Things to know about an Electric Heating Boiler
The press is always telling us about energy prices rising. You may of thought a gas boiler is the best options for your home or office. GHS has written this guide to help you understand whether an electric heating boiler is the right choice for your home or office. There are over two million homes in the UK without a Natural Gas supply.
Electric Boilers are very quiet to run with only one moving part, the pump, to move the water around. This can be internal to the boiler, if an electric combi boiler and an electric system boiler, or external if a heat only electric boiler.
How Do Electric Boilers Work?
Electric heating boilers work in the same way as the modern gas boilers, weather it be a combi, system or heat only condensing boiler. Instead of burning natural gas they use electricity to heat up water. This is usually through elements or heat exchangers. Electric boilers suit properties which have no mains gas supply or properties with low gas pressure or other supply issues. Other ideal electric boiler installations are listed building, multiple-occupancy properties and flats where natural gas boiler’s flueing is an issue, either due to access or external termination.
As technology has improved there is a far greater choice of electric boiler manufactures. Boilers start from 4 kw to 14 kw for most domestic properties. The important thing to check is if you have enough power from your fuse board to supply the heating your home requires. If you’re not sure you can always email us a photo of your fuseboard and we will check it for you.
If you did need a new fuseboard to supply the electric boiler you should budget around £500 for this.
Electric central heating systems have come along way from the old panel heaters and economy 7 storage heaters. A modern electric boiler will heat and provide hot water in the same way a traditional wet system powered on gas or oil does.
How Energy Efficient Are Electric Boilers?
Electric boiler only uses the energy required to heat the water, there is no wasted heat from flues or condensation (water). There is no need to over spec the boiler for your property, it can be sized accordingly.
Single phase Electric Boilers work best in up to 3-bedroom homes. After that you would need a 3-phase boiler or to cascade the boilers subject to electrical supply.
If you have PV Photo Voltaic, sometime referred to as Solar Panels, this makes running the boiler very cheap and even better it you have a hot water tank to store the heat in.
Easy to Position Electric Boilers
Electric boilers have a much smaller footprint than their gas or oil boilers. They also have the benefit of not requiring an external flue. This gives them a massive advantage in some buildings for their locations.
Electric Boiler Installation costs
If you have the correct electrical power supply, quite often an electric boiler is cheaper to install as there is no flue and no copper to upgrade for the gas pipe. The basic boiler is about the same price as a gas boiler, which is about 25% cheaper than an oil boiler.
On Going Maintenance for an Electric Boiler
The good news is there is no annual boiler service required, unless a manufacture recommends it for the warranty. There are so few moving parts all you can expect to change is the elements. If you imagine it’s only a kettle with a pump, there is not a lot to go wrong! There is also no need to worry about Carbon Monoxide poisoning as there is no flue.
What are the down sides of Electric Boilers?
Electric Boilers are slower to heat water, so if you use a lot of water they may not be for you. A traditional boiler set up with a hot water tank can get around this issue.
Electricity is genuinely more expensive per unit than natural gas, so running costs could be higher (Unless you have Solar Panels).
Like anything electric, boilers need power. You could consider buying your energy from renewal energy providers.
If your area suffers power cuts this may be something worth considering (but Gas and Oil still need power to get the pumps working).
Hopefully GHS has shown you the Pros and Cons of electric heating systems. If you still not sure, contact us for some good old fashion free advice!