Electric boiler vs Gas boiler: the pros and cons of each

Gas boilers used to be the main option for home heating systems but there are now other energy choices depending on your own needs and requirements. Depending on your personal circumstances, electric boilers can be beneficial if gas isn’t an option for example, or if you want a greener solution without having to commit to the hefty price of renewables. We’ll be looking at the pros and cons of the two rivals to help you make your decision.

Gas boiler pros.

95% of UK homes are centrally heated and most have a gas boiler, which ensures there are many Gas Safe registered engineers readily available to install, service or repair your boiler when necessary.

There are also a variety of consistent and reliable gas boiler makes and styles to suit your needs. Gas boilers can be powered by natural gas, liquid petroleum gas (LPG), or are 20% hydrogen-ready. This accessibility of fuel means they are often cheaper to run than other types.

They can also fit around your time schedule and generate heat and/or hot water to suit a variety of homes, from flats to large houses.

Gas boilers are reliable too, a key reason for their popularity, but it’s important to maintain it to ensure a consistent smooth running to avoid any breakages or irreparable damage.

An annual service can save you time, effort, and money in the long run. If the boiler isn’t working properly, improvements can be made to solve this instead of waiting for a major problem, needing an emergency engineer and a potential replacement.

Thankfully, Swale Heating offers boiler cover and service plans to keep you safe in the knowledge that, if anything goes wrong, there is always someone there to hand. Click here to read about your options.

The pros of an electric boiler.

They are almost 100% efficient. Current gas and oil boilers are closer to 90-94% while electric units are 99.9%.

Electric boilers are perfect for properties that aren't connected to a gas mains. Smart and compact electric boiler designs also mean little to no disturbance in your home life or living space, and the lack of indoor tanks allows your home to be opened up to more living space and storage.

Electric boilers are also much quieter than gas counterparts so they could even be fitted in a bedroom without causing disturbed sleep.

No mandatory servicing is required, and you don’t need to obtain a safety certificate as with a gas boiler. However, a yearly service is recommended to track down potential failures and save you time and money in the future.

Going electric can be much greener than a gas boiler since renewable energy sources now contribute greatly to UK electricity generation, whereas a gas boiler contributes directly to fossil fuel use and your carbon footprint.

Indeed, with fuel and CO2 emissions now a huge topic for society and our government, electric boilers and renewable energy sources are increasing in popularity in an attempt to decrease our carbon footprint. 

Finally, a new electric boiler is easier to install, thereby minimising disruption.

The cons of a gas boiler.

Gas boilers feature in most homes, but the fuel cost is rising and there is concern about how older models will fit into regulations and restrictions put into place to help combat global warming. However, due to advancing technology, gas boilers are becoming more eco-friendly thanks to the use of hydrogen. With heating technologies constantly updating, gas boilers are becoming a more sustainable and cost-effective choice.

With gas boilers producing 215 grams of CO2 compared to an electric boilers 207 grams, they are not as green as other alternatives and may lose out to more eco-friendly options, but this does come at a hefty price.

The cons of an electric boiler.

As things stand, electricity is more expensive than gas.

Additionally, gas heat also tends to warm your home faster, minimising a gas boiler’s running times and costs - electric boilers work more slowly and energy bills can be higher.

Electric installations can be faster but some parts and requirements may be more expensive.

And while you might be able to waive a yearly electric boiler service, it might be a false economy if it stores up later maintenance and replacement issues.

Which is the cheaper option?

Electric boilers are typically more expensive to run than gas boilers, potentially around 3-4 times more.

Usually, non-electric forms of heating are much friendlier to your pocket but they aren’t always better for the planet.

Smart meters can help you see where your money is being spent, and how you can cut back and develop better energy budgeting habits, while reducing your carbon footprint.

Electric vs gas boilers: which is better for the environment?

Home heating accounts for 14% of all UK emissions*. Going electric is one way to combat that and, with the UK committed to and likely to regulate to cutting CO2 emissions to zero by 2050, many householders are already reconsidering dependence on fossil fuel boilers.

<h2> Alternatives to gas boilers: what else is available? <h2>

Aside from gas and electric boilers, there are many alternative heating systems for your home including:

  • Air source heat pumps
  • Ground source heat pumps
  • Woodburning stove heating
  • Fireplaces
  • Solar-powered heating

The heating industry has been evolving for years, but the pace of change is stepping up so consumers need to research and seek advice on the system that best suits their property, efficiency and heating needs, while weighing up how they can help reduce their carbon footprint.

We offer a range of services including hydrogen-ready and ultra-efficient boilers. Feel free to fill in an online quote to find the best boiler for you.

You can also contact us to discuss your options with which heating system is best your property and budget.

The conclusion

Both gas and electric boilers have their perks, so it’s more about finding the best solution for you, your home, your budget and your personal preferences.  

If you are considering an installation but need guidance, our friendly team are available to help offer some clarity.

Why choose Swale Heating?

We were founded in 1972 to focus on top quality installation with follow-up maintenance to the same standard.

Swale Heating is now one of largest independent installers of boilers and heating systems, completing thousands of installations each year, and keeping over 125,000 homes safe and warm, via our maintenance and repair services.

We understand that the failure of your heating system can leave you feeling anxious, which is why we're available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can find out more about our boiler cover plans and use our online portal to book your repair or annual service. If you would like a quote for a new boiler, click here.