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Looking for recomendation - Gas vs Electric heating

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by floob, 2 Feb 2021.

  1. floob

    floob

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    Hi,

    I'll prefix all this with, whatever solution I go for, I will be getting qualified tradesmen to do it for me.

    I live in a 3 bed, 2 bathroom apartment that currently has a gas boiler with a storage water tank.
    This setup is 30 years old, and the boiler is a Ideal Mexico Super 2 CF80.

    The boiler is a trooper and still running pretty well, but I can tell its not loving life and I should probably plan for its demise. Due to its location (middle of apartment) its likely a new gas boiler would need to be relocated next to an exterior wall, meaning rerouting some piping.

    My bills are roughly about £800 electric and £1,000 gas per year.

    So..... my question is as I'm thinking about changing this, should I consider an electric solution to avoid having to re-lay pipes, and have potentially less reliance on the internal piping and look for a storage heaters and electric boiler instead? Or could moving to all electric massively increase bills?

    So maybe:
    - Electric boiler to replace gas one
    - Remove water storage tank (or do I still need that with electric boiler?)
    - Get electric showers
    - Consider replacing aging radiators with storage heaters

    Or is that bonkers?

    Thanks for any suggestions.
     
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  3. durhamplumber

    durhamplumber

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    Gas is a lot cheaper than electric..Your boiler is a very reliable one.As long as parts are available, keep it
     
  4. Aragorn84

    Aragorn84

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    Very roughly, Electricity costs about 15p a kwh, and gas costs about 3p a kwh.
    Gas ofcourse isnt 100% efficient, especially so with an older unit, but even with that taken into account, you'll spend roughly three times as much on electricity to get the same heat output as your existing boiler.

    Which is why everywhere in the UK that has gas, generally has gas powered heating.

    You can go for a heat pump type setup, which uses refridgeration technology to get much better "efficiency" figures. With a good system 1KW of electrical input can output 3 or 4kw of heat. This gets you back close to gas boiler levels of running cost. But these systems have lots of caveats, and cost a lot more than a gas boiler does.
     
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  5. durhamplumber

    durhamplumber

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    Not true.It could be flued through the roof or extended horizontally.
     
  6. muggles

    muggles

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    All-electric will massively increase bills. Electric is four times the cost of gas
     
  7. oldbuffer

    oldbuffer

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    1. Kilowatt for kilowatt, electricity is around 3 times the price of gas, at current prices. If your cooking is gas, then assuming the gas bill is mostly heating (say 70%), then you are spending £700 per year on gas heating. Change that to electricity, and you will be spending around £2,100 on heating, so your energy bill would be £2400 (heating) + £300 (cooking) + £800 (electricity) = £3,500.
    2. You might be able to reduce it a bit by having one of the off-peak tariffs, but I doubt you'd save more than 10 to 15%.
    3. You would still need a storage tank with an electric boiler.
    4. The additional wiring for an electric boiler, or storage heaters, would be disruptive. Perhaps not so much so as a re-pipe, but still disruptive.
    5. Without knowing the layout of pipework in your property there is no way of telling how complicated re-piping would be.
    6. If you went for a combi boiler, you could do away with the hot and cold water storage. However, in that case I'd suggest making one shower an electric one. Then at least you have a source of hot water if the boiler breaks down.
     
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  8. ianmcd

    ianmcd

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    How is your existing boiler flued ? is it vertically up through the roof ?
     
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  9. floob

    floob

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    Thanks for all your responses. It certainly sounds like gas is the way to go, but given I dont have an accessible roof (3 more apartment floors above me), and I've had 3 separate companies tell me that whilst legally installed at the time, there is no way a new boiler can be placed where my current one is.

    For reference, we have electric cooking at the moment, and use central heating on for about 6 hours a day for 5 months a year, and off the rest of the year.
    I dont think I appreciated quite what a hike electric heating would be - the energy suppliers make out as though a decent storage heater on Economy 7 is cost efficient (around 9p - but I guess thats still double gas).

    Maybe the answer is to bite the bullet and get a new gas boiler (go combi and get all modern like everyone else) and put it on the kitchen wall and re-pipe a bit (about 5 metres under the kitchen I guess).
     
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  11. Madrab

    Madrab

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    As mentioned, Where does the flue run just now??
     
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  12. ianmcd

    ianmcd

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    Yes Rab we both know it is a CF80 so it will be, but the poster doesnt seem to know anything about boilers, I was simply going to explain that the new boiler can go in the same position as the old one, unless of course it is a CF going into an old chimneystack, not so common but a possibility
     
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  13. Madrab

    Madrab

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    Yes Ian, apols, I quoted you then put question marks under it but then re-read it and realised that it would look like I was questioning your quote rather than I was asking the OP to answer your question, that's why I edited it to ask the OP directly and remove the quote ;)
     
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  14. floob

    floob

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    You're correct, the OP doesnt know anything about boilers but perhaps this will help. I found this sticker on the boiler that says
    "Combustion air for the boiler comes in from outside run in service corridor below (boxed in) and rises to low level right-hand side of boiler and is 150mm diameter plastic pipe"

    I've also made a video of it in-situ here so you can see where it is in relation to chimney and kitchen.
    https://streamable.com/ei57g5

    It sounds like I should stick with gas (even if I am a little dubious of the quality of the 30 year old radiators and internal pipes), and then its just a case of either siting it where it is now, on the far wall of the kitchen, or where the water storage tank is at the other end of the flat.
     
  15. ianmcd

    ianmcd

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    No need to worry about that, your new boiler wont need that.

    Ves you have a vertical flue so could get a boiler that will fit in there, you have a n expansion vessel (small red tank) at the boiler, do you have to top the boiler pressure up somethimes ? if yes, you dont need to worry about the pipes as they are already pressurised
     
  16. floob

    floob

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    Ok, so is it worth me enquiring with the plumbers I've had out who have said it cant be replaced in that location? Is the problem because the flue isnt accessible? Or could leak back into the apartment?
    I dont ever recall topping any pressure up in the boiler - maybe the plumber might have done once in a blue moon, but definitely not regularly. The only pressure I have to top up is the dial by the storage water tank as that drops low sometimes and then nothing heats up until I top up the water pressure in that.
     
  17. ianmcd

    ianmcd

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    Yep that is the filling loop you dont need to worry about your pipes they are already pressurised, try a more experienced installer, the boxing in of the flue will have to come out, but can be done
     
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