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Electric heating vs gas heating

Electric heating vs gas heating

The two main types of heating systems rely on either electricity or gas. Understanding the differences between these two options can help you choose the best heating solution for you and your home. In this blog we will explore how gas and electric heating systems work, their cost and finally environmental impact, here’s how the two compare.

1. Method of heating
The first thing to understand is how electric heating and gas heating systems work. Gas-based systems rely on a central boiler that burns gas to heat the water it contains. This water is then fed through all the radiators in your home where it releases its heat into the air, warming it up. In comparison, electric heating systems don’t rely on a boiler. Instead, each electric radiator is independently connected to a power supply and converts electrical energy into heat energy.

2. Installation and running costs
After knowing how heating systems work, the next question homeowners ask is typically concerning cost. Two costs need to be considered here – the price of installation and running:
  - Cost of installation: When installing a gas heating system, you will need to add radiators to each room, a central boiler, and pipes connecting the two. This puts installation costs in the thousands. On the other hand, the most basic form of electric radiators simply need to be plugged in and are good to go. Therefore, when talking about installation, electric heating is the cheaper option, especially in non-gas and off the grid areas.
  - Cost of running: The cost of gas compared to electricity needed to produce a single kWh of energy puts gas as the cheaper option. Electricity is more costly in terms of kW per hour but with new government legislation paving the way for electricity in the future, we believe tariffs will change accordingly. However, do bare in mind that electric radiators are 100% efficient and convert every bit of energy into usable heat, whereas gas boilers are upto 90% efficient which means a lot of gas is wasted.

3. Environmental impact
Heating our homes is responsible for 15% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, so environmental impact is also a key consideration. In this category, gas heating systems are by far worse contributors, so much so that the UK Government has said that from 2025, new homes cannot be built with gas boilers.

Of course, electric heating is still responsible for some CO2 emissions. However, thanks to their accurate thermostats, timer functions, and options for zoned heating, they only run when needed. Besides, being 100% efficient means every ounce of energy is utilised. When powering your home with a renewable energy source, such as wind or solar power, the impact of electric heating systems on the environment is reduced even further.

Tags: Electric V Other, Electric Heating.

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