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Boiler solution for house off mains gas

(15 Posts)
inneedofaliein Wed 12-Apr-17 11:31:29

Looking for advice/experiences please.

We are extending and renovating our cottage which is off the mains gas. Previously had oil but boiler was full of problems ( spent thousand on it in just 2 years in house), and tank was not to current regs so went also. ( we also ran out of oil far more times than should have including when a week overdue with second baby and poorly toddler which is an experience I will NEVER forget).

Now in position of starting anew and wondering what solution best for us.

Family of four, like to be warm and cosy in house. Will be a three bed cottage- not huge.

Looking most favourably at LPG currently, would quite like gas cooker tho not essential as considering induction. Calor would put in an underground tank for us for c£1.5k and been quoted approx £6k for new boiler install. Oil- quote for new tank and boiler is c£9k so not hugely different.

We've also considered alternatives like wet electric, air source heat pump and biomass and so far think they probably require too much space/ outlay although we've found it a bit tricky to find reliable info on this.

Any advice gratefully received- need to make a decision asap as despite having bloody donkeys to make this decision we've left it late and now at risk of build coming to an end and having no hot water/heating to move back to confused

didireallysaythat Wed 12-Apr-17 11:48:53

You probably know this but lpg you don't own the tank so you can only have it filled by the owning company. So there is no competition for pricing. Oil you own the tank so you can ring around.

We had lpg when i was growing up and I've owned three houses with oil boilers. When they work they are great but there are often fewer engineers who can fix them (hence 2-3 weeks in snowy weather and a 6 week old). I don't know if lpg boilers are exactly the same as natural gas so easier to find someone to service and repair ?

Lucisky Wed 12-Apr-17 11:55:39

We live in a rural area, no mains gas, so we have oil. Recently had a new boiler and fully bunded oil tank as part of house refurb. We find it both economical and warm. Also we can shop around for the best oil price. I know people who have had old oil boilers which are very thirsty, but the modern ones are brilliant, and very quiet. Don't discount oil heating out of hand. I have also been told that lpg can be quite expensive. Don't know how true this is.

Tobolsk Wed 12-Apr-17 11:57:35

We have a combo wood and oil boiler. (Only use the wood part) we get through about 6 chords of wood a year so it's very cheap to run.

ibbydibby Wed 12-Apr-17 12:52:19

We had underground LPG tank "put in" 8 years ago. We had moved to a property with (knackered) oil tank which needed replacing. Plumber looking at boiler was qualified to install both lpg and oil fired boilers, and he was of opinion we would be better off with lpg. (can't remember why, now).

OP have you included the cost of digging the hole for underground tank? Our "hole" cost in region of £2k, eye wateringly expensive. There were certain requirements to fulfil, eg depth, width etc.

We have telemetry(sp?) so tank is refilled as and when we need it, no need to check. Will look up frequency/cost of refills if you want, OP?

Think there are fewer qualified engineers for LPG than oil, for servicing, but we have always managed to find one.

We don't use LPG for cooking.

WandaOver Wed 12-Apr-17 12:58:39

We have no gas and use oil. Also a multi fuel stove with back boiler which can in theory run the hot water and central heating.
There really is no reason to run out of oil. I have a simple gauge which is plugged in the kitchen so I can see at a glance when we are running low. I use boilerjuice which gives very competitive prices and my 30 year old boiler is serviced once a year.
We had a new tank a few years ago at very reasonable cost.

specialsubject Wed 12-Apr-17 14:56:45

Oil or LPG. Biomass is greenwash and eco hostile. Oil allows choice of supplier, LPG doesn't get stolen. Oil is currently cheaper per unit heat.

Shop around each time, a local independent will be cheaper than boilerjuice.

You can get alarms which tell you when oil is low, although a note in the diary to check weekly or monthly is cheaper and easier.

WandaOver Wed 12-Apr-17 15:18:44

I've had oil over 30 years and used to get good deals from local suppliers. In the last three years they've only once beaten boiler juice on price. Quite frustrating as it's often the self same company that ends up delivering confused.
Having your tank in a visible place deters theives. I was also advised never to lock tank as thieves just cut a hole. Then you need new tank as well.

LumpishAndIllogical Wed 12-Apr-17 15:34:23

I live rural. We just have economy 7 electric boiler, storage heaters and a multfuel stove for extra cold days. To be honest I feel warmer in the winter in our 3 bed cottage in rural Scotland than when we had gas central heating and lived in London. Cottage feels proper cosy, electric means we always have some heating and multifuel stove provides extra heat in winter and when there's a powercut. I know this isn't popular but electric works well for us and isn't that much different to my bill was for gas central heating. My cottage is originally nearly 3 hundred years old too! I think there is new energy efficient storage heaters out called 'german heaters' or something? Good luck finding what works for you

Whitelisbon Wed 12-Apr-17 15:40:36

We have wet electric, don't go there - costs us a fortune, and trying to find someone to fix it if there's problems with the boiler is a nightmare - the company who fitted it were the only local ones and they've closed down, so we have to get someone from over an hour's drive away.

scaryteacher Wed 12-Apr-17 15:46:07

In the UK we have oil. I have one of these www.waterfordstanley.com/stanley-cookers/stanley-cookers/cooking,-hot-water-heating/oil/brandon which does my ch/hw and cooking, so it's effectively my boiler. We do have tanks in the loft and a large hot water tank with immersion in the bathroom.

There is a condensing version, but the walls in my house are too thick to knock through for the pipe work, and it was too large as well. The Brandon I have just slotted in after my previous Stanley died, almost 20 years after I'd had it installed. We have a 2600 litre oil tank, as you get a discount for ordering over 2000 litres. I just check the sight glass every so often and order when I need to.

specialsubject Wed 12-Apr-17 17:17:22

All electric heaters have the same efficiency. Laws of physics not affected by lies in adverts.

JT05 Wed 12-Apr-17 19:05:40

I'm not advising on heat, but what ever you do maximise the insulation. It might be difficult on existing building, but make sure the insulation on the new build exceeds the minimum by 100%.
We refurbished our second home (in Scotland) and put in loads of insulation way above the requirements. Even in winter we hardly have the heating on, but do have a wood burning stove.

inneedofaliein Fri 26-May-17 23:20:47

Just wanted to come back to apologise for going MIA and say thank you for the advice!

Managed to lose my MN password and get locked out and then totally distracted by new baby and house renovation concurrent madness.

Great advice here thanks. We went for LPG. The tank should be buried any day. Our builders dug the hole for c£600 which for anyone reading this in future was way cheaper than Calor had quoted so worth shopping around.

Also- house should be very well insulated now as much if it is "new build".

Coneheadmum Sat 27-May-17 07:21:53

Love that you came back and updated, inneedofaliein. Was wondering. Have same issue coming up. Thanks.

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