Oil-Fired Heating Systems

What is an Oil-Fired Heating System?

If you live in a rural area, outside the range of normal gas mains, it’s likely that your home is one of the 1.5 million in the UK with heating powered by an oil-fired boiler.

Oil has many benefits when compared to other domestic heating methods:

  • It is a long standing, proven technology.
  • Oil is very reliable and efficient.
  • It is among the cheapest heating options.
  • If maintained properly, oil systems will last for many years.
  • You can control when fuel supplies get replenished and can choose from a wide range of suppliers.

One of the most important features of oil powered home heating is the oil storage tank which houses the oil. There are many kinds of tank available. With this in mind, there are important considerations when choosing your oil tank.

Having a reliable, fully functioning tank is vital to make sure your oil heating system works to its full potential. If your tank is 20-years-old or more, or if you have recently moved into a new house, it’s worth making sure the oil tank is still working as it should. It’s also important to check that it still meets the standards set in current regulations. If your tank isn’t functioning safely and efficiently, buying a new tank should be a priority!

How does an Oil-Fired Heating System work?

Oil-fired heating is an efficient and relatively simple way to heat your home. It works as follows:

  • Fuel from the tank (In the UK the fuel used is generally kerosene) is pressurised and pumped into the boiler.
  • The pressurised fuel mixes with air and forms a fine spray which is expelled into the combustion chamber.
  • An electrode in the chamber ignites the oil to produce a highly efficient burning flame.
  • The hot exhaust gases pass through a heat exchanger (usually a copper wire) and the heat is transferred into water, which surrounds the wire.
  • The heated water is then distributed around the house into radiators to provide heat and to taps for hot water.
  • More modern systems will automatically switch off when the desired thermostat temperature is reached to save fuel and increase efficiency.

What is the cost of Oil-Fired Heating System?

According to which.co.uk, the average annual cost of an oil-fired heating system is £830. But, bear in mind, this is an average for the UK. Your home’s age, size and insulation all affect the cost of providing heat and hot water.

The price of heating fuel may change as oil prices fluctuate. For example, these are the costs per litre of kerosene heating oil over a period of 5 years:

  • 32p in January 2016
  • 43p in January 2017
  • 48p in January 2018
  • 50p in January 2019
  • 52p in January 2020

The price of oil also changes depending on the season, as higher demand in colder months drives the price up. In addition, winter fuel also contains extra additives to help stop the oil from freezing (or thickening) in cold conditions. Whilst oil in the warmer months is cheaper, remember to always buy oil that has anti-freezing additives for use in the colder months.

Read our blog ‘Oil Storage Tanks’ for more information or browse our range of domestic oil tanks now.