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Boilers explained, the 3 types of boiler you may need for your home.

What type of boiler do I need?

Published by : Richard on 29 December 2021

When it comes to buying a new boiler you want to choose one that fits your needs as it’s not a one size fits all and there are a few things that you will need to consider.

You may have already done some research of your own and found a mind boggling amount of information.  You may have come across condensing boilers and non-condensing boilers but what does this mean? Put simply it is the way the boiler is programmed to use fuel when it comes to heating your home.

As of 1st April 2005, all new gas boilers fitted in the UK had to be condensed. The change in regulation means non-condensing boilers are not allowed to be used for new installations. Condensing boilers are mandatory for new installs and must use condensed programming as standard.

This change means that you can guarantee that your boiler is energy efficient and better for the environment. Condensing boilers significantly reduce carbon emissions and could save you up to 1,220kig of carbon a year.

With that said, you will need to choose the type of boiler that fits your needs. In this article we will give you an overview of the three commonly used boilers and also take a look at the pros and cons of each.

The three boilers we will be looking at are:

  • Regular (Conventional) Boiler
  • Combi Boiler
  • System Boiler


Regular (Conventional) Boiler
A regular boiler system is often found in older homes and is fed by two tanks, which are situated in the loft. One tank stores the cold water, drawing the cold water from the mains supply. The other tank feeds the boiler system and manages any water that expands in the system after being heated known as a feed and expansion tank.

Once the boiler heats water it is then stored in a hot water cylinder until it is needed for radiators or domestic use.

In general, modern homeowners choose to replace their regular boiler with a system or combi boiler due to the higher water pressure that they deliver. It’s worth noting that some older properties may not have the pipework needed to cope with higher water pressure and will need to stick with using a regular boiler system

Advantages of a Regular boiler

  • Great for older properties as minimal changes to the pipework are needed
  • The ability to use multiple taps at once
  • It can work with a backup immersion water heater
  • Compatible with solar thermal panels which create warm water using the sun’s energy

Disadvantages of a Regular boiler

  • Space is needed for both tanks, not ideal in a smaller home or flat with no loft.
  • Heat loss from the hot water tank if not well insulated
  • You won’t have hot water in an instant so will need to be conscious of amount of hot water needed throughout the day
  • Installation from start to finish can be more complicated due to all the parts needed and the time that it will take to install


Combi Boiler
Combi can be a great choice if you are wanting to save space, they are also one of the most popular choices in the UK. They account for over half of domestic boiler installations each year.

Combi boilers are ideal for smaller properties and those that have no loft space or airing cupboard like a flat or house conversion. They work by heating water directly from the mains, so you won’t be needing a hot water storage cylinder or cold-water tank. They are also very energy efficient and affordable to run as there is no unused water being stored, so less gets wasted.

Although combi boilers have some great advantages, there are some considerations to be made before going ahead with an installation. 

Advantages of a Combi boiler

  • Ideal for small homes as they are compact and need less pipework
  • Hot water on demand so no need to wait
  • Cheaper option when it comes to installation and maintenance (less parts)
  • Consistent water pressure (mains pressure taken into account)
  • Less energy consumption and more cost effective as you only use what you need

Disadvantages of a Combi boiler

  • Can’t use multiple taps at the same time (shower and hot tap) not ideal for larger households
  • Will require a consistent good level of mains pressure
  • Not ideal if you use a power shower, check compatibility
  • If your boiler breaks down, you will have no back up hot water supply (regular boilers have an immersion)


System Bolier
A system boiler works in a similar way to a regular (conventional) boiler, the main difference being that it does not require a feed tank or expansion vessel to be kept in the loft as the technology is built into the boiler unit itself. The boiler takes its cold water supply directly from the mains, heats it up and sends it to a hot water cylinder to be stored until it is needed.

Advantages of a system boiler

  • You can use multiple taps at once without a lose in temperature or water pressure 
  • Straightforward to install compared to the other two as there are less parts and everything is contained within the boiler itself
  • No cold water tank needed, ideal for a smaller property
  • Delivers good water pressure as coming directly from the water mains (local area water pressure dependant)
  • Compatible with solar thermal systems, keeping water at a warm temperature by utilising the sun’s energy. A great way to reduce energy costs and your homes carbon emissions.

Disadvantages of a system boiler

  • Water availability is limited to the size of the tank and once it has run out you will usually need to wait for the set timer to reheat the water again
  • A system boiler needs a hot water tank so space will be needed for this so they are less compact than a combi boiler
  • As with a regular (conventional) boiler you will need to ensure that it is insulated to prevent heat loss whilst the hot water is stored in the tank

We hope that you have found this information useful.

When it comes to boiler installation we want you to use someone that you can trust, with our wealth of knowledge and specialist heating engineers you can be sure that we will assess your homes suitability as well as your needs before making any recommendations.

Get in contact now by filling in the form below and one of our team will be in touch.