How Do Regular Boilers Work? Re January 23, 2023

How Do Regular Boilers Work?

Ferroli Fault Codes

One of the most common questions we ask ourselves when it comes to our home central heating system, is ‘what type of boiler do I have?, followed by ‘How does my boiler work?’. 

This blog will help you to identify if you have a regular boiler installed inside of your home, how regular boilers work, the pros and cons of having a regular boiler installed in your home, the cost of installation and alternative boiler systems for your home. Once you’ve read this blog, head over to our Best Regular Boilers 2023 blog, which gives you information on the top 5 best regular boilers on the market, in case you’re looking for a cheeky upgrade. 

When getting a quote on a new boiler from the WarmZilla website we help you to identify what type of boiler you currently have and if you’re still unsure you can ask a member of the Operations Team using our live chat option. Not only do we help you identify your current but we will also suggest the ideal boiler type for your home and include the price of transferring from one system to another (i.e transferring from an old regular boiler to a new combi boiler). 

With this said, you can now use our Boiler Comparison tool, which allows you to compare up to three boilers at one time. You can also compare your current boiler against two other boiler models and brands, to help you find the most reliable and most energy-efficient boiler for your home. 

Now, on to the good stuff…

What is a regular boiler?

Regular boiler systems, also known as conventional, traditional, heat only or open vent boilers, are the most difficult to install or replace. A regular boiler includes both a hot and cold water storage tank, the boiler itself and an expansion cistern located next to the cold water tank. 

Although a regular boiler can provide a large volume of hot water for multiple bathrooms in your home, this type of boiler system does take up quite a bit of space in a home. For those with smaller homes and limited space, we recommended looking into combi boilers instead. 

Regular boilers are becoming less and less common as they are less efficient than newer combi and system boilers. They also require more space as mentioned above, as more parts, which means that potentially more could go wrong with your boiler. 

On the other hand, regular (conventional) boilers are ideal for anyone in an area with low water pressure.

How do regular boilers work?

With regular, or conventional boilers as some prefer to call them, the cold water from the mains is sent to be heated up in the hot water storage cylinder, which then feeds into the household’s taps and showers. 

Regular boilers are either sealed or open vented. In sealed systems, the boiler doesn’t have a feed and expansion tank and is closed to the atmosphere, whereas open vented systems are open to atmospheric pressure and do have a feed and expansion tank, helping to accommodate water loss from leakage or evaporation. The water tank, which is typically installed in the highest place in your home (normally the attic) maintains the right water level whilst a pump circulates the hot water to your home’s radiators.

Before purchasing a new boiler, it is important that you choose the right boiler for your home, to ensure that your home is heating efficiently without any energy wastage. The wrong type of boiler can lead to high energy bills and long delays in hot water reaching your taps and showers. 

Regular/ conventional boilers have the ability to heat homes with up to 7+ bedrooms and more than one bathroom. If your home is large in size, you can still enjoy hot water from all outlets without the flow of water getting weaker.

Unlike combi boilers, regular boilers heat incoming water to then be stored in a hot water cylinder for later use.

Outside of exceptional circumstances, all boilers installed in the UK must be condensing, which means that if you install a conventional boiler today, it will be a condensing boiler.

Condensing boilers extract heat from flue gases (which would otherwise escape into the atmosphere) and recycle it, which helps save energy and money in the process.

In addition, most regular boilers are also compatible with solar water heating systems, making them ideal for environmentally-conscious homeowners. An increased level of fuel efficiency in your home heating system can help you to save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

How do I know if a regular boiler is right for my home?

There are a few ways to tell if a conventional boiler is suitable for your home. The most obvious way to tell is the current layout of your central heating system. If your home only has a boiler, and hot water cylinder installed but doesn’t have a loft-installed tank, your current boiler is a regular boiler. Like-for-like regular boiler swaps tend to be a lot easier for engineers.

Regular boilers are the most traditional form of heating in the UK. Although they are still in use today, their popularity has fallen recently in favour of combi boilers. Despite this, a regular boiler could still serve your heating needs effectively.

There is also a feed and expansion tank, located in your loft, which is filled with water. It keeps your heating system’s water levels relatively constant. It also incorporates a safety device whereby if there is too much hot water in the system it will fill the tank then exit through the overflow.

Bear in mind that the decision to buy the right conventional boiler depends on a few factors; how much you want to spend, what brand of boiler you like, the setup of your current boiler, and the size of your home. 

You can take our online survey to get an instant and free quote for a brand new boiler. Just answer a few simple questions and you will find the best conventional boiler that suits your needs. Don’t forget to check out our boiler comparison tool, where you can compare up to 3 boilers side-by-side to help you find the right conventional boiler for your home.

What are the benefits of a regular boiler?

  • Regular boilers can supply hot water to two or more bathrooms at the same time and it won’t affect water pressure or heating.
  • An immersion heater can be fitted to the hot water tank to ensure you can still get hot water in the case of a boiler breakdown.
  • Regular boilers are suitable for homes that suffer from low water pressure.
  • Compatible with solar energy sources in the same way as a system boiler.

What are the disadvantages of having a regular boiler?

  • The amount of space the boiler and tanks take up is impractical, particularly for smaller homes or flats.
  • Limited hot water up to the volume of your hot water storage tank.
  • A hot water tank loses heat, no matter how well insulated.
  • Difficult to install, only suitable as a replacement for another regular boiler system. 

Are you interested in getting a regular (heat only) boiler, but you’re unsure which model is best for your home? Look no further! We have a Best Regular Boiler Brands 2023 blog that could help! 

When buying a conventional boiler, just like with other types, there are several brands and models available. Each has different features that are built into the unit, as well as varying output capacities. If you’re unsure what kW boiler you need for your home, or what kW output means when it comes to your boiler, don’t panic, we have separate blogs that cover this. 

Although it is important to take a careful look at what features you want with your boiler, you should also get a clear idea of the prices. This way, you’ll be well-informed, setting yourself up to make the best decision for your conventional boiler. This leads us on to our next section, the cost of regular boilers.

How much do regular boilers cost?

Regular boiler replacement cost & prices

Prices range from £1,900 – £2,200

A regular, or heat-only boiler, has three elements to it:

  1. A boiler
  2. A separate hot water tank (usually in an airing cupboard)
  3. A separate cold water tank (often in the loft)

Regular boiler systems are usually best for larger homes with 3+ bathrooms as they are built for high hot water demand. We have two main options here.

This option is if you just want to replace your existing boiler with another heat only system. This price does not include new hot or cold water tanks as in most cases you do not need to pay for a new one, because they last for decades. However, if you did, then there would be an additional charge for that. 

The price for a regular heat-only replacement starts at £1,900 for a budget boiler with a low warranty, to £2,200 and above for a mid to high-end heat-only boiler, such as a Worcester Bosch or Vaillant, with a good length warranty.

Regular conversion to combi boiler cost & prices

Prices range from £2,300 – £2,500

However, if you want to convert your existing heat-only boiler with a combi boiler, then this would be more around the price you would be paying. This option costs around the same as a system boiler to combi boiler as all that’s required are the extra water tank needs removing. 

So, for a regular heat-only boiler conversion to a combi boiler, the price is £2,300 for a basic boiler, with a low warranty, or slightly more expensive at £2,500 for a mid-range boiler and some higher-end boilers.

Additional costs to consider

New heating controls & smart thermostat cost: £30 – £300

Thanks to upgrades in technology in recent times, boilers can be turned on and off very easily. You do not have to walk to the boiler to make changes. Depending on the brand and type of the thermostat you choose, this will have an effect on the overall price of your boiler package. 

The average price of this is between £30 and £300. Most smart thermostats range from £100 to £300 dependent on the model. When purchasing a new boiler with WarmZilla, you will get the choice to add the following thermostats to your order. 

Neomitis RF Digital Wireless Room Thermostat: £40

When you purchase a new boiler with WarmZilla, the Neomitis RF Digital Wireless Room Thermostat will be included in the final price of your boiler package, unless you choose otherwise.  

Google Nest Learning Thermostat: £270 (Including stand)

Honeywell T6R Lyric Wireless Thermostat: £178

Hive Active Heating Thermostat: £179

Boiler relocation costs: £200 – £600

You may need to move the location of your boiler for many reasons. As you can imagine, paying for relocating your boiler is going to have its costs. Moving the location of your boiler will require several new fittings and fixtures,  additional pipework, and a lot of labour from our WarmInstallers.

If you are moving your boiler from the kitchen to the next room then it will cost closer to £200, however, if you are wanting to move the boiler from the kitchen to the loft, then this can be £400 to £600.

Plume Kit Cost: £75 – £150

A plume kit is an extension kit that attaches to the flue of the boiler. They can be required when your boiler flue is too close for comfort to your neighbouring properties, door, or window. Plus, it must comply with Gas Safe regulations by law.

The typical cost of a plume kit for your new combi, regular or system boiler is anywhere between £75 and £150. With WarmZilla your fixed price includes the plume kit cost.

Chemical flush cost: £50 – £150

You may also need to pay for a chemical flush. This can be anything from £50 to £150.

System cleanses and flushes help to get rid of any existing sludge and debris built up from your heating system. Sludge and debris can cause your boiler to become inefficient and prevent the hot heating water from flowing around your radiators if not sorted. 

If your radiators are cold at the bottom, a deep clean is going to be required. There are a lot of different options when it comes to this. However, the most common and standard option is a hot, chemical flush. For a power flush, you can pay more than £500 with many boiler companies.

Be careful with these, as they can often do more damage than good by forcing high-pressure water through a heating system, especially if it is an old one. It can cause debris to move about that was not causing an issue before, which can leave you with a brand new boiler that’s got issues with the system because it was power flushed when it didn’t need to be. 

Again, with WarmZilla, your fixed price includes a free chemical flush that will not harm your system.

Boiler flue cost: £50 – £200

A boiler flue is a big piece of pipe, that leads from the boiler to the outside. The flue makes sure that the flue gases and condensation are pumped outside and not into your face.

The average cost for a flue is anywhere from £500 to £200, dependent on the length required and type. A vertical flue is generally more expensive than a horizontal flue.

With every new boiler installation, you need a new boiler flue as per regulations, and at WarmZilla, we include one included in your fixed online price.

Magnetic boiler filter cost: £100 – £200

The average cost of a magnetic boiler filter is between £100 and £200.

Filters are installed inline on the pipework, helping to protect your boiler. Magnetic filters do what they say on the tin, they utilise powerful magnets that trap small particles of metal and dirt, stopping them from going into the boiler itself and causing unnecessary boiler leaks and damage.

We have a separate blog that goes into depth about what a magnetic filter does and the best ones for your boiler.

Alternatives to regular boilers

Conventional boilers aren’t the most effective choice for every household. They require more space than every other boiler, which is why smaller properties might benefit from installing a combi boiler or a system boiler instead.

Combi boilers are an all-in-one home heating solution operating from one heating unit. They don’t need a tank or cylinder, making them perfect for smaller homes, and automatically respond to taps being turned on by sending hot water through the system. However, they can’t run hot water to more than one faucet at a time, so if several are used simultaneously, the water pressure is likely to drop.

System boilers are similar to conventional boilers, but they don’t need a loft tank, just a cylinder; all of the key components are actually built into the boiler. This makes them a more intuitive choice for smaller households since the installation will be quicker and easier, while their ability to provide hot water to multiple bathrooms at the same time is great for homes with high water usage and multiple bathrooms.

Write a comment
Your email address will not be published.