What Is the Most Efficient Heating System for A Home
With the increasing cost of energy bills and a growing concern for climate change, energy efficiency is at the forefront of everybody’s mind and for good reason. Efficient heating systems help you get the most out of your money whilst reducing your overall consumption. This blog will detail the most efficient heating systems for the home, helping you to make an informed decision.
What does energy efficiency mean?
Before we begin, what do we mean when we talk about energy efficiency? Here we are referring to systems or devices that maximise energy output with minimal waste. It also means they require less energy to perform specific tasks or functions, translating into reduced costs and environmental impact. Most things don’t use 100% of their converted energy as some is wasted, or lost, due to inefficiency in conversion. So, when looking for the most efficient home heating system, we need to look for those that waste the least amount of energy.
Heat Pumps are not only incredibly versatile, but they are also renowned for their energy efficiency. They are air conditioning and heating systems packaged in one unit and operate like a refrigerator but in reverse. They extract heat from the external environment and transfer this inside your home to keep it warm.
Heat Pumps can be as high as 350% efficient, making them the ideal choice for environmentally conscious homeowners. As they move heat from one place to another rather than generating this directly, this lessens the amount of energy wasted during this process. Their two-in-one functionality is also a bonus, eliminating the need for two separate systems. On top of this, heat pumps can be easily zoned, meaning they only heat the rooms you want them to, reducing the amount of energy wasted in rooms that are not in use.
Gas boilers are the most popular method for heating homes across the UK, a tried and tested heating system that has been used for decades. They work by burning gas to heat water, which is then circulated throughout your home to various heating outputs such as radiators.
Similar to heat pumps, boilers can be easily zoned giving you control over the temperature in each aspect of your home. However, they are generally the least energy-efficient option. The amount of energy wasted when using older boilers can be as high as 40%, meaning only 60% is being used to heat your home even though you still pay out for the full 100%. However, new condensing gas boilers are much more efficient. Since 2007 it has been a mandatory requirement for all homes to be installed with condensing gas boilers. The good thing about these modern systems is that they are all 90% efficient and above.
This being said they are still the least energy-efficient heating system when compared to heat pumps and electrical heating systems. They are also the most harmful to the environment. In line with the UK government’s plan to combat climate change, gas boilers are set to be phased out in 2025, helping to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses we are emitting into the environment.
Electrical Heating Systems
Electrical heating systems are known for their simplicity and ease of installation and whilst they may not always be the most cost-effective option, they do have their merits. These heating systems work by converting electrical resistance to generate heat, making them 100% efficient at the point of use, as all the energy is used. However, as electricity has to be transmitted from a main power station to your property, some amounts of energy will be lost along the way.
The biggest drawback of electrical heating systems is that they are a lot more expensive to run. On average electricity is three times more expensive than gas which results in higher operating costs. In the winter months and during very cold weather, electrical heating systems may need to work harder to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures, eating further into your budget. A final point to note is that whereas heat pumps can be as high as 350% efficient, electrical heating systems can only ever reach 100% efficiency. Whilst this is still a good figure as nothing is being wasted, it is still something to take into consideration.