Electric Radiators vs Gas Central Heating

Electric vs gas fuelled radiators

Traditionally in the UK, central heating has been run from a gas system, comprising a boiler that heats fuel and pumps water through the pipes in a property to radiators in each room.

However, in recent years, gas heating has begun to wane in popularity; as a result of more focus on energy efficiency and fossil fuels, electric heaters being installed in new-builds and more people aiming to move away from boiler systems that require regular maintenance. While gas central heating is still definitely the ‘standard’ nationwide, we are seeing more homes than ever being heated with electric systems.

What is better, gas or electric heating?

Here at Great Rads, we primarily stock traditional plumbed-in radiators so you may expect our answer on this to be definitive (although we do have a range of electric radiators too!). However, when it comes to the classic question “what is better, gas or electric heating?”, there’s no clear-cut one-size-fits-all answer. Let us explain.

Electric radiators vs gas central heating is a battle that many are facing as they look to heat their home - but most will already have the latter installed, and having it removed and changed is a hefty job. For those in large properties with little to no budget, it’s often a case of ‘better the devil you know’. Investing in a more energy efficient boiler rather than a whole system refit. If a property isn’t already connected to a gas system, the installation of electric heaters can be quick, cheap and easy as there’s no plumbing or hidden pipework to be taken into consideration.

It’s fairly common knowledge that gas central heating isn’t as eco-friendly as electric systems, but are electric radiator heaters efficient themselves? Certainly the range of electric heaters Great Rads stocks are nearing 100% energy efficiency, but you may be surprised to hear that the most modern of boilers hover around the 90% mark – so there’s no longer quite as much in it as many expect. Gas-powered radiators are on the whole warmer and have a bigger energy output than electric heaters, but technology is moving on in both industries quickly and so heating performance is improving all the time.

Maintenance is a big factor for many in decision making around central heating installations. Gas central heating requires an annual boiler maintenance check by a certified Gas Safe engineer, whereas an electric system requires none (unless an issue arises, in which case you’d need to seek the advice of a specialist engineer). Aside from annual services, gas boilers should be replaced every 15-20 years; a time period in which you shouldn’t need to intervene with your electric heating system at all. However, landlords of properties renting to others may have legal obligations for the upkeep and safety of electric heating systems – and this should be looked into prior to anyone moving into the home.

Electric heating is considerably more modern than gas, but that’s not to say the radiator market is lacking for traditional heaters. A quick browse around our site only proves that there’s still plenty to choose from, it also shows that there are plenty of new innovations in the sector being created! From column radiators to designer radiators and warming towel rails, there are a range of modern and unique options available.

Is electric heating cheaper than gas?

Weighing up electric vs gas heating cost is often done incorrectly by those considering their options. Although gas heating has additional maintenance and installation costs, gas is a lower running cost for everyday use than electricity, which has seen an increase in rates from all major providers over the last few years. Therefore when considering if electric heating is cheaper than gas for a home, it’s important to include all costs and not just the monthly bills you can expect to incur as a result of having the radiators on.

There’s no doubt that having electric radiators is an easier and more modern option than its gas-powered predecessors, but that’s not to say the world is ready to completely move from fossil fuels just yet. The electric radiators vs gas central heating debate rages on, but the choice for which system to opt for should be made by homeowners based on what works out best for them and their property.

Here at Great Rads, we stock all kinds of radiators and heating systems including traditional plumbed-in radiators, trench radiators, electric radiators and even underfloor heating! If you’re still navigating the heating world and trying to decide what’s right for you, get in touch. Our team are always happy to yak about heating and, with any luck, we can help you make a more informed purchase decision that suits and warms your home just perfectly.


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