As of 2020 around 85% of homes in the UK use gas central heating, which leaves 15% of properties seeking alternative ways of heating, and with recent moves towards a more efficient society, this number can only increase. Currently, most homes without mains gas tend to be in rural places that are disconnected from the grid, but there are more and more modern apartments and eco-friendly properties being built without gas heating systems. So, what are your options if you decide to go against the grain and heat without gas? Well, there are several avenues to consider, with electric heating often coming out on top and for good reason too.
Why we should switch to heating without gas
Central heating has been at the heart of many of our homes for decades now. You know the drill, on a wintry morning you get up, brush your teeth and put the heating on to warm up the house, unless you live up north like me and often get told to grab a jumper to fight off the cold. The point is, we have all become accustomed to this central heating but unfortunately the outlook isn’t looking so peachy for this particular heating system. It’s no secret that gas is bad for the environment due to the harmful carbon emissions it produces and with a target to lower our emissions to net zero by 2050, gas central heating is no longer sustainable for the future. Fortunately for the planet, times are changing and we are seeing more hybrid cars on the roads, fewer single-use plastics and houses are being built without gas central heating systems, which is why now is the prime time to get ahead of the curve by making the switch to a more eco-friendly alternative.
What are the alternatives?
We have been so reliant on central that it can be hard to imagine heating our homes any other way, but there are more options than you might realise. So, let’s jump right in and look at the alternatives for heating your home without gas.
One of the more traditional methods of heating without gas is a wood-burning stove, which is often the preferred method for those living in a rural setting where wood can be easily sourced. This heating solution is cheap to run, boasts an appealing aesthetic and is carbon-neutral, however there is a downside. The soot particles generated by a wood-burning stove also contribute to the increasing levels of air pollution in our country, which is why wood-burning stoves aren’t as eco-friendly as many believe. They also do not offer the convenience of other heating solutions as you will have to buy or collect the wood yourself and may have difficulty controlling the heat output. Imagine waking up every morning and having to fetch the logs for the fire only to wait even longer for it to heat the whole house (if it can in fact heat your entire house) and then not being able to adjust the temperature. Ultimately, this is not the most practical heating solution, no matter how pretty a log fire might look in your living room.
Heat pumps have been increasing in popularity in recent years as a good alternative to heating homes without gas. A heat pump is an energy-efficient device that uses electricity to transfer thermal energy, moving heat from one source to another. For example, it can take the heat from the soil in your garden and transfer it to your home, to keep you warm or provide you with hot water. This will reduce your carbon emissions as heat pumps are also a great carbon-neutral alternative to gas central heating. However, heat pumps do require an extensive pipe system to transfer heat, so you will have to install an entirely new system which not only requires significant work to your home, it is also time-consuming, expensive and not to mention, difficult to install.
Another popular option for heating your home without gas is electric heating which is one of the more practical options for a variety of reasons. It offers much quicker and easier installation as it can be wall-mounted or free-standing with easy, plug-in and go options so you don’t have to make any huge changes to your property like you do with heat pumps. This means you can keep costs and labour to a minimum. Just like gas, electric heating can be fitted throughout a property only with fewer limitations as you can mix and match models and designs throughout your home. Unlike stoves, you remain in control with electric heating, with the ability to adjust the heat room by room for better precision so that when it comes to your daily routine, you can select the right temperature to suit your needs. This way you can avoid wasting money and energy on heating rooms you do not frequent as often and even if one heater fails the rest of them will be unaffected. Plus, modern electric heaters now come with a number of energy-saving features including WiFi control, 24/7 programming, digital thermostats, adaptive start and open window detection, for a more convenient and eco-friendly heating system.
Now really is the perfect time to ditch gas central heating in search of a more efficient, eco-friendly alternative. Whether you opt for the traditional choice of a wood-burning stove or the more modern heat pumps and electric heating solutions, heating without gas is the clear choice for a more sustainable future.