Types of Boilers for Your Home: Boiler Buying Guide

types of boilers

Every home needs an efficient heating and cooling system, especially in the chilly winter months. They help maintain a warm and inviting environment, making your house feel like home.

While several heating systems are available, thousands of American homes prefer other options, like geothermal, or even better, a boiler system for its comfort, efficiency, and quality.

If you're looking to install a boiler system in your home, you may be wondering what type of boiler would best fit your needs. So, we've come up with this guide to help you choose the right type of boilers for your home heating needs.

What Is A Boiler System?

A boiler is a heating system like a furnace, heat pump, fireplace, and space heater. It provides either hot water or steam for heating your home. But unlike other heating systems, a boiler serves a dual purpose by combining the functions of a water heater and a furnace in one unit to provide sufficient heat and water supply throughout your residence.

How Does the Boiler Heat Your Home?

Using a gas-powered boiler as an example. The boiler is connected to the natural gas supply in your home. And when the boiler is turned on, the thermostat triggers a heating cycle by releasing gas for the heating system.

This gas is released into a sealed combustion chamber. An electric igniter picks up the energy, creating a spark to ignite the gas. And with a pump, the boiler system circulates steam through pipes to radiators to provide heat throughout the house.

How Does a Boiler Provide Hot Water for Your Home?

The same boiler, which is connected to the natural gas supply for your home and provides heat for the atmosphere, can also make hot water sufficient throughout your home for bathroom and kitchen needs.

As a water heater, the boiler pushes water towards the heat exchanger by hot jets. This gets the water heated up, and after that, the hot water is pushed out by an electric pump into the radiator system, where it is stored, waiting for the faucets to be turned on. Immediately, a faucet is turned on, hot water gushes out of the tap.

Types Of Boiler System

Boiler systems come in many different sizes and mechanics. While some are oil-fired boilers, others run on natural gas to heat your home. Each of these boiler systems is designed with its own set of features that allow it to meet the needs of your central heating system.

So, before installing a boiler in your home, you should be aware of the different types of boilers available on the market. This will help you make an informed choice of the boiler that best fits your needs.

Condensing Boilers

Most modern boilers are condensing systems. They are designed for energy efficiency. And unlike the older and non-condensing systems, they can trap wasted heat in exhaust gases and reuse them for another heating process.

By doing this, the condensing boiler can recycle heat energy produced from steam, decrease the energy requirement for heating your home, cut down on heating costs, and lower the amount of carbon emitted from your home.

Condensing boilers are the best type of boilers for the environment, making them the most popular type of boilers used in the US, UK, and around the world. And because they are efficient and eco-friendly, there are states with federal laws requiring all new boilers to use the condensation process.

Other Types Of Boiler Systems For Homes

There are three main types of boilers for homes:

  • Combi boilers.

  • Heat-only boilers.

  • System boilers.

A Combi (Combination) Boiler systems

A combi boiler is a single unit that generates all the heating and hot water for the home. It doesn't need hot water tanks.

How Does a Combi Boiler Work?

Combi boilers are a type of boiler system that combines both hot water and steam heating into one unit. These systems are ideal for homes that require both hot water and steam heat simultaneously. The best part is that combi boilers are energy efficient, meaning that they save money while providing reliable heating services.

The most common types of combi boilers include gas-fired models, electric models, and oil-fired models. Gas-fired models are the most popular choice since they provide fast heat delivery and easy installation.

Electric models are also very popular, especially among homeowners who prefer to install their own equipment. Oil-fired models are less common, but they offer the advantage of being able to operate without electricity.

Pros of a Combi Boiler

  • Suitable for small homes.

  • Reduces energy consumption and saves money on your heating bills.

  • Easy to maintain.

  • They can either be a heating oil boiler or electric boilers

  • Heats water rapidly, making it available for immediate use.

Cons of a Combi Boiler

  • The poor water pressure might slow it down, especially when running simultaneously on multiple taps.

  • Since it doesn’t store water in tanks and cylinders, there’s no backup source of hot water if the boiler breaks down.

A Heat-Only (Regular) Boiler

Heat-only boilers or hot water boilers work with a hot water cylinder. It has a boiler that will heat water, a cylinder for storing heated water, and a cold water tank. The boiler supplies water to the central heating and storage cylinder.

How Does a Heat-only Boiler Work?

Heat is supplied directly to the radiators from the boilers. The boiler and storage cylinder use an open-vented heating system, but they can also work on a sealed system when no expansion tank is involved.

Pros of a Heat-only Boiler

  • It works well with old radiators, so you don't need to buy new radiators.

  • The cost of replacement is low.

  • It is the cheapest type of boiler to buy.

Cons of a Heat-only Boiler

  • It may be incompatible with some modern heating systems.

  • The time required for water to reach the right temperature is usually longer.


A System Boiler

A boiler is a heating system with a steel hot water cylinder that provides hot water for a house. It has similar components to a combi boiler but does not provide hot water.

How Does a System Boiler Work?

System boilers work by heating water in a tank, then sending the hot water through pipes to various parts of the home. These systems are typically used in large homes where space is limited. Because system boilers are usually installed in basements, they tend to be quieter than other types of boiler systems.

However, if you're interested in installing a system boiler, you'll need to consider several factors. First, you'll need to decide whether you want a gas or electric system. Also, you'll need to determine the size of the system you want. Smaller systems are easier to install, but may not provide enough hot water for your needs.

Pros of a System Boiler

  • It's an excellent choice for homes with high hot water demand.

  • It has good water flow rates suited for multiple outlets.

  • Good warranty since the system's compartments are integral

Cons of a System Boiler

  • The flow rate is dependent on the main water pressure.

  • Takes up more space than a combi boiler.

Hire a Heating Installation Expert Today

The best type of boilers for your home will depend on your need, size of the home, location, climate condition, and budget. However, we often recommend the system boiler for large homes, not just for its capacity but also because it's energy-efficient.

Contact us today if you want to know more about how a condensing boiler works. We will inspect your house, examine your present boiler setup, and help you find the best type of boilers for your home based on your heating needs and budget.