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What’s new in Which? magazine: October 2021

As the government plans to get rid of gas boilers, we take a look at ways to warm our homes without overheating the planet

What’s new in Which? magazine: October 2021

Which? magazine is the UK’s bestselling monthly, trusted by more than half a million subscribers.

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Which? magazine: October 2021

In this month’s Which? magazine, Karen Lawrence explains the problem with gas boilers and the future of home heating.

The UK government has a target to get to ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050. To achieve that, the gas boilers that we currently use to heat most of our homes are going to need to be phased out. That’s 85% of UK homes – around 23 million customers – that will have to switch from tried-and-trusted gas central heating to unfamiliar low-carbon systems.

Also in this month’s magazine, Daljinder Nagra reveals the UK’s most-loved cars. This year, we quizzed over 48,000 drivers who all told us how happy they are with their cars, and we ranked 383 models (by customer score) in total. As you might expect, the cars with the happiest owners also tend to do well in our tests; seven of the overall top 10 are Best Buys.

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Also in this month’s magazine:

  • The best and worst boiler brands revealed Sam Morris shares the results of our latest survey of heating engineers and boiler owners.
  • Get the best breakdown cover Ceri Stanaway reveals the breakdown companies that will get your car sorted quickly and easily, and those that could leave you stuck at the side of the road for hours.
  • The ‘healthy’ snacks full of sugar, fat and salt Snacks have had a makeover, with many promising a more nutritious alternative to crisps, cakes and chocolate, but do they live up to the hype? Shefalee Loth reveals what to watch out for.
  • The next generation of burglar alarms You can protect your home with a burglar alarm for less than £100. But should you choose a traditional alarm or go smart? Andrew Laughlin assesses your options.
  • Perfect picture and sound Martin Pratt brings you the best TVs, soundbars and TV headphones of 2021, plus the ones to avoid.

From the editor

Twelve or so years ago, we first started covering electric vehicles (EVs). At that point, EVs were still a curiosity. The tech was in its infancy, they were expensive and there was little infrastructure to support them. As we reported in April, there’s still a long way to go on the EV infrastructure front, but the electric and hybrid car markets are now sufficiently mature for several models to make our list of the UK’s most-loved cars.

With home heating, it feels like we’re roughly where we were with cars back in 2009. We know that gas boilers are terrible for the environment, but the alternatives are currently expensive, based on nascent technology, lacking the necessary infrastructure, or all three. Making them viable will be a challenge.

We also know you’ve got homes to heat this winter – and that’s likely to mean a gas boiler in the short, and even medium, term. Our annual survey of boiler owners and trusted heating engineers sorts the best brands from the worst so you can see how your boiler compares for reliability and efficiency. We’ve also grilled manufacturers about what they’re doing to develop greener technology.

Harry Rose, Editor, Which? magazine

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