Which type of boiler do I need ?

Choosing the Right Boiler for Your Home:

Combi, Conventional, or System Boilers?

Are you in the market for a new boiler but unsure which type is best for your home? In the UK, there are three main types of boilers: combi boilers, conventional boilers, and system boilers. In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of each type to help you make an informed decision.

Combi Boilers

What is a Combi Boiler?

A combination or combi boiler is the most common type of boiler in the UK. It is a single unit that provides both heating and hot water on demand. Combi boilers are often the most cost-effective and energy-efficient option for residential use.

Pros of Combi Boilers:

- Hot water and heating on demand: You get hot water whenever you need it, without waiting.

- Lower risk of pipes freezing: Since there’s no need for a separate cold water tank, the risk of pipes freezing is reduced.

- Compact design: Ideal for smaller homes, as it doesn't require a cold water tank in the loft.

Cons of Combi Boilers:

- Potential for faults: With many internal parts, there’s a higher risk of faults and breakdowns.

- Best for small households: Hot water can only be used for one task at a time, making it less suitable for large households.

- Requires good mains pressure: Not suitable for homes with low water pressure.

Conventional Boilers (Heat-Only Boilers)

What is a Conventional Boiler?

A conventional or heat-only boiler includes both a cylinder and a water storage tank. This type of boiler is a great option for larger households that need to use large volumes of hot water simultaneously. Hot water is heated and stored in a cylinder, while cold water is stored in a separate tank.

Pros of Conventional Boilers:

- Ideal for larger households: Multiple occupants can use hot water at the same time.

- Suitable for low water pressure areas: Works well in homes with low water pressure.

Cons of Conventional Boilers:

- Waiting time for hot water: Once the stored hot water runs out, you need to wait for the tank to heat up again.

- Less efficient: The hot water cylinder loses heat over time, making it less efficient than combi boilers.

- Requires more space: Needs more space compared to combi boilers, due to the separate cylinder and water tank.

System Boilers

What is a System Boiler?

A system boiler works similarly to a conventional boiler but with fewer external parts. It requires a hot water cylinder but not a water tank. System boilers offer the benefits of conventional boilers with some of the practicalities of combi boilers.

Pros of System Boilers:

- Compact design: Many built-in components make it more compact than conventional boilers.

- Suitable for larger households: Can handle large volumes of hot water, making it ideal for bigger homes.

- Good for low water pressure areas: Suitable for homes with low water pressure.

Cons of System Boilers:

- Efficiency concerns: Similar to conventional boilers, system boilers are less efficient than combi boilers.

- Waiting time for hot water: Once the hot water cylinder is depleted, you need to wait for it to heat up again.

- Space requirements: Although the boiler is compact, you still need space for the hot water cylinder.


By understanding the pros and cons of combi, conventional, and system boilers, you can better assess which one meets the specific needs of your home. Whether you prioritize efficiency, space-saving, or the ability to handle large volumes of hot water, there is a boiler type suited to your requirements. Choose wisely to ensure your home stays warm and your water runs hot.

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