The combination boiler, also referred to as the combi boiler, is the most popular boiler type in the UK today. The combi boiler supplies hot water and heating without the need for storage tanks or a cylinder. Combi boilers can be gas, electric or oil fired.
When it comes to boilers, equipment costs are usually lower than the installation and this article will help you choose the best combi boiler. The article will also provide a guide to installation costs as well as the purchase costs for popular combi boilers.
Unlike most home improvement projects, changing gas boilers is not a DIY project. You will need to be a registered gas engineer before you can conduct work on gas boilers and associated systems. Choosing the right combi boiler is vital to enjoying heat and hot water reliably for years to come.
Like all electrical and mechanical systems, combi boilers require annual servicing to ensure they are working as efficiently as possible. Below you will find some of the reasons for choosing a combi boiler over other boiler types.
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Advantages of combi boilers
The combi boiler is a high efficiency water heater, as well as providing central heating all in a single unit. Mains cold water is connected directly to the boiler, and is then heated when a hot water tap is opened, on demand. This eliminates the need for a water storage tank, saving on installation space. The benefits of combi boilers include:
- Unlimited, on demand hot water.
- No need for storage tank in the loft.
- Hot water delivered at mains pressure so no need for additional pumps for pressurising hot water.
- Eliminates the risk of frozen pipework in the loft.
- Has a very small footprint and will not use up valuable living space.
The best combi boiler brands and guide installation costs
Nearly every boiler manufacturer has a range of combi boilers in their portfolio simply because they are one of the most popular domestic boilers. This article will focus on the following market leading brands, and compare price, warranties and reliability:
- Worcester Bosch Greenstar 24i
- Vaillant ecoTEC Pro
- Baxi EcoBlue+
Worcester Bosch Greenstar 24i
The Worcester Bosch Greenstar 24i combi boiler model has a 24kW heat output, which is ideal for most small to medium sized homes. It offers the following features and benefits:
- A large boiler controls display which makes it easy to use.
- A range of user accessible controls to help you heat your home to your desired comfort levels.
- Reduced electricity use because it has a high efficiency pump fitted, saving you money.
- Provides instantaneous hot water for heating or domestic use.
- Comes with a 5 year standard guarantee.
- Achieves A rating for both heating and hot water.
The Greenstar 24i with installation costs around £1,600 and the boiler alone varies in price from £890. It is always advisable to use an installed price when comparing boiler prices, unless you have someone qualified to carry out the installation for you.
Vaillant ecoTEC Pro
The Vaillant ecoTEC Pro combination boiler is again a very popular product in the UK, because of its simple and user friendly design. Below are some of the key features and benefits of this range of boilers:
- Built-in frost control (two stage) for optimum all year round performance.
- High efficiency heat exchanger (stainless steel) ensures fast delivery of hot water on demand.
- Has an 89.2% efficiency rating which makes it economical to run.
- Has a 2 year standard warranty, which can be extended if you use an approved installer.
- Features a high efficiency pump which costs less to run.
Boiler only prices for the Vaillant ecoTEC pro 28kW boiler start from £850 and you can expect a boiler and installation price of around £1,600. Remember installation prices will vary depending on a number of factors, including complexity of your installation.
Baxi EcoBlue+ Combi
Baxi is a household name in the boiler industry and it’s no surprise that a Baxi boiler features in this list of the best combi boilers. The EcoBlue+ range of boilers come in different sizes which makes them suitable for installation in different sizes of homes. A compact boiler, it requires less installation space, delivers excellent flow rates for both hot water and heating, ensuring hot water is available when it’s needed. The features and benefits of this boiler model include the following:
- 7 years warranty available subject to terms and conditions.
- Small footprint so ideal for installation in homes where space is at a premium.
- Easy and quick to install ensuring short downtimes without heat.
- Highly reliable boiler systems.
- A Rated efficiency for both heating and hot water.
Prices for the Baxi EcoBlue+ range of combi boilers (boiler only packages) start from around £700 and with installation, you can expect to pay around £1,500.
Choosing the best boiler for your home can be a challenge but hopefully this article narrows down your focus a little bit. Each boiler brand offers boiler sizing calculator to help you choose the correct boiler size for your needs. It is often unnecessary to select a boiler with a bigger heat output than you need, unless you are planning on extending your home.
The boiler and installation prices in this article will help you budget for your boiler upgrade, as well as warn you when a deal is either too good to be true or too expensive.
Baxi offers the longest warranty at 7 years and even 10 years if you go for the extended warranty. However, when it comes to pricing they all fall within a £100 range and so this isn’t really a determining factor. You can always ask the opinion of heating engineers if you can’t make up your mind, but choosing any one of the three boilers above should provide you with reliable heating and hot water for years to come.