Gas boilers create harmful emissions from burning fossil fuels, and this is why the U.K. government wants to ban them. Many homes in the U.K. use central heating and rely on gas boilers. It will require a concerted effort to get a large percentage of the population to switch to green alternatives. The government does offer certain subsidies to encourage people to switch.
One of the ways the government plans to meet its goal of a zero net target by 2050 is by banning the installation of gas boilers in new builds after 2025. Replacing your gas boiler with a green alternative will future-proof your household and help you to save energy and the planet. Here are four green alternatives to gas boilers.
One green alternative to a gas boiler is a modern electric radiator. An electric radiator is energy-efficient as it turns most of the electricity it uses into heat. When using gas boilers, you will lose some heat through ventilation. Best Electric Radiators, Dimplex and Ecostrad sell modern electric heaters that are easy to install in any room in the house. They have smart heating controls, and you can program them to the exact heating schedule you require. This helps to reduce wastage and unwanted costs.
Electric radiators don’t make noises like a gas boiler and can heat even large rooms. They come in modern designs that will complement the aesthetic of your home. The warranty on them is usually at least five years, so maintenance costs are low. In terms of installation, costs are also low, and you can even set them up yourself.
Heat pumps are expensive to install, but as maintenance and running costs are low, you could pay less for your energy over the long term. The U.K. government is aiming to install about 600,000 heat pumps every year. If you install a heat pump, you are eligible for a government subsidy.
An air source heat pump absorbs heat from the outside air by using a fan that converts air into heat. Ground source heat pumps use underground pipes to absorb heat from the ground. It’s best not to try retrofitting them but to use them for newly built homes. One of the cons of heat pumps is that they can be difficult to install, and you need outside space and planning permission. However, both air and ground heat pumps provide a sustainable and clean power source.
A hybrid heating system combines your gas boiler with a heat pump. The advantage is that you can switch to a heat pump without replacing your gas boiler. If the outside temperature becomes too low, the gas boiler will take over. You can reduce your carbon emissions and your running costs.
Solar thermal panels
Solar thermal panels use groups of photovoltaic cells that turn heat from the sun into electricity and can take some strain off your gas boiler. They are safer to use than gas, help you to save long-term on bills, and the costs of maintenance are low. Costs of installation are high because there are specific requirements, but these costs are dropping.
Solar panels aren’t suitable to use if a home does not get enough sun on a regular basis. As they are weather dependent, they are often used as a secondary solution. Solar panels will reduce your carbon emissions and are eligible for government subsidies.
Infrared heating panels
Infrared heating panels provide almost instant heat in rooms when fitted to walls or ceilings. They may look rather like radiators, but they emit infrared energy as heat. As they have smart controls, you can set them and use much less energy than when using other heating systems. The infrared energy the heating panels emit causes molecules in solid objects to vibrate, which warms them up. The panels don’t need much maintenance, and installation is easy.
As they don’t heat the air, a room will feel colder immediately when infrared heating panels are switched off. What they do provide is a highly efficient and healthy way to stay warm.
Replacing your gas boiler with low-carbon heating systems prepares your home for the future. Green alternatives may cost more upfront, but maintenance and running costs are often lower. Not all of the above solutions are suitable for every home. You can’t have a heat pump if you have no outside space or solar panels if you never see the sun. With all the green alternatives available today, you can choose one that suits your purposes.