Electric vs Gas Boilers - Which Is Better For Your Home? - The Stratford Observer

Electric vs Gas Boilers - Which Is Better For Your Home?

Stratford Editorial 5th May, 2023   0

If the time has come to upgrade your boiler, you may be browsing your seemingly endless choices. Electric boilers are just one option, operating on electricity rather than burning fossil fuels such as gas and oil.

Gas boilers are undoubtedly the most popular and common way of heating UK homes, but are electric boilers a suitable eco-friendly alternative? This article will review the pros and cons of electric boilers in the UK and how they stand against the widely sought-after gas boiler.

What Is An Electric Boiler?

As the name suggests, electric boilers run on electricity to heat water throughout your home. Much like gas boilers, there are different types of electric boilers, including combi, system, and flow models. Each model works in different ways, with varying prices and installation costs.

Electric combi boilers are small and efficient, providing hot water and central heating from one unit. Since combi boilers heat water on demand, they require more power to run. However, these units are an ideal choice for small homes.




Electric flow boilers are an excellent option for large households with high hot water demand. These units supply hot water and central heating with an additional cold water feed tank that fills with water from the mains supply and a hot water cylinder to store preheated water for instant hot water. Because of these additional units, electric flow boilers require more space.

Electric system boilers are similar to flow boilers; however, they do not require a cold water feed tank, making them more space-efficient. Some system boilers also have integrated hot water cylinders so that they fit comfortably in your home.


How Do Electric Boilers Work?

Rather than burning harmful fossil fuels to heat up the water in your mains supply, these boilers connect to your electricity to power the heating element inside the system. Imagine a giant kettle providing hot water to run through pipes in your home.

Some electric boilers, like the system boiler, store hot water to use whenever you need it, while combi boilers produce hot water on demand. Electric boilers are highly efficient, reaching efficiency ratings as high as 100% compared to gas boilers which reach highs of around 90%.

Advantages Of An Electric Boiler

While less common than other boilers, electric boilers have many advantages that make them worth investing in. Here are just a few benefits of switching to an electric boiler:

Small Units

Electric boilers are incredibly compact compared to any fossil fuel alternative, making them extremely easy to fit inside smaller homes. Some electric boilers only require the installation of one unit, taking up even less of your storage.

Energy-Saving

Electric boilers have a higher efficiency rating than gas or oil boilers since they convert electric energy directly into thermal rather than losing some energy through combustion. Higher efficiency means that you need less power to produce enough heat for your home, helping you save money on energy bills.

Some may worry about the rising cost of electricity compared to gas. However, natural gas is a non-renewable resource, so prices are expected to rise dramatically in the upcoming years. By opting for an electric boiler, you are choosing to heat your home through more sustainable and, potentially, renewable energy.

Higher Safety

One of the main risks of combustion boilers is their ability to produce carbon monoxide when faulty. Because of this risk, combustion boilers need regular maintenance to ensure their safety. Electric boilers eliminate the risk of dangerous gas leaks and lower the risk of fires starting in your home.

Disadvantages Of An Electric Boiler

To make the best purchasing decision, weighing the bad and the good is essential. Consider these disadvantages of electric boilers before deciding which boiler is right for you.

High Running Costs

As it stands, electricity is currently more expensive than gas. If you switch from a gas boiler to an electric one, you should expect your energy bills to rise. Gas boilers are generally more cost-effective unless you invest in your electric boiler long-term.

Not Suitable For Large Homes

Most electric boilers struggle to meet high hot water and heating demands, making them a poor option for large households. However, their compact sizes are ideal for smaller homes and apartments.

Electric Boilers Vs. Gas Boilers

So, which is better? The answer to this question largely depends on your specific heating needs and the size of your home. Gas boilers are more powerful, have lower running costs, and heat your home efficiently despite losing some energy to combustion. The main drawback of gas boilers is the dangerous CO2 emissions that enter the atmosphere each time you heat your home.

Electric boilers run on a largely renewable energy resource, lowering carbon emissions and reducing your household’s environmental impact. Electric boilers also run more efficiently, consuming less power to operate.

Electric boilers are the eco-friendly option, producing less greenhouse gas emissions. So long as electric boilers can meet your heating needs, they are certainly an excellent choice for those who want to lower their carbon footprint. Other eco-friendly central heating systems include heat pumps, which run on renewable energy from the ground, water or air.

This article was written by Boiler Guide. 

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