Which Boiler Type Is Best for Your Home?

Published: 19 Oct 2023 ・ Read time: 5 mins
Whether your old, noisy boiler has finally given up the ghost, or you’re simply looking to upgrade to a future-proof home heating system, choosing the right boiler for your home can be an overwhelming task.
This guide will help you learn about the various types of boilers available, and determine which is most suitable for your home. We'll consider your central heating system and water requirements to help you make an informed decision that's best for you and your household.

What are the Main Types of Boiler?

First, let's quickly run through the different types of natural gas boilers.
The three main types of natural gas boilers are combination (combi), system, and gas heat only boilers.
  • Gas combi boilers (combination boilers) can provide your home with water and central heating from a single compact unit. A gas combi boiler can heat water directly from the mains when you turn on any tap fixtures, saving you money on an unnecessary cold water storage tank or hot water storage cylinder.
  • A gas system boiler is usually more found in larger homes as there tends to be a greater demand for hot water. System boilers require a hot water cylinder that's used for storing hot water with the primary heating components built into the boiler. 
  • Gas heat-only boilers, or ‘regular’ gas boilers, are designed to provide heating and hot water but with the aid of an additional cold water tank and hot water cylinder - and are best suited for larger or older homes.
Aside from natural gas boilers, there are also electric boilers and oil boilers to consider:
  • Electric boilers are more efficient and environmentally friendly alternatives to gas and oil, with renewable energy becoming an increasingly large part of the grid's power.
  • Oil boilers are less common nowadays, however they are still found across UK and are mainly found in remote locations or anywhere else with homes that are not connected to a main gas supply. 

What is the Best Boiler for a Smaller Property?

When it comes to choosing a suitable boiler for smaller homes and flats, it’s hard to find a more efficient and effective  heating system than a combi boiler.
Combi boilers can provide both heating and hot water in one unit, making it ideal for smaller homes or where space is limited - because you won't need a separate water tank or hot water cylinder, ultimately saving on space. 
Combination boilers come in a wide range of heating outputs to suit your needs. If you have a 2 bedroom property with one bathroom - a 20-24kw combination boiler such as the Worcester Bosch Greenstar 1000 24Kw Combi Boiler will provide enough heating output to meet demand, even if your property is not well insulated.
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What is the Best Boiler for a Medium Sized Property?

For an average three or four-bedroom, you will have more of a variety to choose from, as your home may have a separate hot water cylinder or water tank located in your loft space.
First and foremost, you'll want to take a look at the heating requirements of your home to determine the adequate size of the boiler. Additionally, you'll want to look at the efficiency rating of the boiler to ensure that it will be energy-efficient and cost-effective in the long run. 
For medium-sized homes with 3 to 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms at a maximum and up to 10 radiators throughout the house, a 24-30kw gas boiler would be best suited. 
If you have no additional hot water tank or cylinder on your property, then the Ideal Logic+ C30 30kW Combi Boiler would be the best combi boiler we recommend.
It is important to remember that if you have a water tank in your loft space as well as a separate hot water cylinder, then a regular gas boiler would be required. 
A gas system boiler would be required in the instance of having a separate hot water cylinder but with no water tank in the loft, as they will take water directly from the mains instead of a feed tank.
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What is the Best Boiler for Larger Sized Property?

For larger properties that have a much greater heating and hot water demand, it is recommended that a gas regular or heat only boiler would be best suited due to the hot water tank that it requires. 
Firstly, the size of the property and the number of radiators it has will determine the output required from the boiler. It's said that for homes with up to 20 radiators a boiler with a heating output between 35-42 kW would be recommended. 
However, for larger homes that are well insulated with 4 to 5 bedrooms with 2 bathrooms, you can get away with a 30kw boiler to meet the demand.
Here are a few boiler recommendations for larger homes; however, keep in mind that the type of boiler needed will depend on your central heating system.
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Can Heat Loss Determine Boiler Size?

When finding a suitable boiler for your property, the size of your house is typically used as a factor in considering the right size boiler required.
However, more recently, a gas-safe engineer can also calculate your home's heat loss as a better way to determine the most effective and efficient boiler size.
Multiple factors are taken into account when making a heat loss calculation, which includes the floor area, the number of radiators in your property, the type and number of windows, the quality of insulation and a few other aspects that can cause heat to be lost from your home. 
Taking these factors into account, a calculation will then be used to determine how much heat your home will lose on the coldest day of the year so you can discover the most optimum size of the boiler.

Other Boilers Types for Consideration

Did you know that the type of fuel available in your home will affect the size of the boiler?
That's because different fuels can vary in terms of efficiency, as most properties across the UK commonly use gas boilers, which offer the most significant level of efficiency.
However, there are houses that are not connected to a mains gas supply, meaning that homeowners have a choice between an oil-fired or LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) heating system instead.
Furthermore, some modern boilers are built ready for future renewable energy sources like solar panel and heat pumps, which should be considered when deciding the right size boiler for your home. 
Electric boilers are another option for homeowners. However, electric boilers are best suited for smaller homes as they are unable to meet the demands of bigger properties. 
We briefly mentioned that the number of bathrooms on your property will vary with the size of the boiler required. It is important to remember that the frequency of running a bath or shower will also impact the size of the boiler you need. 
Additionally, suppose you have a lot of people living in your home. In that case, the demand for hot water and heating will be higher - requiring a larger kW of the boiler.
In conclusion, choosing the right boiler type for your home can be daunting; however - it's essential to consider factors such as fuel source, efficiency, and size to determine the best fit for your home. 
By understanding the differences between the various types of boilers and how they perform in varying house sizes, you can make an informed decision that will provide you with reliable heating and hot water for years to come. 
If you require further advice, contact us or visit your local City Plumbing branch, as we stock a wide range of natural gas boilers and electric boilers designed to suit your system. Our helpful team can assist you with anything from choosing the right boiler, to giving you advice on how to find certified installers in your area. 
Once your shiny new heating system is installed, you can learn more about how to maintain it and avoid costly plumbing bills down the line here.
Author: Alexis Webster

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