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What boiler do I need for my home?

Your boiler is something that you use every day, so it’s important to do your research before committing to an installation to figure out what boiler you need. With three different types of boiler available, we’ll talk you through what type of boiler is the most suitable for your heating and hot water requirements as well as figuring out what size boiler is the best fit for your home.

What are the different types of boiler?

Glow-worm offers three different types of boiler used to provide heating and hot water to domestic properties. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, understanding the differences will help you to decide what boiler you need for your home.

The three main types of boiler are:

  • Combi boilers
  • Regular boilers
  • System boilers

We’ll look at each of these below, giving you more information about how they work and what types of home heating applications they are suitable for.

Combi boilers

Combi boilers are the most common type of boiler in the UK. They provide central heating and hot water on demand, removing the need for additional hot water cylinders.

This means that they are a great space-saving option, making them a popular choice for smaller houses and home renovations that include a loft conversion. They are energy efficient and cost-effective, because you’re not paying to heat and store a tank full of hot water that you don’t need to use.

One point to consider about on-demand systems is that the boiler can only provide hot water to one location at a time. This is worth bearing in mind if you have a large house or more than one bathroom.

Combi boilers are ideal for:

  • Smaller homes
  • Homes with one bathroom
  • Homes with regular water pressure
  • Homes without much additional space
  • Homes with lower heating demands

System Boilers

System boilers use an additional storage cylinder to provide your home with central heating and a constant supply of hot water. They only require a hot water cylinder, making them more favourable for small homes while still offering a constant supply of hot water.

System boilers are more suited to homes with a low flow rate or have older-style radiators installed.

In most instances, a system boiler would be recommended over a regular boiler. The exception to this is homes with a low flow rate, where a conventional boiler would be the best option.

System boilers are ideal for:

  • Medium-to-large homes
  • Homes with multiple bathrooms
  • Homes with regular water pressure
  • Homes with some additional space
  • Homes with higher heating demands

Regular boilers

Also known as conventional, heat-only and open-vent boilers, regular boilers store hot water in a tank to provide central heating and hot water that is ready whenever you need it.

One of the most important things to bear in mind about this type of boiler is that it requires two separate tanks in addition to the boiler unit. A cold water tank (often found in the loft) and a hot water cylinder which is usually inside in an airing cupboard) that heats and stores the water for use. Whilst most water storage systems are installed in relatively low-traffic areas of the home, these additional external components mean that a regular boiler can take up significantly more space throughout the home than a combi.

However, having the feed tank in the loft means that regular boilers are suitable for homes with low water pressure or flow rate. If your home has low water pressure, a regular boiler is likely to be your best option.

Regular boilers are ideal for:

  • Large homes
  • Homes with multiple bathrooms
  • Homes with low water pressure
  • Homes with plenty of additional space
  • Homes with higher heating demands

What type of boiler do I need?

When choosing between the three different types of boiler, it is important to consider their suitability for your needs. Here are a few questions to think about.

What size boiler do I need?

When figuring out how big your boiler should be, it’s important to consider the specific requirements of your household. If the boiler is too small, you won’t be able to adequately heat your home. Too big, you’ll be using extra fuel that your home won’t use, which can be damaging to the environment.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when determining what size boiler you need:

Looking for a new boiler for your home?

If you’re still not sure what boiler you need or you’d like some advice on the different types of boiler and which one is suitable for your heating needs, contact your local Glow-worm installer. Our experienced team can advise you on the right type and size of boiler for your home, as well as installing, commissioning and servicing the heating system for you.