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What is a combi boiler?

Combi boilers have become the number one choice for residential heating in the UK. They’re a common replacement for older boilers, providing both heating and hot water to people’s homes. But what makes them so popular and where can you find combi boilers in Plymouth?

How do combi boilers work?

Combination or ‘combi’ boilers serve two purposes, combining the functions of a water heater and central heating system in one box. They heat water from the mains as and when you need it, rather than heating water in a storage tank. This makes them more efficient in terms of both energy and space, with no need for an additional tank or unnecessary continuous heating. 

Combi boilers heat the water directly from the mains, meaning that it will kick in when you turn on the hot tap. The boiler heats a stainless steel heat exchanger, quickly bringing the water to temperature. Occasionally, a combi boiler will have a reserve tank, however, they’re usually quite small. In terms of central heating, your boiler will heat your home according to your instructions. This could be through custom settings or an automatic thermostat system. 

Gas boilers are the most common type of combi boiler, however, there are different options in terms of fuel. Other fuel types include electric, oil and LPG. 

What are the advantages of a combi boiler?

Combination boilers are a popular choice, so they must have some good benefits! Here are some of the advantages of installing a combi boiler:

  • Instant hot water. Combi boilers will heat water as and when you need it, making them convenient and energy efficient.
  • Save money on bills. As water is only heated as it’s being used, excess energy isn’t being used. This saves money on your gas bills.
  • Low installation costs. With no need to have additional tanks installed, the process is faster and less expensive. There are also fewer elements to maintain, which could save you money.
  • Saves space. The boiler itself is quite compact, with no need for additional storage tanks. This makes them ideal for homes with little or no loft space.
  • Choice of fuel type. You can choose your fuel type depending on your preference and requirements. If you’re not able to access the gas or electricity grid, you can opt for an oil or LPG tank
  • High efficiency. Combi boilers have an optimal energy efficiency rating, with the newer models being manufactured to rank highly for both ErP and SEDBUK. 

What are the disadvantages of a combi boiler?

Of course, with any boiler, there will be some disadvantages. This will most likely be dependent on your home and your requirements, so you should consider them when thinking about having a combi boiler installed.

  • Less effective with low water pressure. If your home has poor water pressure, a combi boiler might not be able to function effectively – this is a common problem in older homes.
  • Can only cope with moderate demand. In homes with more than one bathroom, the demand for hot water could be too high for a combination boiler. 
  • Only suitable for homes with few outputs. In homes with multi-jet showers or multiple bathrooms, a combi boiler may not be suitable. You can’t run two hot water taps at the same time with consistent high pressure.
  • Not suitable for power showers. You can’t have a power shower with a combi boiler as they use an in-built pump that connects to a hot water cylinder. As combi boilers don’t have storage tanks, they are incompatible with power showers.
  • Not suitable for large households. All of the issues above ultimately make combination boilers unsuitable for larger households. A combi boiler can’t provide hot water for multiple people in multiple places at the same time. If you’re in a small household or flat, however, it’s the perfect option.

Combi boilers in Plymouth

Consider all of the advantages and disadvantages of a combi boiler and think it’s the right option for you? You’ve come to the right place. At B & R Heating, we supply and fit combi boilers in Plymouth and the surrounding areas. We have a team of qualified heating engineers who will be happy to help. Get in touch with us today! 

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