Heating accounts for a significant portion of utility costs in the UK. Taking steps to reduce this figure not only lowers energy costs, but also helps meet carbon targets that the government has committed to. But trying to determine the most economical method can be overwhelming. Here we’ll look at cost-effective options to heat your home and keep your energy costs down.
Upgrade to a More Energy-Efficient Boiler
Central heating systems are the most common form of heating in the UK. A boiler heats up water, which is then pumped through pipes to radiators that snake through a house. Replacing an older boiler with a more efficient one can help save on energy costs in the long run.
The cost for a gas boiler replacement typically runs about £2,300 and includes the disposal of your old unit as well as any necessary wiring to get the system working. Replacements have a higher initial cost, but information from Energy Saving Trust estimates that it can save up to £315 a year in energy costs for a detached house. Upgraded boilers that are paired with a room thermostat further minimise energy consumption.
Install Underfloor Heating
Underfloor heating systems work by heating the entire floor through piping found underneath. Unlike central heating radiators that take up valuable wall space, underfloor heating is completely out of sight and is an effective option to heat an entire home with no cold spots.
There are two different types available:
- Electric underfloor heating: These systems consist of a series of electric wires that are installed beneath your flooring. The wires are connected to a mains supply and the temperature can be regulated using a thermostat. Electric systems run between 25 to 31 degrees on average and can be installed anywhere near a power supply.
- Water underfloor heating: These systems consist of a series of pipes that are connected to your boiler. Warm water is then circulated through the pipes to heat the flooring above. Water systems can be installed in any room with temperatures running between 27 to 31 degrees. The downside is that installations are a lot more involved so they’re typically reserved for newer home builds.
Costs for either can vary depending on the size of the area and complexity of the installation.
Electric systems are generally a preferred choice for retrofits and can cost several hundred pounds for a small room. However, you’ll also need to factor in the cost for heater controls, screed, and insulation boards. Installation costs will also be higher if you decide to hire a professional.
Water underfloor heating offers a highly efficient heating system, especially when paired with a modern condensing boiler. The cost to heat a room per year is significantly lower than its electric underfloor counterpart. But installation costs are also a lot higher, as these systems can easily cost into the thousands of pounds.
If you’re looking for the most economical way to heat your home, then underfloor heating systems are the obvious answer. The potential long-term savings make these systems well worth the initial investment.