• This topic has 21 replies, 16 voices, and was last updated 3 years ago by rt60.
Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • Oil or LPG domestic heating and hot water
  • sundaywobbler
    Full Member

    What would STW do? Mid house renovation at the moment and don’t have access to mains gas so just asking what STW would do in regard to domestic hot water and heating in regard to fuel? Parents are ‘off grid’ and they run oil heating along with their neighbours.

    I’m actually thinking LPG at the moment due to being able to get a more reliable boiler but happy to take advice from others on here.

    I know there is a few that don’t have access to mains gas so would like to hear their thoughts.

    Thanks in advance


    Full Member

    Oil – cheaper and oil boilers are simpler than gas so can keep running in a triggers broom fashion for years.

    But if you are renovating – do what you can now to improve insulation over the whole house and also think about other heat sources. Can you access free/cheap logs and install a log burner? (assuming you are in the sticks and not a town)

    Full Member

    LPG is very pricey to run so I’d factor that in against the cost of any potential repairs needed on an oil boiler.

    I live in a pretty rural area and while there are quite a few LPG cookers I know of exactly one LPG boiler. There must be a reason most folk use oil.

    Free Member

    About to move to house currently on oil.

    We have queried LPG and everyone has said no.

    Oil boilers are apparently more reliable than gas counter parts too (again what we have been advised)

    You can buy oil Combi boilers too. Not sure how reliable they are compared to a standard oil burner though.

    Must be cheaper to heat water by oil on demand, rather than electric ?

    Full Member

    LPG is expensive and a pain when you forget and run out….. We had/have electric cooker.

    We now have all electric heating with some new fangled style wall heaters but they’re… well…. meh… 🙂

    Free Member

    rented a house with LPG NEVER EVER EVER AGAIN – and that was a near new build to latest codes at the time 5 years ago.

    we are on oil and while its not mains gas its not horrendously expensive as some folk would have you believe.

    i had a Firebird Standalone boiler – removed it as sthe whole system was at end of life.

    Fitted a Grant combi (vortex 26 external ) system and new rads and had change from 3k . 6 Years ago.

    the boilers given no issues , ive had a couple of leaks in the system leading to pressure loss but i cant fault the boiler. With a watch man you would have to be pretty ignorant to run out tbh. its there in your face. when it gets to 2 – you order more. You still have a long way to empty but enough room for a price point delivery.

    There is a reason that if you sign up to LPG they will give you the boiler and tank pretty much free……

    Free Member

    Heat pump, or solar or wood. You can use a combination of heat sources, ie a hot water cylinder with multiple inputs.

    Free Member

    Fitted a Grant combi (vortex 26 external )

    Did your bills come down going to a Combi? Also I’ve read it takes a while for the water to turn hot, is that the case ?

    Full Member

    Still running the original oil boiler here, must be 40 years old (but as above re Triggers Broom).

    Free Member

    If it has to be one or the other, oil.
    If mid-renovation now is the time to put in ground source/air source/wind/solar etc.
    We’ve got no gas and use wood with a backboiler, it’s great, just an imersion for hot water in the summer when we don’t want the fire on. One day when we ca afford a solar water heater we’ll do that too, made sure hot water tank will take one when we put the stove and things in.

    Free Member

    it takes time to remove the water from the pipe work between boiler and the taps – its about 15ft of pipework which is insulated but it still cools down as i routed it under my floor in an unheated space as there was no other way to route it due to the way my house is constructed.

    Compared to having a tank 6 ft vertically from the tank and pipe work through heated space yes theres a wait. Is it annoying – not really – but that would be the same with any combi. – the space where the tank was is part of my kitchen now as and the header tank space is part of my upstairs bedroom now.

    Would be a pain if you were on a water meter though.

    It certainly uses less oil – the old fire bird only ran the heating when i moved in as the hot water system was fuct. i still use less oil over a year than i used in the 6 months over winter we used that firebird – which was mainly the catalyst for changing it. The previous owner of my place was a plumber to trade and he had bodged it up so many times so unlikely it was running efficent. – the saying never buy the mechanics car has never been so true – but then id budgeted for a new one anyway.

    Full Member

    There’s no real reliability difference. LPG boilers are essentially just the same as ones in mains gas homes (with a valve modified).

    There’s a running cost difference but it’s not 100% possible to predict which way. I’d guess oil will be cheaper, it always has been so far. Some recent data here https://nottenergy.com/our-services/resources/energy-cost-comparison/ (kerosene v LPG, pence per Kwh is the column to compare). Over recent years, LPG has always been more expensive (and occasionally significantly) than oil. Oil is just coming out of a very cheap couple of years, so the gap is smaller now than for some time.

    There are cost differences at installation – mainly because there tend to be incentives for LPG like free tanks or free boilers.

    There are physical differences – gas and oil tanks need siting differently and look different.

    They work the same – so the decision whether to go combi or hot water tank (and rad sizes, etc) is basically the same as if you were on mains.

    How long will you have the house? If long term, maybe choose by energy cost and go oil. If short term, freebies which reduce the install cost might make gas the better option.

    And, if long term, the RHI if it’s still going might make heat pump and possibly wood pellets cheaper. Assuming you want to financial engineer your central heating and experiment with unfamiliar tech. Heat pump means big rads and/or underfloor and wood pellets are a bit labour intensive.

    Do not go near electric. See table linked above for why.

    Free Member

    Going through this a t the moment as just in the process of moving to somewhere with only night storage heaters and immersion heaters. Plan on doing the work in the summer.

    Plan is to go for wood burner with back boiler, heat bank with a spare coil for solar thermal when I have saved some more. Immersion heater for summer hit water probably. I will make sure I have two spare coils and add airsource heat pump in the future if technology improves. Going to build and write the control system as I can’t find what I would like.

    Full Member

    My oil boiler is about 25 years old, and a £80 service a year keeps it running sweetly. My service engineer recommended only replacing it if it failed completely as it could be kept chugging along with basic servicing more or less forever – he wasn’t very complementary about anything new he could fit, saying they were designed to a price point and with a life rather than longevity.

    See if you have a local syndicate – usually a few pennies cheaper and reduces overall fule miles, an dtankers through your village etc.

    Free Member

    if i had the space and/or was doing it all again id do as brick with a back boiler and then solar thermal and an imersion off solar PV/mains as needed in the spare slots.

    I couldnt get a useful sized vertical heatstore into the house at the time….. apparently you get pancake ones now that i could have sited much easier

    Full Member


    We have LPG central heating. It was installed by the previous owners. Frustratingly it runs of bottles (pairs of 47kg) rather than a bulk tank. This method is incredibly expensive – e.g. I had a pair of bottles replaced on Christmas Eve at a cost of £110. I’ve just paid another £110 for another pair today. (Our first winter in the house was very cold and we went through £2000 of gas in 4 months).

    We do also have a log burner (not used every night) to mitigate but underfloor heating has pushed gas usage up. We have piles on insulation in the house. Cooking is all electric.

    If I was installing from scratch I would still consider LPG, but would have a big bulk tank and would have alternative heat and power sources.

    Full Member

    For a bunch of hippy types, I can’t believe that anyone is suggesting either option. A friend in the oil supply business thinks their industry may well be over in 10-15 years, environmental taxes will do for domestic oil.

    If you are mid-renovation then get the house airtight and highly insulated, then use an air source heat pump (or ground source if you have the budget/space). Add electric immersion for hot water top-up, assuming you’re on a green energy tariff.

    Full Member

    Thanks for all the responses folks, some great thoughts here, as always.

    Space isn’t an issue and am planning on staying at the house for a long time (bought as a keeper rather than a seller) but when I did look at ground source heat pumps the costs were rather high for install?? Might have to do some more research as that was a couple of years ago…

    The house is already fairly well insulated with the work I’ve done, new windows, 200mm celotex in the loft space and another 150mm below the hot water underfloor heating on the whole ground floor. Need to get the cavity walls insulation done at some point so ground source could be an option??

    Free Member

    Ground source does work better with wet underfloor heating so it might be an option.

    Free Member

    Your walls are the problem. 200mm Celotex is not far off R8 but a cavity wall is about R0.8. You’re losing about ten times as much heat through the walls as the roof. Cavity wall insulation improves that to anything from R1.5 to R2.5. The latter figure being rarely achieved. If you’ve got the space then insulating on the inside with 60-100mm of celotex or equivalent will make the biggest difference. Do the outside if you have the budget and are sure you won’t trap damp in the walls.

    Free Member

    For a bunch of hippy types, I can’t believe that anyone is suggesting either option.

    I think any form of wood burning/pellets will be banned before oil…unless you have loads of expensive changeable filters.

    Fair point about oil though, but you do wonder if there will be an exception. Retro fit to newer tech would be very very expensive

    Full Member

    If oil goes anywhere in the next 30 years it will be to increasing amounts of biofuel in the Kero.

    There are 1.5m properties on oil in the UK and there is no way they are going going to push them onto renewables any time soon.

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)

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