If your home needs a new heating or hot water system, you have a new choice in the matter: combi-boilers. Unlike conventional heating and hot water systems, these boilers are designed to deliver both features in one unit, giving you more energy efficiency and taking up less space in your home. Of course, the combi-boiler isn’t ideal for every installation—believe it or not, there are still plenty of use cases for conventional systems.
Provided that you’re not living in a mansion with seven bathrooms, of course, the combi-boiler can’t really do you wrong. It isn’t suited for homes with weak water pressure, but it does provide hot water on demand for the homes that use it. When you need to replace your boiler and you’re trying to decide between a conventional system or combi-boilers, consider the following.
How Many Bathrooms (or Taps) Do You Have?
If you have more than two or three bathrooms, you’re probably not going to benefit from a combi-boiler. Too many taps mean too much demand, which means the system can’t keep up. Thus, it will use as much energy, or more than, the standard boiler system. In this case, it wouldn’t be wise to install a combi system that can’t meet the demands. Although the uses are waning, there are still plenty of cases where conventional boilers are best.
Do You Need Instant Hot Water?
Conventional boilers take time to heat water. You could wait up to an hour or longer for a full tank of hot water, which is inconvenient when you’re trying to get ready for work or an event, or even when you just want to take a nice bath after a long day. Combi-boilers come with the benefit of instant hot water. Of course, if a combi-boiler isn’t in your price range or if your heating system is fine, you might consider a tankless water heater instead. It offers instant hot water, too, but only upgrades the hot water system and not the entire heating in the house.
If you need access to larger quantities of hot water but don’t necessarily care if it’s instant, a conventional system could be fine for the job.
What’s the Existing Heating System in Your Home?
This is an area that impacts your decision significantly—what kind of system do you have now? If you have a conventional boiler, upgrading to a combi-boiler is a simple task. If, however, your home is heated through forced air or electric baseboard heat, the upgrade to this type of unit could take a lot more time, effort, and money.
What’s Your Budget?
A combi-boiler will typically cost more up front than a conventional system, but it quickly redeems itself with energy savings and improved efficiency. Before you can choose the right system for your home, you need to explore what’s in your budget.
Talk To Your Installer
The best thing that you can do, once you’ve done your homework, is to talk to the experts about combi-boilers and standard boiler systems. That will help you get the best solutions for your home.