Gas or electric central heating – which is best?

With many landlords in cities across the UK installing electric panel heaters in new-build apartments, we wondered which is best; gas or electric central heating?

Battle of the bills

It’s true that gas central heating is usually far cheaper to run than electric heating, but installing gas central heating in a property can be an expensive process. Shopping online for electric panel heaters to buy is a good bet, as prices online are more affordable, on the whole, than in store. So whilst it might cost you less to install electric panel heaters in your home, it will usually cost you more to run them, especially if you live in a larger home.

Consider your home’s size

A small studio apartment can get away with almost any type of heating. True, gas central heating will still cost you less, but electric panel heaters won’t break the bank. Smaller spaces cost less to heat, so whichever type of heating you use, you probably won’t be facing an eye-watering bill, especially during the summer months. Larger homes set across several floors could find they face huge bills if they fit every room with electric heating – this is because electricity is far more expensive than gas.

Think about the age of your home

You’ll also need to consider the age of your home of course. An old Victorian building without double glazing will cost more to heat, whichever type of heating you install. In cases like these, it makes more sense to invest a bit more in gas, which will be cheaper to run in the long term. Even with double glazing, rooms with large windows and high ceilings will take longer to warm up than new-build properties.

When do you use your appliances?

If you mostly use your appliances and heating in the evening, it may be that electric heating is the best option for you. If you install storage heaters on an economy 7 tariff, you’ll pay a lot less per kilowatt for the night rate than you will during the day. So if you use around 40% of your electricity in the evening and at night, this could work out a lot cheaper for you. If you’re at home much of the day, mains gas, LPG or heating oil are probably more affordable options.

Varying installation costs

Whether you’re buying your own home or renting out property to tenants, the installation cost of heating is a major factor you’ll want to consider. When you consider that it costs anywhere from £4,000 to £8,000 to install gas central heating in a three bed house, it’s easy to see that installing electric heaters may be a more affordable option. You’ll find that electric panel heaters usually start at around £90, although they’ll need to be fitted by a qualified electrician. For those on a tight budget, living in a small property or renting out flats to tenants, this is a cost-effective and efficient option.

Are you hot or cold?

The amount of time everyone uses their heating for varies from person to person. A family with three small children will probably have the heating on a lot more than a professional couple who are out at work Monday to Friday. If you’re usually a hot person, you may find that sitting with a cup of tea in the evenings is enough to keep you warm, turning your heating on only when it is the depths of winter. However if you feel the cold and you know you have your heating on from October to May, you might want to factor this into your purchasing decisions when choosing whether to install gas central heating or electric heating.

Whichever type of heating you install is a personal decision, and as you can see there are a number of factors to take into consideration. Spend some time now thinking about how often you use your heating, when you use it and the size and age of your home, and you’re sure to choose the best option to keep you and your family warm when the temperature drops outside. Remember that different heating solutions suit different people – what works for someone who lives in a new-build one bedroom flat may not be right for a family of four living in a Victoria detached house! By spending time working out which option is best for you, you’ll save yourself money now and on your energy bills in the long term.

Leave a Reply