Electric Boilers are fast becoming the go to system instead of Gas – Oil or LPG. Coupled up with a solar PV installation, this could save you a few pennies. Get a free estimate to see if you could save.
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An electric boiler works in a very similar way to a traditional gas boiler, except that it heats water by passing an electric current through a heating element rather than by burning gas – essentially operating like a big kettle (it doesn’t boil the water though). Electric boilers connect up to a central heating system to heat up the water in your radiators, and provide hot water to your taps and showers. Types of electric boiler Like gas boilers, electric boilers can be either combination (combi) system or heat-only (regular) boilers: Combi boilers Heat up water for your taps and radiators ‘on demand’. They don’t need external hot water storage cylinders, making them suitable for properties with less space. But as they heat the water as you need it, this uses more power than a heat-only or system electric boiler.
Heat-only boilers Provide heat directly to your radiators, and connect up to a water tank to provide hot water. They are best suited for larger homes with a greater hot water demand. This is because they heat and store hot water for when you need it, rather than heating it ‘on demand’ like a combi boiler, which may not be able to heat it fast enough to meet demand. However, they take up more space than a combi or system boiler as they need two tanks – a hot water tank that stores the hot water ready for use (usually kept in an airing cupboard), and a cold water feed tank that’s usually placed in a loft and fills up from the mains water supply. System boilers These are like a heat-only option, but components that are external in a heat-only boiler, such as pumps and valves, are built into the body of a system boiler. As such, they only require a hot water tank, which saves space. Some manufacturers sell models with an integrated hot water cylinder, as opposed to you needing to buy a separate one. These are designed to fit completely with a standard airing cupboard, so if you have the space could be an attractive ‘all-in-one’ solution.
There is no one size fits all solution, so it’s worth taking some time to consider the pros and cons of different systems before parting with your money. Here, we’ve summarised the key pros and cons of electric boilers; we delve into what you need to know in more detail later in this article. Bear in mind that every home is different – you should always get an expert local engineer to carry out an assessment of your home before making any decisions.