Landlords also now have to pay for annual gas appliance testing which includes boilers and gas fires. This means an additional cost incurred each year to carry out these checks and a requirement for carbon monoxide alarms to be installed. Electric heating is rapidly becoming a sensible choice for landlords who want to keep control of costs and breakdowns.
Few people realise that gas heating is actually inefficient – even when brand new. As there are pipes under the floor and in walls where heat loss of the water occurs, a new boiler may well only be 90% efficient with older boilers potentially being only 50% efficient. An electric radiator is 100% efficient, turning 1kW of energy into 1 unit of heat.
It is true that the unit cost for gas is currently less than that of electricity but don’t be fooled into thinking that this means a gas central heating system will be cheaper to run. Efficiency of heating is largely down to controllability and this is where electric heating wins hands down. With gas heating you generally have one wall mounted thermostat or you may have an ‘intelligent’ learning thermostat which you can take with you room to room should you wish. However, when the boiler calls for heat, hot water is sent through the many metres of pipework in your home to each radiator. Some radiators will have TRV’s which will allow you to control the heat output slightly but there is no accuracy with these and ultimately you end up heating rooms unnecessarily. When the thermostat senses that your set temperature has been achieved it turns the heating off. However, it is basing this decision on the temperature of just one room – therefore potentially leaving other rooms insufficiently heated or over heated.