Electric radiators vs Gas Radiators – Pros and cons of going electric

We are accredited by NICEIC Commercial Installer NICEIC Domestic Installer
Electric vs Gas Radiators

Electric radiators vs gas radiators; which is better? This is a common question people ask when choosing the best way to heat their homes.

Gas heaters are the most common form of heating in the UK, with almost 80% of homes currently using them. This is because, for the longest time, gas was considered the most economical way of heating a property.

Times are changing, though, with the focus now not only on the cheapest option but also on the most energy-efficient one.

Electric radiators, on the other hand, have evolved from the old storage and portable plug-in heaters, retaining all of their advantages and none of the drawbacks.

If you are refurbishing your home or are thinking about replacing your gas heating, it may be worth your time to look into electric radiators and consider the pros and cons of going electric. Read on to find out more:


Both electric radiators and gas radiators work to heat your property, but the way they do it is very different. In the simplest terms:

  • A gas radiator uses natural gas as fuel to generate heat for central heating and the hot water systems, whereas
  • An electric radiator converts electricity into heat instead of burning fossil fuels such as natural gas.

There are a few key differences between electric radiators and gas radiators that could determine which system is most suitable for your home.

As mentioned earlier, gas radiators usually burn fuel, such as natural gas, LPG, or oil, to heat water in a boiler. This heated water is then circulated through radiators or pipes that warm up and heat the air inside the house.

Electrical heating systems, on the other hand, are incredibly versatile, can be used for both air and water products, and are becoming a popular alternative to gas heaters.

Although gas heaters heat your home quicker when compared to electric radiators, they are not the most efficient systems.

They contribute to global warming and climate change, which are pressing issues all over the world, due to which no new builds will be allowed to use gas or oil boilers in the UK by 2025.

When something goes wrong or the system breaks down, gas radiators can be costly to repair and maintain. In addition to that, they require regular upkeep and maintenance to ensure they remain safe and in optimal working order.


Since a major chunk of the energy used in UK households goes towards heating, it is extremely important that these systems not only help reduce costs but are also energy-efficient and environment-friendly.

Modern electric radiators are more effective, efficient, and a great alternative to conventional gas heating systems.


Here are all the reasons why you should consider going electric:

Easier and cheaper to install

Compared to gas heaters that require pipes, vents, and ducts, electrical heating systems are easier and much cheaper to install.

Since they don’t require any pipework, there are no planning permissions and restrictions. All that is needed is a simple connection to the electric circuit.

Gas heater installation is not only more disruptive but it can also take several weeks to fit new pipes and a radiator.

Safer and quieter

Since electric heaters don’t require burning any fuel to generate heat, they are generally safer than gas heaters. This eliminates the risk of explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning, and since there are no water-filled pipes, there is a reduced risk of property damage due to leakages and pipe bursts.

In addition to that, electric systems are also quieter when compared to gas systems that make quite a bit of noise due to the hot water rushing through the pipes.

Energy-efficient and more eco-friendly

Electric heating is nearly 100% efficient since it converts almost all the energy into heat, unlike gas heaters.

They also produce no carbon emissions and are an eco-friendly heating solution when powered by electricity generated from renewable sources such as sunlight (solar panels) and wind (wind turbines).

Therefore, by going electric, you will be playing your part in protecting the world that we live in!

More value

Although gas is cheaper to run on a daily basis as compared to electricity, the system’s true cost is determined by its installation, maintenance, and running expenses, along with the lifespan of the system.

That being said, electric heating is cheaper to install, does not require as much maintenance, and lasts much longer than a gas radiator.

It is also highly efficient as all the electricity you pay for turns into usable heat. There is also no heat loss between the power source and heat output.

More control

Modern electric heating systems have smart heating controls that offer added convenience and help manage your heating more efficiently. They can help monitor consumption and cut annual heating bills by up to 30%!

These smart controls are wi-fi enabled, which is a feature that comes as standard with many modern electric heaters and allows them to be controlled from anywhere in the world.

With gas systems, you cannot separately control the heating in different areas of the house, which limits how much energy you can save.


As discussed above, electric radiators have several advantages over gas heaters. There are, however, a few drawbacks as well and it all comes down to whether the pros outweigh the cons.

Higher cost of electricity

Although some electric heaters boast nearly 100% efficiency, the rising cost of electricity may make electric heating a costly option.

This can be especially concerning if you live in a colder area and need to utilise the heating more often. However, if you consider the overall cost of the system and how it can benefit you in the long-run, electric heaters are surely a good option.

Slower heating

Compared to gas central heating, electric heaters take a lot longer to heat up your home as it takes longer for the system to get to its full capacity.

This is because an electric system has to work from 0 to 100%, whereas gas is already at 100% when it is turned on and ready to heat your home.


Now that we’ve discussed what electric radiators and gas radiators are, and the pros and cons of going electric, it is time to decide which out of the two is better.

In terms of the initial cost, a gas radiator will almost always be more expensive with a typical one costing around £1,100. Then there are the installation costs, which are also much less expensive for electric radiators since no disruptive work and piping are involved.

When it comes to the running costs, gas has always been the cheaper option and remains so. If you opt for an electric radiator, your electricity consumption is bound to increase and so are your monthly bills.

However, it is important to take into account the current energy crisis in the UK pushing up gas prices, which could certainly affect gas radiators and their running costs.

Moving on to the maintenance and upkeep of the systems, while electric radiators are more expensive to run, they are likely to result in much lower maintenance bills.

Their biggest advantage is that since electric heaters do not have any moving parts that are likely to break, they require less maintenance than gas radiators. The latter is also trickier to install and it may take several weeks to fit new pipes and radiators.

If environment-friendliness is your deciding factor, electric radiators are the clear winner. They do not produce any carbon emissions as they heat your home, compared to gas radiators that burn fossil fuels, emitting harmful CO2 into the air.

In terms of safety, electric radiators take the cake as well since there is no inherent risk of carbon monoxide leakage and poisoning.

If you want quick heating, gas radiators are your go-to heating system. They produce maximum heat from the moment they are switched on and heat the home much faster than an electric radiator.

When it comes to choosing the best system for your home, it all comes down to what you value more. Electric radiators will help lower your carbon footprint – which is something the UK government is also encouraging – are more low maintenance, easier to install, and much safer than gas radiators.


Switching from gas to electric heating requires removing your existing gas heating system, which includes the gas boiler, pipes, and radiator.

This can be a time-consuming process, but if you are dedicated to upgrading to a more energy-efficient and eco-friendly heating solution, it is well worth it.

It is recommended to have the system removed by a Gas Safe registered engineer who can safely carry out the job.

The total cost for this will depend on several factors such as the size of your home, the age of the gas boiler, and how many pipes and radiators there are.

With that out of the way, you can move on to installing the new electric heating into your home, which should also be carried out by a professional electrician.

With straightforward installation, there is no need to fit pipes and the professional can simply connect the electric heaters to the mains. The system can be fitted throughout the property with several designs available to fit all types of interiors.

Electric heaters are much easier to install and require very little maintenance, and making the switch from gas heaters is much easier than you think.


Here are a few ways you can use electric heating in the most efficient manner possible, saving as much in terms of energy and costs:

Insulate your home

A well-insulated home can retain heat better and maintain the temperature inside without having to exert too much on the electric heater.

The basic step to insulting your home is by preventing cold draughts from entering through the doors and windows, which can cause the temperature to drop and the system to work twice as hard to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Use a smart heating thermostat

Smart heating controls are, as the name suggests, smarter and more intelligent than traditional and digital controls since they connect to both the boiler as well as the internet, and this connectivity enables the heating system to be a part of a smart home solution.

They allow you to control and schedule the heating to save you money on energy costs and lower your heating system’s adverse effects on the environment.

You can regulate your heating remotely via the internet using either an app or a website. For instance, you can use the controls to turn on the heater in your home when you’re on your way back home from work, or you can turn it off when you’re out and realise you accidentally left it on.

Zone your heating

Allocating your electric heater to specific zones around the house is a great way to improve the overall efficiency of the system.

Instead of increasing or decreasing the temperature of the entire house together, you can simply adjust it in specific areas depending on your needs.

For example, if you want to increase the temperature of your bedroom, you can do so without increasing the temperature around the entire house. This way, you can keep down your energy consumption and minimise waste.

Generate your own electricity

Powering your electric radiator with renewable energy ensures zero carbon emissions and is the ideal way to use these energy-efficient systems.

Although the UK government has put more focus on clean energy, with most of the energy supplied to you by the grid probably coming from solar panels or wind turbines, the demand far exceeds the supply.

For that, the best option is to generate your own renewable energy off-grid using natural resources such as the sun and wind, all of which are 100% clean and naturally replenished.

Install battery storage systems

Battery storage systems are devices that store energy for later use and are the heart of most off-grid systems.

When used in conjunction with solar panels or wind turbines, they can store the excess energy produced during the day, or when it is windy, to be used whenever you need it.

They help you store clean and green energy produced by renewable energy sources so that you don’t have to rely on the grid at all.

What’s great about these systems is that in addition to being completely independent and allowing you to be 100% off-grid, you can make money by selling the clean energy stored in these batteries to the grid as part of the Government’s Smart Export Guarantee (SEG).

Matching radiators to heat pumps

Heat pumps are a viable way to transform the way we heat our properties. They are a low-carbon, modern heating technology that absorbs latent heat from the air outside and transfers it to your home to increase the temperature inside.

Paired with complimentary electric radiators or underfloor heating, they form an efficient and cohesive heating system to warm your home during the colder months.

Air source heat pumps work somewhat like a refrigerator, but in reverse, by taking in the heat from the outside air and transforming it into a liquid refrigerant at a low temperature.

The pump uses electricity to increase the temperature of the liquid by compressing it, which condenses to release its stored heat.

The heat is then sent to the radiators or underfloor heating (UFH) to heat your home, and the remainder can be stored in the hot water cylinder.


Calder Electrical has been providing electrical services to residential, commercial, and industrial properties for over 40 years and we are specialists in all aspects of electrical installations, maintenance, testing, and energy-saving practices.

Our energy-saving services include:

Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 3001 for more information on energy-saving heating systems and a detailed discussion on how you can switch from gas heaters to more energy-efficient electric ones.