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Gas Combi Boiler vs Electric Combi Boiler

Many homeowners find it hard to decide whether a gas boiler or an electric boiler is better suited for their home. We break down the key differences between gas and electric boilers, providing you with all the information you need to make the right choice.

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Many homeowners find it hard to decide whether a gas boiler or an electric boiler is better suited for their home. 


In this guide, we’ll break down the key differences between gas and electric boilers, providing you with all the information you need to make the right combi boiler choice for your home. 


Key Points:

  • Gas boilers are the most common type of boiler in the UK thanks to their variety in sizes
  • Electric boilers average an efficiency of around 99-100%
  • Gas boilers are generally cheaper to run on average compared to electric boilers 


What is a gas combi boiler?

A gas combi boiler is a type of boiler that works by taking water directly from the mains and heating it when you need it. 


When you require hot water, the boiler begins to burn gas in the combustion chamber. The hot gases begin to rise and move through a series of pipes to the heat exchanger where the cold water is then heated.  

What is an electric combi boiler?

Just like a combi boiler, an electric boiler is fed with cold water directly from the mains water supply. 


Electric boilers work by using electricity and a metal heating element to heat the water. The cold water is passed over the metal heating element and heat is transferred, resulting in hot water being supplied to taps and radiators.  

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Types of electric boilers

There are a few different types of electric boilers that vary how they work, and the one most suitable for your home depends on your needs. 

  • Electric combi boilers – These boilers are best suited to smaller properties or those with lower heating demands.

  • Electric storage boilers – This type of electric boiler utilises an electric flow boiler to heat the water and it has a built-in hot water cylinder where the water is stored.

  • Dry core storage boilers –  This type of boiler is similar to an electric storage boiler, however, they store heat in a dry medium such as bricks. This heat can be released into the water to heat it up and it is typically released this way when electricity prices are higher. 

Types of gas boilers

Just like electric boilers, there are a variety of different gas boilers and which one you choose will depend on your home and heating requirements. 

  • Gas combi boilers – This type of gas boiler is a stand alone unit that generates all the heating and hot water in your home.

  • Conventional gas boilers – A conventional gas boiler, or ‘regular’ boiler, are connected to a separate hot water cylinder and a cold water storage tank. This boiler works by warming the water and using a pump to transport the water to a storage tank, ready to be used.

Gas system boiler – A gas system boiler combines a boiler and a separate hot water cylinder to provide heating and hot water to your home. They don’t have a cold water tank and many of the components you see in a conventional boiler are internal components in a system boiler.

Electric boilers vs gas boilers: Installation costs

When it comes to installation costs, there are a few variables that can impact the final costs. Electric boiler and gas boiler prices are similar, but since gas boilers are more accessible, they are usually cheaper than electric boilers. 

For both boilers, you can expect installation costs to be around £500-£1000, but it’s worth keeping in mind these costs can change depending on where the boiler is being installed, if any pipework needs to be upgraded and the size of the boiler. 


Electric boilers are generally quicker and cheaper to install since they don’t need a flue, condensate pipe or gas line. 

piggybank on top of radiator

Electric boilers vs gas boilers: Running costs

The running cost of electric boilers is more expensive than gas boilers and many UK homeowners choose gas because of this. 


On average, electric boilers will cost around 30p per kWh, whereas gas costs around 8.0p per kWh, making it a much more affordable option. 


Gas boilers have more variety of models that can accommodate most energy outputs, meaning they meet a wider range of central heating requirements. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that electric boilers don’t always need to be serviced annually and they are not affected by gas prices.


We serviced one recently as it has a filter on the system, so we checked over and cleaned this out.

Electric boilers vs gas boilers: Efficiency

Electric boilers are more efficient than gas boilers, averaging around a 99%-100% efficiency, whereas brand new gas boilers rarely reach 93% efficiency. 


This means for every kilowatt of energy you put into a gas boiler, it will convert to 0.93kW of heat. So if one kW of heat costs £1, you will essentially be wasting 0.07p. However, with an electric boiler, you will only be wasting 0.01p if your boiler is 99% efficient. 

Electric boilers vs gas boilers: Heat effectiveness

All modern boilers are built with condensing technology, meaning they can recover latent heat and use it to provide further heating instead of letting it go to waste. 


Electric boilers are considered more effective than gas boilers as they do not waste any energy and fuel combustion does not occur during their operation. 


Electric boilers vs gas boilers: Maintenance

Electric boilers have fewer moving parts than gas boilers, meaning they are far easier to maintain and are subsequently cheaper. However, your annual boiler service for a gas boiler will cost around £120 on average. 


You also have no chance of a carbon monoxide leak with an electric boiler, which is one of the biggest risks of a gas boiler. 


Electric boilers vs gas boilers: Home size

Gas boilers are more suitable for larger homes because they have a wide range of maximum output ratings. You can have a 9kW boiler all the way up to a 150kW boiler depending on the size of your home. 


Electric boilers are much better suited to smaller homes and flats because they have smaller power outputs. You will struggle to efficiently heat a larger home with an electric boiler and you’ll have to keep it running for longer to achieve the same heating results of a gas boiler. 


Should you choose an electric boiler or a gas boiler?


Both gas and electric boilers have their own set of benefits and the best option for you will depend on your needs and property type. 


Generally speaking, if you live in a smaller home or a flat, an electric boiler will be better suited for your heating needs. If you have a larger home with several bathrooms, then a gas boiler will better suit you.

If you’re still not sure which is right for you and you’d like to discuss your options, get in touch with our friendly team who can help you decide which type of boiler is best for you.

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