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Is A Combi Boiler Suitable for Your Home?

Home > Articles > Heating & Cooling > Is A Combi Boiler Suitable for Your Home?

Cost effective Combi boilers

Written by: Biljana Dimovska

Combi boilers are often touted as the ultimate solution to all our central heating and hot water needs.  We're steered towards them when we look for a replacement in a boilers sale and they are prominently displayed by online vendors, often at the expense of other designs.  For most people they will be the best option of all the types of boilers for sale, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't understand the advantages and disadvantages of them.  This article will tell you what you need to know about each.

Advantages

There are several reasons why combi boilers are recommended to most people.  The first reason, and the one that most people focus on, is that they are very efficient.  Most are 'A' rated for efficiency and achieve scores of over 90% - that is, less than 10% of the heat produced is lost before it is used for heating or hot water.  People notice significant savings when they swap from an older design, like a system boiler, to a combi.  Secondly, they take up relatively little room in a house, which is especially good if you don't have a lot of room to spare in the first place.  Again, those moving from system to combi boilers will really notice the difference as they'll gain extra storage space once the now-redundant storage and feeder tanks are removed.  Third, water is heated on demand and delivered as you need it, so there's no need to wait for it to heat up, and finally as they are now so common servicing is fairly cheap spare parts are easy to obtain.

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Disadvantages

There are only a couple of disadvantages to a combi boiler, but if they are relevant to you then they'll probably be a deal breaker.  First, there is a limit to the amount of water they can heat and pump out at any given time.  This means that the boiler may not be able to meet all the demands placed on it – for example, if you have a large house with more than one bathroom, one person may be running a bath, another washing hands and someone else filling the kitchen sink.  Everybody wants that hot water at the same time, but as the boiler can only heat the water at a certain speed you may end up with colder water than you expect coming out of the taps.  Secondly, a combi boiler is connected directly to the mains water inflow pipe, and the water needs to be at a reasonably high pressure for it to operate properly.  If you aren't on mains water, or are at the end of a spur or in a location where pressure is low, then there may be problems.  If the pressure is too low your boiler will cut out, and it can be difficult and expensive to resolve such a problem.

Conclusion

Buy a combi from the next boilers sale if there isn't an obvious reason not to.  The advantages are great, but only if the system will work properly for you.  If you are in any doubt, ask your fitter or plumber for advice before you commit. 

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