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PlumbNation Heating Supplies Boiler Guide
ALL boilers listed on our website are High Efficiency Condensing Boilers.
PlumbNation Heating Supplies believe that at the heart of every household there needs to be a high efficiency condensing boiler to provide copious amounts of hot water and warmth all year round. Here you will find the most reliable boilers in the industry at incredibly competitive prices. By ordering from our website you can rest safe in the knowledge that you have invested in a top quality, high efficiency condensing central heating boiler whilst saving both money and the environment.
A boiler is essentially a closed container that holds fluid and heats it for a variety of uses, particularly for the central heating system of a domestic household. Boilers do indeed come in an assortment of shapes and sizes offering a variety of uses of varying requirements, e.g. Boilers for Sealed Systems, Boilers for Regular Systems, etc. The most efficient type of boiler on the market, now the industry standard, are Condensing Boilers, also known as high efficiency boilers. A Condensing Boiler will recycle flue gases that would normally be wasted from a non condensing boiler. This means that less energy is required to power your boiler, as a result you can help to save our environment and significantly reduce your fuel consumption costs.
A Combi Boiler, or Combination Boiler, is generally considered to be the UK’s most popular type of boiler. A Combi Boiler is a compact and highly efficient unit, which can supply a busy domestic household with all the heating and hot water supplies it will ever need, whilst guaranteeing significant savings on running and installation costs. Hence why many of us prefer to choose the Combi Boiler over all other types of boiler.
Unlike a conventional heating and hot water system, a Combi system does not store domestic hot water. It heats water directly from the cold mains, as you use it. There’s no requirement for a hot water cylinder, no tank in the loft (and so less risk of freezing and flooding) and none of the connecting pipe work. So you not only save space, but also reduce hot water costs – which can account for up to 60% of a typical domestic fuel bill. A Combi Boiler also supplies hot water at mains pressure, giving you exhilarating power showering, without the need for a pump.
When choosing a Combi boiler, it is important to establish the heat output and flow rate suitable for your requirements. Below is a rough guide to the size of Combi boiler you may require. Please note that this is only a guide and you should consult a qualified Heating Engineer before choosing your boiler.
- 24kW Combi Boiler – 1/2 Bedroom apartment or small house
- 30kW Combi Boiler – 2/3 Bedroom house with 1 Bathroom
- 35kW Combi Boiler – 3/4 Bedroom house with 1 Bathroom
- 40kW Combi Boiler – 3/4 Bedroom house with 2 Bathrooms
Combi Boilers are not suitable for larger properties with 3, 4 or more Bathrooms
An accurate way to calculate your required boiler output is to measure the BTU’s required to heat each room in your property, add them all together to give you the total value required from your boiler. A heat loss calculation for each room can be done with our handy ‘Heating Calculator’.
Regular Boilers, otherwise known as Heat Only Boilers, Conventional Boilers, or Open Vented Boilers are used in a more traditional central heating system. If you are looking to replace an old boiler, then this may be the system that you currently have.
A Regular Boiler works on the basis of “heating only” and therefore requires a separate hot water cylinder (usually located in an airing cupboard), which stores a large amount of the household cold water. There are also two feeder tanks, (usually located in the loft area). One of the tanks is for domestic hot water, which feeds through to the hot water storage cylinder. The second tank is required for the central heating. The mains cold water is fed through the expansion / header tank to the central heating system, which is heated via the boiler. This can also be called an “open vent system”.
Having a regular boiler system means that unlike a Combi Boiler system, the hot water flow rates tend to be higher as the hot water is already stored in the hot water cylinder. This allows the use of several hot water outlets being operated at the same time within the property. Due to the number of components that a Regular Boiler system requires it will use up more space than any other heating system.
Sealed System Boilers work in a similar manner as Conventional Boilers, where they indirectly heat a separate store of domestic hot water. System boilers are designed for use with Unvented Cylinders. Unvented Cylinders don’t require a separate header tank in the loft. They are feed directly from mains water and are completely sealed.
Although similar in many ways, the difference between a Sealed System Boiler and a Conventional Boiler (Regular Boiler) is that the System Boiler incorporates all the of the major components built-in, including an expansion vessel and modulating pump. Generally all components are pre-wired, pre-plumbed and pre-tested for greater reliability, as well as a quicker and neater installation.
System Storage Boilers provide both central heating and plentiful supplies of hot water. This is achieved by combining a boiler and an unvented cylinder in one unit, with all the necessary controls. That also means a dry loft, for simplicity and peace of mind.
Storage Boiler units are designed for fast and easy installation. Whilst space is freed up in the property due to their compact design, there is an added benefit of achieving mains pressure hot water from more than one outlet simultaneously, even after the full contents has been used hot water is still available instantaneously at a reduced rate.
A Back Boiler is a compact boiler that is fitted at the back of an open fireplace hearth and can be installed behind a Fire, or within the chimney breast. Even though Back Boilers are fairly small in size, a Back Boiler is more than capable of producing enough hot water and central heating for the entire household if installed with an indirect hot water cylinder, this will allow homeowners to use hot water from several taps at once. Back Boilers are a reliable solution and a Back Boiler installation will usually also include a tank for the loft and a cylinder in an airing cupboard.
It is a legal requirement that Back Boiler installations must be carried out by a GAS SAFE REGISTERED engineer.
- Natural Gas Boiler - The mains gas used in this country is called Natural Gas or Methane (CH4). Natural gas is currently established as the popular fuel of choice for domestic central heating systems, making the Natural Gas Boiler a very popular heating appliance. Natural gas is available via a mains feed that is piped directly into the home, meaning no on site storage is required. Although natural gas is the most popular fuel option in the UK it is not be always available to every household. If this is the case then another fuel option will be required for you to run your central heating system, see below for our LPG Boilers, Oil Boilers and Electric Boilers. It is a legal requirement that Gas Boiler installations must be carried out by a GAS SAFE REGISTERED engineer.
- LPG Boiler - Liquid Petroleum Gas Boilers are most commonly referred to as LPG Boilers. LPG is an alternative option used for homes that aren’t connected to the mains gas feed, and although it works in the same way as Natural Gas, it is slightly more expensive to run. Unlike Natural Gas, LPG is actually stored on site in a cylinder or tank, which is then supplied via a pipeline into the property. The range of LPG Boilers are less than those available in Natural Gas Boilers, however some Natural Gas Boilers can be converted into an LPG Boiler using the appropriate LPG Conversion Kit. It is a legal requirement that all LPG Boiler installations are carried out by a GAS SAFE REGISTERED engineer.
- Oil Boiler - Similar to an LPG Boiler, an Oil Boiler (or Oil Fired Boiler) is an alternative option used for homes that aren’t connected to the mains gas feed. The Oil is stored in an Oil Storage Tank (which are also available to buy here from our PlumbNation Heating Supplies Oil Tank collection) that supplies oil via a pipeline direct from the tank to the property. A well installed Oil Fired central heating system will give you every bit as much efficiency as a gas central heated system. Oil Boilers can be more expensive to run than Natural Gas Boilers, however with oil powered central heating you have the flexibility to switch oil suppliers if prices increase, thus keeping costs down. However, oil produces higher carbon dioxide emissions than gas so it is less environmentally friendly. It is a legal requirement that all Oil Boiler installations must be carried out by an OFTEC registered engineer.
- Electric Boiler - Electricity is widely available to every home and can be used to power your central heating boiler. Electric Boilers are actually 100% efficient for the end user since there is no heat loss. There is no need for a flue, as there is no fuel to extract and Electric Boilers are also compact, light and completely silent. Although the initial installation of Electric Boilers is fairly economical, the cost of running an Electric Boiler will cost considerably more on a day-to-day basis, as opposed to Natural Gas Boilers.
There are great savings to be had from our Boiler Packs collection, as a Boiler Pack will include the essential components required for a new installation. A Boiler Pack can consist of a ‘boiler, flue and digital clock’ or a ‘boiler, flue and plug-in timer pack’, etc..
Boiler Flues & Accessories
A flue is a pipe or chimney that is used to extract waste gases from within the boiler (caused by the combustion process) to the outside of the property. These waste gases are mostly carbon dioxide and steam and in certain circumstances can be extracted through the flue terminal as a white plume or discharge. This is due to the fact that as with all Condensing Boilers, the flue gases are exhausted at around 55°C and therefore cool quicker when entering the atmosphere. In certain temperatures this will create a plume similar to exhaled breath on a cold morning. It is this plume or wastage that needs to be extracted correctly away from the property.
There are various flue options available for every type of domestic and commercial boiler installation. We recommended that you speak with your plumber, installation team or the manufacturer directly, who will be able to provide expert advice on your flue requirements.
We supply all the necessary Boiler Flues and Boiler Accessories that you will require to complete your installation, these can normally be found in the Accessories section of a boiler product page or are included with a Boiler Pack.
SEDBUK (Seasonal Efficiency of Domestic Boilers in the UK) is a method for calculating the efficiency of central heating boilers, and is a government backed scheme that has been developed and agreed upon with leading boiler manufacturers. The purpose of SEDBUK is to accurately identify the efficiency rating of boilers in a scale from A to G, to help consumers establish the fundamental differences of condensing and non condensing boilers. It enables a fair energy efficiency comparison between the different brands of boiler, which are scored and placed in a banding system, the most efficient being Band A. Condensing Boilers with the highest efficiency rating will produce more energy for with smaller amounts of fuel, so as less fuel is wasted during the combustion process the boiler is more environmentally friendly and very cost effective.
The current legislation in England and Wales states, that from 1 April 2005, all Gas Boiler installations in new or existing properties, must be Condensing Boilers (rated SEDBUK Band A or B). The same legislation for Oil Fired Boilers was applied as from 1 April 2007. From the 1st of October 2010 Band B Condensing Boiler installations will be banned as part of changes to Part L of the UK building regulations.
Condensing Boilers are more efficient due to their ability to extract more heat from the flue gases that would normally be purged through the flue system. As the gases pass through the heat exchanger, this extra surface latent heat within, which would normally be lost to the atmosphere, is instead released and applied to the system. It is this ability to extract as much heat as possible from the gas it burns that gives the Condensing Boiler an exceptionally high level of operating efficiency.
We at PlumbNation Heating Supplies offer the definitive range of SEDBUK Band A Condensing Boilers so that all our customers can enjoy the benefits of the very best high efficiency boilers on the market today. Buy your boiler online today to help save the environment and experience great saving on your domestic fuel bills.
SEDBUK Boiler Rating Scale
BAND A: 90% - 91.3%
BAND B: 86% - 90%
BAND C: 82% - 86%
BAND D: 78% - 82%
BAND E: 74% - 78%
BAND F: 70% - 74%
BAND G: Below 70%