Among the range of essential hardware for your home, heaters have become a staple addition in just about every household. Traditionally, gas boilers were a popular choice, powering heat and warmth for your home, in a truly unprecedented manner. While energy wastage was a major concern for many users, there weren’t too many cost-effective alternatives available to them.
With the advent of technology, however, sophisticated heat pumps and a range of other devices have entered the foray. More than just cutting down on energy wastage, these bring about a host of benefits that outstrip traditional boilers in just about every way.
Our blog this week compares boilers with heat pumps, proving, ultimately, which of the two are more effective and thereby a better choice for your home.
How do boilers work?
First off, it is necessary to take a look at how each of these devices work.
Boilers generate heat, first, by boiling water. This water is then distributed through pipes to the radiators or baseboard heaters in your home. These then produce the heat that keeps your environment warm and pleasant. These have the ability of powering heat through your entire home.
How do heat pumps work?
Heat pumps, on the other hand, use electricity to transport energy from the outside environment to either heat or cool a home. This technology keep your home warm when it’s cold outside, and alternatively, maintains a cool atmosphere inside your home, during the summer.
Energy efficient homes
When choosing a heater for your home, homeowners undoubtedly look at energy efficiency as a factor to consider when making a final decision. In the hardware industry, this is usually measured through the Coefficient of Performance (COP).
When comparing traditional gas boilers and heat pumps, it has been found that most boilers have an expected efficiency of around 50%-75%. This means that in the process of providing heat for your home, between a quarter and a half of that energy is wasted. When it comes to more modern, biomass boilers, efficiency is boosted to around 90% - a promising development.
Despite this, however, the efficiency of a heat pump is estimated to be a whopping 350%, with a COP of 3.5, with the efficiency of certain heat pumps even reaching a COP of 10. Thus, while modern boilers certainly make way for more energy efficient homes compared to its predecessors, any household looking to get the most out of their investment should opt for heat pumps instead.
Energy technology worth having, is bound to cost your a fair deal.
This is true of modern heat pumps. The type of heating technology can cost homeowners more than if they opt for traditional boilers. However, in making this cost-benefit analysis, two points need to be kept in mind.
Firstly, heat pumps have a longer lifetime than boilers. For certain models, it is estimated that a boiler may need to be replaced twice during the lifetime of a single heat pump. Secondly, given the overwhelming energy-efficiency of heat pumps in comparison to even the best of biomass boilers, the initial investment is repaid over and over again through better energy practices.
Certain countries/states may even over you tax rebates for your use of heat pumps, which will help bring down the initial cost significantly. For instance, in the United Kingdom, the Renewable Heat Incentive helps users claim a significant portion of the money they spent at the outset, subject to performance indicators.
Thus, while boilers are significantly cheaper, looking a little beyond cost will help you make the best decisions for your home.
Impact on the environment
Modern boilers perform quite well when it comes to emissions and factors of environment-friendliness. This is especially so with biomass boilers. Given that these only burn wood, they basically emit the same amount of carbon dioxide that they absorb. These are, therefore, carbon neutral at best.
Heat pumps, on the other hand, don’t burn fossil fuels. While these do in fact rely on electricity to power their functions, their extreme energy efficiency basically guarantees that even in the case that such electricity is generated from a coal-powered station, carbon emissions to the environment would be minimal.
Given that electricity is now being generated through more renewable methods such as solar and wind power, even this negligible contribution is likely to reduce in the near future.
Based on the consideration set out above, it’s clear that the true energy and heating champion, are the heat pumps. If you were debating between your choices before, this blog is evidence of the best decision to help you create more energy efficient homes.
While boilers may not be all bad, especially its more modern variants, heat pumps far outrank these in just about every way.