Most homes in the UK are kept warm and cosy by natural gas boilers. Quite a few however are not. This may be due to the fact they are not connected to the gas network or they see electric boilers as more eco friendly. They can be used in conjunction with solar panels too making them even more attractive with regards to future-proofing your home. There are other reasons too as to why a home may have an electric boiler rather than a gas or oil boiler but they all do the same job.
If you have an electric boiler for your central heating and hot water and are looking for a new boiler then we will take a look at some of the best electric boilers on the market. If you have another type of boiler, such as a gas boiler, then we will also look at the pros and cons of changing to an electric boiler and the types of electric boiler you can choose from.
What is an electric boiler & how do they work?
An electric boiler is a unit that heats up water for your home. It provides you with hot water to your radiators and hot water to your taps, showers and other outlets you may have. They come in all shapes and sizes and are suitable for almost any home.
Electric boilers work just like an electric shower or a kettle. They have a heating element inside which is heated up by electricity when required. When a tap is run, cold water from the mains will pass through the boiler and be heated up by the now red hot element.
It is exactly the same for heating your radiators except that the water will not be fresh and just recirculated around the central heating system.
Types of electric boilers
As with most types of boilers, there are different types of electric boilers to suit different household requirements. The main 2 are electric combi boilers and storage electric boilers. Some homes will have a higher demand for water, and some homes will have limited space. Let’s take a look at the different types and see which is most suited to your home.
Electric boilers must not be confused with immersion heaters. Immersion heaters heat water in a similar way but are not used as the sole heating source.
Electric Combi Boiler
Combi boilers provide instant hot water to both taps and radiators from the same unit. When a tap is turned or you flick the heating up, the electric combi boiler warms up right away and you get your hot water in seconds. Electric combi boilers are best hen space is limited as there are no separate hot water cylinders. Super easy to install and some of the electric combi boilers run at 99% efficiency!
Although all this may sound good, they are not so good when multiple outlets are used at once and using electricity to heat water costs more than it does with gas. You can use solar panels to combat this extra cost though!
Electric Storage Boiler
Electric storage boilers are much the same as what are known as system boilers. They have a boiler that heats up the water and a separate hot water cylinder where the hot water is stored until it is required for use. These are particularly good for a home with higher hot water demand or commercial use. Some storage boilers do have the hot water cylinder built-in so there are not separate tanks. Electric storage boilers cost considerably more than the combi boiler style.
Immersion heaters are not a boiler unit but can be used in conjunction with a normal boiler to help heat water up if you want to use solar power during the day. An immersion heater can be turned on and off separately from a boiler when not required. This can help to save you money on gas and electricity if used properly to provide hot water. When just used on their own they can be expensive to run, so this isn’t advised.
Are Electric Boilers Any Good?
Like anything in life, they have their benefits and downsides. Let’s look at the pros and cons of installing an electric combi boiler in your home. Obviously, the cost is a main factor, but if you are seriously considering one then you need to know all the facts to save you any issues in the future!
The best reasons to install an electric boiler
Gas Boilers are being phased out
This may the reason you are looking into the best electric boilers. But if not then you may need to know that natural gas boilers are being phased out to help combat climate change. If you want to get ahead of the game then these boilers could well be the heating solution you are looking for.
Electric boilers are solar compatible
If gas boilers are being phased out, then you will need more electricity. Solar panels are the most common renewable energy source used by homes in the UK. The best electric boilers are all solar power compatible.
Efficiency Rating of 99%
With claims that electric boilers can be up to 100% energy efficient. We believe that they are 99% efficient due to the small number of moving parts and lack of noise but not the full 100%. From this point of view, it makes them very environmentally friendly. This is compared to gas condensing boilers which operate at up to 95% efficiency.
Low installation costs
Because everything the boiler does is kept on the inside it is simply wired up to the mains and attached to the water pipes. There is no external flue for gasses to escape so no reason to put them on an outside wall and create a hole in your wall. This also means it can be installed pretty much anywhere in your home that is safe to do so.
If you are cut off from the gas network
If you don’t have gas in your home and you need heating, then the electric boiler could really work for you. Nearly all homes in the Uk have electricity. If you have neither you may want to consider oil, LPG or solid fuel boilers.
There is no gas
Just the fact that there is no gas about means that it is safer to use. There are no chances of gas leaks or carbon monoxide poisoning. No need for that extra carbon monoxide alarm creating an eyesore in your home.
No need for a yearly service
Unlike gas and oil boilers, electric boilers don’t need an annual service. This can save you around £100 a year for this alone. The only time you should have to do anything to your boiler is if something goes wrong. In the event that something does go wrong, due to the small number of parts used to make an electric boiler, the repairs can be quicker and cheaper.
Extremely quiet operating levels
Due to how an electric boiler works, there is very little noise coming from the heating unit. This is great if you have limited space and the chances are you would have to install the boiler near your living space.
Reasons against electric boiler installation
You’re probably thinking that electric boilers sound too good to be true. And you’d be right, they do have their downsides. Let’s take a looks at some of the reasons why you may not want to install one
They cost a lot to run
Although they are highly efficient, electric boilers still cost a lot to run. The higher cost of electricity and the amount of energy used to heat the water up is far greater than that of a gas boiler. Don’t confuse high efficiency with low running costs. Your bills are likely to be higher. This is where solar panels would help.
Solar Panels aren’t cheap
One of the main advantages of an electric boiler is that they work well with solar panels. This is all good and well if you already have them or you buy a home with solar built in the roof. If not you are looking at thousands of pounds in installation costs for new solar panels. The actual benefit of this also would take years to repay. The amount of electricity generated also wouldn’t be enough to totally power most electric boilers.
Some electric boilers will struggle with demand
Have you ever used an electric shower and turned it right up? If you, have you will notice how when the water gets hotter, the pressure goes down. This is due to the amount of time the water is required to be near the heating element to be at the right temperature. This would be the case with an electric boiler if hot water demand was high in your home.
If you are still interested in an electric boiler, let’s take a look at some of the makes and models that you would come across and we will give you what we believe to be the best electric boilers on the market.
Best electric combi boilers
As previously mentioned, electric combi boilers are the most popular boiler due to their
compact nature and efficiency. Let’s take a look at some of the best electric combi boilers on the
market right now. Just like gas combi boilers, they produce heating and hot water from the same single unit. There is no hot water storage tank.
Electric Heating Company Comet Electric Combi Boiler
This fantastic combi boiler from the Electric Heating Company comes in a range of outputs to suit up
to 3 bedroom properties with wet central heating. The Comet electric combi boiler is easy to install and is wired just like an electric
shower. It also comes with a 140 litre stainless steel duplex hot water cylinder to make sure that you
have plenty of hot water. The Comet comes in 9kw, 12kw and 14.4kw outputs. It is supposed to run
at 100% efficiency so no energy is wasted and comes complete with a 2 year warranty.
The Electric Heating Company Comet Combination Boiler costs around £2,800 without installation.
Heatrae Sadia Electromax Electric Boiler
Not exactly a combination boiler but this electric flow boiler has a built-in 180 litre stainless steel hot
water storage cylinder that can provide both hot water to your radiators, and taps at the same time.
The fact that this boiler can provide excellent water pressure to multiple taps or showers at
the same time is a huge selling point. It comes in 2 sizes 6kw and 9kw and is still compact enough to
fit inside an airing cupboard. The Heatrae Sadia Electromax comes with 2 years warranty. This best electric boiler can be used for underfloor heating.
The Electromax electric combi boiler will cost you around £1545 without installation
Elektra C Electric Combi Boiler
This wall hung electric combi boiler is great for smaller properties and flats. Weighing in with an
excellent 12kw output for instant hot water up to 50 degrees and central heating up to 75 degrees
as and when you need it. This super-compact combi boiler can be easily installed anywhere in most
homes within reason. This electric boiler can be used for underfloor heating.
You can buy the Elektra C combi boiler for around £1,400
Best Electric System Boilers
If you are in need of an electric boiler but you also need the capabilities similar to a gas system
boiler, then you can get an electric boiler with a hot water cylinder separate. This means that the hot
water will be stored separately in a large insulated hot water tank ready to go whenever you need it.
This is fantastic if you need lots of hot water all at once. Check out the best electric system boilers
Electric Heating Company Slim Jim
We have chosen this electric boiler and cylinder duo due to the fact it covers everything that you will
need. A compact boiler designed to be hidden and quiet, along with an excellent large insulated hot
water tank. You don’t need to have 2 large units taking up loads of room in your home so we believe
this to be a great option. The slim jim runs at 100% efficiency, is easy to install and has a 2 year
You can buy this Electric Heating Company Slim Jim and cylinder package for around £1,600
Electric Boiler Prices
Take a look at our quick boiler price guide. As with gas boilers, the prices will vary depending on the output (Kilowatts/hour). The higher the Kw/h the higher the cost. If you are wanting a hot water cylinder this will be a separate cost also.
|Boiler Manufacturer||Boiler Model||Boiler Output||Energy Efficiency||Boiler Warranty||Boiler Price|
|Electric Heating Company||Comet Combi Boiler||9 -14kw||100%||2 years||£2,777|
|Electric Heating Company||Astro Combi Boiler||12-24kw||100%||2 years||£1,450|
|Heatrae Sadia||Electromax||6 - 9kw||99%||2 years||£1,850|
|Electric Combi Boilers Co.||Elektra EK||12kW||99%||2 years||£1,800|
|Electric Combi Boilers Co.||Elektra EK with inbuilt cylinder||12kW||99%||2 years||£1,800|
|Elnur||Mattira MAC15||3-15kw||100%||2 years||£2,132|
|THERMAflow||THERMAflow Electric Combi Boiler||10-18kw||100%||1 year||£2,250|
|Electric Heating Company||Slimjim||4-14.4kw||100%||3 Years||£695|
Electric Boiler vs Gas Boiler – Which should you choose?
Choosing one of the best electric boilers is all good and well, but you may need to consider that an electric boiler might just not be the right boiler for your home. A gas combi boiler may well be more economical in terms of boiler price, boiler installation and boiler running costs when everything is weighed up.
Advantages Of Electric Boilers
- Energy efficiency rating of 99%.
- Great if you have no mains gas supply – no fossil fuels needed in your home.
- Can be used with solar panels and solar storage batteries.
- Low boiler installation costs
- Low running costs with regards to maintenance
- Extremely quiet due to very few moving parts
- No flue so doesn’t have to be installed on external walls
- Electric combi boilers provide instant heating and hot water from the same unit
Disadvantages of Electric boilers
- Electricity costs a lot more than gas per unit meaning energy bills will be higher
- Essentially you are using fossil fuels from the power station
- Electric combi boilers will struggle in larger homes
- Solar panels only work with electric boilers during the day
- You only get 2 years warranty on most electric boilers
Who can install an Electric Boiler?
As there are water and electricity involved, ideally you would need a competent tradesperson who is confident in both but a qualified electrician. As they are very similar to an electric shower, which can be installed by a qualified electrician but you also need plumbing experience in order to ensure that water pipes are attached properly and securely. You will not need a Gas Safe registered engineer as there is no gas!
Electric boiler installation costs
The cost of installing an electric boiler will depend on the amount of work needed. If you already have an electric boiler and want to just replace it with a new boiler then the boiler installation costs will be less expensive. If you have a gas boiler and want to change to an electric boiler then the installation costs will be much higher. The average price for installing electric boilers is around £2,000.
New Electric Boiler Quotes
If you are now considering a new boiler and want to make sure that you get the best price, always make sure that you get quotes from different companies. Here at Compare Boiler Quotes, we aim to ensure that we can give you the best price on any boiler you want including installation. Get a fixed price on new boilers in 30 seconds online right now.