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conventional boiler

Conventional boilers

The open vent boiler, sometimes called 'heat only' provides central heating and hot water through a hot water storage cylinder in an airing cupboard and cold water top up tanks in the loft.The feed and expansion tank (F+E) keeps the heating system topped up as the water evaporates, and also allows the water in the pipes to expand as it is heated. This system is found in many old houses, and can work with a new condensing boiler, however most people upgrading a system like this will opt for a system boiler and remove the F+E tank from the loft.


  • More than one outlet can operate at the same time
  • Domestic hot water has good flow rate


  • Cannot have radiators higher than the F+E tank
  • Pipes are open to the atmosphere so can be prone to airlocks, and increased risk of corrosion.
  • F+E tank components (eg ball valve) may require extra maintenance
  • Extra tank in loft takes up space
  • When the hot water in the storage cylinder runs out, you have to wait until it reheats