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Thread: Oil Fired Boiler Running Costs

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker old wrinkly's Avatar
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    Default Oil Fired Boiler Running Costs

    Hi first time of posting on site.

    I have been trying to gather information to help me decide whether or not to make changes to my heating system. My bungalow has cavity wall insulation, the insulation in the loft was upgraded in 2003 to 200mm under a government grant scheme and I have just replaced all my UPVC windows with A Rated units so I think I have gone as far as I can with insulation. I have a small LPG gas fire that I use for extra warmth and generally feel good factor although it is only used intermittently.

    My boiler is Boulter Boilers Camray 15/21 (rated I believe at 19Kw/65,000 BT) wall mounted external oil fired boiler that was installed in January 1995, replacing a Parkray solid fuel back boiler. I have a 2700 litre(600 gallon) Balmoral tank.

    The boiler has been serviced annually since new.

    According to the info on the boiler scrappage site it has a SAP seasonal efficiency of 70%, and the SEDBUK rating band is F although I have also seen when browsing other sites that an 80% efficiency is more likely for a boiler of that age.


    With the rising cost of heating oil I had been wondering whether it would be prudent to replace the boiler but again, from reading various topics on the net, the general consensus suggests that if the boiler is working the replacement cost cannot be justified by the expected increase in efficiency This coincides with the view of the the engineer who services the boiler who has always said "if it ain't broke don't mend it", only replace it when it packs up.

    Having read the info available it seems that I could however save oil and therefore money by upgrading my controls.

    Also read that it's more efficient to use the immersion heater for hot water in the summer rather than oil but I am never sure what the respective unit costs are for Kwh heat for oil/electric to be able to make any comparison. As I have economy 7 suggestion is to have a small immersion at the bottom of the tank linked to this but don't think my current tank has the option of an extra immersion.

    I should mention that converting to gas is not an option. According to National Grid when I asked, due to my location it would be cheaper to move house!!

    At the moment I have a Grundfos Selectric UPS 15-50 pump that runs all the time the heating or hot water control is active. My controller is a Horstmann CentaurPlus C27 and I have the usual Y valve. The cylinder is the standard Copper approx (900MM X 450MM approx) with a PULLIN 27" (685mm) 3kW immersion heater at the top) with a standard cylinder jacket bought I think from Wickes. The tank was here when we moved in 1994 so no idea how old it is. I have a Honeywell tank stat set to just below 60.

    The boiler heats 8 radiators of various sizes and 2 towel rails besides hot water. With the exception of the two towel rails all the radiators have TRVs. I don't have a room stat (one wasn't fitted when the boiler was installed) so I control the heating in each room via the TRVs.

    Would be nice to be able to control the temperature on the towel rails, don't always need them on full blast. I currently use the isolating valve shut off but that's very hit & miss.

    I have read that without a Room Stat WILL save fuel because my boiler will continue to fire at intervals at the dictates of the boiler control thermostat to maintain boiler temperature of 80'c - even when All of my TRV's are up to temperature and the radiators have gone cold. By having a Room stat when the building is up to temperature the room stat will stop the boiler & pump until either the hot water or rooms need more heat, in which case the boiler & pump are re-energised.

    My initial thoughts are to fit a wireless room stat. Although dearer than a standard hard wired unit I hope this will give me flexibility to site it to the best advantage. My wife is concerned that if we put a standard wired room stat as this would be in the hall (which is where the airing cupboard is) the rooms in the bungalow might be cold.

    If I fit a room stat so that the boiler is controlled better will I have to replace the Honeywell C27?

    I am also quite prepared to consider replacing the copper tank with perhaps something like a Gledhil foam covered ( a friend has said he has been told this is the best on the market).

    Obviously the Grundfos pump, and the TRVs on the radiators and the towel rails aren't excluded from any potential change provided the reduction on my oil bill or overall energy costs justifies the capital cost.

    I would be grateful for any advice as to the best way to proceed and recommendations on equipment.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Why not go for a house heat system, there is a couple of posts on here relating to it.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

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    Automated Home Lurker old wrinkly's Avatar
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    Thanks Toscal.

    Have had a quick look at the system you suggest but how would that change the way my boiler/pump run.

    Looks a nice idea but confused as to why it is any different to using the TRVs in the conventional manual manner and where the cost savings would come from.

  4. #4
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    The system can be zoned so you can have a thermostat in each room where ever you want it. Which means each room can be at a different temp. And each room can be switched on and off independently. By only switching on the rads in the rooms in use you will save energy.
    The House heat website explains some of the other benefits.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

  5. #5
    Automated Home Lurker old wrinkly's Avatar
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    Thanks Toscal.

    Have taken a closer look at the system and can see the benefits.

    From what I have seen the capital cost would be in the region of 700, so it's not cheap and as it's a system which until now I have not heard of I will need to dig deeper. I will read some of the other posts you mention, perhaps they will give me a better idea of whether it's worth considering or not.

    The boiler box seems a really useful bit of kit and will, if I read it correctly, do what I want i.e stop the boiler firing in response to the boiler stat, not heat requirements.

    Do you know if this would also stop the pump running all the time?

    Just a thought, as my 2 towel rails don't have TRVs would these need to be fitted otherwise would this not negate the action of the boiler box shutting down the boiler as they will be calling for heat all the time? Am I right also to think that at least one radiator/towel rail needs to remain open to allow hot water flow?
    Last edited by old wrinkly; 17th March 2011 at 09:06 AM. Reason: additional text

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