This 10-minute guide to electric boilers is going to cover everything you need to know, helping you decide whether an electric, oil or gas boiler is the right solution for you.
Below, we’ll be covering:
- Electric boilers vs gas boilers
- Installation costs
- Our top pick for the best electric boilers
Why Do People Install Electric Boilers Rather Than Gas?
It’s a known fact; electric boilers cost more to run than gas.
So, why would anyone choose to install an electric boiler over a gas equivalent?
1. Low Boiler Installation Costs
Gas boilers aren’t particularly cheap to install. Looking at the low-end installations, so a cheap combi boiler in a 1-2 bedroom flat, you’re already talking upwards of £1,850. And, that price is going to rise rapidly for complex installations, especially for larger properties.
Just for a boiler install, an average-sized property is likely to cost around £2,000-2,200 for a new gas boiler.
2. It’s An Eco-Friendly Solution
Whilst initial prices and costs are at the forefront of most people’s minds, gas, oil and LPG boilers aren’t exactly eco-friendly.
Even for newer models, the efficiency of most boilers sits around 90%; as low as 60% for many older boilers.
Electric boilers are extremely efficient; you can expect around 99% efficiency from most units.
Note: There are some units that are 100% efficient. We’ll be talking about those below, in our guide to the best electric boilers.
3. Easy Hook Up For Off-The-Grid Properties
Not all properties are hooked up to mains gas. My parents for instance, bought their property with an oil boiler installed. That’s one of the options you have if you don’t have access to mains gas.
Whilst gas boilers might be cheap to run, oil boilers aren’t. More importantly, the cost of an oil boiler can be twice that of a gas equivalent, making an electric boiler installation a much more viable option over oil, and when gas isn’t a possibility.
4. Minimal Servicing Costs
A typical service on a gas boiler might cost around £80, that’s on an annual basis. And those annual service charges quickly mount up.
Since electric boilers have fewer mechanical parts, servicing schedules are further apart, and repairs are much easier.
With fewer moving parts, that also translates into fewer things going wrong, and a reduction in repair bills over the years, too.
And, that all converts to extra pound notes in your pocket.
If you’ve not got a premium or modern boiler, you’ll notice one thing; it’s ridiculously noisy. A lot of the time, this is down to a worn, damaged, or low-quality pump.
Noise usually represents a loss of efficiency. And, due to electric boilers being ridiculously efficient, they’re almost silent.
6. No Restriction On Installation Area (Space Saving)
With gas and oil boilers, you’ll be restricted by the installation area. Each gas/oil boiler needs a flue to vent harmful gases from your property.
For those currently installed on an outside wall, it’s likely there’s a pre-drilled core hole that means the flue can be routed horizontally out of that wall.
Those in airing cupboards tend to be routed vertically, and using extensions, the flue is routed through the roof (extensions are expensive, by the way).
As you won’t need a flue with your electric boiler, you can install it wherever you want. And, that’s important if you’re short on space. You can install your boiler out of the way, freeing up space in the most important rooms in your property.
Who Should Install An Electric Boiler?
Put simply, you should be looking into electric boiler installation if a few of the points below, sound like your current situation:
- Don’t want to deal with tradesmen for regular boiler service/repairs
- Would prefer to save on the upfront installation cost (100s of pounds), but expect to pay slightly more on your annual energy bills
- Want an eco-friendly central heating solution
- Are looking for a quiet boiler
- Don’t have access to mains gas
- Have a need to save space
The Cost Of Installing Electric Boilers
Now, to the nitty-gritty. How much is an electric boiler installation going to cost you?
The good news? Electric boiler installations don’t need a huge array of parts that a gas install would, making them quicker and simpler to install.
An average electric boiler installation, including parts and labour, is likely to cost £1,750.
Getting multiple quotes from different installers will give you a chance to get the best deal.
Our Top Pick For The Best Electric Boilers
If you’re all set on buying an electric unit, the next thing to decide is which one to buy.
There are a range of brands supplying these appliances, so which ones are best?
Below, we’ll cover the most popular brands, and then highlight our pick for the best electric boiler.
The Best Electric Boiler Brands
1. Electric Heating Company (EHC)
The Electric Heating Company, are a business that focus on, well, electric heating. And, if you’ve read any of our other product reviews, we like companies that are specialists in their field.
For over 13 years, the Electric Heating Company have been producing top of the range products, all things electric, including:
- Unvented stainless steel cylinders
- Water Heaters
The great thing about the Electric Heating Company, is because they’re a specialist, their whole team are experienced, ready to help you find the electric boiler package you need.
2. Heatrae Sadia
Heatrae Sadia are an arm of Baxi Heating. Baxi Heating owns both Potterton and Baxi, which are premium brands in the gas boiler industry.
They’ve got an extensive network of UK engineers, as well as UK support.
Typically, you’ll find that Heatrae Sadia are up there with the high-end products in terms of both quality and price.
Trianco produce specialist boilers, rather than focusing on a saturated gas market.
Their main offerings are oil and electric.
Elnur has been manufacturing efficient heating products since 1973.
Now, they’re producing over 210,000 units per year, a lot of which find their way into UK homes.
Our Top Pick For The Best Electric Boiler
With multiple brands, all offering a range of different electric boilers, deciding on which one to install is hardly easy.
If you’re looking for the best electric boiler, our first stop would be the Electric Heating Company. In particular, we’d be checking out their range of Comet boilers.
EHC Comet Electric Boiler
The EHC Comet Combi is one of the most popular in their range. If you’ve got no access to mains gas and want an efficient electric unit, this is where you should start your search.
You’ll get hot water storage at 140L, enough to cope with reasonable hot water demand. And, available in three sizes (9kw, 12kw or 14kw), there’s a solution for most properties.
One thing you won’t be getting with a cheap electric combi boiler is something that is included with the Comet combi; a stainless steel heat exchanger.
Heat exchangers are one of the most expensive parts in a boiler to replace, so you want it to last. And, if that’s going to be the case, it needs to be stainless steel.
The Comet combi is all about efficiency (at 100%), and appliance longevity. It’s got a built-in auto air vent, high thermal cut out, and even has a magnetic system filter, which helps keep away heating sludge. It’s this sludge that is the killer of most boilers.
You’ll get a 2-year warranty as standard, with the integral cylinder being offered with a 10-year warranty.
If your central heating uses an external cylinder, you’ll need the Comet system boiler, rather than the combi.
Like the Comet combi, you’ll get 100% efficiency, a stainless steel heat exchanger, and multi-level protection, including a pre-plumbing magnetic system filter.
The warranty differs when compared with the combi. With the Comet system, you’ll get 2-years as standard, but you’ve got the option to upgrade this to 5-years if you wish.
Price, efficiency, size, and output considered, the Comet from EHC gets our vote for the best electric boiler.
Thanks for reading our guide to electric boilers. Still got questions?
Write a comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.