So you’re planning to build or refurbish a home. One of the things you need to consider is how you will keep it warm throughout the winter months. In which case, you may have already decided to use a gas boiler as the primary heating mechanism.
But, as with all things, not all boilers are built equally, and the heating capacity may well differ among brands and models. In which case, you need to figure out what boiler size would work best in your home.
A caveat: when we talk about boiler size, we aren’t referring to the physical dimensions of the boiler you’re planning to install. Instead, it refers to the amount of heat it generates to warm spaces or how much water it can heat in your reservoir or pipes. Essentially, the heat produced by your boiler is measured as output in kilowatts (kW.)
Your boiler’s optimal heat output is often determined by several factors regarding your usage of heat in your home. These may include:
- How many rooms need to be heated at any given time;
- The number of bathrooms inside a home;
- Total hot water output through bathroom and/or kitchen taps at any given time;
- Whether you use a radiatory network in your home; and
- Whether you have secondary heating mechanisms in your home, such as one beneath your floor.
Usage Determines Capacity
For example, a common rule of thumb is that the boiler type you select for your home is usually determined by how frequently – and extensively – you’ll be using it.
In this context, combi boilers are small compact machines that connect directly to your gas and water mains. They are quite handy, and you can easily install them into a kitchen cupboard or an airing cupboard in your laundry, but mind: their maximum output only works well in homes with a single bathroom or just one or two bedrooms.
It does not have the operational capacity to heat larger spaces or have a larger amount of hot water ready for multiple taps.
For households with a more substantial heating requirement or more bathrooms, we suggest the heightened capacity of either a conventional (open-vent) boiler or a system boiler. Either one of these has a higher heat output than a combi-boiler, usually between 10kW and 20kW.
They are, however, space-hungry as these are built considerably bigger (even oversized) for both centralised heating and the production and ready storage of hot water. Still, if you need to heat several bedrooms throughout the winter while providing hot water for long, leisurely baths for several people all at once, these are the best bet for you.
Also, the number of radiators in your home will further determine the size of your boiler. Obviously, smaller spaces like single-bedroom or studio flats will call for standard output of 10 to 20kW. On the other hand, a home with three or four bedrooms will likely have several radiators running and require a combi boiler with a standard output of 24 to 30kW.
Even larger homes with more radiators and en suite bathrooms will require a boiler (usually a system-type or open-vent) capable of radiating a range between 30kW to 40kW.
Whichever boiler you choose, be sure that it has an excellent rating when it comes to energy efficiency and can be serviced by qualified professionals.If you also haven’t gotten yourself a boiler quote, you can get boiler quotes here and make sure that you choose the best option for you.