First Published: February 12, 2024. Updated: February 12, 2024
Gas vs Solar Panels – Which is best for your home?
Deciding between natural gas and solar energy for your home heating and hot water needs can be a challenge.
At Boilerhut, we’re dedicated to helping you navigate through your options to find the best fit for your lifestyle and home. This guide will explore the advantages and disadvantages of natural gas boilers and solar-powered systems.
We’ll aim to simplify your decision-making process.
Understanding Natural Gas
Natural gas, primarily methane, is a widely used fuel source extracted from underground deposits. It’s transported and refined into its usable forms: methane, propane, and butane. It is then distributed for residential use. Despite being a non-renewable resource, natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel, offering a more environmentally friendly option than oil and coal.
Advantages of Natural Gas Boilers:
- High Efficiency: Gas boilers can achieve efficiency ratings up to 98% reducing heating costs.
- Environmental Impact: Emits 30-45% less CO2 than oil and coal.
- Maintenance: Widely used across the UK. Makes maintenance and repairs straightforward with readily available Gas Safe registered engineers.
- Initial Cost: Installation may be pricier than electric options due to necessary pipework.
- Flammability: Requires careful management by qualified professionals.
- Sustainability: As a fossil fuel, it’s less eco-friendly than renewable alternatives.
Solar Energy Explained
Solar energy harnesses the sun’s power through panels installed on rooftops or solar farms. These panels convert sunlight into electricity, even on cloudy days, though efficiency improves with direct sunlight. The transition from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) used in homes involves an inverter. This makes solar energy a renewable and environmentally friendly option.
Benefits of Solar Energy:
- Renewable: Offers a clean power source that reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
- Cost Savings: Reduces reliance on external energy providers, potentially lowering electricity bills.
- Low Maintenance: Solar systems generally require minimal upkeep and add value to your property.
- Upfront Investment: Initial costs for solar panels and necessary equipment like electric boilers can be significant.
- Partial Solution: Solar energy alone will not fully cover heating needs.
- Installation: Can be complex, especially on older properties, and not all roofs are suitable.
Making an Informed Choice
- Home Size and Energy Requirements: Consider your property’s size and energy demands. While solar panels offer a green solution, they may not fully meet the heating needs of larger homes. Instead, you will require supplementary heating systems. Conversely, natural gas boilers are versatile, catering to various property sizes with less dependency on external conditions.
- Cost Implications: Though initially more expensive, solar panels offer long-term savings and potential government incentives. Natural gas boilers have lower upfront costs but are subject to fluctuating energy prices, potentially affecting long-term expenses.
- Installation Considerations: Solar panel installation can be intricate, requiring careful planning and potential modifications to older homes. As prevalent in the UK, natural gas systems typically involve simpler installation processes by Gas Safe registered engineers.
At Boilerhut, we’re committed to providing top-tier advice and solutions for your heating needs. Whether you’re leaning towards the eco-friendly benefits of solar energy or the reliability of natural gas, our experts are here to guide you.
Explore our range of heating options, from efficient gas boilers to innovative solar panels, and find the perfect system for your home.
If it were up to us?
If it were up to us and money was no object, we suggest both a high-efficiency premium gas or LPG boiler and PV solar. This would save you money on your heating bill whilst the technology catches up for other solutions like heat pumps (or the price comes down).
Solar panels can reduce electricity bills, especially when paired with a battery storage unit.
It is worth knowing that electricity production peaks in summer and heating usage peaks in winter. Solar panels can rarely supplement your heating system.
Why choose Boilerhut?
Whether you’re after a new gas boiler or would like solar panels we’re here to help? Or maybe you’d like both? We’re here to help. But why choose Boilerhut:
- Next day boiler installations.
- Quick and efficient premium solar solutions.
- Instant, no-obligation quote in less than 1 minute.
- Finance options available for new boilers and central heating installation.
- 10 to 12-year warranty on boilers.
- ‘Excellent’ 5* customer satisfaction on Trustpilot.
- Fixed prices. No hidden extras.
- Get up to three quotes for different-tier boilers.