Comparing Radiators and Boilers

Wed 26th Jun 2013 - 10:00am Energy and Heating Comparing Radiators and Boilers

Benjamin Clarke

We all know the appearance and charm that a cast iron radiator can bring to a home is an obvious advantage over the more modern radiators. Aside from appearances, the two types of radiators however are remarkably similar. Both Cast Iron radiators and modern radiators work on exactly the same principle and their efficiencies are largely equivalent. A cast iron radiator however may take slightly longer to warm up because of their larger internal volume. Although they take longer to warm up, they also take longer to cool down, balancing the effects somewhat – so again output is largely equivalent.

Switching boilers can save you money

If you are looking for gains in efficiency, you need to be paying attention to your boiler system. Boilers account for around 55% of what you spend a year on energy bills. Switching to a boiler more suitable to your home and uses can save you £310 a year and 1200kg of carbon dioxide. By getting a new boiler you are not only saving pounds, but also helping to save the planet. Modern boilers accomplish these savings for a multitude of reasons. The main advantage of new boilers is that they are all condensing boilers, which when well maintained burn their fuel incredibly efficiently, though they do lose some heat in the hot gases which escape through the flue. A condensing boiler deals with this problem by having a bigger heat exchanger, recovering more heat… sending cooler gases up the flue! Often, the flue gases are so cool that the water vapour in the gas condenses out. When this happens, efficiency is even higher.

Regular or combi?

After deciding you want to invest in a new boiler, the choice you have is whether to replace it with a regular boiler or a combination boiler? The decision should be made through examining your requirements. When you replace your boiler you can replace it with another regular one and keep your hot water cylinder or you can buy a combi boiler which doesn’t need a cylinder. A regular boiler is primarily more efficient than a combi boiler in producing hot water, but often heat is lost from the hot water cylinder, so a combi may be the best choice overall. If you use a lot of hot water, you could be better off with a regular boiler, while a combi could be better if you don’t. A combi also uses a lot less space than a regular boiler as there is no need for a hot water cylinder. However many combi boilers are not compatible with such things as solar water heating, or cannot utilise it effectively.

Having chosen your new radiators and boiler, ensure that it is fitted through a qualified installer. Then sit back, get toasty and enjoy your new cheaper heat!

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