Gas or electric boiler - which is better

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28 Sep 2021
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Content
  1. What are gas and electric boilers?
  2. Advantages and disadvantages of different types of gas boilers
  3. Cost calculation of gas boiler heating
  4. Advantages and disadvantages of an electric boiler
  5. Comparison of electric and gas boilers
  6. Which boiler is better: gas or electric? 
  7. Our video reviews
  8. FAQ
    1. What is more economical - gas or electric boilers?
    2. Which is cheaper - gas or electric boilers?

Today, heating and hot water supply is an integral part of everyone's comfort. There is a wide range of equipment on the market, with the help of which the customer will be able to choose the best option for the boiler. To make an informed choice, it is necessary to have a thermotechnical calculation of the house, to know whether gas pipelines and an electrical network are available. Thanks to such data, you will purchase an efficient and practical electric or gas boiler for an apartment or house, which will provide an adjustable heating system, fast water heating and durability and safety in use.

In this article, you can find answers to questions regarding the advantages and disadvantages of gas and electric boilers, as well as which equipment (electric or gas) is more economical and better to use.

What are gas and electric boilers?

A gas boiler is a device with which you can get thermal energy from the combustion of gaseous fuels. Basically, the fuel is natural gas, which is considered one of the most cost-effective resources in comparison with other types, since it has large reserves, as well as low costs for extracting and transporting fuel.

A gas boiler is a device with which you can get thermal energy from the combustion of gaseous fuels. Basically, the fuel is natural gas, which is considered one of the most cost-effective resources in comparison with other types, since it has large reserves, as well as low costs for extracting and transporting fuel.

The functions of the gas boiler are as follows:

  • premises heating, regardless of their purpose;
  • heating water for hot water supply, which will provide comfort for household and other purposes.

An electric boiler is a device that is used to heat a room by heating the heat carrier with an electric current. Gas or electric boilers perform the same functions.

Example of an electric boiler
Example of an electric boiler
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Advantages and disadvantages of different types of gas boilers

There are several types of gas boilers:

  1. Atmospheric boiler.
  2. Turbocharged boiler.
  3. Condensing boiler.

Let's take a closer look at these units.

The atmospheric boiler is an open-type equipment, since air enters the working unit from the outside environment. Since the boiler has an open combustion chamber, it must be installed in a boiler room to avoid waste being thrown into the room.

The burner is a set of nozzles through which the gas passes under pressure. To maintain the flame, it is important to provide the unit with a constant supply of air into the combustion chamber.

Today, atmospheric boilers are almost never used for residential buildings. They can be seen in industrial buildings as floor-standing boilers, since there is a need to use the boiler at full capacity in such premises.

Disadvantages of atmospheric boilers:

  • impossibility of smooth modulation of the burner. For example, the outside air temperature is +4℃, while indoors it is necessary to maintain a temperature of +22℃. Based on this, the burner must supply the required amount of kW, depending on the temperature outside. And for this type of device, this is unreal;
  • the need to separately regulate the supply of heat to the room.

Turbocharged boilers are devices designed for heating with a closed combustion chamber.

The advantage of this type is:

  • carbon monoxide is emitted through the turbine to the street, so the equipment does not need a boiler room;
  • oxygen is used from the street, not from the room.

The disadvantages of a turbocharged boiler are the same as those of atmospheric devices.

Condensing boilers are units, the principle of which is based on condensation. It is as follows:

  1. The gas is burned and water and carbon dioxide are formed.
  2. Further, the water evaporates and, as a result, heat is released.
  3. Condensate forms and returns to the system. Based on this, the efficiency is more than 100%.
Example of a condensation boiler
Example of a condensation boiler

Advantages of condensing boilers:

  • high efficiency. The fact is that heat is not thrown out into the street, as in atmospheric or turbocharged boilers, but is returned in the form of hot water to the heat exchanger;
  • condensation may occur up to +60℃. The system will be able to work at -22℃ at full capacity of boiler houses;
  • weather dependent. The sensor is installed outdoors and considers the air temperature, this makes it possible to adjust the temperature to the set one in the room;
  • customizable boiler operation mode. Depending on the set temperature on the sensor, the room temperature is controlled by time and by room.
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Time modulation: for example, set the temperature to +20℃ when you are sleeping. Next, an hour before you wake up, set +23℃ so that the temperature in the apartment has time to rise to the set one, at the time you wake up. In addition, if you go to work, you can lower the air temperature again. Thus, you will reduce your energy costs.

Room modulation: the system will supply the required amount of kW, which is enough for the optimal temperature in the room, taking into account the sensor on which the required temperature is set;

  • economical consumption of thermal power due to smooth modulation of the burner;
  • low-temperature mode;
  • connection to the “smart home”. Being in the room, you can remotely receive information about what is happening with the gas boiler.

The disadvantage is when buying a non-weather dependent type of condensing boilers, you need to independently and constantly adjust the temperature in the room.

There are 2 types of gas boilers, which differ in their functions:

The disadvantage is when buying a non-weather dependent type of condensing boilers, you need to independently and constantly adjust the temperature in the room.

There are 2 types of gas boilers, which differ in their functions:

Single-circuit gas boiler works either for space heating, or for hot water supply. Double-circuit gas boiler provides the possibility of using for both hot water supply and space heating.

Cost calculation of gas boiler heating

To think about engineering solutions, it is necessary to take into account the design of the house in which the gas boiler will be installed. The cost of heating depends on the thermotechnical calculation.

Many people want to change an atmospheric gas boiler to a condensing one, but the fact is that the boiler works like a naturally aspirated engine, the pipeline section is designed for this device, the pumps are simple ones that constantly operate at high power. Therefore, it is necessary to select equipment, taking into account the type of device.

In addition, the condensing boiler is a low-temperature device, and old houses under reconstruction cannot be energy efficient. Based on this, the installation of the boiler in these conditions will be unacceptable.

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Advantages and disadvantages of an electric boiler

As we already know, an electric boiler works with the help of electricity and is designed for room heating and water heating.

Let us consider the advantages and disadvantages that this device has.

The advantages of an electric boiler are as follows:

  • there is no emission of combustion products, therefore it does not need a chimney;
  • high efficiency;
  • does not require installation in an additional room like a boiler room;
  • customizable mode, which will provide a comfortable air temperature in each room. Similar to an atmospheric gas boiler it has weather-dependent, room-by-room, as well as temporary automation.

Flaws:

  • interruptions in the electrical network, which can cause the boiler to turn off;
  • limited kW supply. Since a certain amount of energy is calculated for the apartment, the transformer will not be able to give more than it should, as it will be overloaded and this can lead to its shutdown.

Comparison of electric and gas boilers

СriteriaGas boilerElectric boiler
Easy to installIt must be installed in an additional boiler room and have 2 ventilation ducts: 
-the first is for removal of flue gases; 
-the second is a duct for natural ventilation that can solve the problem of waste accumulation in case of gas release.
Quite easy to install, does not require an exhaust system. No extra space needed. 

A separate voltage line is required.
What you need for stable operationLine pressure stability is required.A stable mains voltage is required.
Ease and comfort of useDepends on the cost of equipment, more expensive models provide automation.
Electric boilers have a customizable mode, which will provide a comfortable air temperature in each room; 
equipped with weather-dependent, room-by-room, as well as temporary automation.
EfficiencyFor a gas condensing boiler - more than 100%For an electric boiler approximately - 98%
Сriteria
  • Easy to install
    Easy to install
  • What you need for stable operation
    What you need for stable operation
  • Ease and comfort of use
    Ease and comfort of use
  • Efficiency
    Efficiency
Gas boiler
  • Easy to install
    It must be installed in an additional boiler room and have 2 ventilation ducts: 
    -the first is for removal of flue gases; 
    -the second is a duct for natural ventilation that can solve the problem of waste accumulation in case of gas release.
  • What you need for stable operation
    Line pressure stability is required.
  • Ease and comfort of use
    Depends on the cost of equipment, more expensive models provide automation.
  • Efficiency
    For a gas condensing boiler - more than 100%
Electric boiler
  • Easy to install
    Quite easy to install, does not require an exhaust system. No extra space needed. 

    A separate voltage line is required.
  • What you need for stable operation
    A stable mains voltage is required.
  • Ease and comfort of use
    Electric boilers have a customizable mode, which will provide a comfortable air temperature in each room; 
    equipped with weather-dependent, room-by-room, as well as temporary automation.
  • Efficiency
    For an electric boiler approximately - 98%

Which boiler is better: gas or electric? 

The equipment is selected individually, taking into account the preference of the buyer. In addition, when choosing an electric or gas boiler, you need to pay attention to whether there is a stable connection to the power grid, or whether there is a gas main on the site, since laying gas lines or additional purchase of electricity will bring additional costs.

As practice shows, most often the electric boiler is installed in small buildings and a gas boiler is used for rooms larger than 180 square meters.

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FAQ

What is more economical - gas or electric boilers?

To understand which equipment is more economical, an electric boiler or a gas one, it is necessary to make a thermotechnical calculation, as well as take into account the cost of fuel, installation and purchase of the device itself.

For example, the maximum tariff for the use of 1 kW of electricity is 1.68 UAH, and for 1 m³ of gas - 6.47 UAH, but taking into account the gas supply (0.372 UAH), this will be 6.842 UAH.

Since 1 cubic meter of gas is equal to 10 kW of electricity, its price will be 0.684 UAH.

We will carry out the calculation and find out which type of fuel is more profitable to use.

In the ratio, we get that 1.68/0.684 = gas is 2.5 times cheaper than electricity.

Which is cheaper - gas or electric boilers?

If we consider equipment that has identical functions and characteristics, you will notice that both gas and electric boilers will be in the same price category.

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