Each home needs a boiler for the purpose of heating, powering, or even producing electricity. Boilers, also known as heaters, are usually closed vessels where fluid is heated under pressure, although it does not necessarily reach its boiling point. The purpose for heating the liquid in the boilers is to produce vapor or steam. Heaters have some essential parts, where the safety valve is the safety device for the furnace or the domestic hot-water system. The safety valve is designed to relieve internal pressure in case failures occurs within the system. However, there are different boiler types to choose from including:
- Combi heaters
- Heat only heaters
- System heaters
Each boiler type has its advantages and disadvantages.
The Combi heater is also known as the combination heater. It is both a high-efficiency water heater and a central heating heater in a single compact unit. It includes a single unit that produces all the heating and hot water for the home. There are no hot water tanks while using the combi heaters. Combi heaters heat water directly from the mains where the tap is turned on. Therefore, the most important feature is that you will not need a hot water storage cylinder or even a cold-water storage tank in your roof space. Another advantage of the Combi heaters is that when it comes to other regular heaters, it means that one can get hot water from various taps at the same time. it allows you to continue using the hot water sometimes even when the boiler is switched off, which means that you will not have to wait for it to reheat. Compared to a standard heater, the combi heaters deal with unlimited heat and you will have access to hot water when needed. This means you will not need a tank on the upper floor, thus saving space.
Advantages of combi heaters
The combi heaters have lower maintenance costs: Normally, the warranty of the heater manufacturer covers the hot water functions and primary heating. They are far less complex compared to the traditional heating system meaning they are cheaper to install and finding the replacement parts is easier.
While using the combi heaters, one does not wait for long to get the hot water even if there is no water tank to heat up; this is because they provide unlimited supply of hot water on demand.
With the combi heaters, it is effortless to find replacement parts in case of any breakdown.
Disadvantages of combi heaters
While using the combi heaters, it struggles to meet the high demand for hot water; this is because it draws all its water supply directly from the main.
The combi heaters are disadvantaged for having a slower water rate since it draws all their water supply from the main and it does not require a storage tank.
They do not have immersion heater: since these heaters do not require storage tanks, when they break down you will be left without water in the central heating system.
For the high-performance combi heaters, for example, if it provides 12.5 liters per minute of hot water or even more, it may not be effective on 15mm pipework suppliers resulting in it being oversized for heating.
Heat only heater
This heater is also known as a regular or conventional heater. It is usually a system that involves two tanks which are:
Hot water cylinders
The heater itself
The heat only heater is found in most premises since they can better meet the demand for hot water across the shower heads and in the multiple taps. The work of the heat only heater is to provide heat needed to heat water and it works well with a hot water cylinder. Heat only heaters are essential for larger heating systems, especially when there are different areas to heat. They work by heating hot water directly in the heat exchanger. The heat-only heater suits well the situation that needs a bigger than usual pump or an extensive system.
Advantages of heat only heater
- The heat-only heaters have a low replacement cost because they tend to be the cheapest type of heater to purchase.
- They can be able to supply water to many taps and showerheads more quickly as compared to a combi heater.
- The heat-only heater is a good choice for larger homes with large hot water requirements since the hot water tank can store large quantities of hot water, which is delivered instantly.
Disadvantages of heat only heater
- Sometimes the heat-only heater may not be very efficient since the hot water stored in cylinders can lose heat.
- It is only the heater that is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Therefore, it leaves many other components on the system uncovered, such as the pumps and the valves, which sometimes may need replacement or break down.
A system heater
A system heater is a boiler type that is regularly found in larger homes with great demands for heating and hot water. They can provide a constant supply of hot water throughout the house with the help of a separate cylinder for storing water. It is very different from the combi heater, which only heats water on demand. The heater is usually not connected to the cold mains; but it has a coil in the cylinder which carries the central heating water at a high temperature through the cylinder, and its contents are heated during the flow process. The heated water is then allowed to be transferred to the various taps and the showers at once. For more comfort in the home, these heaters heat both the radiators and the cylinder simultaneously.The system heaters are different from the regular heaters because they use a pressurized heating circuit topped up by water from the mains. In contrast, traditional heaters are usually kept artificially under pressure using a header tank in the loft.
Advantages of a system heater
- There is always no need for cold-water tanks since hot water is always available.
- The system heaters have a good cover from the manufacturer’s warranty because the components of the system are vital to the heater.
- The energy is efficient and also environmentally friendly. When the power is efficient, the flow rates are high, and it tends to have pressure from the main.
Disadvantages of a system heater
- Reasonable hot water flow rates typically depend on the water pressure from the main. This means that if the pressure is low, then the internal flow rates will be poor.
- The system heater requires more space as compared to the combi heaters. Hence, an appropriate location of the hot water cylinder is also needed. Other than more space, if the home requires a lot of water, the cylinder size will dictate how much water you will be able to use.
- In most cases, the hot water may need to be reheated while using the system boiler type.
In summary, the boiler types, namely combi, heat only heater, and the system heaters, are the best heaters to use in our homes. They all help in heating water which is appropriate for consumption and domestic use. However, it is always good to enquire about the best heater product before purchasing or installing since they differ in their characteristics, maintenance, replacement and efficiency. For large consumptions, it is recommended you install system and heat-only heater. If there is no enough space in your home, then the combi heaters are the best option.