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VENTED AND UNVENTED
HOT WATER CYLINDERS

Homes with System or Regular boilers need a hot water cylinder to store the hot water produced by their boiler. If a home doesn’t have a boiler it could be that the cylinder (and its immersion heater) is the primary way of heating water as well as a place to store it.

There are 2 types of hot water cylinder to choose from: vented or unvented. The main difference between them is the way each cylinder is supplied with water.

WHAT IS A
VENTED CYLINDER?

Vented Cylinders?

Vented cylinders will need to be supplied by a large tank of cold water which is stored in the loft. The natural pull of gravity takes this water through a vent pipe (hence the name’vented cylinder’) down into the hot water cylinder which is typically stashed away in an airing cupboard.
Since the water is heated it expands, however, the existence of this vent pipe and tank at the loft provides an escape path for the excess.

Unvented Cylinders?

An unvented cylinder is connected directly to the mains so there is no need for a cold water tank in the loft. You are essentially cutting out the middleman and the pressure of your water should be stronger.
Unlike vented cylinders, there isn’t a vent pipe or tank to cope with excess water as it heats and expands. To remedy this unvented cylinders have inbuilt safety features like an expansion unit at the top or an air bubble that is inserted at installation.

Both unvented and vented cylinders can either be heated directly by an immersion heater in the cylinder or indirectly by a boiler or solar thermal system. Generally homeowners use a boiler to indirectly heat the water but have an immersion heater as an optional backup in case of a boiler breakdown.

When deciding between a vented or an unvented cylinder you should consider a few key elements:

What existing heating system do you have?
How strong is the mains pressure?
How big is your house?
How much will it cost to install and maintain?
Which brand of hot water cylinder e.g. Megaflo or Greenstore?

WHICH IS THE RIGHT
HOT WATER CYLINDER?

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