A boiler is a fundamental part of your home, so it’s important that you choose the right system to suit your home and lifestyle.
Both gas and electric powered boilers are great in their own way, so we’ve put together this quick guide to help you make the right decision.
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A gas boiler heats your home by burning gas fuel to consistently heat water. Water is heated through the heat exchanger and reaches around 70°C.
This hot water is then transported around your home via pipes to the radiators that provide the central heating system.
The gas most commonly used is natural gas that is fed to your home from the underground network, the National Grid Gas. Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) can also be used, which is stored in a separate chamber and will need to be refilled regularly.
The hot water is then either pumped directly to the taps and showers, or stored in a hot water tank ready for use – depending on the type of boiler you have. For example, a combi boiler works differently than a system boiler.
Some of the benefits of a gas boiler are:
- They are cheaper to run.
- The majority of UK homes have a gas boiler installed. So most boiler installers are familiar with gas boilers.
- The gas supply from the grid is reliable and always available.
- Replacement parts are readily available.
- There are a wide range of gas boiler manufacturers to choose from.
- They are great for large homes or big families that have a high demand for hot water.
Do you need to install or replace a gas boiler? Get free boiler quotes.
An electric boiler is a very simple system that uses electricity to provide hot water to your home for both heating and domestic use. Similar to a kettle, the water passes through the boiler unit and is heated by a heating element before being transported to your radiators and taps.
Some of the benefits of an electric boiler are:
- They are cheaper to purchase.
- There is no risk of toxic fumes.
- They take up less space.
- They are good for smaller homes.
- Electric boilers are quiet.
- There is no flue or gas waste pipe needed.
- They are easier to install and cheaper to maintain.
- They can be used in homes that are not connected to the National Grid.
- They are very efficient, as almost no heat is lost when heating the water.
What are the differences between gas boilers and electric boilers?
If you are deciding between a gas or electric boiler, it’s important to know the difference between them:
- A gas boiler is cheaper to run than an electric boiler.
- An electric boiler will not work if there is a power cut.
- Electric boilers are more suited to smaller homes as they are more compact.
- Electric boilers are easier to maintain as they have less complex parts.
- Gas boilers can accommodate a larger demand for hot water.
- Electric boilers do not require a yearly service. Whereas gas boilers need to be serviced annually by a gas safe engineer.
- Gas boilers are more powerful.
- Installing an electric boiler is much simpler and cheaper than a gas boiler.
Which boiler is the best option for your home? Ask boiler installers for advice. Request no-obligation boiler quotes.
What are the running costs of gas and electric boilers?
It’s obvious that homeowners want a boiler that will be efficient and cost effective, so which one will save you the most money? First and foremost, gas is cheaper than electricity per kilowatt hour (kWh), but there are other factors that will affect the running costs and may influence your decision.
Efficiency: Although all new boilers are very efficient, Electric boilers are almost 100% efficient as they lose almost no heat during the heating process.
Location: If you live in an area that has no access to mains gas, an electric boiler is a great option as you will not have to remember to refill the LPG or oil tanks.
Solar panels: If you have solar panels installed in your home, this will dramatically reduce the cost of electricity and reduce the running costs.
Overall, gas is generally cheaper for the majority of households, but speak to your local boiler expert to find out which option is best for you.
All new boilers are required by law to be condensing boilers, to comply with regulations that were introduced in 2005 – so whether you choose a gas or electric boiler, it will be a condensing one.
A condensing boiler converts any excess water vapour into heat, which is then cooled before the gases escape. This process causes condensation which is what gives this boiler its name.
Which of the two is more environmentally friendly?
Electric boilers are more energy efficient than gas boilers and have a 99% energy efficient rating, but this does not necessarily mean they are more environmentally friendly. Electricity is generated using fossil fuels such as coal, which is then distributed to your home.
Having solar panels installed will mean your individual home will be more environmentally friendly. While both systems will have an impact on your carbon footprint, overall gas is more environmentally friendly than electricity.
When to choose a gas boiler
A gas boiler will be the best option for you if:
- You have a large home with multiple rooms to heat.
- Your family has a high demand for hot water.
- You are connected to the gas network.
- You need a powerful boiler that is more cost effective.
Do you need a gas or an electric boiler? Get free quotes from boiler installers.
When to choose an electric boiler
An electric boiler will be appropriate for you if:
- You live in a smaller home such as an apartment.
- You are working to a smaller budget.
- You don’t want any pipework installed in your home.
- You are not connected to the gas network.
- You live in a remote location.
- You are looking for a low maintenance option.
Get quotes from boiler installers
The next step is to hire a boiler installer to install your new boiler professionally.
They will be able to use their specialist knowledge to answer any questions you may have, give you the best advice, and ensure your boiler is installed in line with the appropriate laws and regulations.
Simply search online for qualified local boiler installers who will be happy to give you a quote.