I have oil fired central heating. I currently have a Worcester Bosch Heatslave Combi Boiler. That's the sort of boiler which provides heating and running hot water at the same time, so you don't need a separate hot water tank with immersion heater. If you use a lot of hot water, this type of boiler may not be for you. You can get boilers that provide 12, 18 or 25 litres per minute.
I've had my current boiler since my house was new in 1996, and only had one minor fault. This involved a leaking bearing on the fuel pump and was fixed under my maintenance contract.
The boiler has been very efficient, but is getting old and some of the parts for it are no longer manufactured. So to avoid a breakdown in the middle of winter which might not be repairable, I've decided to have a new boiler fitted this year. It's not cheap to replace a boiler, but I can't stand the thought of being without heat in the middle of a cold winter when it can be hard to find an available plumber.
I'm sticking with the Worcester Bosch brand and going with this boiler.
This is an external boiler which means I can recover the space in the kitchen for other things. I'm going for the middle range boiler with a hot water flow of 18 litres per minute. The "25" part of the 18/25 is 25 KW equivalent heating power.
I can't give any comments on other oil boilers as I have only ever used Worcester Bosch.
As for ancillary equipment, you will need a programmer and room thermostat. I also have radiator thermostats for each room.
If you have to install radiators as well, this can be a big job, depending on how your house is constructed. My current system was installed in a new build house as the house was being built. But I imagine trying to retro fit radiators into an existing house could be a significant challenge.
If you haven't already got one, you will need an oil tank. My original oil tank burst a couple of years ago and spilled 900 litres of oil into the ground. This was a major clean up operation and took a couple of months to complete. Fortunately the Insurance paid for most of it, but I had to pay for a new tank.
The new tank I got was of the double skin type which has a built in bund. They are a bit more expensive than single skin tanks, but I don't want to go through the nightmare of a burst tank again. You can get various sizes of tanks. I went for a 1400 litre tank.
This is the tank I bought.
You should do a little on line research into different boiler brands, but I found all of them seem to have good points and bad points with as many good reviews as bad ones. So the choice is not easy.
You need to be careful if you ask an installer for his recommendation for a boiler. Make sure he isn't just recommending it because he gets the biggest trade discount on that brand. Try to get a recommendation from someone you trust who has used a particular installer before. If you feel you can trust a local heating engineer to give you good advice, then that would be worth thinking about. An installer might have more experience with particular brands, so might be able to do a better or quicker job as a result.
There's a lot to think about so good luck with whatever you choose to do.
Edited by: Inchindown