Gas central heating is one of the cheapest and most popular ways to heat homes, however it’s just not an option for some people. Around four million households in the UK aren’t connected to the gas mains, and if you’ve found yourself in this situation it can be a little tricky to know what to do. Perhaps you’ve moved into your dream home, but it doesn’t have gas central heating, or maybe you’ve built a property from scratch and connecting to the mains was too expensive or not possible. Sometimes just having gas pipes moved a couple of metres can cost thousands of pounds, so it makes better financial sense to look into alternatives. Here are three alternatives to gas when it comes to heating your home.
Often when homes aren’t connected to the gas mains, it’s an electric heating system that’s fitted. In the old days, electric ‘storage heaters’ were used, although they were very problematic. Not only were they fiddly to set but they’d only come on for a certain length of time and take a whole day to store up more heat. Modern electric heaters however are far better. Unlike with gas radiators, you can set the temperature on each electric radiator meaning it’s easy to adjust the temperature for each room in the home. They’re easy to use and can be turned on and off individually when needed. They attach to the wall just like regular radiators and work using the same convection method of heat. The downside is that unit for unit, electric is far more expensive than gas. However if you carefully control the temperature and keep an eye on what you’re using, they’re a good alternative if you can’t have gas central heating.
Oil Central Heating
Oil central heating is normally used in what’s called a ‘wet’ heating system. This is where your radiators and the taps in your home are heated via an oil fired boiler. It works in the same way as gas central heating, however you will have to have your oil delivered and store it in heating oil tanks. Research suggests that heating the average home and using hot water using oil costs a reasonable £42 a month, although this will depend on things like your property and insulation.
Solar Thermal Heating
Save money as well as the environment by using a renewable energy heating source like solar thermal heating. These work by harnessing heat from sunlight by capturing the energy radiated by the sun in solar collectors. Don’t confuse this with solar panels which are designed to generate electricity. Right now, you can provide around sixty percent of your hot water needs using this system, so it’s great to have in place if you want to use less electricity or oil heating your home as they’re compatible with other systems.
Have you recently moved into a home that isn’t connected to mains gas? Or do you already use an alternative heating source? If so, what would you recommend to others in a similar situation?