Pros and Cons of a Combi Boiler Back
A combination or ‘combi’ boiler combines the function of heating water and providing central heating (hence the name ‘combi’). A combi-boiler is different from a conventional boiler in that a combi-boiler does not require a hot or cold water storage unit. Below we discuss the pros and cons of a combi-boiler setup. Hopefully by the time you’ve finished reading this post you will have a better idea whether a combi-boiler is right for your or not.
Advantages of using a combi-boiler
#1. Combi-boilers are very small when compared to a conventional boiler. There is no need to store hot water as is case with conventional boiler. Combi-boilers eliminate the need for a large hot water cylinder commonly found in airing cupboards. In contrast combi-boilers require only a small space in your kitchen or upstairs airing cupboard.
#2. Highly efficient - in fact combi-boilers are up to 90%+ efficient. Heating your home is therefore more affordable when compared to conventional boilers.
#3. Frees up roof or loft space as no need for cold water storage unit. This is because combi-boilers receive their supply of cold water directly from the mains. A lack of water storage units also gives combi-boilers the edge when it comes to installation. No water storage unit translates into less work and hassle when it comes to installation. A lack of a cold water unit also reduces the risk of pipes freezing during the British winter time.
#4. No need to wait for water to be heated. Combi-boilers heat water according to demand. Therefore combi-boilers are very convenient if many people are queuing to use the same bathroom. Since hot water is provided ‘according to demand’ there is no risk of water running out as is the case with a conventional boiler.
#5. Since water is heated in small quantities, you save money compared to traditional boilers which heat vast quantities of water even if you simply want to wash your hands! This is because conventional boilers require you to heat up an entire cylinder full of water, even if you just want to wash the dishes! Combi-boilers therefore have a smaller carbon-footprint when compared to conventional boiler.
Disadvantages of using a combi-boiler
#1. Although a combi-boiler heats water ‘on demand’, the boiler will still need ample supply of water to meet this demand. If you use a power shower or more than one person uses a tap located in different parts of the property, water pressure will eventually drop. This is because the demand for water outstrips the available supply. This is particularly a problem for properties with poor mains supply of water or those built with multiple bathrooms.
Therefore if you need water for several different taps simultaneously, you may be better off with a conventional boiler. Otherwise when two people use different taps the water pressure will be weak and annoy whoever is trying to wash his or her hands! Hotels, public houses, office complexes or large homes are advised to stay away from combi-boilers for this reason.
#2. Combi-boilers house expensive electronic components. Therefore it can be expensive to repair if a part is worn or damaged. Consider taking out a maintenance contract or boiler insurance if you own a combi-boiler.
#3. A combi-boiler may be slow to run a bath and the boiler may struggle to feed enough water required by a power shower.
Since combi-boiler provide the property’s central heating and hot water, if your boiler malfunctions you won't have access to neither hot water nor heat from your radiators. Unlike conventional boilers, combi-boilers do not have the luxury of a back up immersion heater. Therefore you will feel a double sting on a cold winter's day if your boiler experiences failure. Consider installing an electric shower rather than a mixer shower. If your combi-boiler fails you will at least have the option of being able to have a shower!
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