Unvented hot water system – Advantages and disadvantages

Unvented hot water systemMost homes will utilise hot water storage cylinders to supply hot water and due to the ease of installation the majority of newly built properties will be fitted with unvented hot water systems.

These type of hot water systems work directly from the mains water and enables hot water to be supplied and because the pressure comes direct from the mains water the flow rate is much better compared to a vented water system. Unvented hot water systems have safety devices inbuilt to help it cope with the high pressure and expansion of water.

You may find you have a small tank sitting in the loft for venting and feeding your central heating, however unvented cylinders provide hot water constantly at mains pressure, so there is no requirement for a cold water storage tank and the extra pipework to link it up. And because you’re relying on the pressure from the mains rather than just gravity, you can situate the hot water cylinder in almost any location.

An unvented hot water storage cylinder can be heated directly by an electric immersion heater, or indirectly by most heating systems – although appliances that burn solid fuel are the exception.

The advantages and disadvantages of unvented systems

Unvented hot water systems have advantages and disadvantages. Most notably, these type of systems are historically difficult to install and will require the skills of a trained engineer. Not only that, but they are more costly to install compared to a conventional hot water system and they won’t work with power showers and certain types of mixer shower valves.

Disadvantages aside, unvented systems do have certain advantages, not least because they are an efficient way of storing and distributing hot water throughout your home at mains pressure. Other advantages include:

  • Fast filling baths
  • Hot water at mains pressure
  • No restrictions on where in a property the system is installed
  • No need for cold water storage
  • Utilises existing pipework
  • Drinking water at all taps
If your property has more than one bathroom or shower then unvented systems are ideal to meet demand for simultaneous hot water from more than one outlet, with flow rates reaching more than 22 litres per minute.

A leading brand in the unvented hot water cylinder market

One of the market leading manufacturers of hot water cylinders in the UK is Heatrae Sadia, who produce the well known Heatrae Megaflo. Their range of unvented cylinders includes the Megaflo eco and the Megaflo eco SystemFit. There are numerous other brands available if you’re looking to install an unvented system and prices will vary depending on the size of your property, how many people live there and the number of bathrooms/showers.

For all your heating and plumbing needs, be it installations or repairs, Builder Guide can put you in touch with local recommended plumbers and heating installers who will be able to help. Fill out a quote form today and let us source up to three quotes on your behalf.

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