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How a back boiler works

Upgrading to a Combi Boiler - Why Back Boilers Are a Thing of the Past

Published by : Deanne Pettifer on 07 June 2023

Are you fed up with your back boiler? You are not alone. Back boilers have been common in older UK homes, and many households are looking to upgrade to a more efficient heating option. In this article, we will take a closer look at back boilers, their limitations, and why upgrading to a combi boiler is a smart choice.

What is a back boiler, and how does it work?

A back boiler is a heating unit that is installed behind a gas fire or wood-burning stove. It heats water, which is then circulated throughout the home to provide heating and hot water. While popular in the past, the technology of back boilers is outdated and is not as efficient as modern heating systems. They are also prone to leaks and require regular maintenance and repairs.

Why is upgrading to a combi boiler a good idea?

One of the principal limitations of a back boiler is its inefficiency. Typically, back boilers have a lower output than modern boilers. They also lose more heat through the chimney than modern boilers, which means they need to work harder to provide heating and hot water. Upgrading to a combi boiler can improve your home's efficiency, which means you will have lower energy bills and a reduced carbon footprint. Plus, combi boilers have a smaller footprint and take up less space in your home.

What are the benefits of upgrading to a combi boiler?

One of the main benefits of upgrading to a combi boiler is that you'll have instant hot water. With a back boiler, you need to heat the water stored in your tank before you can use it. With a combi boiler, water is heated on demand, so you don't need to wait for hot water to become available. This makes a combi boiler more convenient and can save you money in the long run.

Another benefit of a combi boiler is that it can provide both heating and hot water. You don't need a separate storage tank for hot water. This means that you can save space, and you don't need to worry about running out of hot water.

Installation of a combi boiler is relatively straightforward and can take less time than installing a back boiler. This is because you don't need to install a hot water tank or a feed and expansion tank. Therefore the overall costs for a combi boiler can be much more affordable than choosing a back boiler to replace or to carry out repairs and maintenance work.


Upgrading to a combi boiler is a smart choice for homeowners looking to lower their bills and improve their home's energy efficiency. A combi boiler provides hot water on demand and doesn't require a separate storage tank, making them more efficient, space-saving, and a preferable heating option for many. If you have a back boiler and want to upgrade, contact a qualified heating engineer to help you decide on the best combi boiler for your property.