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What Is A Regular Boiler?

Regular boilers are ideal for homes with multiple bathrooms and a traditional heating and hot water system already in place. 

If you live in a home with low water pressure and have a high demand for heating and hot water, a regular boiler could be an excellent choice. They do, however, take up more space than a system or combi boiler and are usually only suited to homes that already have a traditional heating system with tanks in the loft and a hot water storage cylinder. 

Below, we explain what a regular boiler is, how it works and whether this boiler type is the best option for your home and needs. 

What Is A Regular Boiler & How Does It Work?

Regular boilers have different names, including heat-only, conventional and open vent boilers. They can provide heating and hot water when installed alongside a separate cold water tank and a cylinder for storing hot water. Usually, the tank is in the loft, and the cylinder is in an airing cupboard.

So, how does it work? A regular boiler works by heating cold water from the tank in the loft using the hot water cylinder. The cold water tank takes water from the mains and feeds it into the hot water storage cylinder, then the boiler’s heat exchanger warms up the water before sending it to your taps and showerheads. When you switch on your heating, a pump circulates the hot water to your radiators.  

How Does A Regular Boiler Differ From A System Boiler?

A regular boiler and a system boiler require a separate cylinder for storing your hot water and are ideal for homes with high heating and hot water demands. The main difference is that a system boiler doesn’t need a cold water tank in the loft because it takes water directly from mains all by itself. That means a system boiler takes up less space than a regular boiler. 

How Does A Regular Boiler Differ From A Combi Boiler?

Unlike a regular boiler, a combi boiler heats water on demand and doesn’t require additional components, like tanks or a hot water storage cylinder. A combi boiler takes water directly from the mains and heats the water whenever you need to use it. Because it heats water and provides heating in one compact unit, it cannot store hot water and is best suited to homes with limited space and low water demands. 

Regular Boiler Advantages & Disadvantages 

If you’re thinking of installing a regular boiler, you should check out the pros and cons to ensure you choose the most appropriate boiler type for your needs. 

The advantages of a regular boiler include:

  • Can supply hot water to multiple taps and showerheads, meaning several people can use hot water at one time 
  • The boiler will work well even if your mains pressure is low
  • You can install an immersion heater to enable you to get hot water if your boiler breaks down 
  • Compatible with older central heating systems 
  • Some regular boilers are compatible with solar thermal systems

The disadvantages of a regular boiler include:

  • It takes up a lot of space in your home because you need room to house a cold water tank in the loft and a hot water cylinder in an airing cupboard 
  • You have to heat your water in advance
  • You can run out of hot water and have to wait for it to heat up again
  • Can be costly and complicated to install because it will require additional components

How Much Does A Regular Boiler Cost?

The cost depends on the make and model you choose, who you hire to install the boiler and how much work is required. Some regular boilers are budget-friendly and start at £570, but you can pay anything up to £2,220, not including installation. 

The table below lets you compare a range of regular boilers from different brands and includes their size, warranty and price.

Baxi 400 Heat12kW5 years£690
Ideal Logic Max Heat15kW10 years£780
Glow-worm Energy Regular12kW7 years£780
Vaillant ecoTEC Plus Regular15kW5 years£796
Viessmann Vitodens 100-W Open Vent19kW5 years£825
Glow-worm Ultimate3 Regular25kW5 years£830
Worcester Bosch Greenstar Ri Regular18kW5 years£838
Ideal Logic+ Heat24kW7 years£991
Baxi 800 Heat30kW10 years£1,110
Vaillant ecoFIT Pure25kW2 years£1,110
Worcester Bosch Greenstar 8000 Life Regular30kW5 years£1,260

How Much Does A Regular Boiler Cost To Install?

The cost of installing a regular boiler depends on where you live, the installer’s labour fees, and the complexity of the installation. You may also need to get a new cylinder installed, which will increase the total cost. 

If you go for a like-for-like replacement (replace a regular boiler with a new regular boiler), it will cost less than changing from a combi or system boiler to a regular boiler. You can also expect to pay more if you want to move your boiler to a new location. 

Installation costs for a regular boiler, including the boiler, a cylinder, a system clean and labour, is between £1,500 and £6,800 (excluding VAT). 

Top-Rated Regular Boilers By Brand

The tables below show some of the available regular boilers from the top-rated boiler brands. According to a recent survey conducted by consumer champion Which?, these are the top three boiler brands and the top three cheap boiler brands. 

Worcester BoschGreenstar Ri Regular12kW, 15kW, 18kW or 24kW£760 – £88084%
ViessmannVitodens 100-W Open Vent13kW, 16kW, 19kW, 26kW or 35kW£794 – £1,36081%
VaillantecoTEC Plus Regular15kW, 18kW, 28kW or 38kW£796 – £98576%
Baxi400 Heat12kW, 15kW, 18kW, 24kW or 30kW£690 – £84076%
IdealLogic Max Heat12kW, 15kW, 18kW, 24kW or 30kW£850 – £1,18074%
Glow-wormEnergy Regular12kW, 15kW, 18kW, 25kW or 30kW£780 – £90071%

What Size Regular Boiler Is Best For My Home?

A boiler size refers to the output in kW rather than the physical dimensions, and you will need a higher output rating if you have lots of radiators, multiple bathrooms and high hot water demands. The best way to find out the correct size regular boiler for your home is to ask a qualified heating engineer. 

Please use the table below as a rough guide when calculating what regular boiler size will be the perfect fit for your home and needs. 

2-3Up to 1019kW – 18kW
4+10+2-318kW – 26kW
4+20+4+27kW – 40kW

The last thing you want to do is select an oversized or undersized boiler, so be sure to ask a local engineer to make a recommendation. Oversizing your boiler is a bad idea and will result in your wasting energy and increasing your bills. On the other hand, if you undersize your boiler, it won’t be powerful enough to heat your home or be able to give you enough hot water.