What is the most efficient heating system?

Most efficient heating systems

Living in the UK, we have become accustomed to the cold and unpredictable weather. To cope with the weather, we are highly reliant on efficient heating systems. With numerous types of domestic heating solutions on the market, every consumer wants the answer to one question: “What is the most efficient heating system?” 

The efficiency of a heating system may differ from property to property. In light of the UK Government’s Net Zero Carbon target and gas boiler ban; UK consumers are not only looking for efficient heating systems but also sustainable and renewable heating. Electric heating has the lowest primary carbon footprint out of all the other forms of domestic heating. 

 Gas central heating. The most efficient heating system?

 What is gas central heating? 

Gas central heating uses a gas boiler to heat water, which is then circulated throughout the house via pipes and wet radiators. This solution is only available to properties that are connected to the UK’s gas network. Gas central heating was a popular choice in the UK on account of the cheap gas prices, by virtue of the North Sea. But natural gas is a depleting resource and is not a sustainable choice.

The low supply and high demand for natural gas has led to the domestic gas prices in the UK spiking, causing a 250% increase in the supplier’s unit price. Usually, gas boilers provide both hot water and heating within your home. 

 

Gas boiler and tankAdvantages of gas central heating. 

Cheaper running costs – Gas prices in the UK are much cheaper than that of electricity. Although this may soon change and the UK Government is reviewing the green levies applied on gas and electricity (2% gas VS 23% electricity). 

Modern gas boilers are energy efficient – Modern gas boilers can be up to 90% efficient. Although the cost to upgrade your old gas boiler could be prohibitive. 

Easy to control – Many modern gas boilers come with a thermostat as standard. This helps you to be in control of your heating and hot water.

Disadvantages of gas central heating.

Bad for the environment – As gas boilers burn fossil fuels, they release carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. These emissions trap heat within the Earth, causing global warming. A recent study also found that the UK’s domestic gas boilers emit twice as much CO2 as all power stations. 

Gas boiler ban – The UK Government has announced the ban of gas boilers in all new homes by 2030. They are also planning on phasing out the use of gas boilers completely, in order to meet their Net Zero Carbon target by 2050. 

Needs regular maintenance – Gas boilers have a number of moving parts within them and require annual servicing. This could be a costly affair for some customers. This annual servicing is essential for rental properties and to keep the warranty valid. 

Not as efficient as electric boilers – Although modern gas boilers can have an efficiency of up to 90%, they are still not as efficient as electric heating systems like electric boilers. Electric heating is 100% efficient at the point of use. Gas boilers are not the most efficient heating systems on the market. 

Can be unsafe – If not installed correctly, gas boilers can be unsafe. Natural gas is highly combustible and leaks could lead to explosions. In the year 2020 (till April), there were 41 gas boiler explosion related incidents in the UK, causing death or injuries. 

 

 

UK Net Zero Carbon 2050Biomass heating. The most efficient heating system?

What is biomass heating? 

Biomass heating is similar to gas central heating. It uses a boiler which provides hot water and heating within your home. Unlike a gas boiler, a biomass boiler combusts sustainably sourced wood pellets. 

Biomass boilers burn logs or wood pellets to heat water, which in turn heats the home. Biomass boilers are usually much larger than conventional boilers. 

Advantages of biomass heating. 

Renewable – Biomass heating is considered renewable. It is much better for the environment as compared to a gas or oil boiler. The carbon dioxide they produce when they are burnt is offset by the carbon dioxide they (trees) absorb while they are growing.

Renewable Heat Incentive scheme – Biomass boilers and stoves also qualify for the RHI scheme. This means you would qualify for periodical payments over several years. 

Disadvantages of biomass heating. 

Space consuming – Biomass boilers are usually much bigger than gas or oil boilers. You also require additional space to store the fuel itself. 

 Higher upfront costs – The initial investment to purchase and install a biomass boiler is very high compared to other conventional boilers. Prices can range from £9000 to £21000 for automatically-fed boilers.

Fuel needs to be stored properly – If the logs or wood pellets are not stored in a dry place, the fuel will not burn efficiently. 

Biomass boilers need a lot of work – Unless you invest in a costly automatic boiler, you will need to manually feed the biomass boiler with the fuel source. It also needs to be cleaned regularly and the ash emptied around once a week. Biomass heating is not the most efficient heating system on the market. 

 

Biomass boilerLPG central heating. The most efficient heating system?

What is LPG central heating? 

LPG heating works on a similar principle to gas boilers. Although, they use LPG instead of natural gas. This can be a popular choice for consumers that are not connected to the gas network. LPG fuel is burnt in order to heat water. This hot water in turns heats the home through pipes connected to wet radiators. 

Some boilers designed for mains gas can be converted to utilise LPG fuel. 

Advantages of LPG heating. 

Efficient – A modern LPG condensing boiler can be up to 90% efficient. 

Less carbon – In comparison to oil boilers, LPG boilers emit 18% less carbon. This could help reduce the carbon footprint of your home, if you are currently using an oil boiler but it is important to remember that an electric boiler is considerably more efficient and environmentally friendly.

Compact and quiet – An LPG boiler is quieter and more compact than an oil boiler. 

Disadvantages of LPG heating. 

Not as efficient as electric boilers – Electric boilers are 100% efficient at the point of use. If you are looking for a highly efficient heating system, you are better off choosing electric heating over LPG. 

Higher fuel costs – The price per kWh of LPG is much higher than natural gas and oil. Using an LPG boiler may lead to an increase in your energy bills. 

Investing in a space-consuming storage tank – An LPG storage tank is essential if you are choosing this form of domestic heating. This could take up valuable space in your home. These tanks are also a costly requirement.

Regular fuel top up – The LPG storage tanks have a limited capacity. You will need regular deliveries of LPG so that you do not run out of the fuel and to not be felt in the cold, without heating. 

 

LPG central heating Oil central heating. The most efficient heating system?

What is Oil central heating? 

Similar to gas and LPG heating, oil central heating uses a boiler fuelled with oil which is burnt to produce heat. The heat generated in turn heats the water and provides heating within your home. 

The main difference between a gas and oil boiler is the storage of the fuel source. Unlike a gas boiler, an oil boiler requires a tank to store the fuel. This is a popular alternative for consumers not connected to the gas network. 

Advantages of oil central heating.

Relatively low cost – Oil being one of the cheaper fuels for domestic heating; using an oil boiler is relatively cheaper than many other heating solutions. 

Safer than gas – Oil is flammable, but unlike gas it is not prone to explosion. This makes it a safer choice as compared to gas central heating. Although, oil boilers do emit carbon monoxide, which is highly poisonous. 

No contracts – With no contracts, you have the option of changing suppliers at any time. 

Disadvantages of oil central heating. 

Inefficient – Although modern oil boilers can have an efficiency of up to 87%, these are not as efficient as electric heating or modern gas boilers. 

Harmful for the environment – It is no secret that fossil fuels are damaging to the environment. Burning oil to produce heat releases harmful gases into the atmosphere. The UK will not achieve net zero carbon targets if we continue to use oil as for central heating. 

Regular maintenance – Oil boilers require annual servicing. Not only the boiler, but the storage tank also needs to be maintained. 

Inconvenient – Unlike gas, oil is not supplied through a network of pipes. You would have to keep a close eye on the level of oil in the tank, and make sure you are topped up with fuel. This could be an inconvenience for some consumers. 

 

Oil central heating Immersion heaters/storage heaters.The most efficient heating systems?

What are Storage heaters and immersion heaters? 

Storage heaters utilise electricity as a source of energy. They are a popular choice for consumers that have a dual rate tariff. These heaters are designed to use cheaper night rate electricity. They absorb and store the energy and radiate this stored heat the following day. 

Unlike modern radiators that have columns or panels, storage heaters are usually shaped like a box, attached to the wall. 

Usually used in conjunction with storage heaters, an immersion heater is an electric water heater. Working on a similar principle to a kettle, this type of water heater is installed within a hot water cylinder. It uses electric resistance in the form of a coil or loop to heat the water surrounding it. 

Advantages of storage heaters and immersion heaters. 

Storage heaters:

Minimal maintenance – Unlike gas and oil boilers, electric storage heaters do not require annual servicing and are fairly simple to maintain. 

Cheap installation costs – Installing central heating could cost up to 3 times as much as storage heaters. The installation of storage heaters is fairly simple and does not require a lot of complex renovations in your home. 

 

Storage heaterImmersion heaters: 

Lower upfront costs – An immersion heater is one of the cheapest water heating solutions (in terms of initial costs). They do not need additional piping or a new ventilation system. Within minimal to no home infrastructure adjustments required, the installation of an immersion is quick and simple. 

Eco-friendly – Immersion heaters run solely on electricity and do not burn fossil fuels. On account of electric heating having no primary carbon footprint, immersion heaters are an environment-friendly alternative to fossil fuel boilers.

Back-up solution for older boilers – Immersion heaters act as a great back up for homes using old, inefficient boilers. In case your boiler breaks down or if there is an issue with the gas supply; an immersion heater can continue providing your home with hot water. This is because they run solely on electricity. 

Disadvantages of storage heaters and immersion heaters. 

Storage heaters: 

Bulky and unattractive – Storage radiators can be a bit of an eye-sore in a modern home. For some homes, the aesthetic of a storage heater is a bit old-fashioned and outdated. 

Poor heat retention capacity – Once the heat is stored, storage heaters cannot stop the heat from escaping and this leads to heat running out towards the late afternoon/evening. A lot of customers will then need to supplement their heating to keep them warm later on in the day. This lack of efficiency can come at a cost.

Lack of control – For the efficient use of energy, heaters need to be individually thermostatically controlled. With a storage heater, you do not possess this control over your heating. Usually the controls are very basic, showing 1-5 as a form of “control”. 

Not as economical as first thought – As mentioned before, the storage heater may lose all its stored heat by the late afternoon. During winter months, you may need an additional form of heating, at an extra cost. 

Immersion heaters: 

Time-consuming – A main issue with immersion heaters is that you cannot heat a small quantity of water. This solution has to heat the entire tank of water. This is time-consuming and not an efficient form of heating water. 

Not economical – If used without a thermostat, the immersion heater is left running- which is an enormous waste of energy. This could end up being a costly solution to heat water. Immersion heaters with thermostatic controls and insulating jackets are usually much pricier systems. 

Can be expensive– Buying a modern immersion heater, using titanium or incoloy can be expensive. The cheaper models use copper which are not viable when used alongside unvented cylinders, stainless-steel tanks, thermal store units or hard water areas. 

Immersion heater with tankAfter analysing the pros and cons of gas, oil and LPG central heating, along with biomass heating, immersion and storage heaters- it is evident that these systems may not be the future of the UK’s domestic heating industry. So what is the most efficient heating system on the market currently? 

Efficient Electric Heating. 

Fischer dynamic clay-core radiators.

Electric radiators are one of the most efficient space heating solutions. Our smart radiators have a 40mm clay-core for better heat retention. They are also low-input and easy to install. They can be plugged into a 13Amp socket. Their modern design not only pleases the eye, but also distributes heat efficiently throughout your room. Our radiators use convection, conducted, radiant and stored heat, to heat the rooms in your home from the floor to the ceiling. 

If sized correctly, based on your usage and the specifications of the rooms in your home; this solution can be very effective in distributing heat within your home. Our radiators are hand-made in our factory in Germany- this ensures superior manufacturing quality. Our efficient electric radiators are individually controlled using our exclusive wireless thermostat. This ensures that you will be in full control of your heating at all times. You can program them to turn on at specific times during the day and days during the week. 

Efficient electric radiatorsAquafficient and Aquafficient Eco+

The Aquafficient is a space-saving, instant water heater. It is the perfect solution for homes with limited space. The Aquafficient uses patented thermal storage technology through a highly efficient phase-change material. With no requirement for tanks or cylinders, this solution is a popular water heating solution for thousands of our customers. The Aquafficient is half the size of an average water cylinder, whilst being able to store heat for 4 times longer as compared to a domestic cylinder. 

Efficient water heaterThe Aquafficient Eco+ uses air-source technology, and is a sustainable water heating solution. It uses air as its main source of energy. It is highly versatile in terms of installation, and can be installed in the loft, airing cupboard, utility room or the garage. It has a robust tank within it, surrounded by highly efficient insulation. It has a power requirement of less than 10Amps. Unlike heat pumps, that may not be as efficient during the winter months; when the temperature around the Aquafficient Eco+ unit falls below 5 degrees C, the internal titanium heating element kicks in. This ensures that you continue receiving hot water at an optimal temperature at all times. 

Air source heat pumpThe Aquafficient and Aquafficient Eco+ are highly efficient heating systems. 

Fischer Electric Boilers

A popular solution for many homes currently using gas or oil central heating; the Fischer EB is an efficient solution for space and water heating. Like our radiators, our efficient electric boilers are handmade. Our boilers are an easy swap with your existing fossil fuel boiler. Not only that, you get to keep your existing wet radiators as well. With limited adjustments to your home, you can switch to a 100% efficient and sustainable solution. 

Efficient electric boilerRequest your free catalogue now and choose from a wide range of efficient heating systems.

In order to guarantee we are manufacturing and installing a heating solution/solutions best suited to your home, we offer a free, no-obligation heating survey as standard. You can request for a free heating survey at a time and date most convenient for you.