What is a condensing boiler? A condensing boiler makes more of the energy it runs on by using heat normally expelled through the flue. By converting over 90% of the fuel used (rather than just 50% in the case of some old boilers), a condensing boiler makes your fuel go further. Therefore, a condensing boiler can help to save 30% on your fuel bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

What is a combi boiler? Combi is short for "combination". It refers to the way this type of system serves as both a central heating boiler and a hot water heater. That means there is no need for a water tank, as hot water is provided on demand. As well as saving the space normally taken up by a water tank (in the loft or airing cupboard), a combi boiler saves on hot water costs as well as giving you hot water at mains pressure.

What is a regular boiler? This typically forms part of a conventional heating system and is linked to a series of water tanks that feed the boiler and radiators. Storing hot water is key to this system, so unlike a combi, a plentiful supply of hot water is always available. Space in the loft and airing cupboard is required for tanks.

What is a system boiler? Like a regular system, this uses stored hot water. As the water is pumped from the boiler straight to the radiators and hot water tank, it is a faster, more economical system. What's more, many of the components of the system are built in, making it easier, quicker and more affordable to install.

Vaillant Solar water heating panels. Our high efficiency boilers are helping to cut the amount of fossil fuels we use to heat our homes. But we are committed to doing even more for the environment. Our range of alternative systems is growing all the time as we develop products that use renewable, sustainable sources of energy to provide you with hot water and heating all year round.

Solar water heating. Solar water heating panels convert the energy from the sun into heat to produce hot water for the home. Modern solar panel systems can provide up to 70% of the hot water requirement for your home, providing the system has been well sized. The panels complement existing heating systems that use a regular or system condensing boiler.

Ground source heat pumps. Ground source heat pumps use the energy stored in the ground to provide heating and hot water for your home, there is no need for an additional boiler. To see if ground source heat pumps are suitable for your property, use the "Would ground source heat pumps suit my property?" www.Vaillant.co.uk/home/

There is also Government backed funding available for certain systems, go to www.lowcarbonbuildings.org.uk for details.