Here at MCR Gas, we understand that your boiler is the heart of your home, responsible for providing necessities such as heating and hot water. Heating our homes with gas central heating comes at a price. According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, 60% of our energy bills are spent on space heating, with a further 15% spent on hot water. As these necessities require such a large sum of money to be powered, finding the best possible alternative to gas central heating systems is crucial for cutting energy costs.
It can be an expensive business upgrading or replacing a gas boiler. However, the current push for an eco-friendly living means that looking for gas boiler alternatives is a smart idea. Not only will this reduce the risk of carbon monoxide building up in your home, but you’ll also be adding value to and future-proofing your home.
Greener Alternatives to Gas Boilers
A heat pump is a device that uses a small amount of electricity to absorb the natural heat from a cold space and release it into a warmer one. It employs the same method of heat transfer as a fridge, only in reverse. Reversible heat pumps can provide heating in the winter as well as cooling in the summer.
Heat pumps are an extremely efficient source of energy. They are capable of producing 3 or 4 more times more heat than conventional electric heaters using the same amount of electricity. The initial cost of installation is high, but energy savings are combined with RHI payments, they make a lot of sense compared to gas boilers and other heating systems. Heat pumps also utilise a clean and sustainable source of power. The natural heat is constantly being replenished by the sun. Unlike most other fuels, heat pumps don’t produce greenhouse gases as there is no combustion involved.
Solar Thermal Panels
Solar thermal panels are worth considering as a gas boiler alternative. They are highly eco-friendly as they absorb heat from the sun on their solar collectors, fitted to your roof. The heated fluid is then transferred to your hot water tank. This is then ready for you to use for your daily needs.
Sadly, solar thermal panels are not enough to meet typical home heating demands. They are often used in conjunction with heat pumps or infrared heating panels. As per usual with renewable energy technologies, you can expect a high upfront cost. However, the returns can be significant.
Infrared Heating Panels
Infrared heating panels are considered a fine alternative to gas boilers. These panels emit infrared energy which is absorbed into solid objects, unlike heating systems that warm the air. This absorbed energy causes the molecules to vibrate, warming the object, room, or person. Infrared heating panels prove a highly effective method of heating.
Biomass Boilers and Stoves
Domestic wood-fuelled heating systems (biomass systems) burn logs or wood chips. Biomass fuels can also include food and industrial waste. A biomass boiler is more of a direct alternative to a gas boiler, a stove is usually used to heat a single room. The carbon dioxide emitted when the wood is burned is the same as was absorbed over the same time the plant was growing, making this a sustainable process.
Unfortunately, biomass boilers require regular cleaning and maintenance to remove ash. Wood-burning stove and boiler owners must ensure that the chimney and flue pipes are swept professionally each year. Wood boilers are also much larger than gas or oil equivalents. You will need to ensure you have enough space for the fuel and regulation-meeting flue. This could be a pre-existing lined chimney or a new insulated stainless steel pipe. All new wood heating systems have to comply with building regulations, so it’s best to check with your local planning authority to find out if planning permission is required.
All boilers need some form of electricity to operate, but electric boilers also use electricity as fuel. Electric boilers are deemed much safer than gas and oil boilers as they are not burning any fuel. This means they are much less likely to run into a fault. However, they’re unable to meet high demands for heating and hot water so are best suited to smaller homes and flats. These systems can come in the same boiler types as gas boilers, therefore electric combi boilers are also available.
If you require a Gas Safe Engineer in the Bury, Bolton, Salford, or surrounding Manchester areas, contact MCR Gas today. Our engineers are trained to the highest standards and pride themselves on their excellent customer service and outstanding reviews.