Older oil boiler - help!(6 Posts)
I wonder if anyone has any advice - we live in a house (1970s) with oil fired central heating, with an older heating system (90s maybe I think? There was a new burner put on the boiler a few years before we moved in). Theres no thermostat to set a temp, only an on/off or a timer. Similarly when the heating is on it heats hot water and radiators simultaneously, I cant see a way to separate the two - ideally if it would save oil I would turn on the radiators only as we dont use much of the hot water it heats (mainly use the dishwasher / electric shower etc, and theres an immersion heater if hot water is needed)
We've been here three years and been so busy with kids / work etc we havent had time to really think much about it, but it goes through so much oil trying to keep the place warm (500L every 6 weeks in winter) and now we have had a huge cut in income we are trying to work on our efficiency - ideally I would turn the hot water part off if anyone knew a way? Or theres dial on the boiler itself (which is out in a little outhouse) which you can turn with a screwdriver to which seems to control water temp (or would that also be radiators??) - what should it be set to? Sadly cant afford a new system at the min but is on the list for the future
it is probably still much cheaper to heat the water with the oil system than to use the immersion.
you need some proper controllers, no other way to sort this.
the free boiler scheme for low incomes also applies to oil - any chance of being eligible for that? A new boiler will mean a massive drop in oil use, although of course it all depends on insulation too.
ask around for a good oily engineer. they are not as common as gasmen.
you could certainly upgrade your old system with a better programmable roomstat, and a motorised valve for the cylinder. These will be fairly easy to do. They will improve comfort and economy.
If you have a hot water cylinder, you can cut the cost of heating it by adding a better timer, and insulating the cylinder and the pipes between boiler and cylinder better. Insulate all pipes outside the heated living area. Two grades of pipe lagging are available, use the thicker one if it will fit. You can have two cylinder jackets. This is inexpensive and you could do it yourself. if you are running the boiler for CH, the cost of HW is insignificant.
We have an older boiler and have just had a new burner fitted rather than replace the system. We have similar outgoings ie 500L every six weeks or so in the winter months. You have to remember that you generally pay little or nothing between April to October, its basically pay as you go, but expensive! This doesn't help however when you have had a drop in income. I know some people locally (rural) that have been anxious about selling their homes prior to winter due to oil costs and the big outlay each time.
We stagger our costs by buying on the 1st of the month, so the bill is not due to the company we use until the 15th of the following month.
Our engineer quoted us to fit a new system. He did say a burner would do the job and not to pay for a new system if we were thinking of moving in a couple of years. He checked the system and said it was 85% efficient and that a whole new system would put it around 90%-95%. He said it was certainly not the worst type of boiler installed around the seventies. In reality not worth the outlay, although the boiler would look prettier.
We have a similar problem with the heating turned off upstairs heaters come on low. With it being a gravity issue on the older boilers, the only way forward would be a completely new system which would remedy this.
Sorry I cant offer much technical advice rather more commiserations.
Oil heating is the cheapest form even with recent price rises. Don't go on a standing order scheme, watch the price and buy when it is lower. 'Spread the cost' by putting the money away each month.
Plan ahead so you don't need an emergency delivery and monitor the price. Shop around each time.
Thanks guys, glad to hear heating the hot water wont have a huge influence on costs - definitely insulation, lagging etc could do with some attention. Would love a new system with better controls etc but money doesnt allow for that at the moment sadly.
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