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Combi and System Boilers: The Pros and Cons

Over the past couple of weeks, we have looked at whether you need to replace your boiler, and the pros and cons of condenser boilers. As the weather turns cooler, we continue on our boiler theme; this week, we turn our focus to combi boilers. Here’s what you need to know:

The Combi Boiler

Combi, or combination, boilers are a type of condenser boiler and are known for their efficiency.

The Pros: Combi boilers, like all condenser boilers, are small, which makes them an ideal choice for a small house or flat. Instead of storing hot water in a tank, a combi boiler heats water on demand, making them energy efficient, too. What’s more, provided you have good water pressure in your mains, your combi boiler will also offer great water pressure. Perhaps the biggest draw is that combi boilers are relatively cheap and easy to install, and you get hot water on demand; no running out of hot water after bath time.

The Cons: Combi boilers work great, provided that you have good water pressure at home. If you don’t get a good flow rate in your other taps, you may want to explore the other types of boiler available as a combi boiler probably isn’t the best for your home. Due to the water pressure issues, combi boilers aren’t compatible with power showers, either; what’s more, you can only run one hot tap at a time, which means that they are not a great option for large family homes.

The System Boiler

The system boiler is the multi-tasker of the boiler world, providing central heating as well as heating water for the storage cylinder.

The Pros: The System boiler is fairly simple, therefore, economical to install. Unlike a combi boiler, with a system boiler you can use multiple taps at the same time; no freezing or boiling showers if someone does the washing up while you are washing your hair! System boilers are pretty economical on space as they only need a hot water tank, not a cold one, too. And, for green homeowners, perhaps the biggest pro of the system boiler is that it can operate with a solar thermal system.

The Cons: System boilers are not as compact as their condenser counterparts and, as water is stored in a hot water tank, there is inevitable heat loss, which means that it is less efficient. You are also limited by how much hot water you can use (as much as your tank can hold!) and, in the event that you do run out of water, you will have to wait for your boiler to heat another tank, which can take a while.

As with all home investments, it is worth taking the time to consider the options available to you. Factor in usage, cost and long-term benefits; if you are in doubt, ask a trusted gas installer or plumber for advice. Want to know more? Follow Trust a Trader on Facebook or Twitter.

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