Using Oil Central Heating Boilers Advantages & Disadvantages (2023)

You can either place a tank of heating oil on the ground, or you can put it underground. The choice lies with you!

in this article

Heating systems based on oil

  • It seems like every household in the UK is connected to gas lines, however, if you observe closely, you will find that almost 4 million houses do not have gas lines.
  • In some rural regions of the UK, especially where gas grids are out of reach, heating oil seems to be a popular option. Generally, oil-fired boiler is used to make water hot, and through radiators, central heating takes place. Moreover, supply of hot water through taps is done as well.
  • Oil is different from gas in the sense that you have to either buy or rent oil, whereas, you can simply have a pipe connection of gas!
  • You can get heat-only variety as well as combination condensing oil-fired variety of boilers. In case of oil-fired combination types, water is normally kept internally for supplying through taps, which is not the case with gas central heating boilers where water gets heated instantly.
  • Yearly expense for heating water and house (excluding any charges related to installation)
  • On an average, you will have to pay around £1,355 per year
  • The extent of emission of carbon in a typical year
  • Expect around 4 or 5 tonnes of carbon to be emitted
  • Whereas the above estimates do not consider real-life fuel bills, the assumptions are pretty accurate for most 3 bedroom houses.

How does oil central heating work?

Oil fired central heating is used in ‘wet’ heating systems where an oil fired boiler heats water that then provides the central heating through radiators in your home.

The major difference between oil central heating and gas central heating is that the oil is delivered by a truck and stored in a tank. The tank can be rented from the oil supplier, which might increase the cost.

There are two types of boilers available, there is a heat only and a combination condensing oil fired boiler.

The combination boilers will also store hot water for household usage rather than instant hot water from gas boilers.

Boilers must have a minimum seasonal efficiency value of 86% according to building regulations.

Advantages of using oil central heating boiler

As oil as a fuel tends to be truly efficient, the return you get on your money is quite satisfactory. Moreover, some modern boilers can save as much as 90% energy. Additionally, when you go for replacement of your old boiler for some other new efficient model, the process is very hassle-free.

Disadvantages of using oil central heating boilers

Oil prices fluctuate, affected by high-demand, weather conditions and political instability. Also,since the supply of oil is through roads, it is very likely that you may run out and have to wait for a new delivery to rrive. However, thanks to modern technology the supplied gets notified automatically when the supply level get really low.

Oil central system installation tends to be very costly and disruptive if you have never had one installed before.

The tank also does not look very nice when it is not placed underground.

Both your oil tank and boiler require annual servicing, in order for the boiler to be able to run efficiently.

Finding awall-mounted model oil central heating boiler can be quite tough as the majority of the models arefloor standing,

Oil boilers control the flow of the hot water, in order to ensure that the water is as hot as it should be. This means that the flow rate is usually lower than the one that you get from gas combi boilers and hot-water cylinder systems.

Oil fired boilers need to be plumbed in to allow the acidic condensate liquid to drain away

Since oil is essentially a type of fossil fuel is also produces produces more carbon dioxide, which is not good for the environment.

Oil central heating repair advice

Using Oil Central Heating Boilers Advantages & Disadvantages (2)To keep your oil central heating system running as good as new, you will need to address any faults or problems you find almost immediately by hiring a professional who’s registered with the Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC). Even if you think yourself quite proficient at regular household DIY, an oil-fuelled boiler shouldn’t be tampered with unless you’re absolutely sure about what you’re doing. An annual inspection is probably the best way to ensure your boiler is running smoothly; and if it isn’t a professional will be able to:

  • Carry out the appropriate survey on your oil central heating system before starting any repairs, inspecting all parts of the system to ensure they meet OFTEC guidelines.
  • Provide all the necessary equipment, such as goggles or pipe-cutters, which allows them to carry out the task safely and efficiently.
  • Purchase all the necessary parts or fittings that need to be replaced at a reduced, wholesale price.
  • Install an exterior fuel storage tank at the rear of your property, as a way of reducing the number of oil deliveries to your home and making sure you won’t run out during spells of colder weather when trucks might not be able to make it to your home.
  • Repair or replace any small leaks or faults that have arisen due to regular wear and tear of your system without overhauling it completely – saving you time and money.
  • Have your system ‘plumbed-in’, to allow any accumulated, excess acid to drain away into the earth as condensed liquid, preventing a boiler breakdown and keeping you and your family out of harm’s way.
  • Ease the hot water flow-rate of your system by cleaning and updating any old or broken pipes and fittings, keeping your water supply piping-hot – just as you need it!

It’s most likely any of these faults will arise around the end of summertime, when you begin to turn your heating back on. After a long period of rest pipes and other fittings might have ‘seized’ – that is, contracted and expanded to the pressure of hot water at an irregular rate, resulting in a poor flow-rate and possibly a complete blockage. Services around this time of year are therefore likely to be significantly more expensive, so if you’re looking to save money you should always get a regular inspection a little earlier – somewhere between February and October is probably your best bet.

Oil Central Heating Systems Prices

Before you switch to oil-fired central heating, you should be aware of the initial costs of buying and installing oil central heating. The following oil central heating installation costs should be able to help you formulate a sensible budget and see what kind of oil-based boilers are available. The oil boiler prices listed below from represent the most expensive and cheapest models available but they do not include any labour charges and VAT.

Oil Combi-BoilerStandard Oil Boilers
Warmflow U-Series£1,80Warmflow U-Series£1,060
Grant Vortex£2,922Firebird Enviromax£2,523

Alternative options of heating

Since the cost of using oil-based heating is high, you can take a look at renewable heating options too. For instance, heat pumps and solar panels work wonders for some people. In addition, the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme aims to provide incentives to people who produce renewable heat on their own.


Related Articles

  • Combi Boiler Installation Regulations
  • All You Need To Know About Hot water Cylinders
  • What is the most cost-effective way to heat a home?
  • Green Roofs: Extensive, Semi-extensive, Intensive


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