What boiler do I need?

Researching home boilers can be a daunting task. There is plenty of information available online but scrolling through the mass of search results for something as simple as “boiler types UK” may leave you feeling overwhelmed; especially if you are unfamiliar with boiler terminology.

But don’t worry; this beginners’ guide explains the main types of home boiler that are available and easy ways to help you decide which one you will need. It is designed to help demystify boiler vocabulary and to make next-stage conversations with your gas engineer more productive.

Let’s start with the basics which is to say that a boiler is a central heating unit that pumps hot water through the pipes around your home to your taps and radiators. If you are connected to mains gas – as most UK homes are – then you have a choice of three main types of gas-condensing boiler. These are combination boilers or ‘combis’, conventional boilers and system boilers.

Combination Boilers (Combis)

  • Water is heated on demand and a bulky water tank or a hot water cylinder is not required
  • Considered the best choice for small to medium size properties with average hot water demands
  • Energy is not wasted by heating water that may not be used, thereby reducing your heating bills and your carbon footprint
  • Quick and easy to install
  • The most popular UK boiler type

Conventional Boilers

  • Also called heat-only, open-vent or regular boilers, they provide central heating and hot water using an airing cupboard storage cylinder, and also require a cold-water storage tank plus an expansion tank in the loft
  • Featuring in most older heating systems they are slightly less efficient than combis, but are the ‘go-to’ choice for large homes with a high demand for hot water or multiple bathrooms, or for situations that already have a traditional heating and hot water system in place
  • On the downside they tend to be more expensive to install and take up more space

System Boilers

  • System boilers provide central heating and hot water using an airing cupboard storage cylinder but, unlike regular boilers, they do not rely on water supplied by a cold-water storage tank in the loft.
  • The hot water in the storage cylinder is always topped up ensuring hot water is always available which makes these boilers well suited to large, multi-bathroom properties with high hot water demands.
  • As well as saving space they are also easier to install than conventional boilers as many of the components are built into the boiler

Which type of home boiler is right for me?

You will be able to narrow down the best solution by answering some basic questions about your heating and hot water demands. These primarily relate to the size of your house and the number of people living in it. To help guide you, we have published an interactive tool on our website which takes you through a simple set of multiple-choice questions and answers. These cover all issues relevant to boiler selection such as: how your home is currently heated; what type of boiler do you currently have; is the new boiler going to be fitted in the same place; and how many bedrooms, baths, showers and radiators do you have.

This data, along with advice from a Gas Safe registered engineer, will make choosing your new boiler much easier. Whether you need a small boiler for a flat, a large domestic combi boiler or even a high efficiency fan-assisted condensing boiler such as ProTec Plus* for very large domestic projects with multiple bathrooms, Alpha can provide the answer.

 

* Available with outputs ranging from 50kW-115kW, ProTec Plus high efficiency fan-assisted condensing system boilers are ideally suited to large domestic projects and can be wall hung or fixed to free-standing frames.

Address Finder
Choose an address from the list below...
Register Interest
Provide your details below and hit 'Register Interest'.

CUSTOMER NOTICE: Please be aware that GasSafe will be taking all services offline from Thursday 25th November until Monday 29th November. During this time, installers will not be able to register installations via our portal.

We use cookies to improve your experience, including to personalise content, to provide useful features, and to analyse our traffic and measure performance. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies.

×
Cookie Preferences
Intro
Essential Cookies
Non-Essential Cookies

About Cookies and your Privacy

When you visit any web site, it may safely store or retrieve information in cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalised and consistent web experience.

We respect your right to privacy, so you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Some cookies are essential and the website would not function without them.

Always Active

Essential Cookies

These cookies are essential for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

These are usually to do with keeping track of information between page views like your privacy preferences or that you have logging in.

You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. 

The essential cookies we set are:

  • PHPSESSID - A unique reference to your browser session on our website. This allows us to keep track of things like your basket and whether you are logged in. This cookie will expire after the browser is closed
  • plii - This cookie ensures you are kept logged in to the website during your session.
  • nfPP-* - These cookies store your preferences regarding cookie preferences, like if you have accepted the notice and if you have optionally disabled non essential cookies. These persist between browser sessions

Non-Essential Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. Some information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance and make improvements.

  • Facebook: We use conversion tracking from Facebook to help us understand how effective campaigns are from Facebook.
  • Google AdWords Conversion: We use conversion tracking to help us understand how effective our digital campaigns are.
  • Google Analytics: We use Google Analytics to collect information about how visitors use our website. For example, we collect details of the site where the visitor has come from and the total number of times a visitor has been to our website.
  • Google Tag Manager: We use Google Tag Manager to track user behaviour, traffic analysis and marketing optimisation.
  • LinkedIn: We use conversion tracking from LinkedIn to help us understand how effective campaigns are from LinkedIn.