If you are thinking about what
sort of boiler to purchase to heat water in your home, you will have to
choose between a gas boiler and an electric hot water boiler.
To make the best decision possible, you should learn as much as you can
about each type of boiler. Once you know the particular advantages and
disadvantages that each provides, you can make a decision that best fits
your needs. While neither boiler type is objectively better than the
other, they both have features that are superior under different
circumstances. What follows should provide you with enough information
to determine which type of boiler is right for you.
At first glance, gas boilers seem to be the superior choice when it
comes to cost. Running a gas boiler to heat a home is much cheaper than
running an electric boiler that provides the same amount of heat. With a
gas boiler, your energy bills will be lower.
However, the truth is not quite so simple. For one thing, gas prices
are volatile and will get more expensive, particularly in the long term.
Because gas boilers last for a long time, the long term price of gas is
something to consider. Additionally, gas furnaces cost more to set up
than electric ones. While gas furnaces pay for themselves in the long
term, it is possible that the increased up-front cost for the unit and
its installation will cause you problems.
Gas is not available everywhere. Most locations will have gas lines,
but if your home is isolated you may not have access to one. While this
may be a point in favor of electric boilers, your location will never
prevent you from choosing a gas boiler if you prefer it. In locations
where gas is not available, you can still run a gas boiler, using
deliveries of propane. However, this may prove inconvenient.
Using gas to power your boiler will lead to exhaust. While this is
not an environmental disadvantage, because unless you have your own
source of clean electricity, your electric boiler will be powered by a
power plant that burns fossil fuels just like your gas boiler, the
exhaust from your gas boiler can be an inconvenience. Gas boilers
require a flue to vent exhaust outside. If you cannot vent exhaust
outside, you cannot use a gas boiler, and must choose an electric boiler
Surprisingly, a gas boiler will usually be more user-friendly than
its electrical equivalent. Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel, and
the power plant that powers your electrical boiler is probably getting
its energy from a dirtier fuel.
The absolute smallest type of boiler is a tankless electric heater. If your primary concern is space, this is the model for you.
In terms of everyday use, both an electric hot water boiler and its
gas equivalent will do the job perfectly well. The notable difference
between the boilers, however, is that an electric boiler will heat water
much more quickly than a gas boiler.