Although carrying a different name, these heaters are effectively boilers. The only difference is that boilers heat the central heating, and usually the hot water for your taps too, whilst the multipoint heater will just provide hot water for your taps and your shower at best. Single point heaters just provide heat for a single tap in the home. The gas version looks very similar to a gas boiler, whilst the electric version is generally smaller and works in a similar way to your electric shower unit.
How efficient are these multipoint heaters?
The answer to this really depends on the age of the unit and the power source. You will find both electric and gas operating heaters, and as you will find with boilers, electric heaters are 100% efficient, whilst gas heaters will vary from 60% all the way up to 90% or so. Once again, the price of the fuel will mean that gas water heaters are cheaper to run, despite the lower efficiency rating.
What are the advantages of multipoint heaters over a conventional combi?
Let’s assume that the fuel is the same, why would you go for a multipoint heater over a combi? There are a few reasons that spring to mind:
- Although the cost of the boiler itself is very similar, the cost of installing central heating is very high, and it will be much cheaper just to run pipes to the taps that might need hot water than to plumb in radiators as well.
- You may wish to install a water heater in a part of the home that does not need central heating, but does need hot water. This could be an annex or workshop for example.
- If you are off gas grid, a multi point heater combined with a dry central heating system is going to be much more cost effective than an electric boiler and a wet central heating system.
What are the disadvantages?
There are some obvious problems with installing one of these heaters. The single point heaters often come with some pretty average controls, so you are sometimes in the situation where the water is scalding hot going into the sink, when you only need it warm. So the efficiency of the heater may be high, but if the heat is unnecessary, then there is a lot of wastage. Modern heaters with good controls will negate this.
Another disadvantage is that having a split system if you like – where hot water is controlled by one system and the heating controlled by another, is going to be less efficient than having one system controlling everything. It is also going to take up more space and could require more maintenance.
Do you need a gas safe installer?
If you are working with gas to install a multipoint heater then you will need a gas safe installer to do the job. Of course if you are dealing with an electric water heater you will not need a gas safe engineer. Installing a water heater will be a similar cost to a standard boiler, perhaps a little less. Your regular boiler engineer will be able to install a unit for you.
How much do they cost?
A gas multipoint heater will cost about £400-500 for the unit. The cost of installation will vary greatly depending on the location and complexity of the job, but the total cost is going to be a bit less than an equivalent boiler install.
Is there any funding for water heaters?
Unfortunately there is no green deal or GDHIF funding for this measure. In a similar vein, there is no funding to replace hot water cylinders and the like, only for new central heating boilers. So you will have to fund a water heater yourself!
Do you install multi point heaters?
We can provide a quote to install a multipoint or single point heater for customers in the greater London area. Simply give us a call and book in your quote. One of our fully qualified heating engineers will come and visit you within a few days.