Combi v Conventional Boiler: which is more efficient for your home?

cheap combi boiler heating

During winter, there is nothing better than coming home to a warm house, taking your thick coat, scarf, gloves and boots off and getting cosy on the sofa. Getting your house to a comfortable temperature over the cooler months does, however, come at a cost. During this period, the cost of heating your home makes up about 60% of your energy bills. Therefore, it is essential that you have a suitable boiler for your home – both financially and practically.

To avoid paying exorbitant energy bills, you might want to look at getting a new boiler. Both combi and conventional boilers have some great advantages, but the size of your home, plus your demand for hot water and heating, will help you to decide the best type for you. Of course, over the festive period it is also worthwhile to think about protecting your home and family with boiler cover, and so that you don’t have to pay any excessive call out fees, should anything go wrong.

Combi boiler 

Short for combination boiler, combi boilers are great space-savers, as everything they need is within the unit itself. There is no need to wait for a hot water tank or cylinder to refill with hot water before you can use it – these compact systems provide instant hot water as they are constantly on standby. This makes combi boilers more suitable and efficient for smaller properties and heating demands, as hot water can only be pumped to a limited number of outlets simultaneously.

Combi boilers can not only be installed quickly, but they are also highly efficient, meaning that they will help to reduce energy bills. All of these systems in the UK must have an efficiency rating of at least 92% to be installed, which means that only 8% of the fuel used by the boiler to generate hot water is wasted. 

If you do decide on a combi boiler, it’s worth noting that because it doesn’t have a hot water storage tank to store water for later, if it breaks down, you will be without hot water and heating.

Conventional boiler 

Conventional boilers are one of the oldest types on the market, but over the years they have advanced to become a lot more efficient. Made up of a number of different parts, these boilers need a cold water storage tank in the loft that fills with water from the mains. The water from here will travel to a hot water cylinder and heat up, so that when you need hot water it’s there. In the loft, you will also need a feed and expansion tank, which will maintain the correct water in the system. 

If you have a large family with a huge demand for heating and hot water, a conventional boiler is a more practical option. However, they do take up a lot of space in the house due to all their parts, so they might not be suitable for a smaller home. Another thing to be aware of with a conventional boiler is that you’ll have to ensure it’s well insulated. As the hot water is stored in a tank or cylinder, the longer that it is there, the more heat it’ll lose.

Ultimately, your decision will depend on what size property you have and how much heating and hot water you use.

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