Home Heating Choices: Can Electric Heating Ever Compete with Gas?
Comparisons between gas and electric house heating are often very misleading. Invariably electricity comes out as having a poor performance and very expensive. The annual running costs quoted in comparison sights for each system are often based not on their own actual research from practical trials but hearsay evidence from other what are considered trusted sources. To fairly compare gas with electric heating would require an extended trial with 2 identical houses in the same location with identical lifestyles for the occupants. Each house would have to be heated to the same temperature for the same period each day and the same requirements for water heating. Crucially, the test would need to be long term for a number of years so that the cost of installation, repair and maintenance can be added to give a correct overall cost of heating. This is clearly a very difficult and expensive exercise which explains perhaps why no one has ever tried it. If anyone has, then they are keeping very quiet about it, possibly because the results go against the overwhelming popular opinion that ‘gas is best’ and conceivably threaten the very profitable gas heating maintenance industry. Electric heating would be easy to install in a new house and it is this very simplicity which is its problem – nothing so simple can possibly work. This video proves it does work. None of the instrumentation shown in the video is necessary; it has been used to answer those critics who, without facts and figures, continue to say there is no viable alternative to gas. A single thermometer – Boots £15 – moved from room to room to initially set the thermostats is all that is needed.
It is hard to find performance figures for gas central heating. The output of the boiler is only a guide as to room temperatures achieved. Those who believe that ‘gas is best’ need to back up their claim, not by reference to averaged energy bills alone but the true long term cost, including care and repair and provide proof of comparable performance. It is this lack of published evidence as to real-world performance and long term cost of gas central heating that leads to suspicions of a rigged market which dismisses alternatives. Every new house invariably comes equipped with gas central heating effectively tying the owner to one system without the opportunity to choose something different.
This 5 year study proves that it requires very little heat; an average of less than 3kW, to maintain a comfortable 18-22C inside room temperature throughout the house 24 hours a day, supply all normal hot water requirements, has 100% reliability and nil maintenance costs. Running the heating continuously may seem wasteful but suits those who spend the majority of their time at home and for whom a warm house is a priority.
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