oil v gas central heating

  sunnystaines 20:45 25 Mar 11
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we have gas central heating so happy with that.

but in my house hunting come across a oil fired boiler, with a very large plastic oil container in the garden. no nothing of this type of heating, is it cheaper than gas or have any benefits or drawbacks compared to mains gas.

  Forum Editor 23:51 25 Mar 11

Not at the moment.

Around 9% of UK homes are heated by oil-fired boilers, and 70% have gas. There are reasons for this, and as you might expect they are not straightforward.

If a house has an oil tank in the garden it may be because mains gas isn't available in the area. You see lots of oil tanks in rural areas, but you see lots of LPG tanks too.

With an oil tank you can be choosy about suppliers, because the tank is yours, but with LPG it will invariably belong to a gas supplier, and you must buy your gas from that company.

An oil installation is more costly to set up, and some of the big home insurance companies won't cover the tank, or thefts from it - thefts from domestic oil tanks have increased recently, as the price of oil has risen sharply.

Oil is less friendly to the environment as far as emissions are concerned.

Unless you have an oil-fired Aga, or similar cooker you'll have to use electricity for cooking, assuming mains gas isn't available; if it was you would have gas heating, rather than oil.

Given the choice, and if mains gas wasn't available I would go for LPG (Calor) every time.

  Aitchbee 07:24 26 Mar 11

Electricity v Gas to heat up the water in a washing-machine.
My w-m has two water feeds - hot(redhose) and cold
(bluehose).The water is preheated before entering the w-m by my gasboiler.(ie by gas)

My friend recently bought a new w-m and it only had one water feed(one hose)so the water is heated up after going into machine.(ie by electricity).

Is this a more economical way of doing a wash?

I've been told most new washing machines now being sold have this one water inlet system.

  sunnystaines 08:16 26 Mar 11

thank you for the info.

  spuds 08:21 26 Mar 11

Another point perhaps worth considering is the supply of oil at difficult times. Over the past cold spell, a number of people were getting rather concerned because their tank was getting low and the suppliers were having problems keeping up with demands.Planning would be required, as to obtaining supply's in advance and at the right price.

With mains piped gas, this would not apply, as it would be the service providers duty to supply. Calor type supply would be different, and subject to the supplier's service.

  jja244 11:18 26 Mar 11

I have LPG. There is never a problem getting the tank refilled. The tank is fitted with a telemetry unit which calls them up when it gets to a lower level. I've never had a problem. As FE says the tank plus pipework to the entry valve into the house belongs to the supplier and they will maintain it. The chances of LPG being stolen must be remote.

  sunnystaines 11:38 26 Mar 11

thank you for the feedback

  oresome 17:35 26 Mar 11

You are correct that most if not all washing machines now seem to be cold fill only.

I wonder if this is due to the trend towards cooler wash programmes?

In any case, the hot inlet can only presumably be used where the programmed wash will be at a temperature where the domestic hot water will require further heating, so would be used only on the hottest washes........otherwise damage to the clothing may occur.


Regarding oil and LPG, the problem (other than price) seems to be delivery difficulties in adverse weather conditions.

Topping up before winter seems an obvious step, but suppliers enforce minimum deliver quantities, meaning that the tank has to be almost empty to accept the delivered amount. Doesn't give you much slack if they can't deliver for a month due to the weather!

  Forum Editor 17:02 27 Mar 11

The reason that modern washing machines have a cold fill only has nothing to do with cooler wash programmes - it's a health related factor.

Having a hot fill hose could lead to what's called 'back-syphoning' - a process whereby contaminated water from the machine could be introduced into a house hot water system, and thus into someone's mouth.

All European machines have been sold with cold fill only for many years.

  SparkyJack 19:04 27 Mar 11

Because it has been alleged the distribution companies are being bought up by I believe an outfit based in Ireland and are holding consumers to ransom over supplies and deliveries.
There are also reports of rural communities forming Co operatives to bulk buy an various ways
A little research may not go amiss here.

  Aitchbee 19:44 27 Mar 11

Thanks for clearing up the reason for one-hose-set-up (cold water only) in modern washing machines.(In Europe).It makes sense.
I'm still keeping my old-fashioned w-m though.
I would think the electricity companies are glad that this health issue has been eliminated.
I better boil up my tap water now for drinking purposes.I always use the hot tap.(The water from my hot water tap takes 30 seconds to heat up).I was told by a reputable plumber it was safer to drink from the hot tap as opposed to the cold.
Its a topsy turvy world.

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