Oil or Gas Central Heating?


I'm buying a house which already has oil central heating although the boiler looks to be in need of replacement. I've never lived in a house with oil fired central heating so am at a bit of a loss as to what to do.
Should I take the opportunity to change to gas or should I stay with oil? The research I've done so far seems to indicate that oil fired condensing boilers are very efficient and seemingly cheaper to run than gas. What are the pros and cons of oil v gas? Any advice and information will be appreciated.
Thanks
Alan
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I've had oil for the last 14 years. I installed a very second hand Trianco which is still going strong. I love it. It does not smell and is far safer than gas. In terms of carbon monoxide my engineer says the smell would alert you long before a danger level was reached. Doesn't sound right to me but that's what he said. I guess they may be very slightly noisier than gas but it's never bothered us. The oil in the tank can be syphoned out for a variety of uses: Washing paint brushes, lighting bonfires, filling oil lamps, thinning paint, cleaning ( instead of white spirit), weedkiller etc.
The downside is that there is an ugly tank on the premises ( no, not my mother-in-law) and the plastic tanks do smell a bit outside when it gets very hot. Metal tanks are a bit unreliable in that they have a limited ife of 20 years or so and then may rust through. Oil loss is expensive and causes pollution problems although your insurance may pay to have it cleaned up, the guys would have to take a fair bit of your soil away for cleaning I believe. Also, metal tanks need painting, but they don't smell at all.
Possibly another annoyance is the bi-annual ring round to get the cheapest oil price, although my wife quite enjoys the cut and thrust of playing one company off against another. You don't have to be home when they deliver, they'll just leave a bill which shows the lorry's meter reading so you know you have what you paid for.
It is possible to have a radio device fitted to the tank which alerts you indoors when the oil level is low. Personally, I have never minded checking the sight glass now and again and have never run out.
On the boiler end I have a flame device fitted which will cut the supply of oil in the event of a fire. You don't get that with gas!
Hope this helps TonyB
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risk. This is a definition lifted from a Web page:
"Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odourless, tasteless, toxic gas that has the molecular formula CO. "
Many years ago when night watchmen sat in little huts with a coke brazier to keep them warm there were tales of such men being killed by the carbon monoxide from the coke even in the open air. It may be an old wives' tale but carbon monoxide does kill.
Cic.
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On Tue, 11 Oct 2005 21:05:27 +0000 (UTC), "TonyB"

Interesting post. I might be renting a house soon that has oil fired central heating and I don't know a thing about it.
Would you be able to give an idea of the monthly costs of running such a system (especially around this time of year)? And where does one get the oil from?
Thanks.
Jim
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