What type of Boiler do I need?

Every homeowner needs to ask the question ‘What type of Boiler do I need?’

Many aspects of your property have a direct impact on which boiler is right for you. Learning this helps you save money now, and in the long run as well. If your boiler has recently broken, it helps to make a decision, so that you can enjoy it in peace with a boiler that’s perfect for you.

What needs to be considered?

The amount of space available is a question that needs to come up at this point. This must be taken into account if you’re considering any of the larger options. These include the classic regular boilers, also known as conventional or open vent.

If this is the case, then you may only want to look at a combi like the Vitodens 050-W, or a storage combi like the Vitodens 111-W or system boilers. Even so, this helps you make a decision when considering the available space. Questions such as these often seem daunting at first, but they help shed light on your situation.

In this article, you’ll find everything you need for choosing your next boiler, including each type available, and what they have to offer. You came here to get an answer to ‘What type of Boiler do I need?’, so that’s exactly what we’re going to give you!

What types of boiler are there?

Bring it back to basics if you feel a little lost and take a look at some popular types of boiler available:

Open Vent Boiler

Vitodens 100-W Open Vent

Open Vent boilers (more commonly known as regular or conventional boilers) are often used as a replacement for older systems. They consist of an ‘open vent’ with a cold water storage tank and expansion tank installed in the attic.

There’ll also be a hot water cylinder to house the heated water. This keeps it ready to be used through the taps or showers. Some of these cylinders are located in airing cupboards. Open vent boilers are also known as heat only boilers.

Vitocell 300-B domestic DHW cylinder - Viessmann

The Vitocell 300-B domestic DHW cylinder from Viessmann

Open Vent boilers are often chosen for properties with multiple bathrooms, because there is hot water readily available to be easily provided across all taps and showers, saving you from any waiting around. While not exclusive to Open Vent boilers, the DHW (Domestic Hot Water) can be supplied to several outlets at once.

Why might Open Vent boilers be the right choice for me?

Open Vent boilers can be the boiler of choice for many reasons such as:

  • Your current system is already Open Vent – Installing the same type of boiler can save you from large conversion costs.
  • Pipework currently in your system is too old or fragile to cope with the pressure that comes with combi or system boilers. It may also be filled with magnetite sludge, requiring a power flush.
  • Water pressure is low – This is often made more difficult if there are multiple bathrooms with a high water demand.

Combi Boiler

Viessmann Vitodens 100-W 30kW Combi Gas Boiler

As the most popular type of boiler available in the UK, combi boilers provide an efficient supply of hot water on an ‘as-and-when’ basis. In other words, the water is only heated when you actually need it.

In order to achieve this efficiency, combi boilers have been designed to house all components in one single, compact unit. Not only does this save on space since there’s no need for a storage tank or cylinder, but it also means combi boiler installations can be simpler and at a lower cost.

The water supply for combi boilers comes directly from the mains, so when you go to your kitchen and turn on the hot water tap, a combi boiler’s gas burner gets ignited. This causes the boiler’s heat exchanger to transfer the energy directly to the water. Because of this procedure, water gets heated
almost instantly and you don’t waste any time, energy or money.

Why might a combi boiler be the right choice for me?

  • Massive energy saving benefits – minimal waste due to combi boilers operating on an ‘as-and-when’ basis
  • Small, compact unit – Because there’s no need for cold water storage tanks or hot water cylinders, you’ll save on a lot of space. This allows more room for other purposes such as storage or conversion. They can also be fitted inside most standard kitchen cupboards.
  • Lower installation cost – With fewer parts to install, the process for combi boilers often comes at a lower cost than other boiler types.
  • Safer water supply – The water for combi boilers comes directly from the mains, so it’s a much safer to consume.
  • Combi boilers are often the best choice for properties, with many being recipients of the ‘Which? Best Buy‘ award.

Examples of Combi Boilers include the Viessmann Vitodens 100-W and 050-W.

System Boilers

System boilers are sometimes considered the ‘middle-ground’ choice because they take their water supply directly from the mains (similar to combi boilers), but still require a cylinder for storing the hot water until it’s needed, much like an open vent boiler.

Because there’s no need for a cold water storage tank, installations can be quicker and come at a lower cost. System boilers are also capable of providing better hot water capacity than many combi boilers. They are often the best choice for homeowners who wish to save on space but also require the use of multiple taps or showers without suffering from a drop in water pressure.

Why might System boilers be the right choice for me?

  • Space availability – Because they don’t require cold water storage tanks or expansion vessels, any attic space can remain untouched.
  • Internal pump – This component is built into the boiler itself, which allows the boiler to respond quickly to any commands.
  • Multiple Taps – Because system boilers feature cylinders for storing hot water, they have it ready for supplying across multiple outlets simultaneously, meaning they’re ideal for families and other large households.

What to consider before buying a boiler

As we’ve mentioned previously in the post, there are several aspects to consider about your property that determines which boiler type is right for you – one of the more obvious examples being how much available space you have for your new boiler.

Make sure you also consider what’s already being used in your house. Is it an open vent boiler with a storage tank and cylinder? A system boiler in with a cylinder only or compact combi boiler in your airing cupboard or kitchen?

By choosing a boiler type similar to your current one, the installation
process can me made much easier, and may come at a lower cost because of this. The important thing to remember is that each property is different. Whether this is in terms of space, how many people are living in the property, your hot water demand, the property age, flow rate and water pressure, you need to take all these things on board when making the right decision.

B T Morgan – A professional installer

When it comes to research, B T Morgan can also provide you with the support and advice you may need when asking the question ‘What type of boiler do I need?’. Speaking to experienced professionals such as us can help you in make the right decision.

Why not have a look at our other blogs, they may help make your decision easier?

You can contact us on 02920 650 025 or email us at [email protected] for more information. If you have decided what boiler is right for you, click here to get an online quote and one of our friendly team will call you back to discuss in detail.