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What’s the difference between gas and oil heating?
Two popular methods of fuelling home heating systems are gas and oil. While people are likely to turn away from fossil fuels in the coming decades, in favour of renewable energy sources, gas and oil are can still be relied upon to provide homes with heating and hot water.
Neither gas nor oil can be definitively classified as better than the other. However, there are several factors which can be used to determine which fuel is more suitable for your circumstances. To make this decision, it’s important to consider the technicalities surrounding the usage and supply of each fuel, as well as the equipment needed and the overall efficiency of both systems.
Usage and supply
Due to its convenience, natural gas is more commonly used to heat homes, than oil. Gas is delivered to your home in long-distance, secure pipelines. Quite often, you’ll pay for the exact amount of gas you use and nothing more. Whereas, if your home is fuelled by oil, you have to pay for a certain amount upfront. The oil supply you’ve paid for will then be delivered by truck and placed in a tank.
Although, you are required to pay for oil on delivery, the market rate tends to be more flexible than gas. Therefore, it’s wise to wait for a cheaper pricing period, before signing up to any annual contracts.
Equipment and service
If you’re thinking about purchasing an oil heating system, you should be aware that oil boilers tend to be larger in size than gas boilers. Not only does an oil boiler take up more space, it requires more space around the boiler itself, for ventilation purposes. Also, an oil boiler will need to be accompanied by a tank, so the remaining oil can be stored somewhere. Generally, this tank can be situated in the garden or basement, however, it needs to be monitored on a regular basis, to check for corrosion and leaks.
Both gas and oil boilers should be serviced annually, although they require different processes. Due to the way oil burns, there is often a clear formation of soot. As well as cleaning this soot, it’s likely the oil filter will need to be changed. This will ensure that there’s no reduction in the overall efficiency of the system. While gas boilers still need to be serviced as frequently, there’s less cleaning involved. For this reason, servicing a gas boiler will be slightly cheaper than an oil boiler service.
Operation and efficiency
Although, oil is more of an efficient fuel source than natural gas, modern, gas condensing boilers themselves are more efficient systems than typical oil boilers. Additionally, oil boilers can only operate at a certain temperature, whereas gas boilers are much more flexible. When professionally installed and programmed, a gas boiler can heat water to a lower temperature, meaning less fuel is required to heat a home. As well as this, condensing boilers can reuse some of the initial energy and recycle it back into the heating system.
Homeowners are still able to get a FREE boiler grant or insulation grant via the ECO scheme, which is still available to households that qualify. Warma UK are currently working throughout the UK helping privately owned and rented homes to improve home energy efficiency and save money on rising energy bills.
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