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Electric Combi Boilers

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Franco50, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. Franco50

    Franco50 Member

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    I am planning a possible house selfbuild (yes, I know the economic climate is dodgy but thats another story) and as the location is rural the only options I have for a wet central heating system are oil, LPG or electric. I have used oil and LPG in the past and the prices of both can fluctuate wildly as you would expect. I have been toying with the idea of an electric combi boiler but am aware that running costs could be high but do not know exactly how high that would be (in comparison to to oil or LPG). The advantages would be no outside tank or associated pipework, no flue poking out of the roof and not having to remember to order a top-up. Does anyone actually have an electric combi (or has had one in the past)? If so how were the running costs?
  2. GasDad

    GasDad Remembered (1964-2012)

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    I didn't even know electric combi's existed until your post - so bearing that in mind a couple of points spring to mind.

    As it's a new build, do you actually need heating at all ? (wouldn't it be easy to raise insulation levels to Scandinavian standards)

    If you do need heating, what advantage does an electric combi have over storage heaters and a hot water tank with an element in it ?
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
  3. IronGiant

    IronGiant Moderator

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    I know someone who had one but I can't tell you how much it cost to run as I don't think he ever turned the heating on. There may be a clue in there but I'm not sure whether he didn't use it because he couldn't afford to or because it didn't work properly. Have you discounted underfloor heating then?

    Dave
  4. hornydragon

    hornydragon Member

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    have you looked and ground source and air source heat pumps? ideal for underfloor heating then have wood pellet or solid fuel stove in main living area for effect and extra warmth a good Solar and groundsource system topped up with elec and solid fuel for room heating with top levels of insulation is the way i would go. Electric combi.....sounds like reciepe for huge leccy bills to me a well comissioned and controlled underfloor system driven by heat pumps is a great way to go and should be better long term than elec.
  5. Franco50

    Franco50 Member

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    Thanks for the replies. GasDad I hadn't heard of them either until a couple of weeks back when I came across this example - Electromax Electric Boiler Installation - Assured Heating Scotland
    It will be a timber-frame bungalow and although I do plan to have a bit more insulation incorporated than normal, I doubt if it would reach the levels whereby I could do without heating of some sort. I hadn't really considered storage heaters TBH.
    hornydragon I have certainly read up on groundsource heat pumps and although they have great appeal, due to my strict budget the installation costs would be out of my league I'm afraid, even though there is a useful grant available I believe. Initial cost would be the reason for ruling out underfloor heating as well. I think I'm really stuck with a conventional boiler/combi and radiator set up - just what kind of fuel for the boiler is the burning issue (excuse pun please :D)

    Much as I appreciate eveyone's views, I'd really love to hear from someone who has had practical experience of an electric combi, if there is such a person out there. At least that way I'd know whether to give the idea the elbow or not. :rolleyes:
  6. IronGiant

    IronGiant Moderator

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  7. holmes

    holmes Guest

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  8. powerlec

    powerlec Member

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    electric combi's are expensive to run but are less hassle than lpg or oil and cleaner and you can always add a small wind turbine at a later date to help towards the cost then you ll be quids in. don't forget depending on what combi you opt for only some are suitable for economy tariffs with you electrical supplier *there are other alternatives with electric*
  9. jamiesdad

    jamiesdad Member

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    Why dont you have a look at thiskalirel electric heating manufacturer - Kalirel

    an ex colleague has just installed this in his house :thumbsup:

    Initial reports are good but i haven't spoken to him lately to find out how he got on over the winter

    I installed an electric combi boiler years ago and was quite pleased with it but since then my ex wife has had to replace the boiler i think for a heatstrae sadia and she feels her bills are a lot higher:(

    There are a lot of advantages eg no tanks no noisy boilers no annual maintenance bills

    Worth looking into

    Cheers
  10. Synchro

    Synchro Active Member

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    I don't have gas at my house. It currently has off peak storage heating. I am looking to put in a new heating system soon. Fairly sure it'll be a wood pellet boiler, for self reliance capabilty (as long as i don't forget to keep pellet stock levels high), green ethos (it is made from waste wood, or replanted wood) and its also very clean
  11. Knyght_byte

    Knyght_byte Member

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    Having a combi for the hot water isnt a bad idea as it saves you boosting a whole tank during the daytime if you are on economy 7 metering. However, I'd recommend you try and get Economy 10 metering put in with some storage heaters, that way you get 7 hours to heat them up at night then another 3 hours boost sometime in the day in case its very chilly weather on the cheap rate. Heating water in the day to run a full radiator system will be costly as you have lots of pipes carrying water that is not necessary.
  12. Franco50

    Franco50 Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys. Unfortunately the selfbuild plan is on hold at the moment due to a number of factors not related to this thread. If it does go ahead in the future I shall bear in mind your suggestions. :thumbsup:
  13. eric pisch

    eric pisch Member

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    If you are going for a selfbuild project with other people make sure you are in the first couple to be finished, most people loose the will to help others once there house is finished
  14. Franco50

    Franco50 Member

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    Thanks Eric - it's not a 'selfbuild' as in me doing the work myself. It's more in the line of I buy the plot and get a builder to do pretty much everything! Well that was the plan anyway.
  15. eric pisch

    eric pisch Member

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    the best way to go, I have wanted to do this for ages and as a former surveyor i know exactly how to do it, lazyness ftw :boring:

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