What Is An Electric Boiler?

When we say “electric boiler” most people will think about the under-sink boilers used to get instant hot water in single taps where pipework installation would be inconvenient. However, there are a variety of electric combi boilers available too.

The boiler itself is very simple. It can come in various shapes and forms, but typically you will see a unit that has the water running through it, being heated via a heating element, just like you would a kettle. You will sometimes see long slim units that are designed to create maximum surface area to heat the water. After the water is heated, it then passes through the rest of your home’s heating system and warms your home to a desired temperature and is available to taps instantly. Electric combi boilers work the same but they have hot water storage too. An electric boiler can be installed in most small to medium sized homes to produce both heating and domestic hot water.

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Why Go Electric?

One of the main advantages apart from having a potential to be eco-friendly, an electric boiler is smaller than an equivalent gas boiler. A compact size electric boiler will fit in your kitchen cupboard or other narrow spaces where you previously struggled to fit a gas boiler or larger models. As well as this, an electric boiler is much less likely to require any expensive maintenance costs or out-of-the-blue repairs. Most boiler types can be iffy, hence why they often come with long warranty periods. As soon as that warranty is up though, you could easily find yourself forking out hundreds on repairs, parts and check ups. With the electric combi boiler, that risk is at a minimum and you don't need to service it as much.

Price-wise, they are no different than their gas alternatives with electric boiler prices hovering around the £1,500 and £2,000 mark. The only downside to electric boilers is that the running costs are more expensive if you are still connected to the grid. Heat-only electric boilers are much cheaper than that – just around £400. The boiler installation costs for a typical electric combi can be comparable to the gas alternative but it may actually incur additional costs too because some older heating systems may require an upgrade to make sure that radiators further from the boiler can heat up in a timely manner.

Electric boilers are a popular choice in high-rise buildings because they don’t need a flue. Getting a boiler replaced on the 5th floor or above might prove a very costly job because we would have to erect scaffolding to be able to work on the flue. This is, unfortunately, completely out of reach for a large portion of people living in multi-storey apartment buildings. There is no such issue if you choose an electric combi boiler. It doesn’t need a flue and can be installed as high as on the top floor of a sky-scraper. All it needs is water supply and electric feed and you’re sorted.

Also, from the point of view of safety and maintenance, electric alternatives have an edge. You can’t control the temperature of a gas flame but you can control heat with electricity. With natural gas, the average temperature inside the flame is 1960 degrees. With such extreme temperatures, heat exchangers and other parts are subject to overheating and excessive wear. There is no such problem with an electrical heating element – electricity allows you to regulate temperature precisely, so the boiler parts never heat up more than it’s actually required. It’s very rare for an electric boiler to develop mechanical faults – something that can’t be said about gas boilers.

Unlike some other big name companies, who don’t yet install electric boilers, we at Glow Green do. If you think your home would benefit from an electric boiler, give us a call on 0330 113 9488 and speak to one of our advisors to discuss your options or and find out more information.

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What Electric Boiler Brands Are Available?

The main brands currently on the UK market are Elnur Mattira, Heatrae Sadia Electromax, Thermaflow and EK.C Elektra. Only Elnur and EK.C are wall-mounted. The rest of them are too heavy so they are floor-standing boilers. We at Glow Green are partners with Elnur Mattira, which is a reasonably-priced and well built option with variable outputs ranging from 3 to 15 and 2-year warranty on all items.

Mattira is the ideal option when a totally safe and reliable efficient central heating system is required. It is the perfect solution for properties with no access to a mains gas supply or homes which have gas boiler restrictions. The main features and benefits of an Elnur electrical boiler are:

People who’ve experienced on-demand boilers are often worried about the hot water flow rate in electric boilers. The Elnur Mattira incorporates a 50-litre pre-heated hot water cylinder allowing it to optimise hot water usage and achieve similar flow rate to gas boilers – allowing it to deliver up to 12 litres per minute. Electric boilers use electricity to heat the water in a wet central heating system the same as a gas or oil boiler. Electric storage heaters store up electricity during the off-peak electricity periods and then radiate that heat throughout your home the next day.

Mattira will work on both single phase or 3-phase power supply. It will work within 3 – 12kW output range on single phase and up to 15kW on 3-phase. It also features heating modulation that allows the advanced control board to automatically modulate heat output to match the demand and reduce wasted energy. It re-calculates consumption every 20 seconds and continuously adapts heating output, achieving close to 100% energy efficiency rate.

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The Main Features Of An Elnur Mattira Electric Boiler

Heating Modulation

The advanced control panel on the boiler will automatically control the heating output to the demand required to save energy. This modulating feature of GABARRÓN electric boilers is managed by a Smart Electronic Modulating system (SEM system) which re-calculates every 20 seconds in order to regulate the consumption depending on the real heat demand. It applies TRIAC technology combined with an external chrono-thermostat to continuously adapt the heating capacity to the heating needs of the property, thus achieving very close to 100% energy efficiency and overall savings in energy costs.

Auto Heating Regulation

Additionally, it is possible to regulate the temperature at which the boiler drives the water heating circuit depending on the outdoor temperature. This method of regulation provides complete comfort as it anticipates changes in the thermal needs of the house. The room thermostat continues to regulate the temperature inside the house. The connection of an external temperature sensor is required to activate this mode.

Digital Display

Mattira boasts an intuitive and user friendly digital display. The display constantly shows the temperature of the circulating heating water and of the domestic hot water tank (DHW) in combi boilers. Heating and DHW are independent modules, this means that we can turn off the heating and only keep the DHW or vice versa. In both displays the keyboard lock can be activated to avoid changes being made.

Compatible With Underfloor Heating

The entire range of GABARRÓN boilers can be used with hot water radiators or with underfloor heating or overhead heating anywhere. In addition, Mattira boilers can be installed in combination with other heating systems such as thermal solar panels, PV panels, heat pumps, etc…

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What’s Inside An Electric Combi Boiler?

  1. Heating elements
  2. Drain valve
  3. Temperature sensor
  4. Connection block
  5. Main contactor
  6. DHW 7 bar relief valve
  7. Insulated tank 50L
  8. Anti-electrolysis DHW hose
  9. DHW expansion vessel 3L
  10. Automatic purge
  11. DHW power electronic PCB
  12. Heating power electronic PCB
  13. Heating flow detector
  14. Heating expansion vessel 6L
  15. Circulation pump
  16. Insulated heating header tank
  17. Heating resistance
  18. Heating safety thermal limit switch
  19. ON/OFF switch
  20. Heating 3 bar relief valve
  21. Pressure gauge
  22. DHW safety thermal limit switch
  23. Main electronic PCB

Pros And Cons

The Advantages of Electric combi boilers

Built to be green. An electric boiler easily integrates within your existing central heating system. If you’re already using solar cells or solar heating panels, the boiler installation is going to be quick and straightforward.

An opportunity to go off grid completely. You can give up your gas supply and generate your own electricity meaning total independence and full control. No fossil fuels. You don’t need gas, oil or diesel to power your home.

Maximise space. Electric combi boilers are smaller and lighter than their gas counterparts, permitting boiler installation in standard kitchen cupboards or narrow spaces that are too awkward to be used for anything else.

Quiet operation. No hissing, buzzing, rumbling or other noises that are typically associated with a gas boiler. Electric boilers allow you to enjoy complete silence whenever it is running as its inner elements do not move fast in order to generate heat.

No flue. It doesn't require a chimney or flue for waste emissions, which is great for apartment blocks as you save thousands of pounds on scaffolding cost.

Legionella protection. Experts of the HVAC industry are seriously concerned about Legionella bacteria that can affect almost any heating system. Modern electric boilers, such as Elnur Mattira, are equipped with a Legionella protection system that once a week raises the water temperature to maximum to rinse out any build ups that might be forming within the boiler or pipes.

High efficiency. In many cases electric combi boilers have amazing efficiency rates of 99% compared to 89 – 95% for most gas boilers. Electric boilers don't need to burn fuel to produce heat, hence they don't lose energy through waste gases or flues.

Disadvantages of Electric combi boilers

They can be costly. It's more expensive to run unless you produce your own electricity. If you’re feeding off the grid, your heating bill will be higher.

Shorter warranty periods. Most electric boilers come with just 2 years warranty. That doesn’t mean they’re all going to break down during their 3rd year, however, you don’t get the same peace of mind as with the major boiler manufacturers that give you a 10 year warranty.

Unsuitable for bigger, older homes. Might not be suitable for older pipework requiring an upgrade to the whole wet central heating system.

Power cuts. If there are power cuts your boiler will not be able to operate, so you won’t have any heating and hot water.

Summary

A big reason given by many customers who opt for an electric in the electric or gas combi boiler debate is the environmental impact. When you opt for electric heating, you no longer burn gas in your home and release fossil fuels into the atmosphere. Of course, electricity isn’t completely clean, but it is definitely cleaner than gas boilers. Electric combi boiler efficiency rates are usually greater than for gas combi boilers, which also offers peace of mind that you are not wasting excess fuel when running your central heating and hot water.

A small electric combi boiler will fit easily into the space where a cupboard would usually be in your kitchen, which makes it both convenient and discreet too. This means freeing up loads of space in your airing cupboard, as a hot water storage cylinder can take up a large amount of space. There is also no need to install an LPG or oil tank into your grounds, once again proving its space-saving qualities. This is particularly handy if you do not have access to the mains gas, an issue for millions of UK homes.

However, electric combi boilers are expensive to run unless you are off the grid, making running costs the main sticking point when it comes to deciding between an electrical or gas combi boiler. Gas is a much cheaper fuel to use, meaning that you could end up paying a lot more for your energy bills following an electric combi boiler installation.

It is true that the electric combi boiler installation cost is cheaper than with a gas boiler, due to the price of the actual unit being cheaper. In addition, Gas Safe certificates are eliminated. You don’t have to pay for annual checks by a certified Gas Safe engineer and there is an argument to say that electric combi boilers are more reliable, so you will spend less on repairs compared to what you would a gas boiler. But the running costs will set you back more than with a gas combi boiler.

If you wish to find out more information on our services, type of electric combi boiler and other products, you can find out everything you need on our site! Through Glow Green, you get a premium service. Our experienced heating engineers will also fix anything they install within 3 years if there are any issues. We also have some of the best finance options in the UK for boilers so you don't have to worry about prices, and we ensure our customers have a positive experience.

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SMALL MONTHLY REPAYMENTS

Taking on a New Boiler Pay Monthly plan you can expect a low monthly repayment – £17 per month, £14 per month or even as little as £9.99* dependant upon your credit score and other factors. This is often offset by the monthly savings on your energy bills, a direct result of an energy efficient boiler.

FLEXIBLE PLANS

We have finance plans to suit your budget. Our plans range from 2 years right up to ten years.

0% INTEREST FREE

In addition to monthly payments, we also offer 0% interest for up to 2 years.

ZERO DEPOSIT

Unlike many of our competitors, there are absolutely no upfront payments, and zero deposit on plans between 3 and 10 years.

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Glow Green Limited is authorized and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority RN: 692433 for credit broking activities. Finance options are provided by a panel of lenders. Terms and conditions apply. Glow Green Limited acts as a credit broker and is not a lender. Glow Green receives commission from the Finance providers. Any credit is subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. Registered in England & Wales. Company Reg No: 07530174 and VAT No: 135032748. Glow Green Limited, Avalon, 5th Floor, 26-32 Oxford road, Bournemouth, BH8 8EZ.

*(9.9% APR Offer) Representative Example: Cash Price £2,100. Deposit Payable £1,327. Total Amount of Credit £773. Total Interest £425.80. Total Amount Repayable £2,525.80 Repayable by 120 monthly instalments of £9.99. Representative 9.9% APR (fixed). Rate of Interest 9.9% a year (fixed). Duration of Agreement 120 months. The approval of your application depends on your financial circumstances and borrowing history.

(0% APR Offer) Representative Example: Cash Price £2,100. Deposit Payable £0. Total Amount of Credit £2,100. Total Interest £0. Total Amount Repayable £2,100 Repayable by 24 monthly instalments of £87.50 Representative 0.00% APR (fixed). Rate of Interest 0.00% a year (fixed). Duration of Agreement 24 months. The approval of your application depends on your financial circumstances and borrowing history.

** The 12 year warranty is only available for customers who have a Worcester Bosch or Vaillant boiler supplied and fitted by Glow Green Ltd and is subject to a Glow Care 100 service contract for the 12 year period.

††Estimated figures based on installing a new A-rated condensing boiler with a programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator controls (TRVs) in a gas-heated detached home from an older boiler without controls. Savings will vary depending on the size and thermal performance of your home. Correct as at May 2019. Source: Energy Saving Trust.