Finding and installing the right electric boiler is essential.

An electric boiler can be installed in most small to medium sized homes to produce the hot water for both heating and domestic use. While the most commonly installed boiler will use gas or oil to heat the water, an electric boiler will pass the water via an electric element.

Electric boilers are a popular alternative for homes where gas is not an option and oil is either impractical or too expensive. They are often limited as to the amount of hot water they can produce at any one time and so aren’t recommended for larger homes.

Electric boilers are a popular alternative for homes where gas is not an option and oil is either impractical or too expensive. They are often limited as to the amount of hot water they can produce at any one time and so aren’t recommended for larger homes.

Types of electric boiler
There are a few different types of electric boiler, some of which may be more suited to your home and lifestyle than others.

Direct
This boiler is the most similar to a gas Combi boiler i.e. it uses a heating element to heat water on demand. While it is the simplest and cheapest to install it doesn’t have any way of storing hot water so you can’t take advantage of Economy 7 tariffs by heating water overnight for use during the day.

Storage
A storage electric boiler includes a hot water tank either within the unit or separately. This enables you to heat water overnight, when energy costs are lower, and store it for use the next day. They are more expensive than direct acting boilers and the tank will take up more space in your home.

Electric CPSU
A Combined Primary Storage Unit, or CPSU, stores lots of hot water within the boiler so it can meet demand much quicker and at higher pressure. However, they tend to be quite large and as such are more suited to commercial installations.

Dry Core Storage
Dry core boilers are similar to storage heaters as they use cheaper nighttime tariffs to heat bricks overnight, but the heat is then released into water to be used in central heating and hot water, rather than being released directly into the home.

Advantages of electric boilers
While electricity might be expensive, the best electric boilers offer opportunities to save money in other areas, as they’re cheaper to install than other boiler types and don’t require an annual service.

No gas or oil needed
Whether your home isn’t connected to the gas network or you don’t have space for an oil tank, an electric boiler makes a great alternative as they only need a supply of electricity.

Highly efficient
As electric boilers don’t need to burn fuel to produce heat they don’t lose energy through waste gases. In many cases this results in efficiency rates of 99% compared to 89% – 95% for most gas boilers.

Lower emissions
Electric boilers don’t release waste gases and so are considered a much ‘greener’ option than burning gas or oil.

Cheaper to install
As there are no waste gases an electric boiler doesn’t need a flue or condensate so the installation of the boiler will tend to cost you less than gas or oil boiler installations

Flexible installation
As well as often being cheaper to install, electric boilers don’t have to be installed on outdoor walls like gas and oil units, as there’s no need for a flue or condensate pipe, giving you more options with where to install your new boiler.

No annual service
Gas and oil boilers need to be serviced annually by a professional heating engineer, costing between £50 and £160 each time. Electric boilers, on the other hand, don’t need the same level of servicing, giving you 1 less expense to worry about each year. While the unit itself doesn’t need servicing, the hot water cylinder will need to be serviced annually.

Easier to maintain
Only in the unlikely event of a breakdown are repairs ever needed and unlike gas boilers, which can become blocked when not used, an electric circulation pump will continue to work even when it is inactive.

No risk of a carbon monoxide leak
Gas boilers produce harmful gases during operation, which are safely expelled out of the flue but could leak, with an electric boiler you don’t have to worry about any harmful gases leaking.

Light and compact
The lack of a flue and waste gases also means the unit is much more compact and you have more flexibility about where in the home you have it installed.

Quiet operation
Thanks to there being no moving parts in an electric boiler, they’re able to quietly, or even silently, heat your home and domestic hot water.

Ideal solution for homes off the gas network
Properties that aren’t connected to the gas network often choose to install an oil boiler but this means having somewhere to store the oil. Electric boilers are a much simpler solution as electricity is readily available and doesn’t need to be stored at your property. In addition, electric boilers need much less maintenance than oil boilers.

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