The difference between a commercial and residential boiler can be quite distinct. Knowing the difference between the two can be incredibly helpful if you are considering a new unit, or if you manage a home, or flat etc.

In this blog, we will answer the question ‘What is the difference between a commercial and residential boiler?’ Whilst providing critical supplementary information to help you make the best informed choice.

South West Gas Services is here to provide answers through our blogs and more importantly, our expert services for those based in and around the Somerset area. Considering the rise in energy bills in recent times, we believe it is our duty to provide the best options for you that can keep you warm and comfortable, without breaking the bank, or your bills.

With expertise in residential and commercial services just to name a few, we are confident that we can provide the best possible results at the most competitive prices.

What happens if I don’t have a boiler?

Not having a boiler in your home, or choosing not to repair your current boiler can result in a number of issues, including…

  • No access to hot water instantly.
  • Some washing machines can not use hot water.
  • Central heating is unavailable. This can result in mould to appear in the home, depending on the ventilation and general insulation levels of the home.
  • As a result of the aforementioned mould, and cold, damp conditions, you are more likely to develop a health issue.
  • You can have difficulties selling the house, especially if the boiler has resulted in the previously mentioned mould issue.

Is there an alternative to using a boiler?

Realistically, you are going to struggle immensely without using a boiler. Though, there are alternatives that can sustain you for a brief period.

  • Using a kettle for hot water. This can be a long and tedious process, and if you don’t pay attention, you can burn yourself.
  • You can use an electric heater for warmth. These units are effective in generating heat, put the energy used can significantly increase your electric bill, especially if you are using them regularly.
  • Solid fuel heating options such as a fireplace or a gas fire heating unit are helpful alternatives, although these methods require a fuel source, and constant vigilance to ensure safety.

Who is responsible for boiler repair?

If you are the owner of the building, it is generally your responsibility. However, if you are a landlord, it is subject to the tenant agreement as well as the ‘Landlords Gas and safety responsibility document‘. If you are renting a property and need clarity on the legal responsibilities of your landlord, click here.

What is the difference between a commercial and residential boiler?

There are a number of differences between commercial and residential boilers. These difference may only increase depending on the model you choose. So with that in mind, we will address key differences between the two.

Residential boilers

Residential boilers are designed for smaller buildings. This can be seen in individual homes and some smaller flat buildings. As a result, they have a smaller heat output, and are ideal for a space with a few occupants.

Residential boilers have the capacity to operate in line with the needs of the occupant. Some people like to keep their boiler on at all times, whilst some prefer to use it whenever necessary. Though, this method will mean you may have to wait for the water to reach the desired heat.

Regarding the size of the boiler, they are small enough to fit within a utility cupboard or similar space, and even some kitchens. Because they are designed for domestic usage, they do not require an intricate installation or construction proceeding it.

As long as it is installed correctly, residential boilers do not require extensive maintenance aside from what the manufacturer recommends. Additionally, an annual service from an expert is the best way to ensure the boiler remains at peak performance.

Commercial boilers

Commercial boilers are built for large-scale heating operations. As the name suggests, this would be operating in commercial premises such as shopping centres, offices, factories etc. They have a much larger possible heat output compared to residential boilers, which allows them to distribute heat over a more expansive space.

In most cases, commercial boilers operate 24/7, though this is subject to the needs of the area it is installed in. Commercial boilers operate under stricter safety regulations, due to the higher risk associated with the power and requirements of the unit.

Naturally, due to the requirements of a commercial boiler, they are much larger units, this helps them handle a larger capacity. In most cases, they are also built with more robust materials in order to withstand the demands of operating a unit like that in a commercial setting.

Commercial boilers, like residential boilers require servicing, this is the best way to keep it in the best possible shape. With commercial boilers, they have been known to have a larger maintenance cost due to their size and general complexity.

Do commercial and residential boilers use the same fuel?

Yes and no. This is entirely dependent on the model and type of boiler you choose. However, both options can use a variety of fuel options including…

  • Gas
  • Oil
  • Electric
  • LPG

That being said, residential boilers may be more likely to have Gas or combination fuel options, whilst commercial units may include additional options.

What can a gas service do for me?

Service providers such as South West Gas Services have a number of services that can be provided. Here is the list of our commercial and industrial services.

We can provide:

  • Plant room installations
  • Renovation of existing plant rooms
  • Indirect and direct warm air heating systems
  • Portable hot water installations
  • Heating controls and associated ancillaries
  • Servicing, safety inspections and maintenance
  • Reactive breakdown cover for existing and new customers

Regarding our domestic services, we can provide:

We can provide:

  • Installation
  • Services
  • Repairs

When it comes to landlords, we…

  • Liaise with your tenant to find a time and date that suits both them and us.
  • Carry out a full Gas Safety Check of your property.
  • Complete a CP12 certificate and leave a copy with your tenant.
  • Send you your copy of the CP12 and a report of our check.
  • File our copy of the CP12 should you ever need it in the future.
  • Send a reminder in 11 months so that you need not worry about when it is next due.

We also work with many property agents carrying out routine maintenance and servicing of the property’s heating. For our services regarding oil, click here. 

Secure gas services today

South West Gas Services thanks you for taking the time to read our blog. We hope that the information we provided has given you all the answers you need when it comes to answering the question ‘What is the difference between a commercial and residential boiler?’

Our family run business, based in Somerset, has been an established, trusted, and respected provider of specialist gas and oil fired heating services and solutions to our local communities and beyond since 2016. 

Our expert team of committed engineers can provide support to homeowners, business owners, landlords and local authorities alike. All the systems we install all meet within the current British Standards, whilst only using quality approved products.

Our engineers have the right qualifications:

  • Gas Safe Registered
  • OFTEC registered
  • WIAPS accredited
  • G3 Unvented certified
  • DBS checked

From full commercial Plant room consultations and installations to domestic reactive breakdowns, we can provide the solution. Our engineers are also certified to work with many other heating fuels, including LPG, Oil and renewables such as solar, ground source heat, and air to water heat.

So begin your enquiry by getting into contact with us today. You can find our details below.

Opening hours:

8.30am – 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays)


Rhiwbina Brent Road,





01278 456876