What Size Boiler Do I Need for My House?

There are some brilliantly efficient and powerful boilers on the market today, but with so many great options to pick from, it’s never been more difficult to make the right choice for your home.

While you may be tempted to opt for the most powerful boiler within your preferred price range, this isn’t always going to give you the best value for money. In fact, it’s better to base your decision on a number of different factors, all of which will play a crucial role in determining how well your boiler actually works once it’s been installed.

In this article, we’ll explain how to choose the right size boiler for your property, taking you through some of the most important factors to take into account. Read on, and you’ll soon be an expert.

Why Is Boiler Size Important for Your House?

The size of your boiler is hugely important because it’ll make a real difference to how well your boiler performs its job both immediately after installation and in years to come.

The installation of a brand new boiler does usually come with a considerable price tag, so it’s always worth taking the time to research your options and find the best possible model for your needs.

Take into account everything from the size of your property to how your heating system is currently set up. And don’t forget to factor in things like potential heat loss, which could have quite an impact on how hard your boiler will need to work to keep rooms at a consistent temperature.

Property Size

One of the first things we always discuss when recommending a new boiler to homeowners is the size of the property in question.

As you might expect, larger properties tend to require more powerful boilers to maintain a chosen temperature. It’s not just the size of the home that matters, though.

You’ll also need to think about things like the number of bathrooms in your property. The more bathrooms you have, the harder your boiler will need to work to supply hot water to all of them – particularly if you have a large family and everyone needs to get ready at the same time in the morning.

Potential Heat Loss

Heat loss is right up there with property size in terms of importance in this decision making process. While larger properties inevitably require more powerful boilers, so too do properties that hemorrhage heat – even if they’re on the smaller side.

If you’re living in Grade II listed home with original windows and poor insulation, you’re far more likely to require a powerful boiler to keep it warm during the coldest winter months.

On the other hand, modern homes with state of the art insulation and triple glazed windows retain far more heat. The demand for boilers in such properties will therefore be far lower than it might be in a similar-sized home that isn’t quite as well insulated.

Amount of Radiators

Think about how many radiators you have in your home because this, too will play a role in determining the best boiler for your property.

The average three to four bedroom home has around ten radiators. If your home is of a similar size, then a 24-30 kW boiler should be sufficient. But if you have more radiators in your home, or you have additional bathrooms such as en-suites to factor in, then a more powerful boiler may be required.

Smaller homes are better suited to less powerful boilers, as there are fewer radiators to heat, and the demand for hot water won’t be as high. Avoid choosing a boiler with more power than you need to maximise efficiency and keep running costs low.

What Type of Boiler Do You Need for Your House?

Once you’ve thought about the size of your property, the number of radiators you have, and how much of an issue heat loss will be, you can move on to considering the best type of boiler for your home.

There are a number of different options to choose from here. The ideal choice for your home will depend on how you and your family will use the boiler. Take a look at some of the most popular types of boilers below to find out more about how they work.

Combi Boiler

As its name suggests, the combi boiler is designed to provide a combination of heating and hot water. Combi boilers are enormously popular as they’re compact, efficient, and powerful enough to manage the demands of most families.

Combi boilers heat water using condensing technology. A gas burner is lit within the boiler and used to heat water which is then pushed through the system into radiators or hot taps, as and when required.

Modern combi boilers are incredibly efficient, allowing homeowners to keep properties warm by burning far less fuel than they might otherwise have used.

Conventional Boiler

Conventional boilers aren’t as compact as combi boilers, but they are better suited to larger properties where space isn’t an issue.

These boilers need a hot water storage cylinder and a water tank. The benefit of this, though, is that multiple bathrooms can be kept supplied with all the hot water a family needs, even if it’s being requested from multiple hot taps and showers at the same time.

Conventional boilers can be sealed or open vented. Sealed boilers have no feed or expansion tanks, whereas open vented ones do. Open vented boilers are, therefore better equipped to combat the effects of a reduction in water levels from a leak, for example.

Homes with conventional boilers usually have a water tank in the loft, which is used to keep water levels consistent.

System Boiler

The system boiler is another good choice for larger homes with high levels of demand. System boilers use a hot water cylinder to provide heat and hot water, no matter the size of the property.

In these systems, the boiler heats water from the mains, which then fills the hot water cylinder. Water is, therefore ready to be used to warm radiators, and hot water can be sent to taps instantly when needed. System boilers can use gas from the mains, or they might be set up to use bottled gas or oil as their fuel of choice.

System boilers are best suited to larger families, where the demand for heating and hot water will be higher than average. We recommend system boilers to those living in larger properties with plenty of radiators or those who have multiple bathrooms and en-suites to think about. In such cases, system boilers often provide the best value for money.

What If a Boiler Is Oversized?

A boiler that’s too powerful for your home might end up costing you far more money than you expect because it just won’t be able to run in an efficient manner.

The problem with oversized boilers lies in the way they heat water. If the boiler is excessively powerful, it’ll generate far more heat than is required in a short space of time. When this happens, it’ll switch off, only to turn back on later when the rooms have cooled. Oversized boilers, therefore, tend to work in a constant on/off fashion, which is inefficient and will ultimately end up costing more in energy bills.

Boiler temperatures can also be a problem if a boiler is too powerful for the property it’s been installed in. Sometimes, an oversized boiler means that components end up working at far higher temperatures than they were designed for. This tends to limit their lifespan, resulting in higher repair bills.

How Can I Tell If My Boiler Is Too Small?

If a boiler is too small for a property, this too can cause a number of problems.

Boilers that lack sufficient power will struggle to keep homes at a consistent temperature as they work flat out to warm all the radiators connected to the heating system. Often, this will mean noticeably cooler rooms and radiators taking far too long to warm up.

Similarly, hot water may be an issue. You could find that you don’t have enough hot water for your family’s requirements. You might even get a shock as your shower turns cold while you’re in it.

Get Expert Advice on Boiler Size

Determining the size of the boiler needed for your house can be a tricky process, but it’s always worth persevering to make sure your next boiler works as efficiently as it possibly can.

If you’re considering upgrading your boiler and need a boiler installation, or you’d like advice on whether your current boiler is powerful enough for your property, we’re here to help.

Give us a call, and we’ll be happy to explain more about how you can calculate the best boiler size for your house. And if it’s time to make the switch to a new boiler, we’ll be able to book an appointment for you to get that sorted.

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