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A Guide To Domestic Heating Oil

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Here we explain what heating oil is, how it heats your home and the pros and cons of an oil heating system.

Homes that have oil central heating aren’t connected to the main gas grid. If you live in one of the 4 million households in the UK that are not on the mains gas network, then you need to read on. Here, we tell you what you need to know about oil central heating – including how much an oil-fired central heating system costs to run, and the pros of cons of having oil central heating.

Heating oil is normally used in a ‘wet’ heating system, where an oil-fired boiler heats water, then provides central heating via radiators and hot water through the taps in your home. The main difference between mains gas and heating oil is that it is delivered by road and stored in a tank, which you may have to buy or rent from your supplier.

Heat-only and combination condensing oil-fired boiler types are both available. Most oil-fired combination boilers have an internal hot water store to supply domestic hot water rather than the instantaneous heating more common in gas boilers. Is your oil boiler from a reliable brand? The average annual cost for heating and hot water using heating oil in the UK is £425 when consuming around 12,500 kWh a year.  This annual fuel cost is not based on actual fuel bills. It’s derived from using the average cost of kerosene across the UK, sourced by Sutherland Tables, which collects domestic-fuel pricing data. These costs (per kWh in pence) are then multiplied by the amount of kWh a medium gas-energy user consumes on average in a year (12,500 kWh), as calculated by Ofgem. The price is based on data from October 2016, when oil prices tend to be a little higher than in the summer months. Remember, this cost is just a guide to help you compare costs of different types of fuel. There are a number of factors that affect energy bills, including the age of a house and insulation, the efficiency of a hot water and heating system, and where you are in the UK. Oil has typically been a more expensive fuel, with sudden spikes caused by surges in demand, weather conditions and political unrest. However, since 2014 the price has been falling – in January 2015 the price was 46p per litre and in January 2016 the price was 32p – making it one of the cheaper ways to heat your home.  It seems to have now stabilised at this lower price – it cost the same in October 2016 (35p) as it did in October 2015.

Oil is a highly efficient fuel, so you get a good return on every unit of energy. Modern condensing boilers, which use hot flue gases that are wasted in a standard boiler, now achieve efficiencies of 90% and more. Replacing a standard oil boiler with a highly efficient modern condensing boiler is relatively straightforward.

As with pretty much anything, along with the pros, there are some cons of oil central heating. These include the possibility of the price rising and running out of oil whilst awaiting the next delivery.

Source: Which?

Barton Petroleum have over 40 years’ experience as a family run business. Click here to find out more about our domestic heating oil.