Different needs, different boiler … but which to choose? In this two part blog series we’re exploring the different types of boiler that you may wish to consider if you are upgrading or installing from new, perhaps in a new build or refurbishment.
In part one we looked at gas condensing boilers and oil boilers. Here in part two it’s time for a look at biomass boilers, and electric boilers.
Biomass boilers rely on wood pellets, logs or chips to produce heat.
Benefits: Wood pellet boilers are very economical to run compared to other types of boiler. The fact that wood pellets are a sustainable fuel and emit in the region of 3 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year less than gas boilers is a responsible bonus.
Disadvantages: Finding a supplier for the fuel can sometimes prove a challenge, although this depends on your location. Also, wood pellet boilers generate ash which means cleaning them out around once a week.
Bear in mind you may need a bit more space for a biomass boiler; you’ll need somewhere to store the fuel, plus you’ll need a flue or chimney, which will also need to be maintained. It could well be the case that planning permission is necessary.
Electric combination boilers are becoming increasingly popular as alternatives to gas boilers.
They work by using electricity to deliver heat to radiators and to provide hot water.
Benefits: Electric boilers are compact in size, silent in operation and easy to install. They don’t need a flue so can be located anywhere. In excess of 99% efficient, they are economical in use and hot water is at the taps within 5-10 seconds with radiators at full temperature within 3 minutes. As they don’t emit carbon monoxide they are safer than gas boilers, and don’t require an annual safety check.
Disadvantages: In some cases electric boilers can be a little more expensive to run than other types of boiler, but there is more to consider, such as maintenance and repair costs as well as fuel for the alternatives. Also you need to consider that in the event of a power cut, you will be without heating and hot water.
Choosing the right boiler can be a challenge but if you consider all of the above then you will have a firm platform to start from. Think about your fuel, your space, any planning restrictions and your budget and do plenty of homework before making your decision. Good luck!