Electric residential boilers are quickly becoming a standard item in new-build properties among companies that wish to promote energy efficiency and a more environmentally-friendly alternative to gas-fired boilers. Electric boilers have many advantages, but also a number of disadvantages, that any homeowner should be aware of.
Advantage: No Flue Required
One benefit of having an electric boiler is that no flue is required. This saves a lot of money on installation costs, as you do not have to pay for the flue materials or break through any existing walls.
Advantage: Increased Efficiency
Because no flue is required, no heat from the boiler is lost up the chimney. Nu-heat states that as a result, "electric boilers typically run at 99% efficiency." This is a marked improvement when compared to boilers fired by other means.
Advantage: Central Heating and/or Hot Water
Many electric boilers allow a user to choose whether the boiler provides central heating only or central heating and hot water. This can save energy in ensuring that the boiler is only carrying out the function that you wish it to carry out.
Although electric boilers are touted as reducing pollution when compared to gas or coal boilers, HPAC Engineering reports that some say "the electricity used to power electric boilers most likely is generated by a process that creates as much pollution as gas boilers."
Electricity can be an unreliable source of energy, as power cuts occur far more regularly than cuts in gas supply. This can leave a house without heating or hot water for hours, maybe even days. If you are in an area that is often affected by power cuts, you may wish to consider an alternative fuel source.
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