Usual off gas dilemma.Help appreciated.

Hi there.
I'd really appreciate some input into my heating dilemma.I've spent weeks researching this but every time I think i've got it sorted someone puts me off a certain system.
We moved in to our small roomed three bed semi cottage in feb.At present we have four storage heaters and a solid fuel back boiler system which runs another four radiators.The house was warm but we'd planned to update the back boiler with an oil system.We had provisional quotes of around £5000 so we budgeted for this amount.Now it seems after three quotes this figure is going to be more like £7,300 (the cheapest quote) because of the new regulations and the siting of the tank.Thats too much and also we keep being warned about being totally reliant on oil and its prices.:confused: We then decided a multi-fuel stove would be right to replace the back boiler and run four radiators.Since then we've been warned time and time again about the stoves packing out way too much heat for our size rooms and that logs and coal aren't cheap.:confused: Now we are wondering about sticking with the storage heaters and replacing the older ones with newer models and adding another three ,but of course we have the lack of controls ect .We would also keep an open fire as a backup too and put in a new immersion with a timer.
Just worried how much 8 storage heaters would cost to run :eek:
I've phoned the energy efficiency helpline but they weren't a whole lot of help.They did say that oil was 55% more expensive than mains gas but only 13% cheaper than storage heaters ,so with the price of the outlay for the oil ,is it worth it.:confused: Any suggestions gratefully received?


  • Ken68Ken68 Forumite
    6.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Energy Saving Champion Home Insurance Hacker!
    Hi unlit open fireplace will suck out heat, however produced.
    And I would be tempted to spend any money on insulation and draughtproofing to passivehaus standard.
    Then any heat needed will be minimal.
  • Snow_DogSnow_Dog Forumite
    688 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    £7300 would buy you a hell of a lot of logs.

    Multifuel stoves will take most lumps of wood, i've been known to break up pallets and burn them (the planks can split up nice for kindling).

    As for too much heat, you can adjust the burn rate easily and you can also get all sorts of sized units, ours is about the largest single door one and warms up the entire house, I know someone with a smaller unit that heats a 2 bed semi by leaving all the internal doors open through the night.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    spearish wrote: »
    I've phoned the energy efficiency helpline but they weren't a whole lot of help.They did say that oil was 55% more expensive than mains gas but only 13% cheaper than storage heaters ,so with the price of the outlay for the oil ,is it worth it.:confused: Any suggestions gratefully received?

    I would get a second opinion on those figures.

    The price of Economy 7 electricity varies tremendously depending where you live and the company you use; of course all energy supplies vary from time to time.

    Storage heating also doesn't require any servicing.

    At lot depends on your domestic situation. If one of you is home all day, you may find it necessary to top up storge heating at expensive daytime rates and then it becomes a poorer option
  • This is a difficult one. I've recently moved into a large house (5 beds) new with oil heating. The urban ledgend regarding oil heating was starting to give sleepless nights. Its worth pointing out the house is well insulated and we have a Worcester condensing (A rated) boiler. Yes, I nearly died when filling the tank up cost £400 !!! but I have tried to do my research. After 3 months (some heating and mostly (lots of) hot water ) we've used a third of the tank - £60 ish a monty on average) I dont think that it is as horrific as I expected. I found out that a litre of oil gives about 10Kw of energy if burnt at 100% efficiency. My boiler is 90% efficient so I reckon that its about 3.5p per KW (31.2p per litre paid) - this is cheaper than electricity (dont forget the day tarrif is massive - upto 16p here with Powergen)
    Next is the value of the house - having central heating - oil or otherwise will increase the value/saleability of your house in the long run - so you should get some of the investment back when/if you move - most people will immediatley want 'proper central heating' - so bear that in mind!
    I agree with the advice to get your quotes checked - try breaking the prices down on the internet - so you actually have an idea of the cost of the components (tank/boiler/radiators/pump etc) and then look at the OFTEC website to find several local oil installers to re check the quote.
    Another alternaltive is LPG - its cheaper to install - you may not need a tank if you can use the large propane cylinders (several of my neighbours do - they have a row of four or five!) frees you up from the tank installation/rental cost and allows you to 'shop around' you may well offset the running cost over several years against the cheaper installation cost.
    Finally multifuel stoves - PLEASE go to a specialest retailer and get advice! take your room measurements and they will correctly size the stove (then you can order it off the internet - but beware ours was cheaper at the nearest one man band outfit!) We thought we needed a much bigger stove thankfully we asked in time and only needed a 'small' 6KW one - which is great (too hot is cured easily by opening door to hall)

    Hope this ramble is of some use
  • Hapless_2Hapless_2 Forumite
    2.6K Posts
    Solid fuel swise, where is the main backboiler? Is it in the kitchen and have you considered a solid fuel rayburn and cook on it too?
    As for coal, it is cheaper if you can get it delivered by a coal merchant and buy it before September as it is on summer prices at the moment. Buying by the tonne is also cheaper. Wood you can usually buy by the trailer load for between £50 and £100, just make sure it is seasoned properly and get the chimneys cleaned annually.
    We wouldn't swap our solid fuel for anything, especially as we can still have hot water, cook and boil a kettle in a power cut.
    The "Bloodlust" Clique - Morally equal to all. Member 10
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