Dual Heating System

(4 Posts)
PigletJohn Sun 27-Jan-13 11:33:43

Wood gives much less heat than coal or smokeless, and needs more feeding, so I'd suggest a multifuel. Even a small fire will heat a hot water cylinder. Look at the heat output of the stove in kW and compare it to the calculated power required of your oil boiler to see if it is anywhere near big enough to heat the house in cold weather. More likely it will be useful for HW and mild weather.

Indith Sun 27-Jan-13 10:29:30

We don't have oil, just solid fuel. It is a very good system, there is a bit of work but not much. At the start of the day we empty the ash pan and fill the burner with fuel for the day. At the end of the day we add a bit of fuel to keep the fire in overnight and damp it down for the night. Otherwise it takes care of itself, it heats the hot water then when the tank is hot the heating pump comes on. Hot water tank cools the heating pup turns off until the tank is hot again so basically it just flicks on and off during the course of the day and keeps your home at a stable temperature. Of course while the radiators are not on the stove is still heating the home as it radiates loads of heat.

I like how there is no waste, you are heating your home and your water using the same fuel. It is great in the winter when it is on all the time, it is less great in warmer months when you have to light it every day to do a fast burn to get your water for the day.

Having oil too means that during the spring and warmer autumn weeks you don't have to have the stove on, that is when it is a pain in the neck because if you have it on all day it is too hot so you have to light it every evening for your hot water and that is more work and uses more fuel so if you had a dual system you could choose if you wanted a fire to sit in front of that night or not. You culd also go away in the winter without worrying about the pipes freezing because you;d have a normal heating system you could put on a timer. I think i would work well as although oil is expensive, coal is not (we pay £14 a bag for smokeless fuel, coal is £10 a bag. We use 20 bags in around 6 weeks in winter proper, less during the autumn and spring) so you could use exclusively your stove during winter then just switch to oil fo the months when you want a bit of heat in the evenings but not all the time so you wouldn't use much oil at all.

So it is very effective. I'm not sure how much it would cost to put in, our stove cost around £3k for the stove, new heating pump and moving some of the pipes but the boiler, pipework etc was already in place.

No direct experience, but we live in a new build with a gas boiler for the heating and solar panels for the hot water, plus a back up immersion heater if there is insufficient solar gain (which is rare). Would something like that be of interest?

AllTerrainMammy Sat 26-Jan-13 18:22:53

We are hoping to extend our house this year and would be looking to replace/adapt the current oil central heating system. A neighbour of ours told us that they had oil central heating but also a wood burning stove that could also heat the radiators and water if they need it to.

We will be putting a new multifuel stove in the new extension and considered the above as an option but don't know anything about it or even what it's called? Does anyone have any experience of heating a home this way? Is it effective? Expensive to install?

Many thanks in advance!

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