Information on Boilers
TYPES OF BOILER
These can be bought designed to use either gas, oil or LPG as their energy source.
Heat Only Boilers
These were used in most domestic central heating systems and the vast majority of homes built in the UK prior to 1970. They provide heat for radiators and heat water in a separate hot water cylinder. The cold water for this process is supplied, by gravity, from a tank which is usually in the loft. You can still have one today and they have some advantages over other types of boiler.
Combination (Combi) Boilers
A combi boiler is so-named because it provides heat for radiators and also heats water which it supplies on demand. When a tap is turned on, water is immediately taken from the mains supply and heated in the boiler before being fed out of the tap. They are very popular due to their relative affordability and functionality. However, they are not suitable in domestic situations where several people may be demanding hot water simultaneously.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CONDENSING BOILERS
Since 2005 Building Regulations have stated that all new domestic boilers must be at least 90% efficient in their conversion of energy into usable heat. This is equivalent to an A Rating.
Condensing boilers are designed to re-use heat which would be lost in other systems and they are the only type of central heating boilers which can achieve this stringent efficiency level. They also emit lower levels of gases which should have a beneficial effect on carbon dioxide levels in the environment.
The condensing process creates mildly acidic water vapour called condensate. Unfortunately, this causes a constant drip of hot water, which leaves the boiler via a thin pipe and has ideally to be taken to an external drain (though it can be taken to an existing “soil pipe” or a specially constructed underground soak away). This can be a problem in some situations and may mean the boiler has to be placed somewhere you don’t necessarily want it.
An external fan assisted flue is required to take away the waste gases (which as already mentioned will be less than those of non-condensing systems) and this should be installed so that its exit point is clear of windows, doors, or neighbouring properties! We don’t want to upset the neighbours, do we?