A combination boiler works as both a hot water and central heating device, drawing its water directly from the mains. This means that no hot or cold water cylinder or storage tank are needed. Combi boilers come with multiple advantages and disadvantages you need to be aware of so you can make a well informed and practical decision on whether this type of boiler is right for you and your home. Let’s start by looking at the advantages of combination boilers.

Advantages of combination boilers

Compact size making it easy to store

In comparison to a conventional boiler, combi boilers are very small as they are not required to store hot water like traditional style boilers. They take away the need for a large hot water cylinder typically found in an airing cupboard. When fitting a combi boiler, you would only require a small space in your kitchen or upstairs for the boiler itself, meaning you will have extra storage space to maximise with other items in your home.

Also, you will have extra space free in your loft as you won’t have a cold water storage unit either, due to combi boilers receiving their supply of cold water directly from the main supply. The lack of water storage units gives combi boilers an extra advantage when it comes to installation too as it will make for less work and hassle to simply fit a combination boiler. No cold water unit also lowers the risk of pipes freezing during winter weather.

Highly efficient

New combi boilers are proven to be 90%+ efficient which makes heating your home considerably more affordable when compared to conventional boilers as less heat is likely to be wasted. Less waste also means less unnecessary carbon emissions which is extremely beneficial to the environment, especially at a time when climate change is a serious issue, and many people are looking for ways to live greener.

Quick access to hot water and central heating

Combi boilers heat water based on demand, so there won’t be a delay or long wait time for water to be heated when you need it. This makes combi boilers particularly beneficial for larger households if multiple people are waiting to use the same bathroom. Unlike conventional boilers there is no risk of you running out of water when using a combi boiler thanks to it providing water ‘according to demand’.

Clean water supply that is safe for drinking

As the water is provided from the mains directly and not stored in a tank for any period of time, you won’t have to worry about any build up of sludge or debris in the water. The water that comes through your taps will be much cleaner and safer for drinking.

It will save you money

Since combi boilers work by heating water in small amounts, you will save money compared to traditional style boilers which heat large quantities of water even for small tasks like washing your hands that do not require that much hot water. This is because conventional boilers need to heat up a full cylinder of water no matter what you need it for, which means combi boilers also leave a much smaller carbon footprint than other boilers as well as saving you a substantial amount of money on your energy bills.

advantages and disadvantages of a combi boiler

Disadvantages of combination boilers

Combi boilers have a lot of compelling advantages as you can see but there are some disadvantages you need to be aware of too.

It can struggle to meet a high demand for water

Due to combi boilers getting all of their water supply directly from the mains, this type of boiler can struggle to keep up if there is a high demand for water in the house. For example, if three people all turned the taps on in different rooms at the same time, you will notice the water pressure dramatically reducing. This is because a combi boiler does not have the advantage of a back-up water tank to meet the high demand. Therefore, bigger properties with more residents might be more suited to a conventional boiler that will come with a water tank.

An overly complicated set up

Combi boilers need complex chips and electronic devices in order to function properly, meaning if something goes wrong it is normally more expensive to fix a combination boiler than a traditional one. These boilers can often take more time to repair too which leads to labour costs being pushed up as a lot of boiler engineers work on an hourly rate.

Slower rate of water

Again, since combi boilers get their water from the main supply directly and not a water tank, you could find that this type of boiler takes longer to do certain jobs than a traditional boiler, such as filling up a bath. This ties in with the previous disadvantage of meeting demand, so if you are a large and busy household that requires a lot of water at a fast rate, a combination boiler might not be the right style of boiler for you.

If your combi boiler breaks down you will lose out on hot water and central heating

Combi boilers derive their name from combining and powering your central heating and hot water. Therefore, if you encounter problems with your boiler, you won’t be able to access your hot water or central heating. By contrast traditional boilers only provide your central heating and a separate boiler powers your hot water. So, with conventional boilers you are only likely to experience hot water or central heating outages at different times and you’re not facing the double hit of being without both.

Is a combi boiler worth it?

If you have a fairly small home and your demand for water is not too high, a combi boiler would be an ideal investment for you. Despite a few drawbacks, changing to a combi boiler can not only save you a lot of money on your bills but also a great deal of trouble. The boiler provides hot water on demand, whereas a conventional boiler stores hot water that will eventually cool down and you will have to turn on the boiler again to heat the water. This wastes a lot of extra energy that does not need to be wasted, a combi boiler is considerably more efficient and in the right household could have a highly positive impact that you can enjoy for many years to come.