The best alternatives to gas boilers
The UK has always been a big fan of gas boilers and heating, but there are a number of cleaner and greener alternatives to heating your home.
Due to the fact that North sea reserves have made the gas convenient, cheap and easy to run, 80% of our homes in the UK are heated with natural gas – significantly higher than most other countries.
However, there has been a shift in alternatives to gas heating, and many people are now looking to a more environmentally friendly solution to heat their homes.
Infact, the UK government’s future homes standard is set to ban gas boilers within new-builds from 2025, and, without more sustainable alternatives to heating, we won’t reach our 2050 net zero goal, to reduce emissions by 80% (from 1990).
So what are the best heating alternatives for your home?
Biomass boilers operate in the same way as conventional boilers – by burning fuel – but rather than burning fossil fuels, they burn biomass. Biomass is any biological material originating from plant-based organisms, such as wood chips, logs or pellets.
Burning natural gas in this way is a carbon neutral process, as the tree will only release carbon that it has absorbed throughout its lifetime – unlike gas boilers which release more carbon into the atmosphere.
Huge amounts of wood is sent to landfill each year, which could instead be used for fuel – reducing and recycling our waste.
If you’re considering installing biomass boilers into your home, you may be eligible for Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments, plus, you can potentially save up to £800 a year, making it a very cost-effective fuel source.
Heat pumps use a small amount of energy to absorb natural heat from cold spaces, and then release it into a warmer area.
This method of heating is extremely effective and can produce 3-4X more heat than conventional electric heaters using the same amount of energy.
Heat pumps are extremely reliable and operate throughout the year, and they’re able to utilise a clean and sustainable source of power. This natural heat is constantly being replenished by the sun, unlike most other fuels, and they don’t produce any greenhouse gases because there’s no combustion involved.
The initial cost of installation is higher than your average gas boiler, but this is soon made back through energy bill savings and RHI payments.
Solar thermal panels
These eco-friendly systems absorb heat from the sun during daylight hours in ‘solar collectors’, which are fitted onto your roof. That energy is then used to heat your hot water tank or other system.
Often, solar panels aren’t enough to meet a typical household heating demands, so another alternative heating method must be fitted to work alongside the solar energy, such as infrared heating panels or heat pumps. Saying this, solar panels can provide up to 50% of hot water needs and very little maintenance is required.
Although initial installation costs may be relatively high for solar panels, the return on money saved far outweigh this fitting cost. You may also be eligible to recoup a large portion of the initial payment back from the RHI.
Infrared heating panels
Unlike convection heating systems that warm the air, infrared heating panels emit infrared energy, which is then absorbed into solid objects. Rather than heating the space, they directly warm up the people and objects within the room.
Infrared heating panels don’t produce any emissions, won’t circulate dust around the room – great for asthma sufferers- plus, they’re incredibly quiet.
If you’re looking for a highly effective method of heating, infrared heating panels may be the way forward. However, it is important to consider they may not be as effective if objects are placed between the panels and people and this heating system doesn’t warm up the air, so the room will feel colder immediately when switched off.
If you’d like to find out more about fitting alternative heating systems in your home, speak to our expert team today.