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5 Tips to Help You Choose the Right Unvented Cylinder

15 June 2023

Interested in upgrading from a vented cylinder to an unvented cylinder? Perhaps you’re building a new home or renovating an existing one. Whatever the case, unvented cylinders offer dramatically better performance than older technology and mains pressure hot water at every tap.

However, you’ll find a wide range of models to choose from. How do you ensure you pick the right one? Here are five tips to guide you through the process.

1. Capacity

One of the first considerations to make is the cylinder’s capacity. This should tie directly to the size of your family and your hot water needs. The larger the family and the more hot water needed, the greater the cylinder’s capacity should be. Generally, you should plan for 35 to 45 litres per family member/occupant per day. Resist the urge to go “too big”, though, as this can lead to additional costs, between more water needed to fill the cylinder and the chance that you’ll be reheating unused water over and over.

2. Heat Source

Unvented cylinders can use external heat sources, such as your boiler. This is called indirect heat. These models are usually more affordable than others, but they may not be the right option. You will also find unvented cylinders that have immersion heaters inside them, which produce direct heat. These units are more expensive, but they do not rely on an external source of heat to warm the water. That might be good news if you’re worried about your boiler breaking down, but it’s also good for homes without boilers or direct access to gas lines.

3. Configuration

Unvented cylinders can be either vertical or horizontal and short or tall. You should determine the form factor and configuration based on where you want to install the cylinder within your home. For instance, if you’ll be installing it under the stairs with little clearance, a horizontal model might be the better choice. If you have plenty of space, then a vertical model might be the right decision.

4. Additional Connections

While you can purchase an unvented cylinder that connects directly to your home’s electrical and/or gas system, some models offer additional connections. For instance, you may want to connect yours to a set of solar panels to help offset the cost of electricity. Base this decision on your anticipated future needs and goals, but also your current budget.

5. Brand

Finally, you should consider the brand of the cylinder. While there’s no need to overpay for an unvented cylinder, you will find that “discount” cylinders from brands you’ve never heard of may not offer the reliability that you deserve. It’s better to purchase from an established manufacturer, such as Gledhill, Albion, Megaflo, Kingspan, or HeatraeSadia.

Finding the Right Plumber

Unvented cylinders must be installed, serviced, maintained, and repaired by G3-certified plumbers under UK law. That means you must choose the plumbing company you work with carefully.

At EasyFlow, we specialise in unvented cylinders and can help you make an informed decision when it comes to capacity, configuration, brand, and other considerations. We can also offer annual maintenance plans to keep your cylinder in great condition for years to come.


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