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

Gas boilers used to be the main option for home central heating systems, but there are now other energy choices available depending on your own needs and requirements.

Depending on your personal circumstances, electric boilers can be beneficial if gas isn’t an option, or if you simply 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.

The pros of gas boilers

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. Yet, it’s important to maintain it to ensure a consistent smooth running to avoid any breakages or irreparable damage, which could come to a hefty price.

An annual service can save you time, effort and money in the long run. If the boiler isn’t working properly, this can be flagged during your boiler service. This will ensure that any issues don't get worse, which could leave you with a hefty bill.

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. What's more, our Gas Safe engineers are experts in installing high quality boiler brands including Worcester Bosch, Vaillant and Viessmann. Click here to read about your options.

The pros of electric boilers 

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, 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 compared to a gas boiler. However, an annual service is recommended to track down potential failures and save you time and money in the future.

Going electric can be a much greener option as not as many CO2 emissions are created, compared to a gas boiler which contributes directly to fossil fuels 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 for the UK to become carbon neutral. 

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.

With gas boilers producing 215 grams of CO2 compared to an electric boiler's 207 grams, they are not as green as other alternatives and may lose out to more sustainable options, such as underfloor heating. However, this can come at a hefty price.

The cons of an electric boiler

As things stand, electricity is more expensive than gas.

Additionally, heat from a gas system 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 boiler 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, this might not be the best idea 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, whilst reducing your carbon footprint.

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

Going electric is one way to combat emissions from your heating and, with the UK committed to becoming carbon neutral, many households are already reconsidering dependence on fossil fuel boilers.

Alternatives to gas boilers: what else is available? 

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, and the pace of change is stepping up. Consumers need to research and seek advice on the system that best suits their property, energy 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 central heating system is best for 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?

Swale Heating 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 homes safe and warm, via our maintenance and repair services.

We understand that the failure of your central 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.