Upgrading your boiler can be a daunting decision, but often a necessary one. As boilers age they become less reliable, less efficient and in some cases, more dangerous. If your current boiler is constantly breaking down or costing you a fortune in gas bills, it may be time to upgrade to a cleaner, more efficient model. Whether it’s a straight boiler swap or a full heating system overhaul, ASP Plumbing & Heating Services can provide you with guidance on choosing a new system to suit your needs.
Why Upgrade my heating system?
Modern boilers boast high energy efficiency ratings, some as much as 100%. Replacing your old, inefficient boiler with an A-rated appliance could see a drastic reduction in your gas bill. In most cases, the boiler will pay for itself in a matter of years due to the savings made on energy bills.
Modern boilers are so efficient because they are condensing, meaning that they recover some of the heat from waste gasses that would otherwise be lost. Condensing boilers can be up to 30% more efficient than older, conventional boilers, making them better for the environment and cheaper to run.
New boilers are also far safer as they no longer rely on an open flue design. Open flue boilers draw the air required for combustion from room. If the boiler can’t get the air it needs for complete combustion, fumes containing carbon monoxide will spill into the room rather than going up the chimney. This can be extremely dangerous and leave residents vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Which system is best for me?
There are several factors to be considered when choosing a new boiler for your home. Space, number of bathrooms, budget and mains water flow rate must all be taken into account. Outlined below are some of the differences between the two most popular boiler types on the market, combination and system boilers.
Combi boilers are highly efficient, ingenious space saving appliances, which can provide your home with both central heating and instantaneous hot water without the need for a hot water cylinder.
They are best suited for homes with limited space and a maximum of two bathrooms.
The downside of combi boilers is that they heat mains water on demand. If there is more than hot water outlet (tap or shower) in use at once then the pressure is split between the two outlets, significantly reducing the output.
-System boilers with unvented cylinders
System boilers provide hot water to both the radiators and storage cylinder simultaneously.
System boilers heat a large unvented cylinder of stored water, meaning you can use multiple hot water outlets at once without suffering a reduction in pressure. Unvented cylinders rely on mains pressured water and unlike vented cylinders, do not require a cold water storage tank in the loft. The downside of system boilers is that you will need room for both the boiler and the cylinder, which is why they are usually recommended for larger properties.
What should I consider when upgrading?
Upgrading your central heating system doesn’t come without it’s risks. Converting a system from gravity fed to pressurised can put old pipework under more than the current pressure, causing leaks and bursts, especially under concrete floors where pipework isn’t accessible. Also, certain outlets such as toilets, taps and showers can fail under higher pressures. Always get your current heating and water system checked by a professional before rushing into any new installation work.