Gas boilers are gradually being phased out, and homeowners must have a couple of alternatives to consider for their home installation. From 2022, the U.K government is incentivizing alternative solutions to gas boilers because, in 2025, main gas lines won’t be connecting new installations. The reason for the change is the amount of carbon emission being produced by U.K homes annually. To minimize collective carbon emissions of U.K households, gas boilers are highly likely to get outrightly banned. Here are some alternatives to consider for existing and future homeowners so you can keep your home warm and cosy.
Air source heat pumps
The U.K government is offering an incentive scheme to encourage homeowners to transition to heat pump technology. Installing a heat pump such as an air source-powered unit is set to cost the same amount as a gas boiler. Air source heat pumps are quite costly and require expert help during the installation phase.
You can do routine maintenance on this system, but if it gets faulty, repairing the unit might be relatively costly. Also, for the air source heat pump to be effective, the house must be well insulated. If it is not well insulated, insulation costs will be added to the installation costs, increasing the bill. In winter, air-source heat pumps are also less-efficient since temperatures reach -0°.
There are a number of alternatives to gas boilers that are futuristic and cost-effective. An electric radiator is a leading solution today. Electric-powered radiators connect to the existing electric grid and have a reliable thermostat. Adjusting temperatures on this heating system is convenient, and its performance is not dependent on unpredictable factors like the weather. Best Electric Radiators, Haverland, Ecostrad and Dimplex, offer a wide variety of solutions for new home construction projects.
Existing homes can also easily transition to electric radiators from gas boilers. Installation costs are very affordable, and most qualified electricians can connect electric radiators to the power grid. The benefit of electric radiators is that they can be connected to solar power grids. If you have solar panels, this solution can siphon juice from the sun making it more energy-efficient and sustainable.
Ground source heat pumps
Ground source heat pumps are similar to air sourced units. The only difference is the mechanism and heating principles. Instead of using the humidity and air temperature, ground source pumps use underground heating units and pressure to heat water. The water is pushed down underground, heated, and then circulated around the house.
Unfortunately, ground source pump heating solutions do not work for all homes because it requires space. Some homes might require higher heating requirements than a ground source pump can provide. An installation expert will need to conduct a site inspection to ascertain whether or not the system can work given the local circumstances. Installation for this solution is quite costly, but the U.K government has covered it in its incentive scheme.
Solar thermal heating
Solar thermal heating is different from using electric radiator technology with energy gleaned from the sun. It is more specialized for solely heating water and uses purposed panels that contain water and glycol. The panels are tubes filled with water that will circulate, but it is diluted with glycol. Diluting water in solar thermal heating panels with glycol is important because it might freeze when temperatures drop.
Depending on the type of system you are installing, solar thermal panels might be accompanied by a water storage tank on the roof. The tank could be at risk of being stolen and could impact cosmetic appearance. Also, a professional needs to inspect the panels every once in a while.
Biomass boilers are perfect to be used in remote locations rich with non-food combustible waste. Perfect fuel for biomass boilers is wood, pellets, or log chips. Remote locations mostly have this type of waste from chopping down logs and homemade carpentry projects. The boiler burns wood and other biomass waste instead of burning gas.
Using this type of boiler seems archaic, but it is a reliable alternative to heat a house and boil water. An important reminder is that a biomass boiler might not be the best environmentally-friendly solution. Burning biomass produces a certain measure of smoke, which harms the environment.