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Last updated: 7th October, 2022

Comparisons

Electric vs Gas Boilers

Electric vs Gas Boilers

In this article we will discuss the topic of different boiler types, specifically electric boilers vs gas boilers, explaining how each heating system type works as well as their pros, cons and what is the best heating system for your property.

What Is A Gas Boiler, Which Should You Buy?

A gas boiler is exactly what it says on the tin, a boiler system that heats gas in order to warm your home.

The gas initially enters a boiler via the mains or an LPG bottle, the resulting hot water is then fed through the central heating system.

A gas boiler can also provide a direct stream of hot water to outlets such as sink, bath etc (combi boiler) or be stored in a separate water tank/cylinder (system and heat only boiler).

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What Is An Electric Boiler?

An electric boiler is similar to its gas combusting counterpart in the fact it heats up water, but passes an electric current through the water to do so.

Electric boilers then transport the heated water to a properties central heating system, pipes and water outlets. Electric boiler types include combi, storage/dry storage, and electric CPSU(usually commercial).

Comparing Gas vs Electric Boilers

Pros

Gas Boilers

Electric Boilers

  • Gas is currently the cheapest fuel on which to run a boiler.

  • Boiler manufacturers claim their electric boilers are almost 100% efficient.

  • Modern gas boilers are often ‘A’ rated in terms of ErP.

  • No risk of potential carbon monoxide leak.

  • Gas boilers heat up a home quicker than other boiler types.

  • Quieter when running compared to most boiler types.

  • Gas is a tried and tested, readily available fuel source.

  • Can be installed anywhere in the home.

  • Replacements in terms of unit for unit tend to be easier.

  • Usually compact in size.

  • Can meet high hot water demands.

  • Annual service is recommended but not required.

Cons

Gas Boilers

Electric Boilers

  • Higher initial unit purchase cost.

  • Currently an expensive fuel in terms of boiler running cost.

  • More emissions released than some boiler types.

  • Possibly not suitable for larger homes.

  • Annual service mandatory.

  • The initial production of electricity can be carbon intensive.

Gas Boiler vs Electric Boiler Cost

Initially gas boilers usually demand a higher purchase price per unit than electric boilers, however the difference in running cost may hold the most sway over your opinion.

Gas is currently the cheapest fuel source to power a boiler, and would eventually bridge the gap in initial cost disparity when compared to electric boilers.

Also gas being abundant in terms of ready availability means it is more reliable than electricity which could be subject to potential power cuts.

Gas also has a general wider model selection, meaning there is ample opportunity for a thorough price comparison before committing to a purchase.

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Gas Boiler vs Electric Boiler - What Heats Your Home Faster?

A gas boiler's burner will output maximum heat practically instantly, whereas an electric boiler would not be as fast due to their relatively slower flow rate.

Electric boilers therefore are most productive in homes that require heating over a longer time span or are extremely insulated. 

Solar Panels

Both gas and electric boilers have models in which solar panels can be implemented and utilised to reduce emission release while simultaneously lowering a home's energy bills.

Benefits Of Combi Boilers

Combi boilers are a the most popular choice for both types of fuel for a number of reasons. Unlike conventional boilers, combi (combination) boilers link a home’s central heating system and water heating; no separate hot water tank is needed which is cleaner as it avoids potential rust or debris build up.

This allows a compact boiler which could fit into a standard kitchen cupboard or be wall mounted, to thoroughly heat a home without stealing lots of space.

Combi systems are also easier to service or for boiler replacement due to their popularity, meaning greater availability.

If you need a new combi boiler, check out our definitive 2022 combi guide!

The Verdict - Gas Or Electric Boilers

While both fuel types offer benefits for heating a home, there are contributing factors to consider. Electric boilers do provide a viable and efficient option, however despite low initial unit cost, may prove expensive to run long term and would not prove completely efficient in certain property types; this can include larger properties or homes with an instant, high hot water demand.

Gas heating, although initially a higher cost to install, is a more financially frugal option due to its relatively cheap running cost, also its capabilities of servicing a higher heating and hot water demand make it the most popular boiler fuel type. 

The abundance of gas powered heating systems is due to the well roundedness and applicable functionality of the fuel source, and thus may prove a better complete heating system fuel when taking into account the considerations discussed.

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If you’ve liked what you've been reading and want an old boiler replaced, or just fancy an upgrade, get a fixed price, free quote on a wide selection of boilers with gas safe registered installation here at iHeat.

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