The Energy Saving Trust claims that the average home can save more than £300 a year on their heating bills by replacing an old and inefficient boiler with a modern one that includes heating controls. Although the actual amount that you will save does depend on your annual usage, the quality of your existing boiler, and the new system you choose, having a new boiler installed offers a number of other benefits that could make it an even more beneficial purchase.
There are essentially three types of boiler: combi, system, and regular boilers. Which one you choose will depend on the layout of your home, your water flow, and the type of system setup that you want in your property.
A combination boiler, or combi boiler, is both a hot water boiler and a central heating boiler. There is no need for a water tank in the loft or a cylinder in the bathroom, because water is heated as required. This also means that there is no danger of pipework in the loft getting frozen, even during the coldest winter months. Installation of combi boilers can be cheaper because there is less pipework to install. However, combi boilers can lead to a reduction in water pressure if the hot water is run from two or more taps at a time.
The flow rate is the amount of hot water that is emitted from the hot tap in one minute. This is not only determined by the water pressure to your home, but also the ability of the boiler to heat water as quickly as you need it. Larger families, who may require hot water in several rooms of the house at once, should typically look for higher flow rates.
A system boiler combines some of the benefits of a combi boiler with those of a regular boiler. Although there is no loft tank, which means that you can still convert the loft, and making it the perfect choice for properties with no loft space, a system boiler does still require a water cylinder. The water cylinder is typically placed in the bathroom. The heating system is located in the boiler itself, but the existence of the cylinder means that you should be able to run hot water from as many taps as you like without a drop in pressure.
While combi boilers are not usually compatible with home solar systems, system boilers are. A solar hot water or central heating system can provide you with further cost savings, and it will also reduce the size of your home’s carbon footprint, but you do need to ensure that all of the components of the system are compatible.
Regular boilers require the most space and are usually only suited to those properties that already have a traditional system in place, and as a replacement for a less efficient or damaged traditional boiler. A cold water cylinder is fitted in the loft, and a hot water cylinder in the bathroom. This type of system is usually the most expensive to install because of the multiple tanks and the additional pipework that is required. However, they can provide large volumes of hot water throughout the day, according to your system settings.
An open vent boiler is a type of regular boiler that is open to atmospheric pressure. An open vent system heats everything from the radiators to the water that comes out of the taps.
An ErP rating is a relatively new efficiency rating that was introduced by the EU. Ratings range from A++ to G, with G being the least efficient system. While an old, G rated, system may be less than 70% efficient, meaning that only 70% of the energy you pay for is actually used to heat the system, an A++ system can be well over 90% efficient, so that the vast majority of energy is used. This not only reduces your energy spend every month, but it means that you have less of a negative impact on the environment.
A lot of heat and energy is wasted in heating systems, simply because of ineffective heating controls. Modern heating controls enable you to set precisely when heating comes on, exactly which rooms and which radiators need the heat, and they enable you to reduce your energy consumption by negating the need to turn multiple radiators on when you only really need heat in a single room. Automatic settings can regulate the temperature of a heating system according to the weather outside, the time of day, and more; yet another way to save money on your energy bills.
Speak to one of the Ambient Heating & Plumbing team today about your water pressure, property layout, and your heating and water requirements. We will be able to help you decide which is the best boiler solution for your home.