As we approach the brisk winter months the longstanding debate between central heating vs electric heaters will likely rage on from household to household.

Around 95% of UK homes have gas central heating, and with good reason: it's incredibly cost-effective, easy to operate, and reliable.

However, as the world moves forward, we're seeing more and more people turning to modern electric heating options. 

But the big question remains, which is best? Well, here we take a look at the pros and cons as per DIY experts HSS Pro Service.

The pros and cons of gas central heating


1. Energy efficiency: Modern boilers must be over 90% more efficient than old boilers - this means that almost all of the fuel is converted into heat, minimising wasted energy. 

The efficiency of a boiler is determined by how much fuel the boiler can turn into usable energy at any given time. Higher efficiency means more savings for you over time and less money spent on operating costs. 

2. Consistent control over temperature: Smart controls mean you can adjust temperatures in each room during the coldest hours of the day. You can set up a smart thermostat to automatically keep your home or workplace at a comfortable temperature. 

3. Long lasting: In general, modern gas central heating systems can last anywhere between 20-30 years. They are easy to maintain and can be checked annually by a licensed technician for any faults or breakdowns.


1. High upfront costs: Although gas prices are generally lower than electric, the upfront costs of buying a boiler and paying for professional installation are high. There are also high charges for any work that may need to be carried out.

2. Safety hazards: Carbon monoxide leaks can occur from gas heating, which is why regular checks are advised (as well as the installation of alarms). 

3. Carbon net zero: By 2050, the UK aims to reach Net Zero carbon emissions. As part of this plan, gas boilers will likely not be allowed in new properties starting in 2025 to reach an 80% carbon reduction target.

This makes swapping gas heating for electric heating beneficial and ensures your premise is future-proof.

The pros and cons of electric heaters:


1. Cheap and effective: If you only need to heat one or two rooms in your home, electric radiators can be cost-effective. In comparison to other heating methods like gas, oil, or biomass, electric heating is significantly easier and cheaper to install. 

2. Smart features: Modern electric heaters include a range of smart features to maximise usage. Some features include flexible programming for automated heat whenever it suits you best and energy monitors to give you visibility of energy consumption and save costs.

3. Safety: Electric heaters do not produce carbon monoxide like gas heaters do and are generally cleaner for the environment. 


1. Can be inefficient: Electric heaters are a great option for heating small spaces, but they can be less efficient for whole-building heating. Electric heaters use a lot more energy than gas or oil furnaces, and they don't provide the same kind of continuous heat that you get from other types of heating.

2. Energy costs: In the UK, electricity costs more than three times the cost of gas. This means that you could end up paying more on energy bills if you rely on electric heaters too often. 

3. Time-consuming: Most electric heaters take a significant amount of time to power up and begin heating a room, this can consume more energy than central heating which quite quickly begins to radiate heat.

Electric heating is cheaper to install than gas, has no maintenance rates and lasts for up to 50% longer than the average gas boiler. It is also 100% efficient, meaning all the electricity you use and pay for converts into heat.

However, gas boilers will heat your home much more quickly than electric boilers and radiators.

There is no definitive 'best' option, so weigh up the above pros and cons and work out for yourself.