About heating Oil Boilers and new legislation
Under new legislation, today’s heating oil boilers are more energy efficient and need to meet stringent air quality controls in the UK.
Due to far reaching advances, heating technology in new heating oil boilers are more energy efficient. Boilers previously installed or now coming to the end of their normal working life are subject to new legislation. Replacing a 15 year old heating oil boiler with a modern highly efficient model, could save you over 20% on your existing fuel bills.
What is an oil boiler?
Oil boilers require a stored supply of oil to generate heat or/and hot water for properties off the gas grid. The main difference between oil boilers and gas boilers is you need an heating oil tank to store your delivered oil. Heating Oil boilers function in the same way as other fuel type boilers. Once the oil is set alight, a heat exchanger warms up the water supply, This can be either mains pipe or storage tank. A standard oil tank can heat a house for up to six to nine months.
Why do people choose oil boilers over gas?
It is estimated there are around 4 million homes in the UK that do not have access to gas or electricity. A suitable alternative for people living in rural areas is to install an oil boiler. Oil furnaces are one of the most cost-effective methods for home heating, although the price of fuel can fluctuate.
So, what are the main reasons people choose oil over gas?
Heating Oil is widespread in places where natural gas isn’t readily available. Maybe you don’t have gas in your neighbourhood, or maybe your house isn’t connected to the gas grid. Although, with oil, availability is not an issue. If there is an oil provider nearby, you can get your oil delivered to you and stored within your oil tank.
The boilers are the more ‘environmentally friendly option’ because heating oil is now mixed with biodiesel. Oil mixed with biodiesel burns much cleaner than the traditional oil.
Once you get your oil delivered to your storage tank, you don’t have to depend on anything else for your heating.
Maintenance of your heating oil boiler
Regular boiler maintenance should be carried out at least once a year. The filter on a warm air unit should be regularly cleaned. Always use engineers that provide servicing or regular maintenance work contracts are registered with OFTEC.
Replace an older heating oil boiler under current legislation
Older boilers are only about 50-60% efficient and should be replaced. Modern conventional models have an efficiency of70-80%. Condensing boilers are much higher at about 90% efficient. Thes do cost more more than a conventional boiler. However the savings in fuel bills will give a payback period of 3-6 years.
New ‘high efficiency’ gas boilers, for example, those with thermal capacity heat exchangers, are more efficient than standard new boilers. They may be more suitable for small or medium sized houses.
There is new legislation that affects heating oil boilers which falls under the UK Government’s “Clean Growth Strategy”. They have pledged to ban all fossil fuel boiler installations for new build homes by 2025.
There will also be a ban on the more polluting off gas grid heating methods of coal, oil and LPG for existing homes currently off the gas grid by 2025 also. At present the Government offers the “Renewable Heating Incentive”. This is a system of payments that allows people to afford to switch from fossil fuel to new zero carbon alternatives. Accordingly, ground and air-source heat pumps are the preferred option.
To absolutely clarify, this does not mean that anyone with an existing boiler will be forced to change them. It means that when the time comes for replacement, following the ban, you will not be able to replace them with a fossil fuel boiler. There is a strong possibilty that the supply of the fossil fuel itself may be banned.
When the time comes to replace your boiler you will have alternatives. At the moment (2020) you can still replace your fossil fuel boiler with another fossil fuel boiler, or you can chose an air-source heat pump now.
How to choose an efficient heating oil boiler
There is now a boiler database showing the efficiency of gas and oil domestic boilers. Both current and obsolete boilers are included and the database is regularly updated. The database was developed on behalf of the government to help SAP assessors. Conseuently, it is also intended to help purchasers and specifiers select efficient domestic central heating boilers.