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Oil fired central heating

2908 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Inchindown
As title, anyone have oil fired central heating ?

I ask as we're moving/renovating a house that's not on gas supply, so needs an oil fired system. Looking for comments and/or recommendations about boilers and stuff.
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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
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Another good thing about the Worcester oil boilers, are that all are compatible with water solar panels as well. Which may be something in future you consider.
How do you find the cost of running an oil fired boiler compared to getting a propane tank fitted to stay with gas. Is it something you have looked at.
Grumps said:
How do you find the cost of running an oil fired boiler compared to getting a propane tank fitted to stay with gas. Is it something you have looked at.
I'm not a heavy user of oil. So my 1400 litre tank would last me around 4 years or more. I only use about 250 litres per year unless we have a particularly harsh winter.I'd rather put a pullover on than turn the heating up. I also have an electric shower, so don't use a lot of hot water from the boiler either. I used to use around double that amount of oil per year, but my usage halved after I had all my doors an windows replaced.

I looked intoconverting to propane a fewyears ago when oil became very expensive.

While it turned out that propane had a higher heating value per therm, the cost of conversion was very high. The cost of a new boilerPlus you have to rent the tank from the gas company, so that's another expense. Not sure if you become tied to the company you rent thetank from.Oil has more BTUs, but propane boilers are more efficient. If I remember right, gas would have been about 20% more expensive than oil for me at the time.

It's more than 10 years since I looked into the cost of gas versus oil. so not really sure if my comparisons still apply. I know the new oil boiler I'm getting is considerably more efficient than the one it is replacing, but I have no idea how much propane fired boilers cost nor what the current cost of Propane is.

One thing to think about is most of the people I know who have propane boilers also use the gas for cooking. So that is another factor to consider when comparing costs.

Edited by: Inchindown
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