Buying a house with an oil central heating system

UK Home Improvement

Buying A House With An Oil Central Heating System

Buying a house is a big decision, most likely one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. While this can be an exciting time, there are some very important things you’ll need to consider with one of them being the type of heating system it has.

If you’re one of the rare few who has found a house with oil central heating, you might ask yourself so of the following questions; how old is it? How efficient is it, and, what are the costs involved in maintaining it? These are important questions to ask because it can impact your comfort, your finances, and even the environment.

Here we will guide you through the process. We’ll explore the ins and outs of an oil central heating system as well as the option of switching from oil to gas.

Whether you’re a potential homebuyer, a homeowner considering a switch, or just curious, this guide is for you.

Understanding Oil Central Heating Systems

Oil central heating systems are common in areas without access to natural gas lines. These types of systems use oil stored in a tank at your home in order to heat water, which is then circulated through the home to provide heat. 

These systems are reliable, but their efficiency can vary based on their and the quality of the original installation. 

The Efficiency of Oil Heating

The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating is the measure of which an oil heating system’s efficiency is measured. It’s an indication of the rate of usable heat generated by the amount of oil burned in the system.

Modern oil heating systems can achieve efficiencies of 85% to 95%, reducing fuel consumption and heating costs so upgrading to a high-efficiency oil boiler, though a significant upfront investment, is worth it.

Evaluating the Current Oil Heating Installation

When buying a property with an oil heating system, it’s important to have the current installation evaluated by a specialist before proceeding with the purchase. This inspection will help identify potential issues, give you a better understanding of the system’s efficiency and prevent you from any unexpected costs down the line.

Pros and Cons of Oil Central Heating

Like anything, oil central heating systems have both advantages and disadvantages. They can be highly efficient, especially modern systems, and for those located in more rural areas without access to the national gas grid, they can be a reliable source of energy for your property.

A major disadvantage you’ll want to consider is that the price of oil can be volatile. Your heating costs would then fluctuate regularly which will affect the overall cost of heating your property. 

Other disadvantages include environmental considerations, such as emissions. If you are in any way environmentally friendly and want to reduce your carbon footprint you may wish to consider a lower carbon emission fuel such as gas.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Oil tanks require proper installation and maintenance to prevent leaks and environmental damage, not to mention keeping them from breaking down on you at the worst imaginable time. It’s important to check that the tank and all connected plumbing is in good condition and that there is a reliable source of oil delivery from a local supplier.

Switching from Oil to Gas: Is It Worth It?

If you are considering purchasing a property with an oil central heating systems or you already own one you may be considering switching from to gas as an option.  

However, the availability of natural gas in the area may be a determining factor as most homes that run oil heating systems tend to be not connected to the gas grid. Which is most likely why they’re using oil as an energy source. 

You’ll need to research this as each property will be different, but even if there is no gas connection, gas may still be a viable option as you may be able to get gas tank situated on your property and have a gas supplier deliver gas to you or you could use gas bottles.

The Process of Switching Heating Systems

The process of switching from oil to gas includes removing the old oil tank and installing a new gas (LPG) storage tank, either below or above ground, in its place. Of course, this being an option for you depends on having a gas supplier being able to deliver and top-up your gas regularly. 

Finding a Reputable Gas Heating Installation Professional

So, after careful consideration and considering all the factors, should you decide to take the leap and switch out the old oil central heating for gas, be sure to choose a reputable and certified heating installation professional. Many suppliers will have dedicated switching teams that will visit your property, assess your requirements, and make recommendations as to how best and where to install your new gas heating. 

Making an Informed Decision

In summary, when buying a house with oil central heating, it’s essential to make an informed decision on whether to keep the existing system. Consider the efficiency, maintenance, and potential for switching to gas. Remember to consult a heating specialist, and always choose a reputable installation professional. Your choice can impact your comfort, costs, and the environment.


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