Guest Post : Gas vs. Electric – Which is Best for Central Heating?
With gas and electric prices on the rise, which is the more efficient and less costly way to heat your house? I have spent a long time comparing the differences between gas heating and electric heating but which one is actually cheaper in the long run? Let’s take a look.
The Basic Facts
On average electric costs about 3 times more than gas per KWH (calculated on standard rates) with an efficient modern condensing boiler, meaning that in its natural form, gas is cheapest. There is however a but. Unless you have a gas supply into your home already, installing a boiler and radiators along with bringing a gas pipe into your home (if possible) could cost you several thousands of pounds (on average £2,000 to £2,500). This means that to purchase and install electric storage heaters the cost is lower than gas, not forgetting that they don’t need to be serviced as often because electric heaters store heat overnight.
If you use storage heaters however, the older the heater, the more heat it loses during the day – this can end up costing you a lot in electric especially as you will need to be using it during peak times when peak rates are in place. The main advantage without a doubt to having gas central heating is control – in particular being able to control how much heat comes in and out of your house – as the heat doesn’t have to be stored so you can have heating whenever you want. So the main difference in running costs is that electric prices go up for using the storage heaters during the day whereas gas prices stay the same no matter whether it is day or night.
So what are the main advantage and disadvantages to gas and electric heating? Here are your answers:
Advantages of gas central heating;
- Gas is a very resourceful fuel so you can bet that you will get a lot for your money
- There is no need to store anything where gas is concerned as it enters your home directly through pipes
- Replacing boilers is straight forward and an easy job (for a trained person in gas)
Disadvantages of gas central heating;
- Gas prices are high at the moment and they do seem to be continuing to increase
- Gas boilers etc. are expensive to install, meaning the initial cost could burn a massive hole in your pocket
- Gas boilers need to be serviced yearly
- Carbon dioxide is not good for the environment so gas isn’t the cleanest source of energy that you could use.
Advantages of electric central heating;
- Initial costs are low as it is cheap to install
- As electric heating doesn’t have many components it means little maintenance
- This option is available everywhere no matter where you are in the world
Disadvantages of electric central heating;
- The prices of electricity are constantly on the increase
- It costs a lot more to run during the day than a gas heater
- Whilst new storage heaters are good enough to keep the house warm, older storage heaters aren’t so good and often require good insulation to do their job properly.
So after reading all advantages and disadvantages electric heaters are cheaper initially but overall gas is proven to be cheaper to run in the long term.
- Ceative Commons image source
Looking to read more about how you can save on your heating bills this year? Still not convinced that there are still ways to save? Or still a little confused over these rising bills? Go on over to uSwitch.com and read about heating allowance – you are in for a surprise!