East Dulwich (Mobile) Forum

Oil fired central heating - anyone got any experience / advice ?

I'm looking at a house with oil fired central heating (via a fecking big Aga) and with gas not being an option it's either wood/coal or oil (which is already set-up and operational).
Anyone got first hand on this ?
All advice appreciated.
Over time I'd look at underground heat exchangers / solar etc., but that's way later.
Surely the vendors would show you heating bills so that you can work out how much oil costs weekly/monthy bearing in mind the size of the tank.
It is five years now since we moved from our 'rural idyll' in Leicestershire back to civilisation from being oil dependent, with a 300 ltr tank, minimum orde, which at the time hovered aroundr £500, I have no idea how much this would be today = we were totally at the mercy of the oil supplier, and once waited 10 days for a new delivery.

We imagined logs being cheap and plentiful, Ha!

We had a coal/log stockist, a builders merchants with set delivery days. They do not come out specially.

Servicing of boiler and Aga also remember, and a degree in aerodynamics to make the most of the Aga
and special metal brushes to scrub and keep it clean.

If you are organised and can stock pile wood and coal, and have a gauge on the tank so that you can see the oil level,
a sturdy lock and a vicious dog or a gander, and an electric cooker/shower/towel rail/open fire/heavy curtains/thick carpets/electric blankets/immersion heater and a stoical disposition then you will be fine, go for it.
Back in the 1980s I lived in rural Scotland without natural gas; we had an Italian boiler fired by oil from a 500L tank (supported on wooden stilts, 1 metre from an A-road which was completely fine in those days!).

The only concern was the reliability, from memory it broke down perhaps twice a year, I think now they would be more efficient.

The back-up was coal. Open fires in all the rooms. When the boiler goes, no hot water.

Delivery reliability was fantastic, they would come early if snow/bad weather was expected and not charge any extra.

But much more expensive than natural gas or wood. More info here
[forums.moneysavingexpert.com]
Thanks, so far. I'm well used to living in country, just haven't worked with oil previously.
I have asked for bills but there's probably never going to be anything definitive from a vendor regarding no. of refills pa. and accurate burn costs. If it was a plumbed-in service you could check the last couple of years quarterly bills obviously. I'm going to speak with next door and see what they say and also ask where nearest gas is - as a couple of years a I turned a place onto gas for the first time and if you dig your own trench it can be affordable. But currently it's looking like we'd need to 'retreat into the East wing' for the winter !
My experience is 30 years old - the main issues were servicing and oil delivery The only accredited servicing agent for our boiler was 200 miles away...which meant that we had to wait a week or two to get an appointment to fix the boiler when it broke down. Which was twice a year in the 1980s; be much improved now.

Get to know your oil delivery firm.

Obvs if you can get natural gas then got for it. Oil is more costly.

I do have a soft spot for a decent kitchen range (e.g. Aga). Anyway as you have experience no need to say keep a supply of wood/coal and candles!
Elphinstone's Army Wrote:

Surely the vendors would show you heating bills so
that you can work out how much oil costs
weekly/monthy bearing in mind the size of the
tank.
It is five years now since we moved from our
'rural idyll' in Leicestershire back to
civilisation from being oil dependent, with a 300
ltr tank, minimum orde, which at the time hovered
aroundr £500, I have no idea how much this would
be today = we were totally at the mercy of the oil
supplier, and once waited 10 days for a new
delivery.

We imagined logs being cheap and plentiful, Ha!

We had a coal/log stockist, a builders merchants
with set delivery days. They do not come out
specially.

Servicing of boiler and Aga also remember, and a
degree in aerodynamics to make the most of the Aga

and special metal brushes to scrub and keep it
clean.

If you are organised and can stock pile wood and
coal, and have a gauge on the tank so that you can
see the oil level,
a sturdy lock and a vicious dog or a gander, and
an electric cooker/shower/towel rail/open
fire/heavy curtains/thick carpets/electric
blankets/immersion heater and a stoical
disposition then you will be fine, go for it.


apologies, these figures should be transposed - a 500 litre tank, costing at the time £300, sorry - was only when I read Lowlander's post that I realised my error.

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