Your guide to getting a new boiler

You may be thinking now the weather is colder whether your boiler may be past its best. Your energy bills may be creeping up, or you may have to keep calling out your heating engineer, or you’re maybe surviving on oil filled radiators and desperately need a more efficient heating solution! Now the question is; what type of boiler do I need and how much is it going to cost?
This post aims to explain any mystery surrounding different types of boilers and should hopefully help you make a decision when it comes to your new boiler.

Which boiler should I get?

There are two main types of boiler – see below for which one will suit you.

Combi Boiler

A combi boiler heats hot water which is channelled through the heating system (so your radiators) and provides hot water on demand. This is why it is called a ‘combination boiler’. It is statistically the most popular boiler and is ideal for smaller properties which doesn’t have space for water tanks and cylinders.
A combi boiler removes the need to store hot water, as it is produced immediately, so there is no need for a tank. This is why it is so efficient as it only heats up water when it is required. It has a sealed system connected to the radiators and taps with a circulation pump to move the hot water around.
Combi boilers are perfect for smaller properties but not so great when it comes to a large multi-occupant property. It struggles to provide hot water to multiple taps at the same time and should you need hot water while the heating is on the boiler will prioritise the hot water.
You can however upgrade a combi boiler with different outputs should you need an increased output combi boiler.


  • Doesn’t take up too much space
  • Most efficient boiler
  • Low installation cost
  • No need for additional components like tanks etc


  • Not suitable for hot water demand
  • Expensive to maintain and service
  • Doesn’t work with eco energy solutions
  • More expensive to upgrade

Conventional Boiler

A conventional boiler is known as many different names, such as a regular, open vent or heat-only boiler. They are a simple system whereby they heat and store water in a large cylinder that is then released to the radiators. If you have a water tank in the attic and a water cylinder in an airing cupboard or under the stairs, you definitely have a conventional boiler.
It is known as a bit of an old fogey in central heating terms, but regarding efficiency it is actually more efficient than some contemporary systems. Despite having to wait for the cylinder to fill up with hot water (who remembers there being no hot water after someone in the household had had a bath?) once the cylinder is full it can cope with the demand of several taps in use.
The cylinder acts like a giant kettle, heating up the water that comes down from a water tank that is situated above, usually in the attic. The tank will have a ballcock, like in a toilet cistern that detects the water level and fills it up if necessary so it remains at a constant level. This also means that should the system become too hot there is space for the water to expand by coming back out into the water tank.
Conventional boiler systems are also easy to upgrade with bigger tanks and more coils inside the cylinder, which is also less expensive.


  • Hot water from several taps at once
  • Reliable and needs less maintenance
  • Can be used with newer eco-friendly energy systems


  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Installation can be expensive
  • Not as efficient

If you can’t decide which new boilers in Preston you should get, let APG Domestics know and we can give you free, impartial advice and a competitive quote.

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