The Future of Home Heating – What to Expect

Last updated: February 2023 

It’s no secret that home heating will be seeing upgrades in the near future and if you’re wondering what that means for you, we have the answers. For home heating the future is simple; it’s all about efficiency. Gas central heating has already seen its day as the undisputed champion, but it’s time to look at greener alternatives. There are a number of ways to heat your home whilst saving on energy and keeping costs low. In fact, many people have already followed this trend towards a more economic lifestyle and have reaped the rewards. So, what does the future have to hold for home heating? It’s time to find out.

The first steps to towards a greener heating solution

Whether you’ve kitted out your house with eco-friendly lightbulbs, recycled more frequently than you used to or have made the switch to an electric car, chances are you’ve already made environmentally conscious changes to your lifestyle. Next up is your heating system. Gas central heating is one of the biggest contributors to the UK’s carbon footprint, which is why it will need to be replaced if we are to hit net zero emissions by 2050. Soon, gas heating will be banned in new builds, forcing property developers to turn to modern alternatives. This is one of the first steps towards a more economical society and it will no doubt continue until the heating in every house is powered by a greener system. 

Find out more about the efficient alternatives to gas central heating in our handy video >

What will the future of home heating look like?

Despite 2050 seeming far off, making the changes to your heating now will benefit you in the long run. In the future, the landscape of home heating will have improved dramatically, with smarter technology and better efficiency being key to this change, so it’s best to get ahead now. Several ideas have been floating around about the best way to heat our homes come the end of gas central heating, so what can we expect?

Heat pumps

Heat pumps could be one of the primary ways to heat our homes in the future. They’re already used extensively throughout Europe, however uptake has been slow in the UK. Using electricity, a heat pump transfers heat energy from one source to another, which is usually taken from the ground or the air outside and moved to your home, providing effective warmth. It’s an effective and efficient way to heat your home, however installation can be costly and time consuming, especially with ground source heat pumps which require an entire network of pipes to be installed underground.

Pros Cons
Energy efficient Installation can be difficult and expensive 
Safe (no carbon monoxide leaks) May need planning permission
Lowered carbon footprint Works overtime in extreme cold
Can be used for heating & cooling Big & bulky
Long Lifespan Not ideal for old, draughty properties
Better air quality Radiators must be larger to offset lower operating temperatures

Find out more about the efficient alternatives to gas central heating in our handy video >

Hydrogen boilers

One possible outcome in the future is hydrogen heaters. The idea here is to replace gas boilers with hydrogen ones, supplying heating in much the same way, making for a smoother transition rather than having to install a completely new system. However, installing this method of heating will be expensive and extraction of hydrogen generates carbon dioxide, so technology would have to be created to prevent it from polluting the atmosphere which will only increase costs. Uncertainty surrounds hydrogen boilers, especially since they have yet to be tested which means we won’t truly know how effective they are until they have undergone multiple tests.

Pros Cons
Energy efficient Installation is expensive
Renewable energy source Yet to be tested
Safe (no carbon monoxide leaks) Hydrogen is difficult to store
Zero carbon emissions Highly flammable & volatile
Can be used with existing gas grid Extracting hydrogen is costly and creates carbon dioxide
Easily replace old gas boilers  

Electric radiators

Electric radiators work in the same way as gas central heating – supplying warmth through convection and radiation – only they’re much more efficient. As their name suggests, they take electricity from the mains in your property and convert every watt into usable heat, making them 100% efficient at point of use. Already a mainstay in many UK homes they’re a much safer option than gas central heating. As electricity is already a staple part of our society, implementing electric radiators is an easy adjustment. Plus, many now come with a range of smart features including WiFi control and 24/7 programming, so you can seamlessly manage your energy consumption.

Pros Cons
Energy efficient Electric prices are currently higher than gas
Easy to install (DIY) Cannot heat water 
Safe (no carbon monoxide leaks)  
Already implemented in many homes  
Low maintenance  
No boiler or pipework necessary  
Precision control  
Smart technology (WiFi, voice control, weekly programming)  

Want to know more about electric radiators? Take a look at their top 5 benefits >

Infrared panels

A recent addition to the world of heating is infrared heating panels. Using infrared radiation, the warmth provided by these panels rivals the same natural warmth you feel from the sun, only without the damaging rays of ultraviolet. Instead of simply heating the air, the radiant panels produce a gentle and deeper form of heat that travels in a wave to warm objects and people directly. Infrared panels are an established modern, heating solution and many have DIY installation options, making the transition to this system simple enough for any household. 

Pros Cons
Energy efficient Can be expensive
Easy to install (DIY) Some need professional installation
Safe (no carbon monoxide leaks) Heat only travels in a direct wave
Heats on a deeper level Heat only travels in a direct wave
Ultra-slim and discreet  
Targeted heating  
Gentle on allergies (doesn’t disturb the air)  
Can help to prevent damp and fight mould  
Low maintenance  
No boiler or pipework necessary  
Precision control  
Smart technology (WiFi, voice control, weekly programming)  

Want to know more about electric radiators? Take a look at their top 5 benefits >

Shop alternatives to gas central heating

With a variety of avenues to go down, the future of home heating is an interesting one. No matter which avenue you decide to take, a low-carbon solution is the way forward, so why not get ahead and make the upgrade today? Our range of electric heaters offer 100% efficiency and can be paired with renewable energy for carbon neutral heating from start to finish. 

If you're considering switching from gas central heating and want to learn more about your options, this is the video for you!

Key learnings

  • As the UK moves towards low-carbon heating solutions, home heating will need to change. With a proposed ban on gas boilers set for 2025, there are a range of alternatives emerging.

  • Heat pumps, hydrogen boilers, electric radiators and infrared panels all sit at the forefront as efficient heating systems, with electric radiators and infrared panels coming out on top overall. 

  • Green energy is key to reducing carbon emissions, so finding a heating solution that pairs well with renewables is a must.