You have probably had this discussion here many times before but is
there a perceived wisdom about which is better?
The subject arises as my grown up daughter has just moved into a house
with a conventional boiler and she was going on about what a nuisance it
was that the house did not have a combi boiler. My initial thoughts
were why complain? - is the combi so good that you'd choose to be with
one instead of conventional boiler?
I have never found it very satisfactory whenever I have come across a
combi boiler but on this occasion kept quiet as I imagined that things
had improved since my last experiences. And anyway who wants a Dad who
is out of touch.
Pro combi boilers:
Less capital expenditure than conventional
No hot water cylinder
Usually controls are within the combi casing including pump which saves
wiring and /or space and helps to keep cost down.
Mains water is used to supply the hot water so that it can be reasonably
powerful once set up.
Saves heating a (perhaps) unwanted cylinder of hot water which may be a
waste of fuel.
Pro conventional boilers
No need for a constructed airing cupboard ( the ones I have come across
have a very small radiator at the bottom) - build one over the
Heating of space at the same time as the heating of water to supply hot
water. (In my case a considerable advantage as it is at night when the
whole family wants a bath or shower in readiness for the next day).
(This allows me to go into a heated room to get dry and dressed which is
a nicety but also allows the bathroom to be prepared for the next person
- also the house does not go a bit colder.)
Filling of a bath from a cylinder can be quicker than a combi can fill
Often cited as the solution to a longer boiler life than the combi and
also may be needed for larger houses or condensing boilers.
Allows a cylinder full of water to use if needed when the water supply
becomes very poor. (Boil for drinking or use for flushing). Also
allows for hot water and heating if needed if the mains supply pressure
or flow rate drops e g. in some London flats in summer drought mind you
there are solutions suggested for low flow rate.
I suppose my primary motivation for asking how people regard them is the
fact that we recently rented a house for a month and it had a combi
boiler. No doubt the owner saved quite a bit putting that in. The hot
water in the bathroom was always OK and the house was warm and cosy but
the pipe route and the boiler settings meant that the kitchen was a pain
in the neck for hot water - always needing great care in hot water use
and despite an econo setting had to be run to get hot.
- posted 12 years ago