Home ImprovementTypes of Central Heating Systems and How They Work
You may also like:
When it comes to keeping your home warm during the cold months, gas central heating has been the preferred way for almost all British households. However, in recent decades, a new wave of electric heating technology has emerged, slowly challenging the status quo with its efficiency and easy maintenance.
Then read along!
As the name suggests, boilers of this kind use gas to provide households with hot water and heating. They run on natural gas, delivered from an energy supplier. Besides natural gas, there’s also LPG (liquefied petroleum gas). Properties connected to the gas network receive natural gas via pipework, while those which are not get LPG in the form of an onsite tank.
These boilers are the most common in the entirety of the UK. 85% of households use them in 2020.
Like all modern boilers, electric ones run on electricity (what a surprise, right). But that’s not actually where they get their name from. Unlike gas boilers, which burn fuel, electric boilers convert electricity into heat for central heating and hot water.
This kind of boiler is perfect for small households. Properties which are not connected to the gas network can also benefit from electric boilers, unless they already have LPG.
Can’t choose between a gas or an electric oven? Visit our dedicated guide for a thorough breakdown of the two appliance types.
So, now that you know what each boiler is, let’s look at some parameters and how the two compare. Let’s start with the one thing everybody wants to know right away: “Which is cheaper, gas or electric heat?”
Gas is cheaper than electricity, and, for that reason alone, many households still use it for heating. However, different factors, such as lower levels of efficiency, high installation costs, and maintenance, should be taken into account if you are planning on getting this system for your home.
Electricity is more expensive than natural gas, that much is true. However, electric heating systems require almost no maintenance, installation costs are low, and the unit works very efficiently with no waste of energy.
Gas heating requires the installation of pipes, vents, radiators, and a boiler. This process can take weeks, as holes for pipes and vents need to be drilled into the walls. Because of its complexity, gas heating installation can be rather costly and might result in some property damage.
Electric heating systems don’t require pipework, flue, ducts or vents. That makes it much easier and quicker to install, not to mention more affordable. All an electric heating system needs is a connection to the mains.
Gas heating systems require servicing once a year. Because the unit has many pipes, there’s always the danger of leaks. The boiler can also lose pressure for different reasons besides leaks, which you may or may not be able to handle yourself. Certain parts might need to be replaced over time and might end up very costly if your unit is 10 years or older.
This unit has no moving parts inside, so there’s almost nothing which can break down. You will have no leaks either, because, as already mentioned, it has no pipes. All you need to do is keep the unit clean, and that’s basically it.
Warm water travels throughout all the pipes in your home, and, as a result, the hot pipes heat up the walls. While this will not destroy the walls in contact with the pipes, it is quite the waste of energy.
Heating is also uneven in different rooms. Gas systems have only one thermostat. The number it shows might be correct for the room it is located in, but it’s likely false for the other places as some are always more difficult to heat than others. By increasing the overall temperature for that one room, you actually make the rest of the rooms hotter.
If your unit is old, it will take longer to heat up, and it might break down more frequently, as well.
Electric heating systems start to warm up your property as soon as they’re turned on. Also, they are not dependent on your boiler to provide them with warm water. That means that even if the boiler breaks down for some reason, you will still manage to keep your home warm.
Each electrical radiator has a thermostat of their own, which measures the temperature in the room accurately. This lets the system adjust itself and send more warmth to colder places, without you having to adjust the overall temperature.
Gas boilers are quite noisy. It’s very common to hear banging or churning early in the morning while the machine, along with the radiators, starts to heat up. The problem is, the noise doesn’t stop once the boiler is fully heated. Irritating sounds can continue throughout the day and night as long as the heating is working.
Electric boilers are not only silent by comparison, but quiet overall. There is no background noise either. The only sound you will hear from this boiler is a soft click, indicating the machine is switched on.
Natural gas consists of many hydrocarbons, but the main one is methane. That gas, in particular, is famous for its negative impact on the atmosphere and contributing to global warming, and gas heating systems produce a lot of it.
Because there’s no gas involved, electric heating systems have zero emissions and don’t pose a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. There’s no carbon dioxide produced, either.
Find a professional today!
If you are experiencing problems with your current heating system, do not hesitate to call Fantastic Services. The professionals we work with are fully equipped, highly experienced and ready to repair, replace or install radiators. You can also always subscribe for one of our boiler and heating cover or home care plans which include annual boiler service, plumbing and electrical services and more at no extra cost.
Image Source: Shutterstock / Vasyl90
What is your opinion? Do you prefer gas or electric heating? Why? Let us know by leaving a comment.