recommendations of oil central heating boilers please?(8 Posts)
I've decided to install oil fired central heating as I live rurally and so gas isn't an option. Can anyone recommend good brands / models, and / or give any good hints and tips regarding oil central heating and hot water.
Also, I currently only have 3 radiators, so will need at least 3 more - what is a good radiator to get?
the system will need to be designed for your house - there are calculators used for this which take into account number of outside walls, room sizes and so on. The fuel you will use doesn't affect this, and operating the system is again just the same as with gas. It all depends on the controller.
you need someone registered with OFTEC (same as Gas Safe). The answer for oil boilers does seem to be 'Worcester' - make sure you get at least a 5 year warranty. Oil boilers MUST be serviced annually, this costs us about £100.
obviously you'll also need the tank somewhere outside; there are regs for positioning these and do look at access. With oil prices so low theft is much less of a problem, but consider this too.
keep an eye on oil prices and tank up when cheap - never sign up for a standing order scheme. Some villages have local co-operatives which may make oil cheaper.
now is a good time to start investigating as you will want the installation done in the spring/summer; it is very hard to get installs done over autumn/winter.
should also mention that you can have gas, i.e. LPG. This ties you to one supplier and is more expensive at the moment. But it can't be stolen!
Thanks for all that info specialsubject - very useful.
So is my next step to find a local installer registered with OFTEC - would they do all these calculations and recommend the best boiler for me, or do I do that myself and then find an installer?
I'm a bit nervous that oil prices might rise again - that's what put me off OFCH originally, but it seems they're set to stay low for a while.
yes, you want an OFTEC person. Also ask round your locality, there may well be a recommended installer and a recommended service person. As always, get quotes and expect differing opinions on boiler size, radiators etc etc. Doesn't hurt to get well informed about it all.
new heating installations or replacements need to be registered with the council, building regs and all that. The installer will do that but do check.
also think about what you want from the system controller - presumably separate timers for heating and hot water but make a note of any other functions; weekday/weekend? Holidays?
oil means you are probably rural. I would therefore recommend a system with a hot water tank and an immersion as a backup. This also means when bad weather is forecast and you may lose power from the overhead lines (trees down), you can heat your water in advance. I'm not actually that rural but this has paid off more than once.
oil prices may well rise again. All energy prices will only go up. New oil boilers are over 90% efficient, we use considerably less oil than we did before replacing the boiler. So even without the price halving in 3 years, we win out.
one minor thing; oil boilers are REALLY heavy. They also have scrap value. Be reasonable and let the installer take it away and get the scrappage. Ditto any old radiators.
We had a new Worcester oil boiler fitted just over a year ago to replace a 21-yr old Worcester that finally expired. We had a combi before, replaced it with an external system boiler so a water tank stands (ish) where the old boiler was and the new boiler is in a metal cabinet outside. There was an option to have electric bits fitted to the tank immersion-style but for us it's fine without. I had my reservations about getting a system boiler but it's fantastic. We have an enormous cast iron bath and it fills in just a few minutes, bliss!
Worcester are one of, if not the best oil boiler on the market (Grant are good too, but not such good after care I believe) We have, installed last year, a Worcester Greenstar Danesmoor 25/32 system oil boiler - very slim line and so, so quite!
If you have one installed by an Worcester accredited installer you get extra guarantee - upto 7yrs depending on the grade of the installer.
I'd question the not signing up for a standing order thing - it depends if you get a good supplier or not. My mum has a sensor that rings the supplier if the tank's running low and pays so much per month, but they adjust it according to the cost of oil and when the price of oil dropped dramatically they ran round and topped up all their customer's tanks so they could cut the monthly payment down for them all.
One thing worth mentioning if it's a rural property - my mum's is down quite a narrow riverbank track and it limited her suppliers slightly in that there's only one of their delivery trucks that can get down to the house!
yes I second Miaow - make sure your access is ok for the oil trucks - I pay quite a bit more for my oil because only the tiniest truck that a small independent firm has can get up the drive.
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