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
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
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
================I would ask your engineer for more information about the carbon monoxide
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.
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?
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