Many homeowners find it hard to decide between a gas boiler and an electric boiler.
Each of these types of boiler systems has its own pros and cons. Also, installation and running costs will differ between the two systems.
If you’re currently trying to choose between a gas boiler and an electric boiler, this informative guide will provide you with all the information you need to make the right choice for your home.
What is a Gas Boiler?
Gas boilers burn natural gas in order to generate hot water for the taps and radiators in your home. They are the most common form of heating in the UK, with approximately 80% of homes relying on gas central heating.
There are three main types of gas boilers: combi, regular and system. Each type is suitable for different kinds of homes and central heating requirements.
Gas boiler systems can be fuelled by natural gas or liquid petroleum gas (LPG). If your gas boiler is powered by natural gas, it will receive its fuel from the local gas network.
However, if your gas system is powered by LPG, the fuel will need to be stored in a cylinder or tank and replaced regularly.
What is an Electric Boiler?
Electric boilers, unlike gas boilers, use electricity as their fuel. Fuel combustion does not take place with electric boilers, instead, they convert electricity into heat and this energy is used to heat water for your home. This heated water is then sent to your radiators and taps for heating and hot water purposes. As no fuel is burnt during operation, electric boilers are commonly deemed as a more eco-friendly option.
There is a range of electric boilers available to choose from, including direct-acting electric boilers, storage electric boilers and dry core storage electric boilers. Each type will be suitable for different homes and needs.
Electric boilers tend to be best suited to properties that are not connected to the gas network, and homes that have lower heating and hot-water requirements.
Gas Boilers vs Electric Boilers: Pros and Cons
To help you decide on the best boiler type for your home, below we break down the advantages and disadvantages of gas and electric boilers.
|Gas Boiler Pros||Gas Boiler Cons|
|Cheaper to run||System swap installations can be expensive.|
|Popular option – most homes in the UK use gas boilers.||Not available to homes that aren’t connected to the gas network.|
|Can meet higher heating and hot water demands.||Emits greenhouse gas during operation.|
|A vast range of brands, ranges and models to choose from.||Unofficial plans for gas boilers to be banned in the next 14 years.|
|Like for like gas boiler replacements tend to be straightforward and easy.||Possible gas leak risk. However, ensuring that the installation is conducted by a Gas Safe registered engineer can help to prevent this.|
|Gas supply is mostly always available.||Annual services are mandatory.|
|Modern condensing gas boilers are designed to be over 90% efficient.||Systems have more moving parts so they are more susceptible to faults and errors.|
|Electric Boiler Pros||Electric Boiler Cons|
|Installations are often cheaper.||Typically more expensive to run.|
|Usually compact in size.||Usually not recommended for homes with higher heating and hot water demands.|
|Quiet operation.||Unless paired with a renewable energy source, the production of the electricity used as fuel emits greenhouse gas. This process is considered carbon-intensive.|
|Eco-friendly option – no gas is emitted during operation.||Power losses can impact access to heating and hot water.|
|Fewer moving parts so reduced risk of faults and errors.|
|No risk of carbon monoxide poisoning as gas is not emitted.|
|Annual services are recommended but not required.|
|As there is no flue or gas waste pipe, these systems do not need to be positioned against an outside wall.|
Installation Prices and Running Costs
Generally, gas boiler installations tend to be more expensive than electric boiler installations; however, overall costs will depend on the complexity of the fitting process. Like for like gas boiler swaps can be low in price.
The cost of electricity is higher than the cost of gas, so running costs for electric boilers are typically higher. It is estimated that gas can be 3-4 times cheaper per kilowatt-hour than electricity. This is one of the main reasons why gas heating is the most popular choice in the UK.
The best way to weigh up costs for your new boiler installation is to get a quote. Why not try our free online quote tool today to get a personalised estimate for your new gas boiler?
All modern gas boilers are built with condensing technology. This means that they can recover latent heat and use this to provide further heating instead of letting the energy go to waste. Condensing boilers can reach efficiency levels of over 90% and all boilers installed within the UK are legally required to be A-rated.
Electric boilers are considered to be more energy-efficient than gas boilers as they do not waste any energy and fuel combustion does not take place during their operation. However, the production of the electricity used to fuel electric boilers is considered carbon-intensive and thus reduces the overall energy efficiency of this form of heating.
On the other hand, when paired with a renewable energy source like solar panels or an air source heat pump, electric boilers could be 100% efficient.
In order to help the UK meet its strict net-zero energy efficiency targets, the government has proposed a potential gas boiler ban in 2025. This move could see a rise in the use of electric boilers. Find out more about the potential gas boiler ban here.
Gas vs. Electric Boilers: The Result – Which option is better for your home?
All in all, both gas boilers and electric boilers have a number of benefits. The best option for your home will depend on your needs and your type of property.
Here at 247 Home Rescue, we can help you make the best choice for your home and needs. Simply try our free online quote tool today to find out how much it could cost to get a brand-new gas boiler installed into your home. Or get in touch with us on 0333 996 3800 to further discuss your needs.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which is a better choice: gas or electric boiler?
The answer to this question depends on your needs and the amount of money you are willing to invest to buy a boiler. Each of these boilers has its pros and cons, as mentioned above, and depending on these you can decide which to invest in.
Are electric central heating boilers any good?
An electric combi boiler is a good central heating boiler choice. It is not only efficient and quiet but also a clean and non-polluting choice. Depending on your property size, you can decide if this heater is feasible for you.
Are electric boilers expensive to run?
One of the most common questions regarding electric boilers is whether they are expensive to run. The running costs of electric boilers are something most people are unsure of. It can also be difficult to find the right information regarding this. Generally, electricity costs more than gas so an electric boiler is more expensive than a gas one.
Do electric boilers need a water tank?
If you are looking to buy an electric boiler, you might benefit from getting an electric water boiler. This is one that needs a water tank as well. This mainly depends on the kind of electric boiler you decide to buy. Both, storage and electric combined primary storage unit boilers require water tanks.
Can I replace a gas boiler with an electric boiler?
If you are looking to replace your gas boiler, you can certainly switch to an electric boiler. This might be a good idea as it is a non-polluting and relatively easy to use boiler.