As the name would suggest, it is a boiler that is heated by oil, perhaps calling them oil fired boilers would give a clearer idea of what they are. Before going into oil specifics, let’s look at boilers.
Fundamentally all boilers work like this:
- Fuel is fed into the boiler
- The Fuel is heated to a regulated temperature
- The water that goes through the boiler, or that is held in depending on what type of boiler, is heated by the heated fuel
- The water is moved through the pipes and tubes in a building to heat radiators and come out of taps and shower heated
Whilst this is a basic explanation, we hope it gives you an idea of how a boiler works – namely, it boils the water and sends the generated heat around the house so you can enjoy the benefits of hot water and central heating
Choosing oil to fuel your boiler can be appropriate in numerous circumstances. Oil is one of the most common types of fuel used in boilers, second only to gas and followed up by liquid petroleum gas (or LPG). Rarer to find nowadays is a coal heated boiler, but this is not important to know for now. According to Which? There are an estimated 4 million homes in the UK use oil boilers. At Conwy Valley, we offer oil, gas and LPG and also electric heating and some alternative fuel sources for a more environmentally focussed heating system. Often when a domestic or commercial household is considering a fuel choice for their central heating options usually they will compare an oil boiler to a gas fired option.
Oil is a remarkably efficient and quick heating fuel source, where natural gas burns at 900 -1,200 BTU cubic foot, oil beats it at coming between 138,000 – 140,000 per gallon. For a fast heating source to heat a house oil is frequently the winner. For houses and commercial property that aren’t connected to a gas line, or those who don’t wish to rely on gas, oil is a great substitute. Frequently you’ll find more oil boilers in the countryside off a gas grid.
An oil fired boiler can also prove safer than a gas boiler, although with Conwy Valley’s high quality of installation and servicing this is nothing to worry about. When an oil boiler leaks, the oil simply burns out, but doesn’t explode, as can be a concern with gas fired heating. Whilst oil can be a more expensive option than electric heating or gas, there’s no denying it is a better choice for a quick method for heating the water in your household.
- It is the most efficient fuel source for quicker heating of households and commercial property
- It’s the second most common fuel source to gas, therefore, there is a great range of heating options
- If you aren’t connected to a gas line, it’s a great alternative
- In relation to leakage, it is a safer alternative to a gas fueled boiler
- It is more expensive than other fuel alternatives, costing more than gas
- You will have to arrange delivery and storage of oil to fuel the boiler
- Price of oil continues to rise, adding to the already high cost
If you think that oil is the right boiler fuel for you, or you have anymore questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us here.
Types of boilers
Upon deciding the sort of fuel you think is most appropriate for your heating needs, the next step is to consider what type of boiler is best for you. There are multiple choices to consider when looking at a boiler to get, such as how much space you have available in your house for a boiler and how many people are living there. Sometimes it may be better if in a larger house or one with a large attic to have a boiler with a separate water tank, allowing a constant reserve of hot water as and when people need it. Or it would be more cost effective and convenient instead to have a smaller boiler that heats the water just when you require it.
When looking at oil fueled boilers, the boiler choice for you is a condensing boiler.
At Conwy Valley, all the boilers we install and offer are condensing boilers. These are great units because they have been improved and designed to reuse heat that with prior models would have been lost.
As mentioned before, boilers work by heating the fuel which then heats the water that is sent all around the central heating system. This happens first in the combustion chamber, when the fuel (in this case oil) is fed into the boiler, the heat is created by the fuel coming through, this fuel is surrounded by a heat exchanger, which transfers the regulated temperature of the fuel to the water inside the boiler.
With condensing boilers, the system has been improved by the addition of a larger primary or secondary heat exchanger to reuse more of the heat produced, reducing wasted energy. The boiler system then pre-warms the water coming back to the boiler from the system, helping to create a flowing system of heating. Condense boilers reuse around 90% of the heat they generate, meaning that you’ll save money by burning less fuel whenever you wish to heat up the water supply.
They get their name from the process of lost heat to the secondary exchanger. The heat that cools condenses into an acidic water called condensate and water vapour that the heavier flue gases of which are sent out of the boiler by installed fans.
With an overall understanding of how the boiler in your house will function, here’s a look at the different varieties that condensing boilers are available in:
Types of boilers
Here are the three types of boiler that are available for oil fired boiler systems:
- Combination, or ‘combi’ boiler
- Regular, or ‘conventional’ boiler
- System boiler
Each of these boilers offer their benefits and drawbacks, by looking to see which is the right one for your needs you’ll have a much better idea of what to ask for when you contact us regarding all your central heating and plumbing needs
Combi boilers, or combination boilers, get there name from being a combination of a boiler, cold water storage and a feed and expansion tank all in one. To be more precise, a combi boiler contains a small hot water cylinder, a cold water storage tank and a traditional boiler. This makes it a very lightweight and efficient boiler choice
How it works
As mentioned before, the combi boiler is made up of three parts, cold water storage, a boiler, and a cylinder. However, unlike different systems, the boiler takes its water supply from the mains into an interior hot water cylinder, and it is then heated up by the condensing boiler. This provides you with constant supply of hot water quickly heated meaning that essentially you have an unlimited supply of hot water. A reason that these are so popular is because all the main parts are already within the boiler, making it easy and quick to install, it also provides the households with a quick and immediate supply of hot water straight from the tap. For smaller households this is idea and economic – it only heats up the water if and when you want it.
- Hot water straight away, there’s no need to wait for the hot water cylinder to refill
- For smaller properties and households it has low water demands, helping make it an economical choice
- The heating system takes up much less space. This is great again for buildings that need to save space where they can
- It also provides you with drinkable water at all times
- Allows use of lots of different taps in the household, all providing the users with hot water
- Maximum pressure can only be provided through a single tap at any one time. If multiple sources of water are needed simultaneously, it can be a bad choice
- There can be a delay when waiting for the water to heat up by the combi boilers
- Because of having to boil the water with every use, it can be quite slow when trying to use a power shower or run a bath
- With a lack of immersion heater, it means that if there is an issue with your oil supply, there’s no backup or alternative
A system boiler is a sort of halfway between the combi boiler, which is nothing but a boiler unit, and a regular boiler, which uses a cylinder, water storage and boiler. The system boiler is like the regular boiler made up of the cylinder, cold water storage and boiler unit. It works on the idea of having stored hot water rather than taking the hot water from the mains.
A System boiler heats the cold water supply and it is sent through the radiators and the hot water cylinder to store it. This provides a quick response that can be more economic for large households. This is the standard type of boiler used for most family homes, allowing a consistent level of pressure across the house water supplies. By virtue of having many of the major individual components included in the system boiler unit it makes the installation much quicker, cheaper and more efficient than a regular boiler system.
Advantages of System Boilers
- A large tank of stored hot water means you can use many water outlets without worrying about loss of pressure
- Takes up less space as there is no need for a feed and expansion tank in the loft
- Pressurised cylinders can be used, so with that you can remove the need for cold water in the loft
- Great for large properties or households with a high demand for hot water
- Installation is quicker, neater more efficient and a lot easier
- With components such as the pump included in the system boiler, there is a fast response and more economic running cost.
Disadvantages of System Boilers
- Takes up more room than some central heating systems such as combi boilers
- It can lose heat and therefore waste energy if the cylinder isn’t very well insulated,
- The possible hot water to use is dependent on the size of cylinder. Meaning that you’ll have to wait for the boiler to heat up the water if you run out of cylinder water storage
Regular, or conventional boilers, are the largest systems available. When looking to upgrade your boiler system, often it will be this type of boiler you’re replacing. It’s made of three parts:
- Two loft tanks: A cold water storage and feed and expansion tank. These are stored in the loft normally
- A hot water cylinder, normally stored in an airing cupboard
- The boiler unit
This allows potentially gallons of hot water to head around the house and with the use of a pump send water all around the taps and radiators of the household.
Advantages of Regular Boiler
- It is quicker to heat up than a combination boiler, relying as it does on a stored hot water supply
- Allows multiple tap use without pressure loss
- An airing cupboard can give family households an area for drying clothes
- Through use of immersion there is a back up electrical hot water heating system
- These can be compatible with the use of solar panels, helping to save on some of the costs
Disadvantages of Regular Boiler
- Takes up more space than any other boiler available
- Need to wait on the boiler to heat up the water if the tank runs out
- Can be an expensive and uneconomic system
Overall, if you don’t have a link to gas, then oil could be the best choice of fuel heating to work your central heating system When considering upgrading and changing your boiler system, be sure to look at our website and as said before do not hesitate to contact us. With 25 years experience installing boilers, you can rely on Conwy Valley if you require plumbing in North Wales.
If you’d like to find out about our plumbing service in North Wales, or you’re interested in eco-friendly boilers, please get in touch. You can call us on 01492 554 000 or email us at email@example.com, we promise to be prompt with or reply so that we can then help you with whichever plumbing service of ours you require.