Is Air Conditioning Cheaper Than Gas Central Heating UK?

September 14, 2023

If you’re in the UK, you know that the weather can be a bit… unpredictable. One day you’re enjoying a sunny afternoon in your garden, and the next day you’re cranking up the heating because it feels like winter again. But when it comes to staying comfortable in your home, is air conditioning the cheaper option compared to gas central heating?

Let’s dive into the details and find out!

The Battle of Comfort

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of costs, let’s talk about comfort. Air conditioning and gas central heating serve different purposes, but both are essential for maintaining a cosy home environment.

Air Conditioning: The Cool Hero

Imagine those scorching summer days when you feel like you’re melting into your couch. Air conditioning comes to the rescue, delivering a refreshing breeze that makes you forget about the sweltering heat outside. It’s like having your own personal snowstorm in the middle of July!

Gas Central Heating: The Warm Embrace

Now, picture the frosty mornings when you can see your breath indoors. Gas central heating wraps you in a warm cocoon, making those chilly days a lot more bearable. It’s like a cosy hug from your favourite blanket.

Air Conditioning: The Cool Hero AND The Warm Embrace

An Air Conditioning unit can give you both of these! Air Conditioning can provide cooling in the Summer months & efficient heating during the colder ones.

Counting the Pennies: Which One’s Cheaper?

Alright, now let’s talk about money. Which one is easier on your wallet, air conditioning, or gas central heating?

The Cost of Air Conditioning
Air conditioning units vary in terms of cost, depending on factors like the type of unit and the size of your space. On average, the cost of installing an air conditioning system in the UK can range from £1,540 to £4,500. Maintenance and running costs are generally lower than gas central heating, especially if you invest in energy-efficient models.

The Cost of Gas Central Heating

Gas central heating systems also come with installation costs, which can range from £2,500 to £5,000. However, the real expense here is the ongoing cost of gas. The price of natural gas can fluctuate, and it’s influenced by various factors, including global market conditions. So, while gas central heating can provide reliable warmth, it might hit your wallet a bit harder in the long run.

Average Costs in the UK

Now, let’s talk averages. Please keep in mind that these figures can vary based on your location and the specifics of your setup.

Air Conditioning: On average, running a new, efficient A+++ air conditioning system in the UK will produce 5.15 kWh of heating for every 1 kWh of electricity used. 
Gas Central Heating: A gas boiler running at an efficiency rate of 90% will produce 0.90kWh of heat for every 1kWh of gas used.

The Verdict

Based on the average Gas price of 10.3p per kWh and Electricity price of 34p per kWh (as of Aug 2023), 

In order to produce 100kWh of heat, a gas system could cost £11.44, whereas Air Conditioning could cost £6.61 to produce the same amount of heat.

In the end, the decision comes down to your comfort preferences and the climate in your area. Some folks even opt for both to enjoy year-round comfort.

Remember, regardless of your choice, regular maintenance and energy-efficient systems can help you save money in the long term.

Stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter, fellow UK residents! Your home comfort is worth it.

FAQs: Air Conditioning vs. Gas Central Heating

Air conditioning is designed to both heat & cool indoor spaces, while gas central heating is used for only heating.

Air conditioning uses refrigeration technology to heat & cool the air, while gas central heating uses a boiler to heat water and distribute warmth through radiators or underfloor heating.

All modern air conditioning units come with heat pump functionality, which allows them to provide both cooling and heating.

Many newer air conditioning systems in the UK are designed to be energy-efficient and can help reduce electricity bills. Look for units with high energy efficiency ratings, such as A+++.

Gas central heating can be more effective in extremely cold weather, as it can provide a consistent and powerful source of heat. Air conditioning systems may struggle if the temperature dips below -5 degrees.

Both Air conditioning systems & Gas Boiler Systems typically last around 10 to 15 years with proper maintenance.

Regular maintenance, including cleaning filters and servicing, can improve the efficiency of both systems.

Installing a programmable thermostat can help you control when and how your systems operate, reducing unnecessary energy consumption.

Yes, it’s possible to power your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems with solar panels. This can help reduce your reliance on conventional energy sources and lower your long-term operating costs.

It is not possible to use solar panels to power a Gas Boiler.

Gas Boiler systems use fossil fuels therefore not making them an environmentally friendly solution. Energy-efficient air conditioning systems are designed with environmental considerations in mind.

Consider factors such as your climate, budget, energy efficiency goals, and personal comfort preferences. Consulting with HVAC professionals can also help you make an informed decision tailored to your specific needs.

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