You have had the worst news ever- your boiler has been deemed unsafe by your energy suppliers. The big fat sticker screams out at you-CONDEMNED. You have got a second opinion, third opinion and it’s officially official. But there’s worse to come. You don’t know a thing about boilers and there seem to be a million options to choose from, each one saying that it’s better than the others. Here’s a nice handy help guide to ease you through it:-

By law all boilers must be high-efficiency condensing boilers, which basically means that the boiler reuses the heat normally lost by boilers. This means that a top of the range A-grade boiler could have as much as 96% efficiency.

The Combination (often referred to as Combi) Boiler-

is topping the best seller boiler list at the present time. They are small in size so fit into cupboards, and very economical to run. They use water directly from the mains, you don’t have to wait for water to heat up – resulting in a constant stream of piping hot water. The downside being though that if someone starts running water somewhere else in the house, your shower will be disrupted.

The Combi boiler is perfect for smaller properties with just one or two bathrooms.

The Sealed System (Unvented) Boiler-

The system boiler runs on the principle of stored hot water, meaning you will need an airing cupboard or other space for the hot water storage tank. Although a tank is needed in the airing cupboard, a system boiler still requires less space than a traditional open vent or heating only boiler, which requires a second tank in the loft. The advantages of a system boiler are that you can run hot water from a number of outlets simultaneously, without affecting the output of anyone’s shower.

The Sealed System is perfect for larger properties with more than 2 bathrooms in constant use. The disadvantage is that you have to wait for the water to heat up before it can be used.

The Sealed System (Vented) Boiler-

An open vent boiler used to be the system used in most people’s homes. This type of system uses two water tanks, both located in the loft, and a hot water storage cylinder in the airing cupboard. It’s a basic system of one tank drawing water from the mains supply, feeding the storage cylinder which, when heated by the boiler, releases hot water to taps all over the house.

The second tank is the feed and expansion tank which contains the correct level of water for your heating system, allowing for water expansion when you turn the heat on. This means that showers, taps and running baths can be drawn in any room at the same time. There is a downside in that if the water is used up or the cylinder runs cold, it will take time to reheat.
This system uses up a lot of storage space and means a waiting time for water to heat up if it’s turned off. It does however provide ample hot water to a number of outlets without any decrease in pressure.

Whatever boiler you decide on, make sure you get professionals to install it, and get it regularly checked. it could save you time, money and a lot of discomfort.