Gas vs. electric heaters

The cheapest way of heating a house in the UK has for a long time been with gas. That would perhaps explain why 23 million homes across the UK are using gas boilers as against only 2 million electric heaters.  The debate over whether a gas or electric heater does not look like it will end any time soon. Under the stipulations of the Paris climate change deal of 2015, families in the UK may have to phase out heating with gas over the coming 15 years. Although gas is cleaner than coal, it also happens to be the UK’s biggest greenhouse gas emissions source – in 2014 generating 169 m tonnes of CO2 leaving electric heaters as the best alternative.

Effective and fast electrical components, new innovative thermal elements, and amazing state-of-the-art heating programming features that allow you to manage your energy usage are the latest developments in electric heaters – giving you the power to considerably cut on your heating costs. Let’s look at several factors that may help you make an informed choice between gas and electric heaters.

Installation

The cost of installing a heating system varies widely in the UK. For example, to install an LPG boiler stands between £3,000 and £5,000, an oil fired boiler goes for between £4,000 and £6,000, and gas combi will cost you around £2,000-£3,000, while an electric heating system goes for around £1,000-£2,000. Obviously, the easiest to install are portable electric heaters as they don’t need any elaborate installation. While you will need to install wall-mounted electric heaters, their installation is certainly much easier compared to gas heaters, something that you can do by yourself.

Electric radiator heaters are easier, cheaper to install compared to gas heaters and they do not need a chimney. A gas furnace or heater must have a chimney that sends out the burning gas emissions. Installing gas heaters generally requires elaborate vents and air ducts throughout the house. Additionally, the gas heater itself is normally quite large and must be installed by a professional.

Efficiency

Gas heating is the most popular method of central heating across the UK. Though hugely popular, it still remains one of the most inefficient. According to experts, in the UK, there are still 9 million inefficient gas boilers in homes.

Radiation heaters – These have a heating element packaged within a glass envelope that works by emitting heat in the form of infrared radiations. The heat is deflected away from the radiation heater by a reflector.  Examples of these are infrared heaters that provide spot heating.

Convection heaters – These are more modern and the heating element works by heating the surrounding air by convection. As the hot air rises up, cold air will rush in to fill the void which in turn gets heated up ensuring a constant flow of hot air current. They are best suited for spaces that are closed. Examples of these new and efficient types of heaters are the Rointe D-series. To run these systems is almost 60 per cent cheaper compared to the standard radiation heating systems available today!

Unvented heaters

Thanks to the Rointe Fuzzy Logic Energy Control technology, the 150 litre D Series Electric Water Heater achieves a consumption of only 19 per cent of its stated nominal power ratio.

Control and cost

In a typical home setting, heating using a conventional electric heater is nearly 3 times higher compared to heating with a gas boiler. However, thanks to the ever-spiralling cost of meeting energy bills, consumers are constantly seeking more energy efficient alternatives of heating their homes. For example, the Rointe Digital System has been developed to meet the high expectations of customers who recognise the significance of using modern heating technology that is more efficient.

The cost of installing a conventional heating electric system for a standard 3-bedroom home comes to around £5,000-6,000. Besides the benefits of easy maintenance and health advantages compared to gas heaters, these remote controlled electric heating systems will accord you total control on how and when to heat your home.

Heating Programming

Gas vs Electric Heating - See the daily savings!You can pre-programme the majority of central gas heating systems to a heating schedule that suits your individual lifestyle. However, it is not possible to separately control different rooms. Obviously, this limits how much energy you can potentially save. The new breed of electric heating systems like the Rointe D-Series radiator allows you total control through a touch-control keypad. For example, with the D series, it is possible to programme the radiators located in your bedroom to switch on around 10 pm, bathroom radiators to come on in the morning or mid-evening. The radiators in the spare guest bedroom can be programmed to operate at the anti-freeze level.

Through the Rointe App, you can manage your home temperatures with an accuracy of ± 0.25 ° C. You are even able to separately control each of your radiators within the house from the comfort of your favourite couch through the programming remote control App. This certainly accords you endless options for reducing your energy consumption and heating bills.

In the domestic hot water heaters, the D Series water heater stands above the competition. Because of the advanced functionalities that have been incorporated into the D Series water heater, it is now possible to have hot water in a reliable system that is easy to use whenever you need it. The Fuzzy Logic Energy Control technology is proven to save the user up to 81% when compared to heating devices that lack a thermostat.

Maintenance and Depreciation

Electrical furnaces typically need minimal maintenance, and even most of the common issues can easily be fixed by the owner such as changing the filter or resetting the thermostat. The average lifespan of an electric heater ranges between 20 to 30 years. With an emphasis on low consumption and high efficiency, unlike gas heating systems, you will not be subjected to costly annual maintenance or servicing necessary with traditional wet systems. Electric heaters not only last longer but are quieter compared to gas furnaces.

Even when you acquire a top-of-the-range gas boiler, it will only remain at optimum efficiency levels for a short time as in general, their efficiency tends to decrease substantially with every passing year. Heating experts recommend that every 5 years you should replace your gas central heating system. However, on the hand, the efficiency of a modern electric radiator can remain unchanged throughout its lifetime.

Safety Implications

Another area you may want to take into consideration is the safety of a gas heater compared to an electric one. Of course, both come with inherent risks but you may be better off with a slight burn from an accidental contact with a hot radiator than the more lethal danger of a potential gas leak.

Modern electric heaters like the Digital Rointe systems has been developed in compliance with the obligatory EU electrical safety regulations such as EMC Directive 2014/30/EU on Electromagnetic compatibility. In addition, the system also makes sure that the radiator surface temperature stays within the established limits to prevent accidental burns in the elderly and children.

The D Series water heater comes with double heating elements such that in case one malfunctions, the other continues working. Periodically, the ‘anti-legionella’ function gets activated towards making sure that this harmful bacterium is never found in your water heater.

Eco-Friendliness

While the biggest concerns for a shopper are the buying and operating costs, it’s also essential to think about the environmental costs of the different home heating options. By virtue of the fact that gas heating systems are burning fuel inside your home, the risk of producing carbon monoxide is always present.  Electric radiators, on the other hand, don’t operate through combustion and hence emit no gases or pollutants into the environment. You simply have to keep the radiators clean. From the standpoint of air quality alone, an electric heater is certainly more eco-friendly.

Finally

Over the last couple of decades, the technology of electric heating has been developing at such a fast pace. Today we have energy efficient electric radiators that are now offering an economical and viable alternative to gas heating. Gas boilers and heaters are gradually being replaced by low energy consumption modern electric home heating systems.

It is with that goal that Rointe has designed and incorporated into all their heating products the latest state-of-the-art digital electronics in order to help you achieve optimum performance and maximum energy savings.