What really is the best type of home heating?

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If you are planning to get central heating installed it is worth looking at different types to see which is going to be the best and most economical for you.

In this article we compare gas and oil-fired central heating. How do they both work, and which is cheaper?

 

Gas central heating

If your home has mains gas available then you would be able to instal gas central heating. Gas central heating is known as a “wet system”. It uses a gas-fired boiler to heat water, and the water is then pumped through radiators to  provide central heating to your home. It also provides hot water through the taps in your home.

According to Which?, the average annual cost for heating and hot water using gas in the UK is £548 – though obviously this figure will vary depending on the size of your home and the amount of fuel you consume.

Advantages of gas central heating

  • Gas is a highly efficient fuel that provides a good return on every unit of energy.
  • Modern condensing boilers use hot flue gases that are wasted in a standard boiler.
  • Gas is piped directly to your home, so you don’t need to store any fuel.
  • Gas is widely used which means that there is a good choice of qualified gas heating engineers if  your boiler breaks down or needs servicing.

 

Disadvantages of gas central heating

  • Gas is a fossil fuel that produces carbon dioxide so is not  a clean source of energy.
  • It can be expensive and disruptive to install a gas central heating system.
  • If your home is not already on the gas network, connecting your property can also be costly.

 

Oil-fired central heating

Oil-fired central heating systems are similar to gas in that they are wet systems. But the main difference is that heating oil is delivered to your home by road and stored in a tank on your premises.

For oil-fired central heating there are two types of boiler: heat-only and combination. Oil-fired combination boilers usually have an internal hot water store to supply domestic hot water; this differs from gas combination boilers that heat water on demand.

According to Which?, the average annual cost for heating and hot water using oil in the UK is £552 – though again this figure will vary depending on the size of your home and the amount of fuel you consume.

The main advantages of oil-fired central heating are similar to gas but there are a number of disadvantages to consider:

Advantages of oil-fired central heating

  • Oil is a highly efficient fuel that provides a good return on every unit of energy.
  • Modern condensing boilers use hot flue gases that are wasted in a standard boiler.
  • Not everyone has access to the mains gas network, so oil-fired heating provides a very feasible alternative.

Disadvantages of oil-fired central heating

  • Oil is a fossil fuel that produces carbon dioxide so is not  a clean source of energy.
  • The price of oil can fluctuate, through various factors including surges in demand, weather conditions and political unrest.
  • As oil is delivered by road, you need to plan ahead carefully to avoid the possibility of running out of fuel.
  • You need to have a heating oil tank outside your home, which can look unsightly – although underground models are available. Either way, the tank will need servicing annually.
  • Most oil-fired boilers are floor standing rather than wall-mounted model, so you need to allocate space for this.
  • Also – as with gas – installing an oil central-heating system from scratch can be expensive and disruptive.

 

So as can be seen, there are pros and cons both sides for gas and oil central heating. There may very little to choose  between them in terms of cost and energy efficiency, so the main decision ay come down to availability of fuels to your home, and also your personal preference.

Whatever your choice, make sure that you have your boiler serviced regularly so that it works at maximum efficiency and does not let you down when you most need it.

If you need any financial assistance with your central heating plans this autumn then you may be interested to know that at Logbook Loans we offer a range of short term loans that could help. Our products include online loans that are quick and easy to apply for, and could provide the extra funds you need to get your home warm for winter. Click here for more information or to apply online.