Combi boilers

Combi or combination boilers are now the popular choice as they do away with the hot water cylinder and hot water is instantaneous when you turn on the hot water tap or shower control. The combi boiler is fed directly from the mains water supply also, which also means that the tanks in the roof space are no longer needed, a lot of existing installations that require a new boiler are replacing conventional boilers with combination boilers.

Installing a combi boiler is not a DIY project unless of course you are an oil or gas registered person, but there is no reason why you cannot carry out all the new pipe works, fit the radiators if they are not already in place and employ a registered fitter to commission the boiler.

 In an existing installation, when a conventional central heating boiler is replaced with a combi, the cold water head tank and hot water cylinder become redundant; this space can usually be used as extra storage space and the cylinder cupboard can be turned into a cloakroom or shower room, or if in the bathroom a shower enclosure can be put in the space, or it can be extra useful storage space.

There are of course some drawbacks to combi boilers, for example they can only provide maximum water pressure through only one tap at a time. They’re not suitable for big homes where multiple sources of water might be used simultaneously. There is also a short delay as the boiler has to warm up the water, they are also not suitable for power showers, plus of course if a fault develops, or the gas supply is interrupted or you run out of oil, with no immersion heater you have no hot water.

If you do decide on a combi boiler, remember get a condensing boiler as they are more efficient than standard boilers and save fuel.

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