Electric heating tends to have a bad reputation, and this is true for electric boilers too. It is, however, a powerful technology that has many advantages over other heating systems and is slowly seeing wide adoption across the world.
Although its main problem is that this boiler consumes a lot of electricity, it still remains a viable option and an interesting solution in a variety of cases. If this is making you curious, you’ve stumbled on the right article: here, we’ll go over what precisely is an electric boiler, what makes it special, what are its unique advantages, and in which scenarios you should consider it. Read on and find out!
What’s an Electric Boiler?
The electric boiler generates heat by means of electric resistances immersed in the water. Otherwise, it works like any other boiler. The hot water is then transmitted into the heating system to circulate through radiators or underfloor heating.
There is a variant, the ionic electric boiler, which heats water through electrolysis.
This one is even more efficient than your regular electric heater. Sadly, it is also much more expensive, which means that you likely won’t be saving money.
The basic electric boiler models are only used to heat the house, but there are mixed models that can also heat water for domestic consumption as well. If you’re in a location with no central heated water pipelined to your home, you definitely need to go with this type.
Depending on the size of your home, the winter conditions in your location, and the efficiency of the central heating system, you can choose a more or less powerful boiler to accommodate your needs. They are available from 10 kW up to 35 kW and cost anywhere from one grand to ten grand and even more. The mixed models, of course, need more power and cost more.
In Which Situations Should You be Using an Electric Boiler?
Although the electric boiler has many advantages, its main disadvantage is its operating cost. Electricity is much more expensive than other energy sources such as gas or oil depending on where you live, and the electric boiler consumes a lot of it. For most households, an electric boiler is not an attractive solution, at least not as a central heating system.
However, this doesn’t mean you should totally write out the electric boiler from the equation. With increasing gas and oil prices, more energy-efficient electric boilers, and added safety that electric boilers provide, an electric boiler can be an interesting solution in many circumstances.
1. You Live in a Suitable House for Electric Boilers
If your home meets one or more of these criteria, it may be worthwhile to opt for an electric boiler.
- It is very well insulated (the walls, roof and floor) and is equipped with high efficiency glazing (HR++).
- You have solar panels to produce your own electricity. Since storing electricity in batteries is often inefficient, you can direct the extra electricity your solar panels produce during the day towards your central electric boiler.
- It is a small area, like an apartment. Here, a gas boiler’s installation might not be possible or prohibitively expensive. And a wood pellet boiler is entirely out of the question.
2. You Don’t Have Access to Central Gas Pipelines
If you don’t have access to gas and don’t have room for an oil tank, an electric boiler may be the only alternative if you want effective central heating.
3. If You Need a Secondary Heater
If electricity is too expensive to use an electric boiler for central heating, you can always use it for supplementary heating. In fact, basic models are available at very reasonable prices. If your central heating unit is insufficient during the winter, adding an electric boilerthat only costs one grand like these ones and is turned on only during really cold winter nights can save you from a lot of discomforts, and it won’t be prohibitively costly to operate.
4. Installing Electric Boilers as a Temporary Solution
If for some reason you need to find a temporary means of heating, consider an electric boiler. Easy to install and cheaper initially, you won’t have to worry about consumption if you plan to change your heating system eventually. And then you can keep the electric boiler as a backup heater.
How Much Does an Electric Boilers Cost?
If we’re only considering the upfront cost, the electric boiler costs less than most other heating systems. A basic low-power model, which is only used for central heating, costs about 1000 pounds. For a more sophisticated mixed model, it might cost you upwards of 4000 pounds, however. Of course, the power you need varies depending on the model.
As for how much you have to pay for increased electricity consumption, you can count on your bill increasing by around 2000 to 3000 thousand pounds for a two-bedroom apartment/house.