When most people consider replacing their boiler, they think immediately of gas and perhaps oil as a fuel. Very few people consider electric boilers, even at discounted prices, unless they are unable to get a gas supply to their property yet they might be overlooking a design that could suit their requirements perfectly. This article will look at electric boilers in more detail, explaining how they work, what the advantages are, and any disadvantages they may have.
How do they work?Edit
There isn’t actually all that much difference between en electric boiler and a conventional one. Instead of burning gas to create heat, the electric version takes power from the mains supply and uses it to heat elements within the boiler. Water passes over these elements and is heated in the process, before being pumped to where it is needed in the same way as any other boiler.
Advantages of electric boilersEdit
• Silent operation. As they have very few moving parts and don’t burn any fuel, you won’t hear it every time they start to heat water.
• Easy to service and maintain. Because they have very few moving parts, they are relatively easy, and therefore cheaper, to service.
• They can be fitted anywhere. They don’t need a flue, so you don’t have any worries about finding an outside wall if, for example you live in an apartment. There is also no need for any sort of fuel storage, as required by other alternatives such as biomass boilers.
• They are pretty compact. Even compared to most gas boiler systems, electric versions are small and neat, so even if you don’t have a lot of room to spare in your home they may still be installed.
• They are safer. Because they don’t burn any sort of solid fuel, they don’t produce any fumes or combustion gasses like carbon monoxide. These are extremely dangerous if they leak from a traditional boiler and build up in the house, but there’s no such risk with an electric boiler.
• There is no need for an annual safety certificate. Landlords who have gas or oil boilers installed must have them inspected yearly and a certificate issue to prove they aren’t emitting harmful gasses. As there are no emissions from an electric boiler, there is no need for the certificate and, come to that, no need for a service either.
• They can be linked to environmentally friendly electricity generation sources, such as solar panels. This can greatly reduce the electricity bills of the householder and benefit the environment as the system isn’t taking as much electricity, usually created by coal or gas fired power stations, from the grid.
Disadvantages of electric boilersEdit
• They may not be powerful enough to provide hot water for larger homes, as they can only heat a limited amount of water at a time.
Some people may not consider these boilers to be environmentally friendly, as they still use electricity generated by power plants using nuclear, gas or coal energy sources.