What Are the Steps of Converting My Heating System from Gas to Electric?
This is a question we’re increasingly being asked. Fuelled by a drive for clean energy, many homeowners are moving away from gas boilers and coming to us for an alternative heating solution. This isn’t just down to members of the public being more mindful of the harmful impact of greenhouse gas emissions, it’s also backed by the Government. Indeed, in support of the nation’s net-zero climate target, the Government has banned the installation of gas boilers in new builds from 2025. Although the current ban is just for new builds, it doesn’t bode well for the use of natural gas in any home appliance. So homeowners that need to upgrade an ageing boiler are increasingly looking to make the move to more environmentally-friendly electric heating systems.
Making the transition may sound daunting, but this article will guide you through the steps you need to follow:
1. Investigate the heating system you’d like to move to
There are several options open to you if you’re replacing a gas central heating system. These include:
- Electric radiators
- Ground-source heat pumps
- Air-source heat pumps
- Underfloor heating
Reviewing these options, the most straightforward and cost-effective way forward is an electric heating system, using electric radiators. These are not only easy to install, but they’re also 100% energy efficient. In terms of aesthetics, they can be combined with electric fireplaces. But just be aware that electric fireplaces won’t be sufficient to heat your home. They are nice to look at though and can really make a house feel like a home, delivering a realistic-looking living flame at the press of a button. In contrast, ground- and air-source heat pumps that draw heat from the surroundings may sound attractive options, but they’re complex systems that are prohibitively expensive to install. Finally, underfloor heating is a great option if you’re at the build stage, but it is more expensive and complex to retro-install into existing homes than alternatives such as electric radiators.
2. Choose your engineer/contractor
Once you’ve selected the heating system you’d like to use, it’s time to start down-selecting a provider. This is the beauty of an electric heating system such as a radiator – you can actually install them yourself. All you need is a plug point and a bit of DIY experience. It really can be that easy! If you do want to use an electrician then a simple online search will identify the best in your area.
If you’re replacing your hot water system with an electric boiler or going for a heat pump, you’ll need a heating engineer and an electrician. Choose your contractor carefully. Google can be great for finding local engineers, but the best way is via reviews and testimonials. Ask if you can speak to former clients and ensure the contractor has all the correct accreditations. You’ll also need to hire a gas engineer to remove the existing gas heating system. Make sure the gas engineer is gas safe registered. To check, consult the Gas Safe Register here. A good builder can take care of removing the radiators and pipework, although if you’re good at DIY this is again something you can take care of yourself.
3. Get quotes from your shortlist
Once you’ve drawn up a shortlist, it’s a good idea to obtain three quotes from professional contractors. Remember that the cheapest isn’t always the best. This is where social proof is so vital – check the reviews and if you can speak to someone who’s recently used their services. Remember that these people will be with you in your home, so make sure you’re comfortable with them. Things can go wrong, so it’s essential you can communicate easily with them, especially if you’re not happy or confused about the process. One important tip here – make sure to check whether or not your circuit board can cope with the increased draw on electricity. If so, make sure this is included in the quote.
4. Select your appliances
If you’ve selected electric radiators, it’s time to choose your specific units. If you’re using an electric heating expert, then the radiators will have been included in a quote. If you’re doing the installation yourself, then contact a good supplier. Choose one that can guide you according to your needs, in terms of radiator size and heat output. We have a handy buying guide here that offers expert tips. Also, make sure you have the extra features you need. These can include: WiFi connectivity, 24/7 programming and climate control, to name just a few. If you’re complementing your electric heating system with electric towel rails, these can be sourced from local DIY stores online. Likewise for an electric fireplace.
5. Remove your gas heating system
This is it! You’re making the change! Obviously, it’s better to change your heating system in the summer months, so the planning will need to start a few weeks or even months beforehand, to secure the best tradesmen (they tend to get booked out early, especially just before winter when people realise there’s an issue with their existing heating system). First, the gas engineer will need to remove the existing gas heating system. They’ll need to cap your gas supply and decommission your boiler. The next part of the process can require remedial plaster work and decorating, as the ugly pipework and old water-fed radiators are removed. This is where your builder and/or a decorator will come in handy. You can do this yourself, but again use a professional if you want the transition process to be as easy and straightforward as possible.
6. Install your new heating system
If you’re installing electric radiators, this is the easiest part of the process. All the units require is a power socket. They’re also compact and lightweight, so are easy to install. If you’re going all-electric, you may choose to boost your heating with underfloor heating or electric towel rails. These will require the services of an electrician. An electric boiler will definitely require installation by a qualified engineer.
7. Maintaining an electric heating system
This is the beauty of an all-electric heating system. As there’s no combustion involved, your electric heating system won’t require an annual service. You can just sit back and bask in the luxuriant ambient heat. There’ll be no noise, just silent energy efficiency. If you want even more control of your heat, you can install a ‘smart thermostat’ or ‘smart control heating system’, as they’re also known. You’ll be able to track your energy usage and plan your home heating all at the flick of a finger.
If you’re thinking of converting your home heating system from gas to electric, we hope this article has helped you understand the process and steps involved. Here at Electric Heating Expert, we have a fantastic range of electric radiators, to suit your budget and needs. Contact us on 01252 560770, or email us at email@example.com. If you’d like a fast, obligation-free expert quote then you can use our handy 2-minute self-survey form.