Home heating: Which system is best for you?

With so many different ways of heating your home, it can be difficult to decide which option is best for you. Whether you need to replace a broken boiler or you’re looking to switch to a more environmentally-friendly solution, our quick guide to boilers and heating systems will help you find the best option for you.

Ground Source and Air Source Heat Pumps are currently the most environmentally friendly and efficient way of heating a home. The main unit is installed outdoors and it absorbs heat from the ground or air which it transfers into water*. This hot water is then distributed around your home via radiators or underfloor pipes to provide warmth, as well as to your hot water tank for your taps, showers and baths. Heat pumps might be a good option for you if you have outdoor space and you already have a water tank, or space for one.

Learn about the UK Government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme that helps homeowners to switch to low carbon heating technologies.

*Warm air systems also exist.

As the name suggests, a gas boiler uses gas to heat water and distribute it around your home’s radiators and to your hot water tank. Gas boilers will be phased out over the coming decades as a way of reducing carbon emissions from homes, but there are opportunities to replace old gas boilers with more efficient models if a gas boiler is the best option for you.

Combi boilers also use gas to heat water, however, they produce heat and hot water on demand rather than storing it in a water tank. Combi boilers are often ideal for small households that don’t require much hot water or don’t have space for a hot water tank.

Storage heaters use overnight electricity to produce and store heat to be released the following day to warm the home. Since they don’t use gas, they have less of an impact on the environment. Homes that aren’t connected to the gas network often have storage heaters. You can find more information about storage heaters on the Home Energy page.

Two air source heat pumps outside a house