LPG Boiler Guide: Pros & Cons
Are you considering installing an LPG gas boiler?
One of the most important decisions you'll make for your home is investing in a gas boiler. If you’ve done your research, you will know that there are many different makes, models and manufacturers producing boilers for the UK market, and each has its own pros and cons. If you choose to install an LPG boiler, it's important to understand the benefits and limitations first before deciding.
Gas and oil boilers are still popular choices with homeowners, so don't worry about being left high and dry in 2025, when restrictions on gas boilers come into force. There are no plans to phase out these heat sources during the transition period!
In this guide, we'll look at the pros and cons of using LPG boilers so that you can determine if they are right for you.
What is Liquid petroleum gas (LPG)?
LPG is a versatile fuel for heating and cooking and is widely used in industry. It consists primarily of hydrophobic hydrocarbons from natural resources such as oil extraction or refining.
How does an LPG boiler work?
An LPG boiler works by burning to create energy to heat the water needed for central heating and domestic needs, i.e., bathing, cooking etc. The main difference between an LPG boiler and a regular boiler is that an LPG boiler uses Liquefied Petroleum Gas instead of natural gas or oil. This means that an LPG boiler is not connected to mains gas and will require a separate storage tank (safely sited) for the fuel. Although it may seem an inconvenience, it does have several benefits.
Pros and cons of LPG Boilers.
Hopefully, we will be able to explain the advantages of LPG boilers (and drawbacks), so anyone is able to make an informed decision between LPG and natural gas.
Pros - Gas boilers
When looking for a cheaper alternative to oil or natural gas, LPG does tend to be cheaper.
• Low operating costs.
We all want cheaper energy and low operating costs to combat volatile fuel prices. Unlike other energy sources, such as coal or imported gas, which are subject to significant price instabilities on a regular basis, LPG can be the alternative.
• Reduce your carbon footprint.
LPG boilers are a route to reducing your home's carbon footprint as you will be using cleaner energy. The government is looking to incentivise households with tax breaks and other measures in the coming years!
The Eco-friendly community might be happy to learn that LPG has a global warming potential of zero (according to the IPCC). Climate gurus say that LPG, in particular, doesn’t contribute to global warming! Far better for the environment than natural gas.
Another advantage of LPG gas is that it is cheaper than using an electrical heating system. It’s plentiful and burns with low emissions. This means that it is much better for the environment than traditional fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
• Highly efficient.
In addition, LPG boilers are highly efficient, using less fuel and producing fewer carbon emissions than other types of fuel. Consequently, these have become an excellent choice for those who are looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
Finally, LPG spillages are not toxic, making them safe fuels to use. LPG boilers are generally more eco-friendly than natural gas boiler because they produce 20% fewer greenhouse gases as it doesn’t need fossil fuels like coal or natural gas. Plus, LPG boilers tend to be more compact (in size), a big advantage if space is at a premium!
Cons - LPG boilers
LPG is an excellent alternative to traditional fossil fuels but has its drawbacks.
It is only recommended for homes that are ‘off grid’ (more remote/secluded properties) and is more expensive than natural gas but the payoff is it’s more environmentally friendly than natural gas! It has to be delivered, and you will need to have a storage facility (tank) on your property. Plus, you will need to calculate how long a full LPG storage tank lasts to avoid running out. Usually, to prevent running out completely, they come fitted with a tank sensor or as an optional extra
• Safe storage.
The main disadvantage of LPG is that you must keep the tank pressurised and stored securely on your property. To maintain the tank pressure a sturdy pipeline that complies with regulations is required.
The cost of LPG, like many other commodities, has steadily increased over the years, making it less competitive from a price perspective. This trend will likely continue, making LPG increasingly more expensive for many consumers.
Delivery of LPG can sometimes cause problems as it relies on transportation by road, which means that there may be occasions when you run out of fuel before the next delivery. However, with technological advancement (sensors etc.), the supplier is automatically notified if fuel levels are low. Hopefully, your fuel stock will be replenished before it is completely exhausted.
• Installation cost.
LPG storage tanks are usually rented, with an annual rental fee between £60 - £90.
• Regular servicing.
Like all boilers, regular servicing will ensure the longevity of a boiler and ensure it’s running economically and safely. This is why regular servicing of LPG boilers is essential for peak performance!
• UK Gas boiler ban in 2025.
You probably know that the UK has made it a legal requirement to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Under current plans, there's no need to ditch your existing oil or gas boiler by 2025. It only applies to ‘new builds. Any future upgrades to a gas boiler beyond 2025 should be made with low/zero emissions in mind!
When you need to install a gas boiler, make sure the installer is a certified and qualified gas-safe registered company. Call serviceteam anytime if you need to install a new boiler or upgrade (subject to conditions) an existing one at home or the office today!