Everywhere you look there are boilers sale adverts, and with dozens of manufacturers and models advertised it can be hard to choose. Use this guide to narrow down your list of potential purchases.
What Types of Boiler Are Available?
‘Combi’ boilers are the most common type in the UK, and the name is an abbreviation of the word combination, with them being so named because they are able to supply heat for both your central heating system and your hot water. They take up a relatively small amount of space, as there is no need for an insulated cylinder to store hot water or a cold water storage tank, and they are very efficient – almost all are ‘A’ rated and many turn well over 90% of the fuel burned into effective heat. They do have one or two downsides in that the boiler can take a few moments to heat water before it arrives at a tap, and there is a limit to how much water they can heat at one time. The latter point means that combi boilers in very large houses may not be able to supply the required amounts of hot water, especially if a couple of bathrooms are in use at the same time.
Heat-only boilers, as the name suggests, are only connected to the central heating system and don’t provide hot water for washing. That is usually provided by a different system, and these designs are now thought to be a bit old, technology wise, though many people still prefer them. They do take up a lot of space as they require a cold water feeder tank and a hot water storage tank, but on the other hand they are relatively cheap to install and maintain and are still fairly efficient with most being ‘A’ rated. They are probably best suited to large house which have the storage space needed and which can also justify having a large amount of hot water sat waiting to be used.
Which Brands Are Best?
Everyone has their own opinions about what they like and don’t like, so it’s difficult to truly independent studies that tell you the truth without any bias. The magazine Which? Produces regular surveys which attempts to assess each brand properly, using a combination of their own testing and surveys of owners, so they are probably the most reliable and consistent source. In their results, Vaillant and Worcester Bosch are two companies well worth looking at as customers who own them rate them very highly indeed, and have done so for a number of years. Close on their heels is Potterton, one of the most popular British brands, which has also scored well for reliability.
Before you decide what to go for in any boilers sale, make sure you’ve decided what you want. Consider which type is right for your home, and do a bit of research into your shortlist so that you know how reliable, efficient and user friendly each one is. That way, you can be satisfied you’ve bought the right boiler and will feel satisfied for years to come.
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