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How Do Open Vent Boilers Work?

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Open-vent boilers are known to be a peculiarly British invention. An open vent (often known as heating only) provides central heating and hot water through a boiler, a storage cylinder stored in the airing cupboard and water tanks in your loft. If you’re interested in doing a full system renovation most people choose to remove the tanks from the loft and turn their open vent system into a sealed system.

Open vent boilers are usually most suited to larger homes with an existing system and are usually available with the following outputs: (kw) 12, 15, 18, 24, 30 and 38.

Advantages of an open vent boiler

  • These types of boilers have a high flow rate for domestic hot water needs.
  • These boilers work well with more than one hot tap running. For example, these boilers definitely have the edge when it comes to heating a tank which will be feeding a washing machine, shower and hot tap simultaneously.

Disadvantages of an open vent boiler

  • Once the water in the storage cylinder has cooled, you will have to wait for it to heat up again.
  • The cylinders are large so you will have to find space for them, usually in an airing cupboard or unused room (hence why they are most common in larger houses).
  • The bulk feed expansion tanks are usually located in the loft or attic area, which could be a problem if you have a loft conversion or if you’re thinking of having one built.

Each boiler, whether they are open vent, combination or system boilers all carry benefits and drawbacks choose a new system wisely.

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All data correct at time of publication.