressure will only come through one tap at a time and you’ll probably struggle to get large volumes of hot water. You’ll need an annual service to keep the moving parts in check, and to ensure the boiler is operating safely, as there is always a risk with carbon monoxide.
Another type of condensing boiler is the heat-only model. These provide hot water only, with cold water being supplied from a separate source. Whilst this solution solves the issue of the water pressure and hot water supply, the separate systems take up more space and energy efficiency is reduced.
An oil boiler can provide an option if you don’t have access to mains gas.
How it works: Oil boilers work in a similar way to traditional gas boilers, simply switching the gas for oil to heat the pipes and water.
Disadvantages: There can be some logistical issues stemming from a possible difficulty in getting the oil. Maintenance can also prove tricky as you’ll need an Oftec registered engineer to inspect it.
That’s it for part one of this series of posts looking at the different boiler types. In part two we’ll be discussing the advantages and disadvantages of biomass boilers and electric boilers.