|Getting the best out of your
oil heating system
Getting the best out of your oil heating system
If you already have oil heating, there’s no need to change to a different heating system to save money. There are some cheaper improvements you can make to your existing system that can significantly improve its energy efficiency. We suggest that after reading this page you contact a local OFTEC registered heating technician to discuss what might work best in your home.
Actions you can take to save energy and run your heating system more efficiently:
- Make sure your oil boiler and tank are serviced regularly
- Upgrade your system controls
- Replace your existing boiler with a high efficiency condensing model
Other changes you can make to improve your energy efficiency
Getting the basics right - servicing your oil boiler and tank
Just as regular servicing maximises the performance of your car and minimises the risk of breakdown, so it can keep your oil heating system operating at peak performance, reduce fuel bills and save on costly call out fees. Servicing work requires the use of combustion efficiency testing equipment so is best carried out by a skilled OFTEC registered technician. Service is normally required every year, but for a few appliances, six monthly attention is recommended by the manufacturer.
As well as the boiler itself, your heating system controls need to be regularly checked for correct operation and this should form part of the annual service. It is also important that your oil storage tank is inspected annually.
The next step - upgrading your system controlsAccurate system controls save money by reducing heat wastage. Did you know that by reducing room temperature by 1°C, you can save up to 10% off your annual fuel bill? Being able to control the temperature accurately throughout your home means you can avoid heating less frequently used rooms unnecessarily. We recommend that you talk through the options with your heating technician and discuss what would work best for you.
Recommended controls include:
- Zone control
- Room thermostats
- Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs)
- Cylinder Thermostat
- Programmers set to ‘on and off’ time periods
- Programmable room thermostat, which is both a programmer and a room thermostat.
Maximising your system efficiency - upgrading to a condensing boilerIf your oil boiler is more than six years old, replacing it with a modern condensing model will significantly improve your energy efficiency. Condensing boilers recover waste heat that normally passes out of the flue into the air in a conventional boiler. This makes them highly efficient and is why Building Regulations were changed to ensure that, when new or replacement gas or oil boilers are installed, it is a condensing type.
Replacing your old boiler with a modern condensing one will significantly reduce your fuel bills. OFTEC has calculated that it could save you over £200 a year*. A condensing boiler will also dramatically reduce carbon emissions, which is good for the environment. Oil condensing boilers have efficiencies of up to 97% while older boilers are typically 60 – 70% efficient. Oil condensing boilers and heating controls are included in the government’s Green Deal scheme which is designed to help home owners make energy efficiency improvements.
Going further – other measures you can take to improve your energy efficiency
The above suggestions are likely to make a significant difference to your system’s energy efficiency, but there are other things you can do to keep your home warm and reduce your energy bills.
Oil heating systems integrate well with renewable technologies. This can help to bring down the cost of your fuel bill while still ensuring your heating system will work effectively, even in the worst weather. There are several potential options and it is worth discussing your requirements with your heating technician to find out which choice may be right for your situation.
Insulation is crucial to maximising the efficiency of your heating system. There are a number of things you can do to improve the insulation of your home. You can even do some of them yourself.
The competition between different energy technologies has never been fiercer and you may be wondering whether oil heating is still a good option. We’ve produced a simple summary that compares the main heating options currently available.