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  • Gastech Heating And Plumbing

Oil vs. LPG Boilers: Which One is Best?

Updated: May 10, 2023

There are a number of fuels available to heat your home, but today we will look at the difference between oil and LPG heating. You may need a new boiler because your old one is worn out and no longer efficient, or you may be putting a heating system into a brand-new build. Either way, you should be aware that there are some significant differences between the two types of boilers that could drastically affect your decision as to which you should install.

What Does a Boiler Do?

Simply put, a boiler heats your home. How it does that depends on the type of boiler it is. You have three main types of boilers to choose from, apart from the fuel choices.

Condensing boilers use large heat exchange to increase energy efficiency. Combi boilers heat water and the home, which is also quite environmentally friendly. System boilers use a hot water storage cylinder which provides rapid hot water and prevents pipes from freezing.

In the boiler, a type of fuel is added and it begins to burn. This heat is used to warm the water that is in a tank within the boiler and then either the hot water or the steam is pumped throughout your home. It may be used in radiant floor systems or radiators. The heated water radiates the heat and then returns to the boiler where it is heated again and pumped out once more.

Some systems are more than just heating for the home. They also heat the water you can use for a shower or washing up. These systems store heated water for your use, but they also keep the building warmed up with gentle heat from the hot water.

Oil Boilers: Pros and Cons

Heating oil is essentially a type of crude oil that is heated to turn it into kerosene. It can be used to heat your home and your water via the boiler.

Pros of oil heating:

Why would you consider using heating oil instead of another option? There are a few reasons.

It’s highly efficient. More than 90% of heating oil is burned off and usable as energy, which makes it very efficient and useful.

It’s cost-effective. In general, when you look at the amount of heat being put off, the oil boiler is cheaper than the LPG boiler.

Oil boilers are quiet. If you dislike noise, you’ll want to stick to an oil boiler, since it tends to be very quiet.

It heats well during the winter. Even during the coldest months, your oil boiler will keep right on burning and heating your home without any pauses.

You may install it externally. Did you know that some oil boilers may be installed outdoors to save space in your house?

Cons of oil heating:

Of course, there are some downsides to using heating oil, as well.

It smells. Heating oil can be quite strong smelling and unpleasant.

Oil tanks may be larger. An oil tank is not very pretty, but it may be a necessary item to use. It’s often behind the home but is still visible.

Bad weather impacts delivery. If you live in a remote area, it’s possible you won’t be able to receive the delivery, which could impact your heating.

It’s worse for the environment. The oil heater is actually worse for the environment than LPG and this should be kept in mind.

You’ll have to determine for yourself whether you should choose heating oil or LPG for your boiler fuel. You now have the pros and cons for the heating fuel, it’s time to look at the LPG side of things.

LPG Boilers: Pros and Cons

Liquified petroleum gas boilers are usually popular among those who are not connected to the national gas grid. While natural gas-powered boilers are the most common, this is all but useless if you don’t have natural gas. That’s where LPG boilers come in. They’re particularly useful for those who don’t want to use oil for a particular reason.

These boilers use LPG, which is brought to your home by a provider and is stored in a tank outside. It’s an alternative fuel that you may prefer using in place of heating oil, but let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons.

Pros of LPG heating:

There are several reasons you may wish to use LPG instead of other options.

It can be converted. If you have a natural gas boiler, it’s possible to switch it over with an LPG conversion kit. An engineer must handle this for you, but if you are determined to use your original boiler with LPG, it’s a possibility.

LPG doesn’t require gas mains. It can be used anywhere, including remote areas, since the supplier will come to you to fill the tank.

It’s simple to install. The installation is usually much easier and cheaper than installing an oil heater. It’s more cost-effective, due to this simplicity.

It’s compact. LPG heating systems don’t take up much space at all and can easily fit in a closet.

Produces fewer emissions. You can expect it to be about 12% cleaner than oil when burning.

Produces less residue. The LPG burns clean, without leaving soot everywhere.

You can use a cylinder if you like. Want to skip the fuel tank? A cylinder can be placed near the boiler but won’t take up nearly as much room.

There are more technicians. Most technicians are more experienced with LPG boilers than oil ones, which means it’s easier to find the maintenance for this type of boiler, as well as parts.

Cons of LPG heating:

As with oil, there are some cons to using LPG for heating your home or business.

It’s more costly. You can expect to pay more for LPG than oil per kWh.

Cylinders run out fast. It’s easy to go through a single cylinder of LPG in a week during the coldest months. However, you may choose to fill a tank instead of a cylinder so you’ll have more time.

Bad weather could disrupt delivery. Like oil, LPG must be brought to your home, so it can be affected if you can’t get a delivery due to bad weather.

Fewer suppliers. More companies provide heating oil than they do LPG.

There are plenty of things to consider when it comes to both types of boilers, so you may find yourself studying the various pros and cons. In the end, you can choose just one, so which will you select?

Making Your Final Decision

You now know quite a bit about these types of boilers and should have a better idea of which one you want. However, before you make your final choice, take some time to do a little more research.

You should see how readily each type of fuel is in your area. You’ll also want to find out if there are maintenance services available near you. This could help you make your decision, as there’s no good reason to use a boiler that will be all but impossible to fuel.

Your budget will also play into this, since both the cost of installation and the ongoing fuel and maintenance costs will all factor into your decision.

Once you’re certain of the fuel supply in your area, you can make a choice and have the right boiler installed. Now all you need to do is enjoy the heat all winter long.

Are you getting ready to install a new boiler? GasTech offers both oil and LPG boilers, as well as fuel and maintenance options. Contact us today.

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