Thousands of UK residents have been using conventional gas boilers to heat their homes and water systems for years. Many people are starting to question if the conventional gas boilers really are the best choice in the face of rising climate change goals and rising energy costs. In fact, a couple of million households in the UK do not have a mains gas network connection and this figure is growing. This represents a significant percentage of the country’s housing stock. Electric boilers are a great option in circumstances where it is very cold. To assist you in determining if an electric or gas boiler is the best option for you, we have created this guide detailing several aspects of selecting a boiler or boiler replacement.
Conventional Gas Boilers
To heat the water in your house, gas boilers use fuel to heat the water and then boil it. Natural gas is delivered to your house via an underground network or LPG is distributed in cylinders. Many different kinds of gas Worcester boilers are available, including system boilers and combi boilers.
While choosing the appropriate boiler for your family may affect the overall degree of comfort, also has a huge effect on your household’s well- being. Boilers make up the significant percentage of the entire yearly heating expense, so it is essential research how much a new boiler cost and to choose the best option. A boiler that consumes low levels of energy may benefit the majority of households.
Efficiency in the use of energy is crucial in today’s society. A bill that established a legislative requirement saying that all newly installed gas boilers must condense steam to extract more heat from fuel was approved in 2005, making it obligatory for all new boilers to produce water vapour condensation and remove additional heat from the fuel, ofcourse pricing will always be an issue hence why the new boiler price needs to be reasonable. To keep your boiler efficient make sure you do the boiler service annually so all of the components are in good condition.
So how does a Gas Boiler work?
When you turn on your gas boiler, it begins the process of operating. A valve opens, allowing gas from the mains to enter a sealed combustion chamber, and then that gas flows into a primary heat exchanger which is connected to a cold-water pipe. Hot has heats water, circulates it through your radiators and is used by your appliances. This is pumped through a movement.
Boiler water passes through a heat exchanger after being heated and this hot water passes through a secondary heat exchanger where it is warmed and yields a liquid known as condensate. This liquid is then drained from the boiler.
Once the water has been heated by the gases, the process is complete, and the gases are no longer of use, thus they are expelled through the chimney. The process of circulating hot water in the radiators start all over again and the radiators continue to heat your home. This cycle continues until the thermostat or boiler is manually turned off.
Gas Boiler Types
There are three major kinds of gas boilers, and they are as follows: combined boilers, system boilers and traditional boilers. The varying requirements of each home, particularly the usage type, are better met by different types of boilers.
Combi boilers are common in the UK for home boiler systems because of their combination boiler capacity. These heating systems serve both the purpose of space-saving and energy-savings, making them an excellent option for anybody in the market for these services.
In convectional boilers, a dedicated hot water cylinder and cold-water tank supply heat to your house. For houses that already have a conventional heating hot water system, these gas boilers are usually the best option.
The Primary components for a system gas boiler are all integrated into a single unit, thus there is no need for a water tank. In order to hold the hot water, however, a cylinder is needed. Make sure you do boiler checks on time so you don’t face problems in future.
Electric Boilers may be tricky too.
Like conventional gas boilers, electric boilers use gas to heat water for the heating element using electricity. All the advantages of central heating, including an improvision for the lack of gas supply, are available with electric system boilers. Having no access to mains supply gas or having limitations on the use of gas boilers, such as listed buildings or bed-sits, make electric boilers an excellent choice for most people.
Because they are cheaper to operate and install, many new-build and new flat -dwellings have electric boilers. In addition, unlike other fuel sources an electric boiler produces no carbon emissions while it is in use, which is a major consideration for those who want to reduce the impact of pollution o the environment. Boiler systems may be fitted with an electric heating element to boil water for your heating system and household hot water. However, although electric boilers can generate large amounts of hot water instantaneously, they are limited by the maximum quantity of domestic hot water they can produce, so an indirect cylinder is often utilized if the house includes a bath.
Let’s find out how electric boilers function!
A boiler itself is just a fairly basic piece of equipment that may be shaped and styled in a number of ways. These long, thin units were intended to maximise the amount of surface area exposed to the water while it is heated. Like a kettle, electric boilers utilize energy from the mains to heat an electric heating element.
An electric boiler works in a similar manner as a conventional boiler, except that it is fed with water from the water supply system. The electric heating component is used to reheat the cold water., which is then transferred via the hot water heater. Once the water is hot, it is sent to where it is required.
The Different Types of Electric Boilers
Electric boilers are indeed a good alternative for apartments and houses when gas is not an option and oil is either too costly or impracticable. Depending on your personal needs, there are a number of various kinds of electric boilers from which to select.
Combination Electric Boiler (Direct)
Like a gas combination boiler, this may supply both central heating system and hot water to a building, but is typically mounted on the wall rather than installed under a floor. While other types of electric boilers require you to first acquire hot water before they can be used, combi boilers take use of their heating element and are very easy to install. Due to the kind of boiler being used, you don’t have a storage system, thus the water is boiled on supply, saving your room. In order to save money on economy 7 rates, you will have to heat your water the traditional way over night.
These types of electric boilers of the wet central heating systems utilise electricity to heat it up in the boiler. On the other hand, in combination with an electric flow boiler, an installed hot water container or an independent hot water tank, they use an electric flow system to store heated water. In order to conserve space, these hot water containers are typically made of stainless steel and are small in size. Water heating occurs during after-hours to take leverage of time-of-use (TOE) rates like economy 7, which then releases the stored heat at night to meet energy demand. For economy 7 tariff plans, a storage boiler is a good option though. The combi boilers are more costly to purchase and install but they also take up more space and have a higher operating cost than electric boilers.
Dry Core Storage
In contrast to electric storage heaters, dry core storage boilers both boil water and store thermal energy in the same manner. During the off-peak power hours, dry core storage boilers (also known as dry battery boilers) and electric storage heaters (also known as electric battery heaters) store electricity by heating bricks overnight. Instead of circulating straight into house, the heat is cycled into water which may then be utilised for central heating or hot water.
It Increases the functionality of dry core storage boilers, providing some of the benefits of a boiler. Economy 7 tariffs provide low energy rates at night and dry core storage boilers are specifically to operate with such tariffs.
Electric Combined Primary Supply Unit (CPSU)
To improve how quickly hot water is distributed throughout the building, one should install a CPSU, which is attached to the boiler to store large amounts of hot water. The stored water gives the boiler the ability to distribute hot water faster and at a higher pressure. Because electric CPSUs are much larger and much costly than conventional boilers, they are frequently utilised in commercial buildings.
Solar Powered Electric Boilers
You may utilise the free energy produced from your solar panels to heat your water throughout the day if you have a hot water storage tank with an immersion heater. Of course, you’re only allowed to use it during the day when the sun is out but because the storage system makes hot water energy-efficient, you can use it all day long even when the sun isn’t out.
Gas vs Electric Boilers
According to many studies, natural gas is a superb fuel for house heating. However, it is detrimental to the environment since it isn’t gentle. Natural gas, a fossil fuel, produces carbon dioxide when combusted. This means the amount of carbon in the atmosphere rises each time your gas heater starts up. This is a major source of climate change as well as significant contributor to home heating in the UK.
By switching to electric heating, you may minimise the effect of house heating on the environment. For a single bedroom and bathroom, and low-rise apartments, a conventional electric water heater is the perfect low-carbon heating solution. Although they struggle to fulfil the increased needs for heating and hot water in bigger houses, they cannot provide them. As natural gas is more abundant, it therefore has the upper hand. Gas boilers certainly have their benefits, but electric boilers provide many unique advantages as well.
Benefits and Drawbacks
Gas Boiler Benefits:
- Tends to be cheaper to operate
- Typical option
- Increased heating and hot water requirements may be met
- An extensive selection of brands, models and categories to pick from
- It is usually simple and easy to replace gas boilers that are similar in design
- Natural gas is generally constantly accessible
- Modern gas boilers can achieve up to 90% efficiency
Gas Boiler Drawbacks:
- The price of system swap installation is very high
- Homes that are not linked to the gas network are not available for purchase
- When used, this gas is emitted into the environment
- Gas boilers that are not in a company’s formal long-term plans to be prohibited in the next couple of decades
- The gas leak danger is high. One way to avoid this from happening is to ensure that the installation is done by Gas Safe certified engineer
- Annual maintenance is required
- Due to having a greater number of moving components, the system is more vulnerable to failure and mistake.
Electric Boiler Benefits:
- Less expensive installation
- It tends to be compact in size
- Moderately quiet in operation
- No gas is released during operation, thus it is considered a green choice
- A simplified design has fewer moving components, which reduces the chance of defects and mishaps
- Carbon monoxide poisoning is not a danger since gas is not released
- We generally suggest getting the boiler service annually, although it is not necessary
- These systems don’t need to be located against an exterior wall, since there are no flue or gas waste pipes
Electric Boiler Drawbacks:
- More costly to operate on a day-to-day basis
- Prolonged use should be avoided, particularly if it is used in a household with a greater need for heating and hot water
- In the absence of renewable energy, electricity produced as fuel releases greenhouse gases
- Due to power outages, those who have heaters and hot water won’t be able to access it
How expensive are these boilers to operate?
Using natural gas to heat your house is the least expensive option. And this is why UK households choose gas heaters for their heating. However, electricity is very costly. Users don’t have to always depend on a provider for power. Instead, you may produce your own power by using renewable energy.