What Types of Boilers Are Available for Installation? A Comprehensive Guide

Illustration of a man in blue overalls Installing a new boiler in a flat

The process of selecting the right boiler for your home can be a daunting task. With numerous factors to consider, such as energy efficiency, cost, and compatibility with your home’s heating needs, it’s crucial to make an informed decision. This comprehensive guide will explore the various types of boilers available for installation, their advantages and disadvantages, and factors to consider when choosing a boiler for your home.

Understanding Boilers: An Overview

A boiler is a heating system that generates hot water or steam to heat your home. They work by burning a fuel source, such as natural gas, oil, or biomass, to heat water, which is then circulated through radiators or underfloor heating systems. The key components of a boiler include the heat exchanger, burner, controls, and expansion tank.

Types of Boilers: A Breakdown

There are three main types of boilers available for installation: combi boilers, system boilers, and regular (conventional) boilers. Each type offers its unique benefits and drawbacks.

Combi Boilers

How they work: Combi boilers are compact units that provide both heating and hot water on demand. They heat water directly from the mains supply, eliminating the need for a separate hot water storage tank.

Advantages: Combi boilers are space-saving, energy-efficient, and cost-effective. They provide hot water instantly, without waiting for a storage tank to heat up.

Disadvantages: Combi boilers may struggle to supply hot water to multiple outlets simultaneously. They might not be suitable for larger homes with multiple bathrooms or high hot water demands.

System Boilers

How they work: System boilers require a separate hot water storage cylinder but have most of their major components built-in, making installation easier and faster.

Advantages: System boilers can supply hot water to multiple outlets simultaneously, making them suitable for larger homes. They offer faster installation and require less space than regular boilers.

Disadvantages: System boilers still require a hot water cylinder, which can take up space. They may be less energy-efficient than combi boilers due to heat loss from the storage cylinder.

Regular (Conventional) Boilers

How they work: Regular boilers require both a hot water cylinder and a cold-water storage tank, usually located in the loft. They heat the water in the cylinder, which is then distributed throughout the home.

Advantages: Regular boilers can supply hot water to multiple outlets simultaneously and are compatible with older radiator systems. They’re a good option for homes with low water pressure.

Disadvantages: Regular boilers take up more space due to the need for a cold-water storage tank and hot water cylinder. They are less energy-efficient compared to combi and system boilers.

Fuel Options for Boilers

There are four main fuel options for boilers: natural gas, oil, electric, and biomass. Each option has its advantages and environmental impact.

Natural Gas Boilers

Efficiency: Natural gas boilers are highly efficient, with modern condensing models reaching up to 94% efficiency.

Environmental impact: Natural gas is a fossil fuel, but it produces less carbon dioxide emissions than oil or coal.

Oil Boilers

Efficiency: Oil boilers are also highly efficient, with modern condensing models reaching up to 93% efficiency.

Environmental impact: Oil is a fossil fuel with higher carbon emissions than natural gas, but it’s still a viable option for homes without access to a natural gas supply.

Electric Boilers

Efficiency: Electric boilers can be nearly 100% efficient, as there is no heat loss from flue gases.

Environmental impact: Electric boilers produce zero emissions at the point of use. However, their overall environmental impact depends on the source of electricity. If powered by renewable energy sources, they are the most eco-friendly option.

 Biomass Boilers

Efficiency: Biomass boilers can achieve efficiencies of up to 90%, depending on the quality of the fuel and the boiler itself.

Environmental impact: Biomass boilers use renewable fuel sources, such as wood pellets or chips, making them a more sustainable option. However, they do produce some emissions during combustion.

Energy Efficiency Ratings and Boiler Performance

Understanding energy efficiency ratings: Boilers are rated by their Seasonal Efficiency of Domestic Boilers in the UK (SEDBUK) rating, which ranges from A+++ (most efficient) to G (least efficient). Modern boilers typically have a rating of A or higher.

Importance of high-efficiency boilers: High-efficiency boilers consume less fuel, reducing energy bills and carbon emissions. They are also more reliable and require less maintenance.

Tips for maximizing boiler efficiency: Regular maintenance, proper insulation, and using energy-saving devices, such as smart thermostats, can help maximize boiler efficiency.

Cost and Installation Factors

Upfront costs

Boiler prices: The price of a new boiler varies depending on the type, brand, and size. Combi boilers typically cost between £1,500 and £3,500, system boilers between £1,500 and £2,800, and regular boilers between £1,800 and £3,800.

Installation costs: Installation costs vary based on the complexity of the job and the installer’s fees. Expect to pay between £500 and £1,500 for a standard installation.

Ongoing costs

Maintenance: Regular boiler servicing is essential for maintaining efficiency and prolonging the life of your boiler. Annual servicing costs can range from £70 to £120.

Fuel costs: Fuel costs will depend on the type of fuel your boiler uses and the efficiency of the boiler itself. Natural gas is typically the cheapest option, followed by oil, electricity, and biomass.

Grants and financial incentives for energy-efficient boilers: There are various government grants and incentives available to help offset the cost of installing an energy-efficient boiler. These include the Green Homes Grant, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

Choosing the Right Boiler for Your Home

  1. Assessing your home’s heating and hot water needs: Consider the size of your home, the number of radiators, and your hot water usage when selecting a boiler.

Factors to consider in selecting a boiler: In addition to your home’s heating needs, consider factors such as boiler efficiency, fuel type, space requirements, and your budget.

Seeking professional advice: Consult with a heating engineer or professional installer to help you select the right boiler for your home.


Selecting the right boiler is crucial for energy efficiency, cost savings, and meeting your home’s heating and hot water needs. By understanding the differences between combi, system, and regular boilers, as well as considering factors such as fuel type, efficiency, and cost, you can make an informed decision that will keep your home warm and comfortable for years to come.

Ready to Upgrade Your Boiler? Contact Heat Quick Direct Today!

Don’t let an outdated or inefficient boiler compromise your home’s comfort and energy savings. Heat Quick Direct is here to help you make the best choice for your home’s heating and hot water needs. Our team of experienced and certified professionals is dedicated to providing top-notch installation, repair, and maintenance services for all types of boilers.

At Heat Quick Direct, we prioritize customer satisfaction and take pride in delivering high-quality services at competitive prices. We’re happy to offer a free, no-obligation consultation to help you choose the perfect boiler for your home.

Contact Heat Quick Direct today at 0203 697 1259

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