Know Your Boilers: 3 Types of Boilers & How They Work

Boilers are closed devices used to heat and circulate water. They are used as water heaters, central heating systems, power generation, and in some cases, they are utilised for cooking and sanitation. The market is packed with a wide range of boiler providers. While each provider may offer a different brand of product, they all feature three main types of boilers. Below are the three primary types of boilers;

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a boiler for your property, including cost, size, type of property, longevity, and most importantly efficiency as it helps to lower the ever-increasing energy costs. Every property has different heating requirements; luckily, several types of boilers are in the market to fit every heating need.

commercial boilersEach boiler has a range of unique properties that make it stand out. This text will give insights into the different types of boilers to help you determine the most practical choice for your property:

Conventional Boilers

This is basically an old school version of a system boiler. Also known as regular, traditional, or open vent boilers, this heating system is made up of several parts, including a cylinder, two water storage cisterns (one that draws cold water from the main supply while the other feeds the boiler system), a boiler, and heating controls. Although it occupies a lot of space, a conventional boiler can supply large volumes of hot water to multiple rooms at once, making them the ideal commercial boilers for larger properties. These boilers are compatible with solar thermal systems, which can help reduce footprint and energy bills. This unit is, however, suited to properties with traditional heating systems.

Combination Boilers

Combination or ‘combi’ boilers directly heat water from the mains, eliminating the need for a water cylinder and tanks. It acts as both a central heating supply and a water heater, which is where the name combi comes from. This heating system is by far the most popular choice within the UK as it’s considered energy-efficient, Eco-friendly, and cost-effective. Compared with a tank-based system, they take up a lot less space. Your cold water tank and the accompanying hot water tank are about the same width as a single door. Also, hot water is delivered at mains pressure, which allows you to enjoy a hot and powerful shower without needing a separate shower pump. They are available in both electric and gas. Since they are so compact, they are ideally suited to smaller properties.

Combination boilers are measured by the flow rate of your hot water supply. Typically, this is between 24 and 54 kW with a flow rate from 9 to 23 litres. In hospitals, schools, prisons, and commercial premises, these units are larger.

Some systems have small internal water systems and a gas or oil burner. This is added to boost hot water at the taps or its flow rate.

System Boilers

System boilers (sealed system boilers) offer a middle ground between conventional and combination boilers. Most of their components are actually built in, including the pump and the expansion vessel, eliminating the need for tanks. They, however, do require a hot water storage cylinder. System boilers take up less space compared to conventional boilers and still allow for multiple hot water uses, which isn’t offered by combination boilers. This makes them the ideal commercial boilers for larger properties with high hot water demand running at once but has minimal space for installation. System boilers are also compatible with solar thermal systems, offering an energy-efficient option.


commercial boilers1. Gas-fired boilers

Gas-fired boilers are some of the most popular and highly-efficient types of boilers in the market. Gas-fired boilers are powered by either natural gas or propane. These boilers direct heated water, sometimes steam to radiators within a property. Their popularity in most buildings can be attributed to the fact that they do not use up a lot of fuel. It can also be because it can recapture the energy produced when the gases leave the boiler. It also helps that they are durable, they rarely break down and they hardly require a lot of maintenance.


2. Oil-fired boilers

This type of boiler is common in areas that do not have access to adequate or any natural gas. Oil-fired boilers run in tandem with home-based heating oil. The oil is commonly stored in fuel tanks. The difference between oil-fired and gas-fired is that oil boilers do not need any access to gas. However, like its counterpart, it is also very energy efficient. The downside to this type of boiler is that oil prices influence its operating costs. To curb this issue, some manufacturing companies use biodiesel fuel.

3. Electric boilers

Finally, there is the electric boiler. This is a large tank with an inlet and outlet. It uses electricity to heat the water to maximum temperatures. Afterwards, the pump moves the fluid into the radiator in the house. Electric boilers offer a lot of advantages including energy efficiency, cleanliness and ease of installation. It also helps that they are relatively quiet and are more compact. On the other hand, electric boilers are quite expensive because of the high cost of electricity that is used to run them.

Boilers by ST Heating Services Ltd

The best boiler for your property is one that suits both your short and long term demands. ST Heating Service Ltd are one of the leading providers of industrial and commercial boilers heating and plumbing services. The company also provides commercial boilers repair and maintenance services in Manchester and other parts of North West, UK. The company provides high quality heating services, including installation, repair, maintenance, as well as heating & plumbing servicing, ensuring our clients get the most efficient boiler for their needs. All services are competitively priced and highly recommendable. For more information, contact us today!