Purchasing and installing a new boiler system is a major decision for almost any household. Proper care should be taken to consider your current and future needs as any boiler installments are considered a long-term investment. The boiler itself is an integral part of almost every modern home and supplies essential hot water to both radiators and taps in your home. However, there are plenty of factors to take into account when you think about installing a new boiler system in your home. In order to know what’s the right size of the boiler you need, what’s the right type for your household, and which fuel type you should choose, you ought to consider multiple important factors and aspects.
Like many other technologies, domestic heating technology has grown in leaps and bounds over the past 10 years. In the last decade, the improvements in the boilers themselves are marvelously matched by innovations in the whole world of heating control systems, the result being a system that is not only cheaper to run but is easier to use, too. In addition, in 2005 it became mandatory for all gas-fired boilers fitted in homes, no matter if new installations or replacements, to be replaced with condensing boilers. In order to help you decide which boiler is right for your household, we have prepared this mini-guide which you will perhaps find very useful.
Choosing The Right Size Of Boiler
1. Hot Water Demand
One of the most important considerations when deciding for a boiler is how much hot water you need for your home. For households with a single bath and shower, a simple combi-boiler of 24-30 kW is usually recommended. If you have an additional en-suite bathroom, you can go with the larger 30-35 kW boiler. With a new boiler cost between $600-$3,500 the combi boiler is by far the most popular boiler installed in UK households. Combi boilers are pretty efficient and compact units that don’t require cold-water tank or hot water storage cylinder. If you own a place with multiple bathrooms, a system boiler that stores hot water in a storage cylinder may be more suitable.
2. Size of the household
Together with providing your hot water, you will probably use the boiler as the main source of heating for your property. It’s essential to choose one that’s large enough to provide sufficient heat output to supply the entire property. Boilers for domestic use are measured in terms of output, which typically ranges from 5-35 kW. As a matter of fact, you should bear in mind that the size of your property alone is not the most effective way of identifying the needed boiler size—it’s way better to calculate heat loss instead. That’s a more advanced calculation that takes into account, not just the floor area and the number of radiators, but the insulation and other factors that affect the efficiency of the heating system, too. An experienced heating engineer will be able to precisely calculate the heat loss and let you know which boiler system fits your home the best.
Choosing The Right Type Of Boiler
1. Available Space
One of the greatest factors that affect the type of boiler you choose is the amount of space you have available in your home. Properties with limited storage space tend to use combi-boilers as they don’t require much space to operate. If you consider upgrading an existing boiler to a larger model, make sure there is enough space for the larger boiler to be accommodated in your home.
2. Existing System
Another important part to think about is whether or not you wish to keep the old system that already exists or you want to change to another system. In most cases, it’s for the best to retain the same boiler system from the perspective of cost and practicality and just upgrade it.
3. Types Of Boilers
There are three main types of domestic boilers : conventional boilers, combi-boilers, and system boilers. Conventional boilers use a storage tank that holds gallons of water to supply hot water to your home. Once the stored hot water runs out, you will need to wait for this to be refilled before it can be used again.
Combination boilers, also known as combi boilers work by providing on-demand hot water directly from the mains without having to be connected to a storage tank. All of the components of the combi boiler are contained within one unit and there’s no need for separate hot water tanks—making them ideal for homes with limited space.
By supplying hot water directly to the radiators with a hot water storage cylinder, system boilers are an ideal choice for properties with more than one bathroom. System boilers are also ideal for properties that need more hot water than a regular combi boiler can provide.
Choosing The Right Fuel Type
The types of fuel available for your area along with your attitude towards green energy sources will have a large impact on your choice of heating system and boiler too. As the most common fuel type used in US households, natural gas is the main source of fuel for domestic boiler systems. Speaking of non-renewable energy sources, natural gas is considered to be the cleanest type of fuel you can use. If your property is not connected to the gas network, oil is the second-best alternative source you can use for domestic boiler systems. Make a difference in the environment and strongly consider using biomass and other forms of alternative energy if storage space is not a problem in your household.
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