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Electric Vs. Gas Boilers: What’s The Difference?

If you’re having a new boiler installed within your home, there are a few things to consider before you make your decision on which boiler to go with.


There are so many different makes and models of boilers these days that it can be difficult to pick out the one that’s right for your home, but one of the first decisions you should make in order to narrow down your options is the decision between choosing an electric or gas boiler.


There are plenty of different things to consider when making this decision. Here are just a few of the pros, cons and other factors that may come into play when deciding between an electric or gas boiler.


Gas Boilers


Gas boilers generate heat for a home’s central heating system and domestic hot water by burning natural gas, which is delivered on demand to the property by the homeowner’s chosen energy supplier whenever it is needed.


If the popularity of a certain kind of boiler is something you’d factor in when making the choice between installing a gas boiler over an electric boiler, it’s worth considering that natural gas boilers currently account for over 80% of the central heating delivered to UK homes. This makes them the most commonly installed heating system across the UK.


You can install a gas boiler in your home whether or not you are connected to the gas network, though boilers in homes which aren’t connected to the gas network need to run on LPG, a liquid alternative to natural gas. This can be slightly more complicated, as LPG is not delivered to the property as and when needed, rather it is stored on the property in a specialised tank.


Electric Boilers


The electric alternative to the more common gas boiler, electric boilers use your property’s electricity supply as fuel rather than burning natural gas or LPG. Gas boilers do, of course, still require an electricity supply to operate alongside requiring a gas supply, whilst electric boilers require electricity alone to keep running.


If your home isn’t connected to the gas network, an electric boiler is a more convenient option than installing a gas boiler and LPG supply. It may also be more suited to smaller homes with fewer occupants and a lower demand for hot water.


Electric Vs. Gas Boilers: Installation Costs


The installation costs of any boiler depend on a variety of different factors, with the main element that affects the overall cost being the initial cost of the boiler itself. Whilst many electric and gas boilers are priced on a similar level, the wider range of gas boilers available on the market means that you may be able to track down a cheaper gas model, though cheaper models may be unsuitable for larger homes with multiple occupants.


Installation costs themselves will also vary depending on the size of the boiler and the extent of the work that will need to be carried out. Electric boilers are generally cheaper when it comes to first time boiler installations in new-build homes, as there are fewer components required. However, if installing an electric boiler in place of a gas one, there are certain components that will need to be uninstalled first, which will also affect the overall cost.


At Birmingham Boilers, we pride ourselves on offering professional, high-quality boiler installations at an affordable price.


Electric Vs. Gas Boilers: Running Costs


The running costs of boilers will, once again, vary on a number of factors. However, it’s generally the case that gas boilers are cheaper to run due to the cost of gas compared to the cost of generating electricity.


Of course, electricity doesn’t necessarily have to come from an electricity supplier. Homes which have access to a renewable form of energy or generate their own electricity – homes with solar panels installed, for instance – may be able to generate enough energy to keep their electric boiler running at a much lower cost than if they were to use a gas boiler.


Electric Vs. Gas Boilers: Environmental Impact


When it comes to homeowners who are looking to bring down their carbon footprint, an electric boiler is generally the way to go.


This is due to the fact that electric boilers can, as previously mentioned, be run using energy generated using renewable alternatives alone and that the burning of natural gas contributes negatively to the environment.


Some electric boilers also boast an energy efficiency rating of up to 100%, meaning that less energy is wasted per energy used.


Electric Boilers: Pros & Cons


These are a few of the pros of having an electric boiler installed:

  • Zero risk of a carbon monoxide leak, giving them a boiler safety advantage
  • Less complex internal equipment means faults are less common
  • Generally much quieter when in use
  • No carbon emissions are produced
  • Ideal for homes which are not connected to a gas network


These are a few of the cons of having an electric boiler installed:

  • Generally more expensive to run, as gas is cheaper than electricity
  • Often unable to meet the heating demands of larger, multiple-occupant properties
  • Fewer models available on the market


Gas Boilers: Pros & Cons


These are a few of the pros of having a gas boiler installed:

  • Gas is a cheaper fuel than electricity
  • There are a wider range of gas boilers available on the market
  • Gas boilers are able to meet the heating and water demands of larger, multiple occupant properties
  • Repairs and replacements – whilst potentially more commonly needed – tend to be cheaper and simpler


These are a few of the cons of having a gas boiler installed:

  • Gas boilers require annual servicing to keep the warranty valid and are legally required for landlords who are renting a property to tenants
  • Faults occur more commonly due to the higher number of components involved internally
  • Gas boilers can, in some cases, lead to dangerous carbon monoxide leaks
  • Gas boilers tend to be larger in size


Made Up Your Mind?


Once you’ve decided which type of boiler to go with, all that’s left to do is choose your boiler unit and arrange its installation. If any problems should arise with your boiler in future, however, you know who to call!


If you’re in Birmingham, Dudley, Stourbridge, Bromsgrove, Solihull, Redditch, Alvechurch or the surrounding areas and require boiler servicing or repairs, get in touch with Birmingham Boilers today on 0800 320 2345. We offer fast, professional and high-quality service by Gas Safe registered engineers and promise great work every time.

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