What is the best way to heat your home?


Want to save money? Or just looking to do your bit for the environment.? We’ve got a simple guide to the best ways to heat your home.


Traditional Methods: Oil & Gas

Oil is ideal for remote areas that are not connected to the grid. Oil is currently cheap but can fluctuate depending on politics, war, and natural disasters. However, this fuel source needs to be delivered and stored. Furthermore, oil boilers are very large, therefore require a large space to install.

Mains Gas is a convenient energy source if your house is attached to the gas grid. Gas is still cheap compared to other energy sources, despite the cost of gas has steadily risen over the last 20 years. This fuel, despite not being a renewable source, is less harmful than other non-renewable sources. It is recommended you choose from a condenser boiler or a combination boiler.

Both systems will last about 15 years, after this time it is recommended that you update your system as it is likely it will be running less efficiently. The running efficiency in older boilers is known to decrease to 55-65% whereas modern boilers can run at 90-96% fuel efficiency (HomeEcoSavings, 2016) , meaning less energy is wasted. Upgrading an old boiler can provide lower energy bills, better technology including advanced heating controls and removed stress.


Renewable options: Biomass, Air Source Heat Pumps & Solar Thermal

A Biomass Boiler heats water by burning wood pellets. This is a cheap and renewable source of heating fuel. This heating type is most suited to rural houses with large space for storage as it is cheaper to buy pellets in bulk, making storage space a necessity. A biomass boiler has an expected lifespan of over 15 years and can generate savings of between £200-£1000 per year (depending on what fuel you swap from; however, mains gas and oil are likely to not provide any savings). The government do still offer the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for biomass boilers; the current rate is 4.68p/kWh*, however is likely to change again with degression. There is maintenance required with a biomass boiler as the ash tray must be swept out once a week and a full clean carried out once a year. You also need to remember to order new pellets before you run out.

An Air Source Heat Pump heats water by extracting heat from the outside air. A heat pump is ideal for well-insulated homes who are looking to replace electric or coal heating systems. Unlike gas or oil boilers, heat pumps deliver heat at lower temperatures over longer periods, meaning the radiators will not feel hot to touch. Manufacturers suggest that a heat pump will operate for 20 years or more, with minimal maintenance required. RHI is also available on this system, with the government currently paying 7.51p/kWh*. Other benefits of an air source heat pump include lower fuel bills and reduced carbon emissions.

Solar Thermal is suitable for almost any home with a south, east, or west facing roof. This renewable source can provide hot water by storing heat radiation from the sun collected by one or two panels on your roof. Once installed, this energy source provides free power as it comes from sunlight. A life span of more than 20 years is expected with minimal maintenance required. You will still need your existing (or an alternative) source of energy as this system will provide 50% of your hot water requirements over a year, however in summer this may increase to 100%. Cost savings will be available no matter what fuel you are swapping from, although these savings will only be between £50-£100 a year, RHI is available with the current rate being 19.74p/kWh*.

The suitability for each system will vary for individual projects, call us today, on 01747 825222 to discuss your options further and arrange a site visit.

*RHI figures based on OfGem figures, correct at time of publication (November 2016)

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