There are almost 4 million homes in the UK that are not connected to the National Grid, so powering their boiler using traditional gas is not an option. So what other options are available?
LPG is becoming more popular as is a ‘greener’ alternative to more traditional fuel types.
Table of contents
What is a normal combi boiler?
A normal combi boiler is the combination of a water heater and a central heating system in the same unit. The water is heated via the mains, so there is no need for a separate hot water tank, as the water is heated instantly.
They can be powered by gas, oil, electricity, and LPG. They provide both functions within one unit, hence the name ‘combination’ boiler. The main benefits of a combi boiler are:
- Good water pressure
- Hot water is available instantly
What is LPG?
LPG stands for ‘Liquid petroleum Gas’ and is a natural fuel that is produced from crude oil. The gas turns into a liquid with very little pressure, so it can be stored and transported conveniently.
As it is much less dense than gas, you can store a much higher amount in a small space. It is a popular choice for homeowners who are not connected to the National Grid, as it can be kept in a separate cylinder or tank on the property.
What is an LPG combi boiler?
An LPG combi boiler is very similar to a traditional combi boiler, as it provides hot water and central heating together in one unit.
What is the difference then?
The difference is the way that it is powered. An LPG combi boiler burns LPG to produce the energy that provides heat and hot water for your home.
However, the gas is stored separately and is not connected through the underground gas network. The LPG levels will need to be maintained and refilled when necessary.
How to store LPG?
You will need a storage tank outside your home to install an LPG combi boiler.
Storage tanks are available from most well-known gas companies and your boiler installer will be able to provide advice on which one will work best for you.
If you live in a remote location, it may be more beneficial to install a large tank, to reduce the number of refills you need. The options available are:
Cylinders: These are usually kept at the side of your home in a cupboard or small storage unit. They are the best option if you cannot accommodate a large storage tank.
Above ground storage tank: Storage tanks will allow you to store higher quantities and are more cost-effective. An above-ground tank will take up space outside your home but will provide easy access.
Below ground storage tank: This will keep the tank out of the way so it will not take up space. There will need to be a small hatch to allow for refilling.
It is more expensive to install a tank underground and will be more difficult to maintain and repair.
BioLPG works in the same way as LPG, but it is produced in a much more eco-friendly way. It is produced from renewable sources including plant and vegetable waste materials.
Climate change is a real issue, but using BioLPG means you can heat your home and hot water using fewer fossil fuels. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, BioLPG is a great option.
It is a sustainable energy source that can reduce your CO2 emissions by up to 80%. It is the environmentally friendly version of LPG, so you will not compromise on power or performance.
The benefits of BioLPG are:
- It can be used to replace traditional LPG seamlessly, as it is chemically identical.
- It is much better for the environment, as it uses renewable sources such as crops and waste feedstocks.
- It is a cleaner fuel that produces much less Greenhouse gas.
- You don’t need to modify your existing LPG system to switch to BioLPG.
- Delivered and stored in the same way as LPG.
LPG vs Oil
For properties that are not connected to the National Grid, oil is another popular option for homeowners. Oil can be transported and stored in a similar way to LPG and both will require an outdoor tank. If you are deciding between oil or LPG, here are a few things to consider:
Choose which fuel type is the most suitable for your location and property type.
- LPG is more eco-friendly than oil.
- Oil will only fuel your boiler, but LPG can supply your hob or oven too.
- LPG is a cleaner fuel as it produces fewer by-products.
- Oil engineers are less common than gas engineers.
LPG vs Gas
If you have natural gas available in your home, this will likely be the fuel type you use to power your boiler. Most homes in the UK use gas as their energy source, and it is often the cheapest option. The main differences between the two are:
- LPG has a higher energy content than natural gas, so less is needed to heat the same amount of water.
- Gas is cheaper than LPG.
- You need to monitor the LPG levels in the tank, so you do not run out.
- They have different chemical formulas; LPG is propane and butane and natural gas is methane.
- Natural gas is delivered via an underground pipeline.
- LPG requires a storage tank outside your home.
What are the benefits of an LPG combi boiler?
An LPG combi boiler could be the best option for you. Here are a few of the main benefits:
- It is a more environmentally friendly energy source.
- They are very energy efficient and can achieve over 90% efficiency.
- The boiler unit is compact.
- It is an easily accessible option if you cannot access mains gas.
What are the disadvantages of an LPG combi boiler?
As with all boiler installations, it is important to understand the disadvantages of this boiler type, before you commit to purchasing.
- It is odourless, so a leak is very difficult to detect.
- You need an external storage tank for the gas.
- They are more expensive to install.
- If you do not monitor the levels properly, you could be left without heat or hot water.
Examples of LPG combi boilers
Many well-known suppliers offer LPG combi boilers as part of their range. We have listed a few of them to help you decide which one will be best for you.
Worcester Greenstar LPG
This boiler is perfect for small to medium-sized properties. It works best in a home with one bathroom.
- Average price is £1,000
- The Greenstar LGP has 93% efficiency and improved hot water performance.
Baxi Duo-tec LPG
This boiler comes with a 7-year warranty. It is compatible with smart controls making it very convenient to use. The Baxi boilers are built in the UK.
- Average price is £1,000
- Energy efficiency of 91%
This boiler combines energy efficiency and performance to produce high power with low emissions. The Ecotec has frost protection and is a quiet boiler.
- Average price is £1,140.
- The Ecotec has an energy efficiency of around 89%
Glow Worm Energy LPG combi boiler.
This boiler is a compact and efficient unit. It is very energy efficient, easy to install, and comes with a 2-year warranty.
- Average price is £1,000
- Has an energy efficiency of around 90%
Get quotes from boiler installers
If you have decided that an LPG is right for you, the next step is to get in touch with a local boiler installer. They will give you advice and answer any questions.
They will fit your boiler professionally, giving you peace of mind that your LPG combi boiler is safe and meets regulations.
Simply get in touch with local companies, who will give you a quote today.