Oil and Gas Central Heating
Central to all oil and gas heating systems is the boiler. The boiler should be serviced at least once every year and replaced if necessary for safety reasons or for energy saving reasons. Before reading about servicing and replacing boilers please read the following about carbon monoxide poisoning.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon Monoxide (also known as CO) is a colourless, odourless poisonous gas and is a common yet preventable cause of death from poisoning worldwide. Approximately half of the deaths from unintentional CO poisonings result from the inhalation of smoke from fires. Other significant causes are vehicle exhausts and deaths in industrial / commercial settings. On average between 1 and 2 people die each year in Ireland from unintentional CO poisoning in the home in incidents related to domestic heating or other fossil fuel installations in the home (i.e. excluding the inhalation of smoke from fires). Please install a carbon monoxide alarm and ensure it is working by checking it regularly.
Servicing Your Boiler
Who should I get to service my boiler?
As with all heating appliances, your boiler should be serviced on a regular basis to ensure that it is operating efficiently and safely. The service should be carried out by a qualified and experienced service technician / service engineer.
Replacing Your Boiler
Central Heating system boilers need replacing if they are deemed energy inefficient. If your boiler is 15 years old or more it would have operated at 80% energy efficient as new but due to wear and tear it is unlikely to be greater than 70% efficient today.
The current range of boilers available today will have efficiencies greater than 90%. This represents an operational improvement in efficiency of up to 20 percentage points
Increasing the operational efficiency of your boiler by this amount represents an actual fuel saving of more than 25%. In other words, by replacing an older, low efficiency boiler with a new, high efficiency boiler, you can cut your fuel bills by a quarter.
Boiler replacement – what type?
When replacing a boiler, the first consideration should be about which fuel to use. Generally, you should consider replacing your boiler with one that uses the same fuel. If you have a natural gas supply then it is likely to be the lowest cost option in terms of both boiler installation cost and running cost. If you don’t have a natural gas supply then the choice is between oil, LPG or pellet boilers. For rural areas or areas that are off the national gas grid, oil or LPG are viable solutions.
Since March 31st 2008 when installing a replacement oil or gas boiler it is now a requirement that the boiler be condensing, where practical (Section L3, Building Regulations Part L amendment – S.I. No. 847 of 2007 🙂
Condensing boilers are highly efficient. They use less fuel and have lower running costs than other boilers. Higher efficiency levels are made possible by extracting heat contained in the combustion gases, which would otherwise have been lost to the atmosphere.
A combi-boiler is capable of providing instant hot water and heating while saving space within a home.