Electric heating vs. gas central heating systems

Do you often wonder which type of heating solution you should use? You should because it’s an important question that carries implications for the energy efficiency of your home or property.

For a long time, gas was considered the cheapest way of heating a property. It is the most common form of heating in UK homes, with around 8 million gas boilers sold every year in the UK. A gas system consists of a single boiler that heats up water and then pumps it through pipes to radiators throughout the property. It also provides hot water to the kitchen and bathrooms. Over the years, gas systems have largely remained the same with little evolution.

Electric heating, however, has evolved into an energy efficient alternative, with all the advantages of the old storage heaters but none of the disadvantages. The shift away from gas is gaining momentum – supported by a number of crucial factors:

1. Legislation – new Government policy determines that all new homes should meet a minimum EPC level C.

2. Costs – installation costs for gas-based systems are much higher than electric heating and do not last as long on average.

3. Technology – electric heating technology is increasing in capability but reducing in price.

4. Ecological awareness – consumers are more aware of the need for clean and efficient heating systems that help create a sustainable home.

Benefits of electric heating

Electric heating is incredibly versatile as it can be used for both air and water products. Moreover, with a whopping 64.7% of the energy used in EU households going towards heating, it is more important than ever to ensure your heating solution is energy efficient. Which is where electricity comes in.

The latest developments in electric heating include effective and fast components, new innovative thermal elements and amazing, state-of-the-art programming. Let’s take a closer look at the main advantages of electric heating over gas:

  • Installation:

Electric heating systems are easier and cheaper to install compared to gas central heating that requires pipes, vents and ducts. They don’t require flue or pipework so there are no restrictions on building layout or design. Nor are there any planning issues. A simple connection to the electric circuit is all that is required, so for new build properties, this means it can go in at the second fix wiring stage.

It’s a big job to install a gas system and can take several weeks to fit new pipes, radiators and a boiler from a gas certified professional. It may also be messy and damaging to your property, especially if floorboards need to be lifted or walls broken into.

With almost all electric radiators (like ours), a template and installation kit is provided. Therefore, it’s a simple job to drill the template holes, screw the support in place and slide the radiator into position. Then all you need to do is plug into the electric socket, switch on and instant heat is generated. To see how easy it is, watch our video.

  •  Safety & noise:

Electric heaters are generally safer than gas as they do not burn fuel to generate heat. This eliminates risks such as carbon monoxide emissions and explosions. In addition, there are no water-filled pipes, so there is less risk of damage to the property from leaking or burst pipework.

Gas systems can be far noisier than electric due to the hot water rushing through the pipes. Gurgling, kettling, dripping, creaking, banging and even tapping are common with gas hot water systems. Kettling is a common noise and sounds much like a kettle boiling. This noise is actually a warning sign as it’s caused by a build-up of sludge or limescale in the heating system. If it becomes severe or blocked, you will need a power flushing service to remove the build-up and back in working order. With electric systems, there is no noise emitted and no limescale build up.

  • Ecological:

The new Lot20 regulations stipulate that all space heaters that consume energy (electricity, gas or liquid) with a nominal heat output equal to or greater than 250W, must comply with a minimum energy efficiency standard. This means greater energy efficiency and less environmental impact.

Gas is a ‘fossil’ fuel, which means it was formed from the remnants of living matter from millions of years ago. Even though it is the cleanest of the fossil fuels, it is still the UK’s biggest greenhouse gas emissions source. This is not in the best interest of long-term climate change targets. Gas systems produce damaging carbon emissions and with climate targets increasing, gas could become obsolete in the coming years.

Electric heating is clean and respectful to the environment as it does not emit polluting gases or use heavy metals. The Government has also determined that all new build homes should meet a minimum EPC level C.

  • Value for money:

Yes, gas is cheaper than electricity to run on a daily basis, but the true costs to consider are installation plus maintenance and running expenses, along with the average length of a products lifetime.Electric heating is cheaper to install than gas, has no maintenance costs and lasts for up to 50% longer than the average gas boiler.  It is also 100% efficient, meaning all the electricity you use and pay for converts into heat.

If you consider all the cost factors then electric heating beats gas by a considerable margin.

  • Control:

The main idea behind adding connectivity features into household appliances is to give homeowners convenience and make every property more efficient by consuming less electricity. Little do most users know that using a connectable heating solution can help cut annual heating costs by up to 30%.

With gas systems, you can program the majority to a heating schedule that suits. However, it’s not possible to separately control different radiators or rooms. They are on either according to your programming or off. Obviously, this limits how much energy you can save.

There are Wi-Fi controlled options available with gas, but these tend to be an additional (or replacement) thermostat that needs to be purchased and fitted. This generally needs installation by a professional. Built-in Wi-Fi now comes as standard with many electric heating systems, without the need for additional thermostats or parts. In fact, we were one of the very first electric heating manufacturers to incorporate Wi-Fi into our products, all controlled by our free app, Rointe Connect. Learn more about our Wi-Fi controlled electric heating system.

  • Efficiency:

Gas heating wastes energy through the pipework. As the heated water snakes its way through the pipe system, heat will radiate from the pipes. You will also have to activate the whole system, even if you just want a single radiator on. You can turn other radiators off, however, the boiler has to heat the whole tank of water in one location and send it to your desired radiator. Hardly energy efficient.

With electric heaters, there is no heat loss between the power source and the heat output. It is engaged as soon as it is switched on with a short cable in place of a complicated pipe network.

  • Maintenance:

Gas central heating requires maintenance that can be expensive to proprietors. Each year annual maintenance, plumbing work and gas safety certificates rack up the pounds. Electric heating requires virtually no maintenance. There are no flues to inspect or a gas safety certificate to obtain. All that is needed is to keep your product clean, most likely with a damp cloth only.

In the past, the decision always came down to two options, old fashion gas central heating or inefficient electric storage heaters. However, electric heating today has evolved to include smart, stylish and effective systems that are an economical alternative. They should be given due consideration when replacing or installing a new, energy-efficient heating system into your property, as they are gradually replacing antiquated gas systems.

When it comes to finding electric heating solutions for your home, business or project, we are the best in the market. Quite simply, we develop the electric heating systems that we would put into our own homes.

Turn up the heat with Rointe today. Call one of our sales team on 0203 321 5928 or email us at sales@rointe.co.uk to find out more information on our efficient and innovative range. You can also find your nearest official Rointe installer here.

If you have a question for us then drop us an email, give us a call or you can message us via our social channels.

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