Electric Boilers vs. Gas Boilers


In the fight of electric boilers vs. gas boilers, there’s a definite winner in most cases.

You may be surprised to know that electric boilers are ideal for certain applications regardless of operational costs. It’s widely known throughout the US that gas boilers cost less to operate than electric boilers. However, there are applications where operation costs alone should not be the only factor in the boiler selection process.

First, gas and electric rates vary greatly depending on where you live. In some areas, each can be up to five times more expensive, so it pays to know the energy costs in the area where you live.

So, you want to heat your home or office and are wondering which option is best when comparing electric boilers vs. gas boilers? To get to the answer, it’s important to ask yourself a couple of questions:

  • Are you installing an entire heating system? If this is you, gas may be the smartest choice.
  • Adding a room or want warm floors in bathrooms or other often occupied spaces? If so, electric is usually the best choice.

But these two questions aren’t the only things to consider before you make your decision. Let’s take a look at which heat source comes out on top in many applications so you’ll know whether electric or gas models make the most sense.

When to Install an Electric Boiler: Spot Heating

Electric boilers shine when warm floors are desired in specific areas of an existing home. For homes that already have a heating system, adding another room or perhaps a four-season porch will require heat in order to use the space year-round in cold climates. If the floor isn’t carpeted, floors can be cold and extremely uncomfortable in the heating season. Electric boilers can heat floors and rooms effectively without the drafts associated with forced air furnaces and heat pumps.

Limited space is a common issue when installing an add-on boiler heating system in an existing home. Thermolec electric boilers’ lightweight, compact design offers the perfect solution. Unlike gas boilers, which require venting and additional gas piping, combustion devices require outside air for combustion and also need to exhaust dangerous by-products (carbon monoxide) outside the home. On the other hand, electric boilers do not need to be vented (no combustion), saving space and significantly lowering the install cost of the heating system.

Thermolec electric boilers come with modulating heat generation and are capable of producing low and precise Btu levels. They produce only what is needed to heat a space to the desired temperature. Small heating zones or areas like bathrooms, foyers, home offices, and kitchens are challenging for gas boilers. That’s because their minimum Btu outputs are excessive for such areas. They waste energy by overheating rather than producing the awesome comfort typically associated with a radiant floor heating system.

For room additions where homeowners want radiant floor heat, installing an add-on gas boiler in an existing home can be a monumental task for HVAC technicians. Ultimately, that means added installation costs for buyers.

Assessing the Operating Costs: Electric vs. Gas

An electric boiler tends to be less expensive than gas boilers of comparable size and model. Although the upfront cost of the unit will be more affordable when the unit is electric, you also must take into account the cost to run it.

It’s impossible to give hard numbers on the energy and fuel costs, as gas and propane rates vary across the country. Obviously, electricity rates do as well, so it’s hard to say which unit is the more expensive form of heating. In general, electricity in most areas of the US costs more to run than gas does.

However, energy cost is not the only consideration. Here are some other points to ponder:

  • Aside, from lower install cost, electric boilers don’t require annual maintenance which is highly recommended by all manufacturers of high-efficiency gas boilers.
  • Gas boilers are more complicated by design and are much more likely to have performance issues. Two common issues in initial boiler set-up are getting the proper mixture of air and gas (often due to improper venting).
  • Heat exchangers in gas boilers are susceptible to water conditions and combustion by-products which can shorten the life of a boiler or cause it to break down unless annual maintenance is performed.

Now no one is claiming that nothing ever goes wrong with electric boilers, but they don’t require a strict maintenance schedule and most issues/problems can be identified with a voltage meter. Bottom line, maintenance costs for gas boilers shouldn’t be minimized because they’re significant and therefore must be taken into consideration in the overall operational costs of the product.

Why Thermolec Electric Boilers are the Right Choice Thermolec-electric-boilder-image

Just because electric boilers, in general, are smaller, lighter and less expensive than gas boilers doesn’t mean that every electric boiler brand can make the same claim. In fact, electric boiler brands can differ significantly in size, weight, function, and the amount of space they require.

Thermolec electric boilers take up less space and are significantly lighter than other brands of electric boilers. The main differences involve the components used and the functionality of their boilers.

For instance, Thermolec uses stainless steel ASME certified tanks which are more durable and lighter than carbon steel or cast-iron tanks. Thermolec also incorporates the most advanced technology in their boilers which provides full modulation heating in all their boiler models. To save on installation costs, the smaller size and lighter weight of the Thermolec boilers means that only one technician needs to be sent to a job site to install the boiler. This isn’t the case with most other electric boilers that often require two technicians just to get the unit through the door and into the home.

Would you like to learn more about the difference between electric boilers brands and electric vs. gas boilers so you can identify which one is right for you? You may find it helpful to connect with a professional who specializes in boilers or visit the following website to learn more about Thermolec boilers for the US market at www.epsalesinc.com. Additional information would enable you to have a better understanding of the options available so you can identify the right boiler for your application.

EP Sales maintains a large inventory of Thermolec and Greentek products and parts to service the needs of our customers.