Is electric heating a viable option for your home? There’s no doubting that gas boilers are damaging the environment, prompting many people to search for alternative methods to heat their homes.
The Guardian reports that in the UK, heating is the most significant source of carbon emissions, and the government is under pressure to reduce the number of gas boilers installed in new homes by 2025.
If it is true, why aren’t more people using greener electric power to heat their homes? Let’s look at the distinctions between gas and electric heating to see why electric heating is still uncommon.
Gas boilers vs electric heaters: what are the differences?
Gas heating is by far the most popular way to heat a house in the United Kingdom. According to Statista, gas powers 87 per cent of UK homes, while electricity powers just 7 per cent.
The heat from the gas boiler is transferred to radiators and other devices via heat exchangers.
Gas central heating uses a centrally located gas boiler to generate hot water. This hot water is then pumped through the property’s pipes and used in hot water showers and to warm radiators. Electric heat may also be obtained using a variety of electric appliances. Electric heating equipment is fed by electricity from the main supply of a home.
It’s also possible to get gas boilers with smart technology that allows you to schedule when they turn on and off throughout the day, saving time and money.
The benefits of electric heaters
There are several key benefits of electric heating over gas boilers.
Appliances are affordable – When you include all the associated costs, a new gas boiler may cost thousands of pounds. Gas boilers are expensive, and the pipes needed to run them are difficult and time-consuming to install. Electric heaters, on the other hand, do not require installation and, if they do, it is typically a much softer procedure than installing a new gas boiler.
More energy-efficient –When it comes to energy efficiency, electric heating is far superior. You get 1kW of heat for each kilowatt-hour (KWh) of electricity you spend. Gas boilers are never efficient and vary in efficiency depending on the type and model of boiler purchased. As of 2018, legislation has mandated that all new boilers be at least 92% efficient, although some older types and models of boilers may be quite inefficient.
More environmentally friendly – Currently, around 40% of the electricity we consume at home is produced using gas, which generates greenhouse gases in a process. This implies that even if you use electricity to heat your house, you are not entirely eco-friendly. It is, however, far better for the environment than utilizing a gas boiler and switching would assist to reduce your residence’s carbon footprint.
Less maintenance –Although heat pumps are less expensive to maintain than gas boilers and require less maintenance, they have fewer moving parts and are less prone to go wrong and break down than a gas boiler. The efficiency of central heating systems may be reduced if slime or sludge builds up in the radiators and piping over time.
Safer – When it comes to safety, electric heat systems are far superior to gas boilers. If you don’t keep your boiler functioning properly or if it breaks down, carbon monoxide can seep into your house and be hazardous. To discover any issues with a gas boiler, you should always install a carbon monoxide alarm in your home. Gas boilers function by heating water that is pumped through the pipework inside your property, therefore there’s always the chance that these pipes may burst, causing structural damage to your property.
The problems with electric heaters
Why aren’t more people installing electric heating in their homes, when it’s better for the environment, cheaper to install, and more energy-efficient? There are several reasons why electric heating is not yet a viable option for many households.
Cost to run – The main disadvantage of electric heaters is the high cost of electricity. In the United Kingdom, according to greenage, electricity costs 10-15p/kWh and gas costs 3.5-4p/kWh. Electric heaters are considerably more expensive to operate than gas boilers, sometimes costing up to three times as much to run. On average, it will cost about £304 a year to heat a tiny 1–2-bedroom home with gas, but the same home would require £1,152 in electricity to be heated.
Cost to set up the whole house – While a single electric heater may not be expensive on its own, to adequately maintain an entire dwelling warm, you’ll need to invest in a lot of electrical heating equipment. This might imply using more costly large electric radiators or underfloor electric heating systems in very huge or chilly rooms.
Cost to insulate – Electric heaters are extremely energy efficient, but they are very costly to use. If you’re using electric heaters to warm your house, make sure you’re keeping as much of the generated heat inside as possible. Most homes aren’t adequately insulated to keep the heat from an electrical heater inside; insulating your home’s walls and floors might cost thousands of pounds.
In a nutshell, electric heaters have several advantages, and they may be an excellent heating solution in specific cases. If you require an additional heat source that can be moved about within your property, an electric heater might be useful. They are also a simple way for people who live off the grid or for rooms that aren’t connected to the mains central heating to warm up their homes. Electric heaters are more prevalent in nations where the temperature does not drop too low and is not used very often because of this reason.
If natural gas is accessible, electric heating systems are not usually the most cost-effective solution to heat an entire home in the United Kingdom.
Homes equipped with electric heating systems may profit from installing smart electric appliances that can be programmed to operate at the most energy-efficient temperatures and turn on and off at the most cost-effective intervals to save money on energy bills.
However, the heating industry will be revolutionized in the next 30 years as the UK attempts to meet its 2050 net-zero goal by lowering domestic emissions from heating and hot water by 95%.
There’s no doubt that the heating business must modify and adapt in order to provide more cost-effective and environmentally friendly solutions to customers, so keep an eye on this space. Electric heating technology may well be made more affordable in the future.
Heating advice from Range Heating
We offer a bespoke service for all your heating and hot water requirements. We create and install a variety of different heating and hot water systems, as well as advise you on the best system for your property and requirements. Give our team a call on 07 8772 105 094 or email [email protected] to get further help or advice, and we’ll be delighted to assist.