Shopping around for boilers, including establishing a property’s requirements can be a stressful, overwhelming experience at any time, but undertaking this exercise following an emergency breakdown really isn’t much fun at all!
New boilers are usually one of the most expensive household purchases, and therefore getting the best quality boiler, suitable for the property and household usage will be of utmost importance, as well as ensuring value for money. In addition to suitability, reliability will also be a consideration, to ensure that the chosen model of boiler will have the longest life possible.
This article will take you through the process of choosing an electric boiler whilst filtering through various popular boiler makes and models, to make suggestions for the best model and brand for certain situations.
What is an Electric Boiler?
An electric boiler heaters water to supply taps, cylinders and or radiators via an electric element, without the use of oil or gas. Electric boilers are most suited to supplying sufficient hot water and heating for small to medium-sized properties.
Electric boilers come in various forms such as:
- Electric storage boiler – Electric storage boilers work by storing and heating a hot water tank. This type of boiler can be easy to install however there is a limitation of how much instantly hot water is available, due to the size of the tank. For the most cost-effective running, it is recommended that an electric energy tariff is chosen that provides cheaper unit costs at night and the settings on the boiler are programmed to make the most of this, heating the tank overnight.
- Electric combi-boilers (direct) – An electric storage boiler works in a similar way to a combi gas boiler, by heating hot water on demand, as required, without the installation of a water tank. As such, combi-boilers can provide an easy installation for a source of both hot water and central heating.
- Electric combined primary storage units or CPSU’s – CPSU’s typically store large amounts of water in a tank, suitable for larger properties or commercial premises, are therefore are very rarely recommended for residential properties.
- Dry core storage – Dry core storage work by heating special bricks inside the unit which release heat into the water for either central heating or hot water. Similar to electric storage boilers, dry core storage units are best operated at night to make the most of cheaper energy rates.
- Solar Panel Compatible – The energy produced from solar panels can be used to heat a storage tank of water by the use of an immersion heater.
Although the options of an electric boiler can feel overwhelming, commonly, the property requirements would often guide which type of electrical boiler would be most suitable, such as space requirements needed for a traditional electric boiler with a water cylinder.
Advantages of Electric Boilers
There are a number of benefits of installing an electric boiler as follows:
- No requirement for Gas or Oil – Should a property be located off the National Grid for gas, electrical boilers can be a suitable option. In addition, electric boilers can protect from fluctuations in oil prices or the need for a large oil tank.
- Cheaper and more flexible installations – Electric boilers are commonly cheaper to install than alternatives as there are no dangerous waste gases that require a flue to be installed such as gas boilers. The installation location is also more flexible than alternative boiler installs, as electric boilers do not need to be placed against an outside wall for a flue pipe.
- Green credibility’s and safer – Electric boilers often omit lower carbon emissions compared with alternatives as they do not require fossil fuels to make a source of heat, and, as we have already mentioned, do not omit waste gases. In addition, as there are no waste gasses, there is also no risk of carbon monoxide gasses being leaked from the boiler, and therefore electric boilers can be considered safer than boilers.
- Electric Boilers can be energy efficient – Electric boilers do not burn more than is required as they do not create waste gases, which makes them more energy-efficient than gas boilers.
- No requirement for annual servicing – Usually electric boilers require less maintenance compared with other types of boilers and do not require an annual service.
Disadvantages of Electric Boilers
Although there are advantages to electric boilers, unfortunately, there is also a range of disadvantages as follows:
- Electric Boilers are Expensive to Run – The price of an electric unit is higher than the price of gas, typically around 3-4 times the unit price, and therefore on a like for like basis, electric boilers are more expensive to run, even if utilising the cheaper overnight, off-peak pricing models.
- Demand limitations – Electric boilers are not recommended for larger properties with a high demand for hot water and large heating systems, as they are unlikely to cope.
- Reliant on power – Electric boilers are solely reliant on electricity for their power source and therefore in the event of a power cut, all heating and hot water will be affected.
What are the Best Electric Boilers?
Our top five electric boilers are as follows:
- Heatrea Sadia’s Electromax Combi Boiler
- Electric Heating Company’s Comet Combi Boiler
- Elnur’s Mattira MAC15
- THERMAFlow’s Electric Combi Boiler
- Electric Combi Boiler’s Company Elektra EKC Combi Boiler
Our list of recommended electric boilers all have a 99% or above efficiency level, and most come with at least a two-year standard warranty. However, they do vary between dimensions and capacity as well as between floor-standing or wall-mounted, and therefore the space requirements will need to be explored before committing to a specific type of electric boiler.
Best electric boilers summary
Although electric boilers can be expensive to run, there are a number of advantages of opting for electricity.
There are many manufactures competing for your business within the market of electric boilers, however, we have provided a range of top-selling electric boiler makes and models to whittle down your search, should you be in the market for a new electric boiler.