If the time has come for you to make the all-important decision regarding how to heat your home, you might be wondering what the differences are between oil boilers and gas boilers, and which option is best suited to your home.
Boilers were made and used in England by the turn of the 18th century, and they’ve come a long way since then! Now, UK residents have a lot to think about and important decisions to make when it comes to heating their home.
Don’t fear, as we’ve done some research across heating experts and specialist insulation installers to put together all you need to know to choose the best option for your requirements.
Let’s start with what many homeowners regard to be the most important factor in order to make a decision… the pricing! There’s no point exploring all the pros and cons of each system if the pricing of one boiler means you have no choice but to opt for the other.
Gas boilers are generally more inexpensive to run than oil boilers, as gas remains the most cost-effective fuel on the market. To put things into perspective, the average UK household will spend around £500 per year heating their home via a gas boiler, and around £700 with an oil boiler.
Although there are striking similarities in the way that both systems operate, there is a sharp difference in the way that each needs installing which could sway your opinion. Oil boilers require an additional storage tank during the installation process, meaning you’ll need to find the space to accommodate this.
If your home is lacking the appropriate capacity, it might be a good idea to choose a gas boiler instead, as this installation only requires the compact boiler unit itself.
Of course, the biggest difference between a gas boiler and an oil boiler is the functionality of each, and how they supply heat to your home. In layman’s terms, a gas boiler heats up water to provide central heating and, of course, hot water. This happens through the pipe connected to the gas main on the street.
Four million UK households (15%) are off the mains gas grid, which is where the importance of oil boilers come into play. With no connection to a main, you need to order and pay for your fuel upfront and store it in an oil tank (usually) left outside your house.
Both oil boilers and gas boilers are considered energy efficient and cost-effective sources of fuel, so there isn’t much difference in terms of energy efficiency. If we had to make a decision, however, we would lean more towards gas boilers being the most environmentally friendly. This is because modern condensing boilers are very efficient with up to 90% of the energy used. Plus, gas is by far the cheapest option at 4.17 p per kWh.
While we do believe that both systems are strong contenders, in our expert opinion we do lean towards gas boilers being the better option out of the two. If your property has the ability to connect to a gas main and therefore can accept a gas boiler, go for this option. The gas boiler’s installation process is simpler, it’s more cost-effective and energy efficient.