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Last updated: 24th January, 2024

Guides

Are System Boilers Still Used in 2024?

Are System Boilers Still Used in 2024?

Key takeaways

  • System boilers remain a viable solution for larger UK households.
  • Advancements in technology enhance system boiler integration with smart homes.
  • Consumers focus on energy efficiency and cost-effective heating with modern system boilers.

System boilers have significantly evolved, featuring cutting-edge technology that enhances efficiency and user control. In the current year, such innovations include smart thermostat compatibility and advanced condensing technology.

System boilers maintain their significance in heating and hot water solutions for homes in 2024. Known for their efficiency and ability to meet the demands of larger households, these boilers combine heating and hot water capabilities, utilising a separate hot water cylinder. 

The presence of a tank means they can supply multiple taps without a drop in pressure, which is particularly important in homes with several bathrooms.

With advancements in boiler technology and an increased focus on energy efficiency, consumers continue to opt for system boilers where appropriate. 

Manufacturers have responded to this demand by introducing models that integrate seamlessly with smart home systems, providing users with enhanced control over their heating systems and potential energy savings. 

This aligns with the continued emphasis on cost-effectiveness and energy conservation in domestic heating.

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Overview of System Boilers in 2024

In 2024, system boilers remain integral to many UK homes, marrying innovation with established benefits to effectively supply both heating and hot water.

Modern System Boiler Technology

System boilers have significantly evolved, featuring cutting-edge technology that enhances efficiency and user control. In the current year, such innovations include smart thermostat compatibility and advanced condensing technology

Many units now boast an impressive efficiency rating of up to 98%, a leap from previous years. One can often observe a digital display that facilitates monitoring and management, ensuring precise temperature regulation and operation diagnostics. Furthermore, manufacturers focus on compact designs that cater to space-saving needs without compromising capacity or performance.

System Boilers vs Combi and Regular Boilers

In the bailey of British heating choices, system boilers sit comfortably alongside combi and regular boilers. While combi boilers are designed for smaller properties with less space, as they do not require hot water cylinders, system boilers excel in providing hot water from a stored source, making them suited for homes with higher hot water demand.

Regular boilers, often called conventional, necessitate both a cylinder and a storage tank but are now less common due to their larger space requirement and complexity. In contrast, system boilers require only a hot water cylinder and are often preferred for their ability to maintain pressure and supply multiple taps simultaneously without a drop in temperature.

Boiler Type

Space Requirement

Suitability

System

Cylinder (no tanks)

High demand, multiple bathrooms

Combi

No cylinder/tanks

Smaller homes, lower demand

Regular

Cylinder + storage tanks

Traditional systems, ample space

System boilers thus strike a balance, offering a robust solution for central heating and hot water that aligns well with a variety of household sizes and demands.

Advantages of System Boilers

System boilers have maintained their relevance in the home heating market, particularly favoured in larger dwellings for their efficiency in managing high demands of hot water and central heating.

Convenience for Larger Homes

System boilers are a boon for larger households, as they combine the components necessary for heating into one compact unit. Unlike traditional boilers, they do not require a separate cold water tank in the loft, thus saving space and simplifying the installation process. With a system boiler, the need for running a long series of pipes from the water mains is eliminated, leading to a reduction in heat loss and a more efficient delivery of heating.

Effective Hot Water Distribution in Multi Bathroom Homes

In homes with multiple bathrooms or high hot water usage, system boilers excel. They can deliver hot water to several taps simultaneously without a drop in pressure, ensuring a consistent and dependable supply. 

Moreover, when paired with an unvented hot cylinder, these boilers can significantly improve water pressure, thereby enhancing the performance of showers and taps even in homes with multiple bathrooms. Additionally, for properties that incorporate renewable technologies, such as air source heat pumps, system boilers can act as a complementary solution, efficiently working together to provide a steady heat output.

Cost and Efficiency Considerations

In 2024, system boilers continue to be a relevant choice for household heating, particularly for their capability to provide a steady heat supply and hot water. The decision to install a system boiler is often measured against factors such as long-term cost-effectiveness and energy efficiency.

Long-Term Savings and Return on Investment

System boilers, noteworthy for their efficiency, often justify their initial outlay through subsequent energy bill reductions. By choosing a highly efficient system boiler, households may see a marked decrease in energy costs over the appliance's lifespan, which typically extends up to 15 years. Advanced models, boasting efficiencies of over 90%, convert nearly all the fuel into usable heat, thereby offering a sizable return on investment.

New Boiler Costs

Boilers can be a daunting purchase for many people as they’re an appliance with a lot of responsibility, providing heat for you and your family is something you want to get right. Boilers aren’t exactly a quickly disposable item either, potentially lasting you a decade.

Boiler costs can be split into two segments: the first is the actual boiler itself (unit price), and the second is the cost of the boiler being installed (set up) in your property by an expert engineer. 

Here at iHeat, we want to remove all of this undue stress and make the decision making process of upgrading to a new central heating system, as easy as possible.

Boiler costs can vary depending on a number of factors including their brand, model, fuel, output, warranty, labour and installation type. Typically a new boiler will cost between £1,845 and £3,500, below is a list of average boiler installations offered by iHeat (guide only).

Installation Type

Price (inc VAT)

Combi to combi swap

£1,845

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System to combi conversion

£2,499

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New boiler install

£2,899

Get a quote

Back boiler to a combi

£3,299

Get a quote

System to system

£1,945

Get a quote

Upfront Costs vs Efficiency Gains

The initial investment into a system boiler is a pivotal factor for many. While the upfront costs, which include both the purchase price and installation fees, are higher when compared to less efficient boilers, the long-term energy-efficient gains can be substantial. 

Boiler Brands and Models in 2024

In 2024, the system boiler market is replete with models that balance eco-efficiency with robust performance. The following key brands – Vaillant, Worcester Bosch, Ideal, Alpha, and Viessmann – exhibit advanced features and are prevalent amongst the top choices for UK homeowners.

Vaillant System Boilers

Vaillant remains a preferred manufacturer, with their Vaillant ecoTEC Plus System boilers leading in the eco-friendly space. These boilers couple high efficiency with a quiet operation, making them a staple in many homes for their reliability and performance.

Worcester Bosch System Boilers

Worcester Bosch has retained its reputation for quality and longevity. Their 4000 system boiler and the commendable Greenstar i System series embody the latest in heating technology, imparting rapid warmth with superior control.

Ideal System Boilers

Ideal Boilers stand out for their cost-effectiveness without compromising on quality. System boilers from Ideal are celebrated for their ease of installation and user-friendly interfaces, providing straightforward solutions for domestic heating.

Alpha System Boilers

Alpha offers competitively priced system boilers without forsaking efficiency. Their boilers are characterised by their compact design, making them a versatile choice for homes with limited space. The Alpha E-Tec S is a celebrated and efficient system boiler which can service a larger property with no issues.

Viessmann System Boilers

The Viessmann Vitodens 100-W system boiler is part of Viessmann's lineup noted for cutting-edge technology and exceptional energy efficiency. Known for their robust build quality, Viessmann boilers are a significant investment for the future of home heating.

While brands like Baxi also deliver noteworthy boiler systems, they were not highlighted in the latest compilations for 2024. Each brand above presents its merits, with factors such as space requirements, budget, and efficiency dictating the best fit for a particular household.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the disadvantages of a system boiler?

System boilers may require more space than combi boilers, as they need a cylinder for hot water storage. They can also be less efficient than combi boilers if hot water demand fluctuates greatly, potentially leading to higher running costs.

What is a system boiler?

A system boiler is a heating solution that works with a sealed hot water storage cylinder. They are adept at providing hot water to multiple outlets simultaneously without a drop in pressure.

Are system boilers any good?

System boilers are considered highly efficient, particularly for homes with multiple bathrooms. They deliver a constant supply of hot water, making them ideal for households with higher water usage.

Are system boilers expensive to run?

The running costs of system boilers may be higher than those of combi boilers due to the potential for heat loss from the hot water cylinder. However, modern system boilers are designed to be energy efficient.

How much does it cost to install a system boiler?

Installation costs for a system boiler can vary widely, depending on unit size and complexity of installation. Homeowners might expect to pay between £500 and £2,500 for the system boiler itself, with additional costs for installation labour.

Should I replace my system boiler with a combi?

Replacing a system boiler with a combi may be cost-effective for smaller homes with less demand for hot water, but it's not always the best choice. Consideration of hot water needs and potential installation costs is essential.

Which is cheaper to run a combi or system boiler?

Combi boilers tend to be cheaper to run as they heat water on demand and do not incur heat losses from a hot water cylinder. System boilers, while efficient, may have higher running costs due to these heat losses.

Stephen Day profile photo
Article by
Stephen Day | Co-founder
Gas Safe registered and FGAS certified engineer with over 20 years experience in the heating and cooling industry.