Different types of Boiler Systems Explained (and the items you’ll require for your home)


If you’re thinking about either a conventional or a combi one, you must choose the best heating system for the home you live in. This article will help you understand the various options available and which one is the best fit to your needs.

There are three kinds of boilers that you can install in homes: combi boilersheat only (regular boilers) and system boilers.

The best one for you and your house is largely dependent on your needs for hot water however, it is important to think about other factors like the condition of your current heating systems as well as the tension of your mains water supply.

Do you want to keep your boiler model of choice? Do you want to switch to a different kind that is a central heating boiler? Let’s discuss it.


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Combination (Combi Boilers): What do they mean?

A combi boiler can provide both heating and hot water in one unit, usually hung on the wall.

They’re the most sought-after form of heating in the UK and are the most well-known kind of boiler replacement.

So what is the way combi boilers function?


Combi boilers use a metallic heat exchanger to quickly warm hot water upon demand. They do this by burning e.g. through burning fuels, such as petroleum or gas.

This is the main difference between combi boilers as unlike traditional boilers, they don’t require an additional hot storage tank for water.

Instead, hot water is immediately heated by one unit.

Find out more about combi boilers with our What is an combination boiler guide. Find out those that are most efficient combination boilers in the UK.

Are you curious to find out which brand of boiler has performed the best? Find out in our research on the most problematic boilers.

The pros and cons of combi boilers


If you’re in search of an efficient in energy use, a combi (combination) boiler could be the answer. They are able to serve to warm your home and also the water, which will save you the cost of heating.

Their small dimensions make them perfect for even the tiniest of homes, and because they rely on the mains for heating water, you don’t require space for a large tanks as well as an cylinder.

Another advantage is that they are able to instantly get the water hot enough so you do not need to wait for a hot, hot shower.

The cons of using combi boilers


There are some disadvantages to be aware of.

The flow rate of water is reduced when multiple outlets are in use simultaneously.

Therefore, if you’ve an extra large house with bathrooms (which could be utilized simultaneously) A combi may not be the best option for you.

In the end, the combi boiler is able to heat the water that is supplied to it by the mains. If the pressure of your mains water is low the combi boiler will not perform well.

Read more about : how often should you keep your boiler in good condition

Combi boiler’s main points:

  • The slim design is ideal for houses that have little space.
  • You do not require an cylinder for hot water storage.
  • Do not require a cold-water tank.
  • The majority of times, it is it is not suitable for homes that have multiple bathrooms or a high demand for hot water.
  • It may not be appropriate for areas suffering from water pressure issues that are low in the mains.

Are you planning to finance the installation of your brand new boiler every month? Look up the guide on financing your boiler guide for more information.

Find out more about getting a new combi boiler installed by reading our guide on the installation of a combi boiler.

The Heat only (Regular Boilers) What is it?


A traditional or heat-only boiler has three major components : the boiler itself and a separate hot-water storage cylinder, and a the cold storage tank.

The boiler provides hot water to the central heating cylinder and the storage cylinder. Therefore, it is able to supply hot water as well as heating water.

How do boilers that are heat-only function?

Regular boilers function by feeding heated water straight to central heating systems i.e. radiators, and then storing hot water in the hot water storage cylinder to be used on demand.

The cold water supply to the boiler by the cold-water tank (typically found in the attic or loft) which is then filled into the boiler using the aid of gravity.

The advantages of boilers that only heat

The boilers that use heat only can offer an increased flow rate and consequently are better suited to larger homes that have higher hot water requirements e.g. bathrooms with multiple bathrooms.

Because they don’t need water to be delivered with high pressure through the mains, they’re the ideal option in older systems of heating that might not be able to handle the high pressures of a closed system.

Additionally, they can be suitable for regions with low pressure water mains supply, which typically struggle to provide enough pressure to the water used for system and combi boilers.

Take a look at out our new boiler cost guide and the tool to calculate the size of your boiler in order to gain more understanding of our fixed cost boiler quote tool operates.

The cons of boilers that only heat

A standard boiler might not work with modern heating systems. Also, you may have to wait some time until the water reaches the correct temperature.

Keep in mind that you’ll require a space that is large enough to house the boiler’s cylinder as well as water tank. The cold-water cistern is required to be installed above that of the boiler. It can restrict where you can put the boiler as well.

Are you having difficulties in your boiler? Take a look at our boiler issues and solutions for fast troubleshooting tips.

The boiler is the only heating source. Key factors:

  • Ideal for properties that have many bathrooms and demand for hot water.
  • Perfect for areas suffering from low pressure in the water.
  • Ideal for people who have older or traditional heating systems which aren’t able to withstand high pressure.
  • Since they need an cistern tank to operate which is larger than the space they require, they need more space and limit the boiler installation options.
  • A cistern that is located in the attic can be susceptible to freeze in winter and, if it leaks, could be a problem.

Are you experiencing a boiler is leaking or losing pressure? Utilize our easy and quick tool to find your fixed-price boiler service.

System Boilers: What do they mean?

Systems boilers are basically an improved version of the standard or boiler that is heat-only. They can supply heating water at any time as well as heating water for radiators.

How do boilers in systems work?

Like a heat-only boiler with an additional hot water tank but it’s not vented.

All components, like the expansion vessel and pump are also internal, which is also why it does not need a cold water cistern tank, and water is delivered to the boiler by the mains.

Benefits of boiler systems

Similar to heat-only boilers, their huge hot water storage tanks is why they are perfect for homes with high demands for hot water.

Because they have all of their components internally arranged and don’t require a cold-water cistern this means they don’t require the same amount of space as the boiler that is purely heat. This also means that there is greater flexibility in the installation site.

System boilers do not need any parts in the attic It also means you do not need to worry about the possibility of problems with freezing or leaks in winter.

The disadvantages of boilers for system use


The rate of hot water flow in the home is largely dependent upon the water pressure in the main water supply, and when it’s lower, flow inside the house will be restricted. Because of this, they’re not the best choice for homes with low pressure in the water.

The high pressure design of this system implies that it might not be appropriate for homes with older systems.

System boilers require an in-built hot water storage cylinder and, if you’re changing it to a combi boiler, then you will require a sufficient storage space.

Key points of the boiler system:

  • It is recommended for homes with multiple bathrooms or hot water outlets.
  • It does not require an additional cistern tank to be installed within the loft.
  • Internal components simplify installation.
  • It may not be appropriate in areas that have low pressure water.
  • Could not work with the older heating system which cannot take high pressures.
  • If you’re switching from an electric or gas-powered unit, you have to think about where you’ll place that hot water tank.

Do you want to see your boiler relocated to new place? Take a look at the ” cost of moving boiler” guide.

Boiler Type Frequently Asked Questions

Are you still unsure about certain aspects of selecting an appropriate boiler? It’s not surprising that for this to be a complicated piece of engineering. Here are some of the most frequently-asked questions:

What’s a condensing stove?

Whatever kind of boiler you’re contemplating installing the law states that it should be a condensing boiler.

Condensing boilers of all types have a minimum of 90% efficient in energy use they can draw in surplus energy to heat your home, and are more sustainable and help cut down your heating costs.

Condensing isn’t really a “type of boiler’ by itself it’s more of an technical feature.

Find out more regarding green boiler alternatives which include condensing boilers.

What size of boiler do you require?

When looking at the size of the boiler when considering the size of a boiler, it usually refers to the power output of the boiler rather than the dimensions that the boiler has. The power of a boiler is measured in kilowatts/hour (kWh) which means simply, the more kW, the higher the capability of the boiler to provide the needs of your property’s hot water and heating needs.

In general, boiler manufacturers typically offer their boilers with a range of sizes. Your boiler installation specialist will figure out the right size for you based on the amount of radiators in your home.

If, for instance, you reside in a tiny house, then using a tiny combi boiler is likely be suggested. But, if you live in a house with a lot of rooms, each with a radiator and large boilers, then a bigger boiler is needed to accommodate the demands of heating.

Are you looking to cut down on energy and money on your heating bill? If so, then look into installing one of these top Smart thermostats.

Types of Boilers Final Words

The kind of boiler suitable for your house will be determined by a range of elements, including requirements for hot water, your home size, and water pressure.

However that, the majority of UK houses have gas combi boilers, as well as system and regular boilers in the next.

Whichever type of boiler you choose to install, you’ll be able to purchase them all, with or without installation through heatable.

At Heatable, our engineers install new boilers starting as low as PS1,695 all across the UK.

Furthermore, as we’ve previously mentioned the boilers, they come with warranties that are for up to 10 years. That’s loooooong.


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