Unless something is wrong, your boiler isn’t normally at the forefront of your mind, at least compared to other household items such as a television or washing machine. As a result, the average homeowner’s knowledge of boiler types, including their own, may need the occasional refresh. This is especially true considering that the average boiler can last over 10 years, requiring just an annual service to ensure it’s working as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Nowadays, with the average household looking to be as energy and cost-efficient as possible, replacing your conventional boiler with a combi (short for combination boiler as it can produce both heating and hot water in a single unit) is becoming an increasingly popular choice. So, whether you’re new to the concept of a combi, or are on the fence about a full boiler conversion, we look at the benefits of switching to a combi boiler.
They Can Produce Heating And Hot Water on Demand
Whether it’s the internet or television, we’re used to having things on-demand, and with combi boilers, it’s no different. With this boiler type, whenever you turn on a tap, the boiler fires up and provides hot water immediately from the mains supply, meaning you don’t have to wait for the water to heat up before taking a shower. This is a key difference between the combi and other boiler types, such as regular and system boilers.
They’re Highly Energy Efficient
Combi boilers’ ability to produce hot water on demand is one of the reasons that they’re A-rated for energy efficiency as you only use the water you need. This is different from other boiler types, which heat and then store hot water for later use, which can be inefficient as both these processes use energy which may be wasted if not used. Combis only use energy to match the demand of the home and so don’t have to use energy-storing excess hot water.
Secondly, all modern combi boilers are condensing. This means that when they are in use, any heat that would normally be lost via your flue is recaptured and can be used again to heat cold water as it enters the boiler. This saves energy to then heat water again which is why some combi boilers can be up to 98% energy efficient.
They Can Help Save You Money
As well as being better for the environment, switching to an A-rated boiler can help reduce average utility costs as you’ll be using less energy for the heating and hot water your home needs. You’ll no longer need to pay for the storage of hot water, and you’ll waste less energy heating your home overall.
It Can be Easier to Replace Like-For-Like
By having all their working parts stored in one place, combi boilers can be easier to replace like-for-like. With a faster installation that causes less disruption to your home, they can be cheaper to fit too. With boilers that have multiple components such as regular or system boilers, your boiler warranty is unlikely to cover the storage tank or cylinder. So, any breakdowns or replacements could cause added costs along the way as you’ll have different warranties for the other working parts.
It Can Free up Space in Your Home
Conventional boiler types, like the regular or system, require separate components to produce and store hot water. Often located in places like your loft, they can take up a lot of space and render parts of your home out of use. In comparison, by generating heat directly from the mains, combis are far more compact and can easily fit in between your kitchen cupboards. Not only does this allow them to be easily hidden out of view, but it opens up more space and opportunities for your home. Perfect for home renovators who want to maximise the space and potential value of their property with an addition of an extra bedroom or home office via a loft conversion.
Things You Must Consider Before Committing to a Boiler Switch
Although combi boilers do offer many benefits, including being energy-efficient, compact and cost-effective, there are situations when one may not be suitable for your home:
- If you live in a larger property with multiple bathrooms and with high hot water demand. In this case, a combi boiler may not be able to provide enough hot water if multiple water outlets are being used at the same time.
- If you live in an area with low water pressure. If it’s weak, the pressure of your taps and showers would be the same.
- If you live in an older property, a combi boiler may not be compatible with the original, older pipework. As combis use mains to supply hot water, the increased water pressure could result in leaks or burst pipes.
You can resolve issue 3 by replacing your central heating pipework and radiators but of course, this has a significant cost.
We would always recommend getting expert advice ahead of changing to a combi boiler. Traditionally, a heating engineer would inspect your home to see whether a conversion is suitable. However, some companies now offer this service via a remote video call or an online survey option. By answering a few questions about your home, you can get an online quote for a new boiler that’s ideally tailored to your home’s needs.
Overall, switching to a combi boiler is highly beneficial from a cost and energy efficiency perspective. While it may cost more initially to convert a system or regular boiler to a combi versus a direct replacement, you’re likely to save money in the long run due to combi’s A-rated efficiency.
Ultimately, the best boiler for your home is the one that is most suitable to its needs, so always get expert advice before making a decision.