Condensing boilers have been fitted to new homes for many years and are not a ‘new technology’, they can be wall mounted or floor standing. The advantage they offer over non-condensing boilers is a reduction in fuel costs. This is achieved because this type of boiler has a more effective ‘heat exchanger’ allowing more heat to be removed from the flue products rather than the heat you have paid for being expelled outside and lost to the atmosphere.
A condensing boiler can be an excellent choice for heating water as well as heating the home. If you are currently looking to replace a standard boiler then a condensing boiler might be the right option for you as they minimize heat loss and utilize the water’s heat by burning gas. This process is done to recycle waste gases, thus doubling the use of the original fuel. This can lead not only to efficiency increases but cost savings as well. Their high qualities should be compared to the more standard options of the Combi and System boilers before making a decision on the boiler and system for you.
The process is slightly different to ordinary boilers for heating you radiators and water. Traditionally gas simply goes through the heat exchanger, burns, heats the water and is then dispersed throughout the home. With a condensing boiler, there is a second heat exchanger and this is the efficient part of the boiler as it maintains the water temperature for longer periods. In other words, one is getting twice the amount of energy from the incoming source that would be possible with an ordinary boiler.
Because this is the case the condensing boilers then do not have as higher workload as they maintain the heat for longer and thus don’t need to start again every time hot water and heat is needed. As the result of these features the boiler has a lower workload and is able to turn off and on to keep the correct temperature. The condensing boiler is very clever as it is able to monitor the temperature outside the building, as well, to compare it with that of the day before. Thus it knows how hard it needs to work to maintain the heat required inside the building.
Whilst the combi boiler is smaller the condensing boiler comes in various sizes, you will also require a water storage tank to maintain the hot water once heated. The boiler depends on stored hot water in a special cylinder, with components built in. Without this element the boiler will not be very efficient at all as it is dependent on running hot water from the boiler to the radiators. In our experience condensing boilers are considered the most efficient of the boilers used in the UK today.
When considering the right kind boiler, condensing, combi or system, for your home you should always consult an expert well a number of experts if you can. This will mean getting quotations from various companies. I would recommend asking them to explain the merits of each system and there overall advice on which system would be best for you and your homes needs.
They tend to have a higher purchase cost than non-condensing boilers although the efficiency savings pay back this extra investment in a few years depending upon the size of your property. It is recognised that a condensing gas boiler tends to have an efficiency of around 88% compared to non-condensing boiler of about 75%. Both these are significantly higher than old boilers which rate at between 55% -60%.
Types of Condensing Boilers
There are three types of condensing boilers, combi boilers, system boilers and regular boilers. The main difference between these is the use, or elimination of, various parts within a typical system such as the hot water cylinder or the expansion tank. For more information see the relevant pages in this site.
Which Type of Condensing Boiler?
I live in a bungalow or a flat and have no loft space
I want to convert my loft and use it for a room or I have very limited loft space
We need a lot of hot water but don’t want to wait for a hot tank to heat up
I have a larger home with 2 or more bathrooms
I live in an area which often has low mains water pressure
I have a conventional central heating system and need to replace the boiler
Regular or System
Regular or System
Combi, Regular or System
Possible side effects
Condensing boilers are often noted for their ‘pluming’, a feature sometimes mistaken for ’steam’ coming out of the flue. This is caused by water droplets held in suspension in the flue gases condensing in the colder outside atmosphere. Although non-hazardous ‘pluming’ may be a nuisance if the condensation interferes with windows so care is needed in positioning the flue pipe to avoid this. Also a small pipe need to be run to a drain to allow the condensate to flow away.
The law in England & Wales changed in April 2005, which means only a condensing boiler can be fitted with a replacement boiler or complete new installation. There is a minor loophole to this law where, in exceptional circumstances, the local authority, can agree to an exemption certificate allowing a non-condensing boiler can be fitted.
Choosing the right type of boiler
There are details on all the types of condensing boilers in this site to enable you to decide which type is right for you. Alternatively you can ask a trustworthy boiler installer for their opinion, that is if there is one in your area that you know of and who gives good quality advice. If you are uncertain who to seek assistance from you can ask British Gas to assist, they are the nations leading boiler installer with 50 years experience.
Get a quote for a new condensing boiler
As part of a free, no-obligation, service a British Gas Heating Advisor can visit your home to assess which type and size of condensing boiler is right for you, and to provide you with a firm quotation for a new boiler installation.
Whatever approach you adopt ensure you are well informed, don’t make the wrong decision which you could regret for the next 15 years.
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