- Get to know the range of home heating options
- Making the right choice for your home and your budget
- We compare the cost and energy efficiency of each option
Choosing the right heating option can be daunting, given the massive choice on offer, but help is at hand with this simple guide. From ultra-modern under floor heating or traditional wood burners to efficient boilers and sleek radiators, here are some great ways to keep your home warm and toasty.
Underfloor systems are the ultimate in modern luxury. There may be freezing cold temperatures outside, but you are padding around in barefoot bliss. They’re often high-spec – some come with motion sensors – and can be easily installed in any room including bathrooms. Expect a bit of upheaval if you retrofit a system though, as you’ll have to take your floors up.
The heat from an underfloor system rises slowly and, depending on the size of the system you opt for, it can even replace radiators – great for a sleek, minimalist look.
Best for: Modern pads where space is at a premium.
Cost: Can be fairly pricey to fit – especially if the system is retrofitted. Maintenance costs could be higher than radiator-based set-ups.
Energy efficiency: Medium. Underfloor systems can sometimes take a little longer to heat up than radiators.
For most people, radiators are the most economical and efficient way of heating homes. They work when hot water from a centrally located boiler passes through each radiator in the house – in the process 'radiating' heat and warming up the room.
There's no need to settle for a boring design either. Today's radiators come in a dazzling array of styles, from sleek flat panels and versatile towel rails to traditional cast iron column units or some seriously weird and wacky versions.
Best for: Larger houses with three or more bedrooms. Modern units are fantastic for a contemporary modern look. Column designs are great for Victorian and Edwardian homes.
Cost: Varies depending on the type you choose. Basic systems can be extremely economical but the price can quickly rise if you opt for high-end or designer ranges.
Energy efficiency: High.
If you're looking for a more traditional heating system, wood burners can be a cool and quirky way to bring a glow to your home. They work by using the heat from burning wood to warm your property.
Best for: Country homes or period properties with original fireplaces and kitchens with Aga-type cooking appliances.
Cost: Medium. Wood briquettes can be a cheaper and more effective option.
Energy efficiency: Medium.
Choosing the right boiler
Whatever heating option you choose do not underestimate the importance of fitting the right boiler. Although not as visible as that high-end radiator design or Scandi wood burner, the boiler is the heart of your heating system – and being a little savvy about the best one to pick will pay dividends in the long run.
Boilers now come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from a huge number of brands, including Worcester Bosch, Vaillant, Baxi and Glow-Worm.
It's very important to choose the right boiler, because the size, type and brand of system you decide on can all have an impact on how much energy you use and how your home and hot water is heated. Modern boilers come in three main types – Combi, Conventional and System, although in practice system boilers are very similar to conventional ones.
Combi and conventional boilers
Combination boilers are very quick to install and only heat the water you use, making them a popular and economical choice. They’re ideal for small houses or flats because you don't need to fit a separate cold water tank or hot water cylinder.
Conventional boilers work by creating a flow of hot water around your home into radiators and a hot water cylinder. These systems are good for large homes with more than one
Whatever your heating requirements, British Gas’ experienced staff are always on hand to guide you through the process.
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