Efficient heating

Efficient Heating: Electric vs Gas vs Renewable

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Homeowners carrying out a large scale renovation projects may need to consider what central heating system is the most efficient heating solution. Nowadays is vast, with each option offering a different set of benefits.  With the current state of the economy in UK and also the focus on climate change, many homeowners are looking take control and manage their spending and also do their bit for the welfare of the environment

Gas central heating is currently by far the most popular way of heating a home, with over 23 million homes in the UK using gas boilers compared to only 2 million electric heaters. This comes to many as no surprise as gas is approximately 3-4 times cheaper than electricity per kWh. However with more of a focus on climate change and efficiency is gas going to continue to be the energy source of choice for future installations?

Although many houses across the UK currently utilise gas central heating it is estimated that there are approximately 9 million of these are classed as inefficient and therefore not only costly to the homeowner but also to the environment. There are a few main options for homeowners looking to replace an inefficient central heating system, improve the current gas installation or convert to what is now considered by some a more renewable source, electric heating systems. 

Fitting a new gas central heating system can prove costly with some new gas A+ rated boilers estimating between £3,000 and £6,000 typically not including installation and usually does not cover old pipe work or radiator repairs. With the above costs considered some property owners are thinking about electrically heating their homes. In the past electric heaters whilst efficient (by the very nature, the electricity goes 100% into heating the appliance) have been a more costly way to heat a home. Today however, we are in a world where new technologies are not only improving these electric heating systems but there are a vast range of options for a homeowner to reduce the cost of running electric heating solutions.

For property owners looking to branch out a look at other heating options, one option may be solar panels. The cost of buying solar panels is becoming more and more affordable these days with the average homeowner only having to spend around £6,000 for a 4kW system compared to £15,000 back in 2010. Homeowners may even find that their solar panels end up even repaying the initial outlay costs by sending excess energy back to the central grid, so whilst the initial investment is relatively high solar panels are certainly a worthy consideration for homeowners looking to benefit from long term ROI. Within the UK it is well known that the weather can be a little, shall we say unpredictable which leaves many homeowners who are considering installing solar panels wondering whether it is the best option for them. To put these worries to bed, the average UK home with one 4kW solar panel should able to generate roughly 3,400kWh of free electricity per year thats the equivalent of having a 700w washing machine running 4,857 hours or 202 days!  

Another sustainable option for homeowners are wind turbines, although the initial investment for these can be substantially more expensive with a 2.5kW pole-mounted system costing around £10,000 wind turbines do offer homeowners a wide range of benefits that other sources don’t and is widely seen as one of the main eco-friendly ways to generate energy, in addition and in a similar way to the solar panels it offers homeowners the opportunity to make their money back in the long run by sending surplus energy back to the grid and getting paid in return. 

The final consideration for property owners looking to replace their central heating system, is electric radiators. Although these can be around double the cost of a gas radiator if not more, again the long term ROI potential can make the initial outlay of this option a very desirable one for many homeowners. With electric radiators you are not confined to having one central thermostat controlling the heating of your home, instead you have multiple stats which are on each electric radiator which are highly accurate and can provide your home with the optimum heating performance. 

With AI’s and SMART technology such as ‘Hive’ and ‘Nest’ homeowners are now able to be self sufficiently producing electricity to run their home and also have the whole thing connected to smart devices, monitoring the performance of not only energy generators (solar panels and wind turbines) but also the temperature and even lighting in your home.

As with everything these days there are plenty of options to choose from and whilst a complete overhaul of a heating system may not always be required, it certainly adds food for thought,  considering the return on investment potential as well as the extra advantage of doing your bit to help the environment.

Byoot provides a full turnkey solution to our clients, from planning, architects, structural engineers, building control and the build, leaving our clients to focus on their day jobs while we do ours. If you are thinking of extending, renovating or improving your home speak to one of the team on 0208 4509185 or send us an email at info@byoot.co.uk

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