What are gas boilers?

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Gas boilers are the most common type of boiler in the UK. But what do you need to know about your gas boiler? Keep reading to find out!

What is a gas boiler?

Gas is a fuel used to power various types of boilers – including regular, system and combination boilers. As we have a public gas grid in the UK, it is the cheapest and easiest option for most people. It is also possible to have electric heaters, as well as LPG and oil-powered boilers. LPG and oil are more commonly used by those in more rural areas who don’t have access to the national gas supply. The gas is burned to produce heat, this heat is then used to feed the radiators, showers and hot water taps in your home. This allows you to use your central heating and hot water as and when you need it, especially with combi boilers as these heat the water straight from the main water supply.

Are gas boilers efficient?

Every gas boiler can be ranked on a scale from A+++ (high efficiency) to G (low efficiency) by the Energy-Related Products Directive. This efficiency rating is based on how effectively the boiler turns the fuel into heat, as well as how much heat is lost in the process. The lower the fuel waste, the higher the efficiency rating. It is better to have a high-efficiency boiler as this can help you save money on gas bills. Gas boilers can be quite efficient, however, this varies depending on the age and model you have in your home. 

What are the different types of boilers?

There are three main types of boilers you might have in your home. These three types are regular, system and combination (or ‘combi’) boilers. 

Regular Boilers

Regular boilers are also referred to as ‘heat-only boilers’. They are more commonly found in older homes and so they have more external components. This includes separate hot and cold water storage tanks and pumps. Additionally, you will need to use an on and off switch when you want to heat water. This saves energy when the boiler is turned off when you’re not using it. These boilers are best suited for large households with multiple bathrooms. This is because hot water can be used from several outlets at once.  

System Boilers

System boilers also use a separate storage cylinder to hold hot water, however, they don’t need an additional cold water tank like a conventional boiler. All of the water supply used in these boilers comes directly from the mains. The heating components are built into the boiler, meaning less space is required. This makes them easier to install and better suited for homes with little or no loft space. As well as this, if you live in an area with low mains water pressure, system boilers are a better option. 

Combination Boilers

Combi boilers are the most popular type of boilers amongst homeowners, especially in modern homes. They are the most efficient type of boiler, as they combine a water heater and a central heating boiler in one compact unit. This means that water is heated directly from the mains as and when you need it. As they are the most compact option, they are quicker to be installed, which is more convenient if you need a boiler installed as soon as possible. They are less suitable for homes with multiple bathrooms or lots of people as the boiler can’t always keep up with the higher demand. 

How often do boilers need to be serviced?

It is important to have your gas boiler serviced at least once per year. This annual service ensures that your boiler is running safely and efficiently, saving you money in the long run. A qualified gas engineer on the Gas Safe register should carry out this service as it is crucial for this service to be completed professionally. They can detect potential issues within your boiler, preventing future breakdowns. 

Of course, if you notice issues with your boiler you should always arrange a service, even if it isn’t time for your annual check-up. These issues could include your boiler:

  • Making unusual noises
  • Not heating as quickly as normal 
  • Leaking water

If you notice the smell of gas, you should contact a professional immediately. This could be a sign of a gas leak which can be dangerous and potentially fatal if not dealt with quickly. 

If you require gas boiler installation or servicing, B&R Heating can help. We offer services across Plymouth and the South West of the UK. Get in touch with us by giving us a call on 01752 695050 or by visiting our contact page