A boiler is a home system that most people won’t be able to live without.
With a boiler, you are going to be able to heat your home and keep everyone inside warm during those cold winters.
When boilers go down, pipes can freeze, and you can be left with a very bad situation and issues with your house.
Luckily, boilers are made very sturdy and can last for many years.
Two main types of boilers are electric boilers and oil boilers.
If you are unsure which of these two options would be a better fit for you, let’s look at some of the reasons one may be better than the other.
Electric Boiler vs. Oil Boiler (Which Is Better?)
Most people will agree that the oil boiler is going to be a more efficient and better overall way to heat the home.
The electric boiler tends to be effective for a smaller home, but it can leave a homeowner with much higher costs in a larger home.
Of course, there are going to be considerations about both of these boilers that will help you choose which one is best for your situation.
We are going to take a look at the pros and cons of both electric and oil boilers and break down for you the reasons the oil boiler tends to come out on top most of the time.
The first thing to understand about oil boilers is how they work.
An oil boiler is going to heat water that will then be pumped around the house to help bring heat to all areas of the home.
This is done because the oil from the tank outside your home is heated, and the heat exchanger helps to then heat the water.
Oil boilers and gas boilers work very similarly, but oil boilers tend to be more efficient than gas.
The oil boilers are highly efficient, and they are capable of heating large areas.
This is typically why an oil boiler is thought to be a better choice for a bigger home than an electric boiler.
Since the higher efficiency helps to make heating large areas quite simple, the boiler can get work done even in those difficult cold conditions.
Boilers are large machines, and they are built for power.
When efficiency is kept in mind, it also helps homeowners save quite a bit of money.
The efficiency of an oil boiler is mostly going to depend on its type and model.
You may find that the more efficient a boiler is, the more expensive it is.
Some models built today even have ways to make them more environmentally friendly as well.
2. Even Heating
Do you ever feel as though there are areas of your home that are heated much more efficiently than others?
This is very likely because you don’t have an oil boiler.
With oil boilers, the home is heated very evenly.
There are generally no issues producing the necessary heat, and the heat is dispersed quite evenly.
Even in those difficult conditions where temperatures outside are below freezing, the oil boiler is still capable of bringing in enough heat.
3. Power Outages
Although you won’t be able to get your entire boiler to function during a power outage, you should still be able to get some hot water.
This is something that should be considered for those who live in areas with frequent outages.
The fact that you can get your boiler to run and get access to that hot water is essential.
If you don’t have natural gas connections in your home, then an oil boiler can end up being a great choice to consider.
One of the downsides to the oil boiler is that it needs quite a bit of space.
You will need a separate room in your home to keep this boiler, and you need a space to keep the tank that will be filled with oil.
Most of these tanks are kept outside, and there are specific regulations about where they are put and why they are put there.
You must be very careful when installing a tank for an oil boiler.
Considering you will have a tank to deal with and gases that need to have an exhaust, as you can imagine, the installation process of an oil boiler is quite complicated.
The process is going to take professional installation, and it will probably be a relatively expensive project.
Once you get over the initial costs of the oil boiler, most find that it helps them save money over the long term.
However, you must be able to afford the initial process of getting this boiler set up and running.
Because of the various components needed to install this tank, you will end up spending quite a bit of money on an oil boiler.
One of the most important considerations when installing an oil boiler is that it is big enough to heat the space.
If the boiler is too small, you will find that it never reaches the proper temperature.
We highly recommend going with something slightly bigger than your home may need.
This leaves you with peace of mind knowing that your boiler will always be able to put up with the stress put on it over the years.
As you can see, oil boilers have more pros than they do cons.
If you can get over the initial higher pricing, you are going to get consistent and reliable performance for years to come.
Unlike an oil boiler, an electric boiler uses electricity to heat the water that is sent to heat your home.
Electric boilers, just like oil boilers, can be set up to heat the water for your dishes and your shower as well.
However, for the most part, the electric boiler is going to be used to heat the home.
Although we mentioned that the oil boiler is going to likely be the better choice for most homes, there are some very important reasons to consider an electric boiler.
Depending on your home’s needs and your space, you may find that this is indeed a better match for you.
1. Simple Installation
As you remember, with the oil boiler, the installation process is quite complicated.
You will have to have a professional vent the tank, and you will need a tank for both hot water and the oil used to fuel the burner.
This can be quite involved when it comes to installation.
With the electric models, there is very little involved in the installation, and the homeowner can be up and running in a matter of a few hours.
If you are going to attempt a project like installing a boiler in your home, you are going to want it to be the electric type.
Most of the time, when it comes to major heating and HVAC projects, we recommend calling in professionals.
There are some hidden dangers that most homeowners will not be aware of.
Choosing a licensed professional can help to keep you safe.
2. Different Sizes and Capacities Available
With an electric boiler, you are going to have plenty of choices when it comes to both the size and the capability of the model.
You will likely find that the ability to find an electric boiler in the size and style you need is quite easy.
The electric boiler is a more affordable option when it comes to upfront costs.
The electric boiler is not as expensive as an oil boiler when it is first purchased; however, it is important to also add in long-term costs.
Many people realize that electricity is getting to be more and more expensive.
As these rates continue to go up, there really is nothing that we can do about the increase in the price of electricity.
Therefore, it could get more and more expensive to heat your home.
You can combat some of this cost by installing solar panels that can help to bring in some free electricity for your home.
Again, these will have high upfront costs.
It seems as though, if you want to save money over the long term, you will need to pay a higher upfront cost.
4. Clean and Safe
An electric boiler is going to be cleaner and safer than an oil boiler.
Since you are not dealing with gas or fumes of any kind, there is less chance of injury or an issue.
The electric boilers are also considered to be quite clean.
When it comes to the environment, the electric models are not all that good, but they can be if they are used with solar panels.
Many people think that electricity is better for the environment than oil, but this is not necessarily the case.
5. Don’t Need Much Space
One of the major benefits of an electric boiler is that you won’t need nearly as much space to house the boiler itself.
As you probably remember, you will need a large tank to hold the oil for an oil burner.
However, when it comes to an electric boiler, there is no need to worry about this space.
The electric boilers are more compact units, and they will easily fit in a utility room in a home.
If you are working with smaller spaces and need something like this to be able to fit your boiler, then electric is going to be a good choice.
6. Low Maintenance
An electric boiler is also going to be lower maintenance than an oil boiler.
When it comes to upkeep, inspection, and keeping an eye on the boiler, the electric model is better.
There won’t be much that you need to do to make sure that the boiler stays operating, and it is very easy to check on your boiler’s functionality.
People also tend to be more comfortable with maintenance on an electric boiler than they are with something like an oil boiler.
As soon as oil or gas are brought into the situation, many feel as though the project becomes too difficult.
While this may or may not be true, it is another factor that should be considered when you are making your final choices.
Can Boilers Be Used as Water Heaters?
In some homes, the boiler that heats the water to heat the home is also used to heat the water that you use for bathing or washing dishes.
This is not always the case, and these situations will require some more advanced piping and wiring.
Any machine that is going to provide water to drink and provide heated water to the pipes throughout your home will need to have quite a few checks and balances in place.
Indeed, delivering the wrong type of water to your sink is a major issue that needs to be worked out prior to this type of setup being finalized.
Most people will have a separate water heater unit that is different from the boiler.
However, in certain smaller homes, it may make sense to have one system that takes care of everything all at once.
Talk to your installer when they are quoting your new boiler.
Ask them if it makes sense for you to reconfigure the way the systems are working in your home.
How Long Do Electric Boilers Last?
Most electric boilers are going to last eight to 10 years.
Of course, this number will vary a bit based on how much you use the boiler.
In milder climates where there are not as many issues with very cold weather, chances are your boiler will be under quite a bit less stress.
However, the northern climates that continue to experience very low temperatures will likely see a shorter lifespan from their boiler.
How Long Do Oil Boilers Last?
Oil boilers tend to last quite a bit longer than electric boilers.
Most oil boilers are going to last for about 15 years.
This is a good thing when it comes to the cost of oil boilers.
As we have noticed, the cost of these boilers is quite a bit higher than the electric; however, you should consider cost through the years.
With the more efficient operation and the fact that the oil boilers last longer, you may find that this is a better match after all.
The longer you can keep the oil boilers in good shape, the better your initial investment will be protected.
Some situations will not allow for you to choose your boiler type.
Sometimes, if you don’t have the proper electric hookup, you will have no choice but to go with the oil boiler.
Depending on your situation, it is important to remember that the boiler is a major purchase and will be a major part of your home’s functionality.
Do a bit of research to make sure you choose a model that is efficient and capable of getting the job done.
This is not one of the HVAC systems for your home that you are going to want to try and save money on.
In the long term, you will be glad that you purchased a quality boiler that can get you through any winter weather condition.