Which heating system is right for your home?
The heating system in your home is a long-term investment. In addition to purchase and installation costs, you need to consider annual maintenance. Therefore, it is essential that you choose the correct heating system for your specific requirements. You should consider your demand for hot water and any space limitations or availability. Consider existing pipework, your intended duration at the property and your carbon footprint. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of heating that are on the market today.
A combination boiler does what it says on the tin – it combines two functions, providing hot water and central heating. Combi boilers are a popular choice because they only provide hot water when you actually need it. Moreover, the boiler does not require a storage tank because it is directly connected to the water mains. You can choose between a gas or electric combi boiler.
Is a combi boiler right for my home?
- Combi boilers are ideal for smaller properties due to their compact size
- No hot water cylinder = increased living space
- No cold water storage tank = room for a loft conversion
- Installation is typically cheaper because less pipework is required
- Only provides hot water to one outlet at once – you can’t run a shower whilst filling the sink downstairs. Not so good for large families or houses with multiple bathrooms
- Gas boilers use fossil fuels – they are not an eco-friendly solution
System boilers require a water cylinder to store hot water, which is usually kept in an airing cupboard. Unlike conventional boiler systems, however, there is no need for a water tank in the loft because the heating systems are built into the boiler itself.
Is a system boiler right for my home?
- System boilers are ideal for homes with several bathrooms. They can provide a constant supply of hot water to multiple taps at the same time
- Built-in components make installation quicker and tidier
- No cold water storage tank = no leaks or frozen pipes and room for a loft conversion
- Require more space than a combi boiler and require programming to ensure you have hot water when necessary
- System boilers use gas or electricity and are not the most economic or environmentally friendly solution
Although conventional boilers are not as energy efficient as combi boilers, they still provide a good option for larger homes. They require a cold water storage tank in the loft to sustain the hot water cylinder. They also need another tank that maintains the water level of the central heating system. The cylinder is typically placed in an airing cupboard, and the cold water tank in the loft.
Is a conventional boiler right for my home?
- Ideal for homes that already have a traditional heating and hot water system
- Perfect for homes with multiple bathrooms, where a lot of hot water is used at the same time
- A good option in places where water pressure is low
- Compatible with solar water heating systems for a lower carbon footprint and greater energy efficiency
- Require additional space in the loft, as well as in the boiler cupboard
A heat pump is newer technology in the UK, despite being used and refined for decades in colder Europe. Heat pumps use electricity to extract warmth from the ground or the air to heat your home via underfloor heating or radiators. They require a buffer tank and rely on your home being well insulated to work efficiently. They are more costly to buy and install, but save you more money in the long-term through fuel efficiency. You can also recoup costs in the years following installation through government funding
Is a heat pump right for my home?
- Outside space is required for both air source and ground source heat pumps. The buffer tank also needs additional storage
- Ideal for modern, well insulated homes where heat loss is at a minimum
- A great option if you intend to stay at your home for a decade or more as should be fully able to recoup installation costs
- The best available technology for those wanting a low carbon solution, due to their superior efficiency
- Compatible with underfloor heating and solar panels
Whatever your choice, remember that it is essential to use certified, experienced technicians for installations and maintenance.