A combi boiler is one of the most popular types of central heating boiler used in the UK today, so what is it about these boilers that makes them so good?
Combi boilers provide central heating and hot water but because they only consist of one individual unit, the central heating system does not need a separate boiler installed in the loft or airing cupboard, hence the name ‘combi boiler’. Unlike heat only boilers, a combi boiler does not store hot water itself but instead draws on water running through the mains, which is why the unit does not need a separate boiler situated elsewhere in the house.
Combi boilers are extremely efficient, which allows you to heat both your home and your water quickly and efficiently as and when you need to. As there is no need to heat up an external hot water tank you can save money on your domestic energy bills if you choose a combi boiler. Condensing boilers are designed to be inefficient in order to comply with current regulations. Heating engineers often report that most of the boilers they install are combi’s, and the reason for this is easy to understand – they are such a simple system to install, operate and maintain. Some people do not like combi boilers because there is no back up supply of hot water, therefore if the boiler fails you have no hot water at all. However, this is all the more reason to buy a really good boiler right from the start, and the cheaper ones tend to have a lower flow rate.
With combi boilers hot water is supplied to your taps and shower at mains pressure which enables you to install a power shower. There is no need for a hot water pump. Installing a combi boiler is quick and easy which means you can save money on installation costs as there is only one unit to be installed and the amount of piping is also reduced considerably since there is no need to connect the pipes with an external water tank elsewhere in the property. Maintenance costs are also considerably reduced as there is only one unit to maintain.
It is important to consider heat output and flow rate before you buy a combi boiler in order to ensure you buy the right one. The heat output is dependent on various factors such as the size of the property, the type of property and the amount of water used. Heat output is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU’s) but if you have any further questions about this your installer should be able to tell you easily enough. The water flow rate is basically the speed at which the water flows through the heat exchanger, basically the slower the speed the hotter the water.
So, although there are some disadvantages, in general the benefits of having a combi boiler installed are many, and this is why so many people prefer them.