In this article we’ll be looking at Heatline and Saunier boilers. Both are often overlooked in favour of the big names, but if you want a stylish, compact boiler or you are on a limited budget then either of them might well have what you need.
Heatline offer the Caprizplus combination boiler in two power outputs, with 24kW and 28kW available. They should be plenty for most homes unless there are multiple bathrooms (which most combi boilers, regardless of brand, will struggle with anyway), and both versions have a competitive flow rate relevant to their size – the 24kW model will give 9.4 l/m, and the 28kW model 11.4l/m. They’re also reasonably efficient with official ratings of 88.9% and 88.8% respectively, which puts them right at the top end of band B on the SEDBUK scale and, as a matter of fact, used to be band A until the latest scale adjustment. So they aren’t too far off anyway. Heatline have developed them to be fairly compact and lightweight too, so there should be room to hide them away in most homes and because they aren’t heavy they are easier to install than some other brands.
As standard, they come with frost protection, removing completely one of the common faults of combi boilers and ensuring the boiler keeps working during the worst of the cold weather. The timer is easy to use and simple, and being analogue it doesn’t rely on complicated electronics to work, so it should be pretty reliable, while the boiler controls have also been designed to be simple and easy to use without the need to read a fifty page manual first.
Saunier have a range of four combi boilers, which between should meet the needs of most houses in the UK. The Thema models come in 24kW, suitable for a one bedroom house, and 30kW, suitable for a two or three bed house, outputs and both are rated ‘A’ on the SEDBUK efficiency scale. Very similar in design and output are the Semia models, which are basically an older design and therefore cheaper to buy. Don’t be put off too much by the fact they are now ‘B’ rated for efficiency, they are still very efficient compared to what we had as standard just a few years ago. The ISOTwin models give good balance between efficiency and convenience, and will certainly suit homes which have a high demand for hot water, such as those with multiple bathrooms, as they have a built in storage system that can keep up to 200 l of hot water ready for use. The ISOFast version is also very high spec and is again designed to meet the demands of large houses, with the advantage that its 5 second response time for hot water can give a saving on both gas and water bills.
Both Heatline and Saunier boilers have their own advantages and disadvantages, so think seriously about what you need from your system. If you are in doubt or have any questions, ask an independent engineer or supplier for their opinions as they’ll be able to advise on which one will meet your needs the best.