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Types of boiler & heating system

combination boiler Plumbing Services Bournville, Harborne, Edgbaston, Moseley & Kings Heath
Types of boiler & Heating system

COMBINATION OR COMBI’ BOILER
A boiler which produces all your hot water on demand and gives you all the heating required to keep you warm all winter. All the controls and components (excluding the thermostat & programmer) are housed within the boiler. Other than the boiler this type of heating system does not require a hot water cylinder or cisterns in the loft, therefore is great for space saving

Ideal for: 
Flats, maisonettes and houses of a modest size.  There are more powerful combi’s available for bigger houses but these do command a high price

Advantages
  • All taps at mains water pressure
  • Space Saving- no hot water cylinder, no cisterns in the loft or connecting pipe work
  • Fresh mains water to your bathroom, not from a cistern in the loft
  • No pipes to freeze in your loft
  • Endless hot water, heated on demand, meaning …
  • There’s no hot water cylinder to run out to cold – as you don’t have one.
  • Internal corrosion (rust) to radiators and boiler, caused by air in the system, virtually eliminated
  • As the boiler does all the work you only have to maintain the boiler and not the cisterns in the loft - as you don’t have any.
Disadvantages
  • If you’re having a shower and somebody runs a tap in the kitchen your shower will go cold whilst that tap is being run
  • Can’t have a power-shower
  • A 24Kw boiler with a hot water flow rate of 9 litres/ min will be quite slow to fill a bath, although will be fine for a shower
  • No warm airing cupboard
  • No stored hot water
  • Gas pipe work must be calculated to the correct size, usually larger than a traditional boiler- thus, you may need a new gas pipe run from the meter to boiler.
  • Can be bad in high top-floor flats, with poor water pressure.



TRADITIONAL OPEN VENTED OR HEAT ONLY SYSTEM

Consists of:
  • Boiler, floor standing or wall mounted
  • Hot Water Cylinder, often in an airing cupboard
  • A pump, motorised diverter valve(s) & wiring centre
  • 2 x cisterns in the loft. One large the other small 

Ideal for: 
Houses from 3/ 4 beds & upwards

Advantages
  • Supply of hot water always available via cylinder
  • Great for homes with low pressure mains water
  • Reliable and understood technology
  • Hot water can be boosted with a pump, to give a Power-shower
  • Lots of hot water with a good flow rate per/ min. Often comes with a back up of an electric immersion heater/ element inserted inside your cylinder. 
  • Older boilers, for this type of system, often very robust 


Gas safe registered Plumbing Services Bournville, Harborne, Edgbaston, Moseley & Kings Heath
Disadvantages
  • Space Consumed by - a hot water cylinder, 2 x cisterns in the loft & connecting pipe work
  • Internal corrosion (rust) to radiators and boiler, caused by air in the system
  • Un-insulated pipes in your loft can freeze
  • Bathroom cold water is stored in a cistern in the loft giving potential hygiene problems.
  • Extreme worst case scenario - Legionnaires’ disease which develops in still water between 20 & 45ºC; leave a glass of water on a hot windowsill for a long time and watch what happens - green algae!

Unvented hot water Plumbing Services Bournville, Harborne, Edgbaston, Moseley & Kings Heath
system boiler & unvented hot water cylinder Plumbing Services Bournville, Harborne, Edgbaston, Moseley & Kings Heath
UN-VENTED SEALED SYSTEMS

Requires a boiler and an Un-Vented hot water cylinder - which is often referred to as a Megaflo – this is a makers name, like Hoover. Provides all your heating and hot water.

A sealed system of pipe work and components which are pressurised above atmospheric pressure. The system is fed directly from the mains water supply.  With a Traditional Open Vented system (see previous entry) there are heating and hot water vent pipes terminating over the loft based cisterns; the un-vented system does away with such pipe work and cisterns. As a technology the un-vented system has been used in the rest of Europe for a lot longer than the UK.

Ideal for: 
Brilliant heating and hot water system for homes 2/ 3 beds and upwards. Highly recommended.

Advantages
  • Gallons of hot water at mains pressure, giving fabulous showers
  • Cold water at mains pressure to all taps
  • Supply of hot water always available via un-vented cylinder
  • Has a back-up of an electric immersion heater/ element inserted inside the cylinder - great for topping up your hot water supply when there is a high demand of hot water.
  • Space saving in your loft - no cisterns in the loft or inter-connecting pipe work
  • Being a sealed system Internal corrosion (rust) to radiators and boiler, caused by air in the system is virtually eliminated
  • Risk of contamination from cold water storage eliminated - you have no cistern in the loft
  • Un-vented cylinders can be located in many places, even the loft 
Disadvantages (few)
  • To operate successfully the water cylinder needs a good mains water pressure supply
  • To achieve a good mains water pressure supply you might need a new dedicated cold water supply pipe from your in-coming water main to the new hot water cylinder
  • In addition to the boiler, an un-vented cylinder requires an annual service
  • If choosing this excellent system to replace a combi boiler you will need a new boiler, hot water cylinder and associated controls (valves)
CENTRAL HEATING VARIATIONS – The Sealed System

Traditional, Open Vented Heat Only Systems with a cylinder in the airing cupboard and cisterns in the loft can be converted to what we call a Sealed System. The main benefit being that a sealed system virtually eliminates internal corrosion (rust) to radiators and boiler, caused by air in the system.

Ideal When: Up-grading a Traditional, Open Vented Heat Only Boiler and installing a new ‘System’ boiler. At a later date your traditional copper hot water cylinder could be exchanged for a more efficient Un-Vented cylinder, see enclosed notes on Un-Vented Sealed Systems.New Paragraph
Gas safe registered Plumbing Services Bournville, Harborne, Edgbaston, Moseley & Kings Heath
For more information on different boiler types click the button below to ATAG's website.  They also have a boiler finder tool to help you find the perfect boiler type for your home
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