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Home Heating Systems

The Best Heating for Your Home

By Liz Ransome

Article 1 of 8

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The Best Heating for Your Home

Wondering what the best heating system is for your home? From gas to solar panels, we give you an overview of the various heating systems available - including who they're right for.

How you heat your home is extremely important. Not only will the best heating system keep you cosy in winter, it will also help to keep your energy bills as low as possible. 

But with so many different types of home heating systems available, which is best for your home? Whether you've inherited an LPG or oil central heating system, or you're wondering how you can cut your gas bills, we can help you find out more about your home heating system.

Read on to find out more about the different heating systems available for your home, including renewable energy.

Using less energy is the easiest way to cut your bills - see our guide to using less electricity.

Central heating

If your house is connected to the national gas grid, a gas-fired central heating system is usually the cheapest option for heating your home. 

You can save money on long-term running costs by choosing a reliable, efficient boiler when your existing model packs up. To find out which boilers come from Which? recommended boiler brands, and which we think you should avoid, see our gas boiler reviews. 

A quick and easy way to cut your energy bills is to use your heating controls to minimise the amount of energy you use. For some simple, easy tips on how to save money, see our guide to boiler controls and thermostats

Wood heating systems

An alternative to using gas, electricity, oil or LPG to heat your home is to install a wood heating system. These burn organic material, such as logs or wood pellets, to provide heat and hot water.

Most people buy a wood burning stove to help make their living room more cosy. But you can also connect the stove to a boiler to heat your hot water and the rest of your home.

To find out more about wood burners, including whether or not they can really help cut your energy bill, see our detailed guide to wood burning stoves.

Not on the gas grid?

If you're one of the millions of households in the UK who are not connected to the gas grid, then click the links to find out more about other traditional heating systems:

Otherwise keep reading to find out more about renewable energy.

Cost of renewable energy systems

There are a number of ways you can generate your own energy at home from low or zero carbon microgeneration technology. 

Making your own energy, instead of using mains gas and electricity, reduces your carbon footprint. It also means you’re less dependent on sources of energy that are increasingly subject to global demand, and are likely to have high and volatile prices in future.

If you're considering installing microgeneration technology in your home, it’s important to take a long-term view. A renewable heating system may be expensive to install, but over time it can pay its way through the savings you'll make on your energy bills. 

You may also be able to claim regular payments through the government's Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI) scheme. The RHI provides money to households that use certain renewable-energy technologies to heat their homes. To find out more, see our expert guide to the Renewable Heating Incentive.

Choosing a renewable-energy heating system

It's important your property is suitable for the technology you choose. For example, even if you want to install solar panels to heat your hot water, you may not be able to, as not all properties have a suitable south-facing roof. So make sure you do your homework.

Renewable-energy heating systems include:

Generating your own electricity 

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels generate electricity, while solar thermal panels heat water. You can now get cashback on solar PV panels thanks to the Feed-in Tariff (FIT). Although the amount you get has decreased over the years. 

FIT cashback applies to other electricity-generating technologies too, such as wind and hydropower, but not to technologies generating heat, such as solar thermal panels. 

For more information on generating your own electricity, see our guides to installing solar panels and wind turbines at home. 

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