Switching from Oil to LPG for your central heating can be a great way of becoming more energy-efficient and saving money. It can be a big process, and one that involves several steps to make the conversion.
For this article, we’ll be breaking down the differences between Oil and LPG. As well as the range of advantages and disadvantages that come with it. By the end of this, whether your current boiler has broken, you’ll be ready to go from Oil to LPG boiler!
If your current oil boiler has broken down, it’s always worth considering the environmental and financial benefits of converting from Oil to LPG such as the Vitodens 100-W. You could be one of the 2 million homes in the UK disconnected to the gas grid. If that’s the case, it’s worth taking a look at other fuel sources besides
the traditional oil and coal.
Because of campaigns focusing on the reduction of carbon emissions, it’s now more appropriate than ever to be more environment-conscious. On top of this, speaking to a heating expert directly can also be a great way to get that much needed reassurance.
Looking for some friendly advice? Give us a call on 02920 650 025 or alternatively you can click here to get a free, no-obligation online quote.
What’s the difference between Oil and LPG?
Firstly, we need to make a distinction between the two fuel sources. LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) is a colourless gas that gets pressurised into a dense, liquid form. Typically collected as a result of refining crude oil, there are 2 types of LPG available as a fuel. Butane, which is used as the primary indoor heating source and Propane, which is another form of Kerosene produced by heating crude oil.
There are obviously different boiler types as well, such combi boilers like the Vitodens 050-W and Storage Combi Boilers like the Vitodens 111-W. However, deciding on the fuel type is more important as a first step.
Both of these fuel types get delivered to your property when it’s required, so you’re always able to keep on top of the supply. Deciding on where this fuel gets stored is very much part of the installation process. For LPG you can choose between a bulk tank above ground or an underground tank, so that it’s hidden away.
Reasons you should switch from Oil to LPG
Learning about the different ways you can benefit from converting from Oil to LPG, can help you make that important final decision. The following points outline these various benefits, giving you an idea of how better off you can be:
- Green Energy – Simple but effective. According to the Energy Saving Trust, by switching to a modern condensing boiler. Savings can be seen up to 40%! This is not achievable solely by switching fuel. However when annual maintenance out of warranty repair costs and initial installation costs are calculated. there are savings to be had by switching to LPG.
- Technologies – LPG can be used alongside other technologies such as weather compensation to lower costs even further.
- Reliable Supply – With a large network of fuel suppliers working across the UK, you’ll always have the necessary resources to stay on top of things.
- Maintenance required is minimal – It’s one less thing to think about, giving you peace of mind.
- Alterations available – LPG can be fitted onto an already-existing heating system, allowing for an easier process with few adjustments required.
- No risk of fuel theft – Decanting LPG from a storage tank is incredibly difficult to do, meaning you can stay comforted and warm without a worry.
- Modulation – 90% of all Oil boilers do not modulate as apposed to 99% of all LPG and Gas boilers which are modulating.
Advantages of LPG
Oil fired boilers are obviously a very popular choice of boiler type for rural areas in the UK. This situation has changed for a lot of people. Many homeowners are realising the energy saving benefits that come with switching from Oil to LPG and are making the change.
More people are becoming conscious of burning fossil fuels and the effect it has on our planet. With many now looking for sensible and alternative ways to reduce costs and stay environmentally conscious. LPG fits the profile very well.
Advantages of switching from Oil to LPG:
- As it’s a Fossil Fuel, LPG is much cleaner to burn and is far less harmful to the environment.
- Do you currently have a non-condensing oil boiler? Replacing it with a modern LPG condensing boiler drastically improves efficiency. In terms of efficiency, many LPG boilers operate between 90 – 97%.
- For the most part, an LPG boiler will be a much cheaper option, and is easier to have installed. There is a wide variety of boilers available in the UK market and the outlay cost of an LPG boiler is significantly cheaper than an Oil boiler.
- LPG boilers are wall mountable offering more citing positions.
- Because LPG is a much cleaner fuel to burn, it’s also much easier to maintain and service.
- Annual Service costs are cheaper against Oil (Average service cost between £60 – £75 for LPG and £100 – £140 for Oil).
- An LPG boiler is compact in size and quieter in sound (noise level can range between 45 – 49 decibels).
- Oil as a fuel can be used for your boiler and cooking, but LPG gives you broader option to use it for cooking appliances and other heaters as well.
- Wider range of warranties available from 7-10 years
Disadvantages of switching from Oil to LPG
- As a fuel source, Oil is actually more efficient than LPG. However, oil is more harmful to the environment.
- It costs a little more to heat your property using LPG. However as mentioned previously, a modern condensing LPG boiler easily makes it worth it, with its increased efficiency. As well as this, oil prices tend to fluctuate quite a lot, whereas LPG remains fairly consistent.
- You have to buy or rent a tank as well – You will need to factor this in as an additional cost, these tanks can range in price depending on who you choose your supply with. Above ground bulk tanks can range between £450 – £600 and underground tank between £1500 -£2000. However, the overall cost to payback can be achieved in/around a 10 year period.
- Access can sometimes be an issue for the tankers to not only fit your new tank but to refill. For more information on this, its best to speak to your chosen supplier or heating engineer, like B T Morgan about the guidelines and restrictions.
In most cases, due to the location being in rural areas where most of the requirements are for an LPG or Oil installation. The access issues can be overcome. due to the amount of land available which provides installation options.
Overall, an LPG boiler will still be a much cheaper option compared to an oil-fired boiler or even an electric heater – especially if your old one is non-condensing.
How long will my installation take?
Planning an installation naturally takes a fair bit of thought and planning. However, with the right type of installer who knows their way around such a job, you shouldn’t have any problems. In most cases the installer will contact a reputable company that they work with (for example, Calor)
and request a survey for them to attend the property. They will discuss the installation options, timescale, paperwork compliance and cost for the tank to be installed.
Once this has been established, agreed and costs confirmed, the installation company will work with the client and the supplier to agree a date for installation.
Most Oil to LPG jobs will take around 1-2 days to complete. Timescales can still vary however, but a truly professional installer will make sure work is completed in the allotted time unless circumstances dictate otherwise.
In some urgent cases where a boiler replacement is required quickly, the client can be set up on a temporary contract. The supplier can supply 2-4 47kg propane cylinders until the bulk or underground tank can be fitted. This can be arranged by the client at the initial discussion with the installer or LPG supplier.
When it comes to fuel supply for our Oil to LPG conversions, there are a few options to go with. The following two examples are some of the more popular LPG suppliers operating across the UK:
As one of the oldest fuel supply companies working today, Calor has certainly made a name for themselves as the biggest name in LPG.
They’ve been operating since as early as 1935, where they were one of the first UK companies to supply LPG cylinders to the UK and Ireland. To this day, they continue to provide this service for many off-grid homes. Supplying the country with propane cylinders, bulk and underground tanks.
On top of this, Calor have also been moving forward in developing ‘BioLPG‘, which centres around their plans for their fuel supply to become 100% renewable by 2040. With ambitions this big to minimise any negative effect on the environment, only Calor would be capable of seeing them through to the end.
Besides Calor, the other big LPG supplier currently available is Avantigas.
With its business operating across England, Scotland and Wales, they’ve also made themselves a large player in propane and Butane.
The supplies they provide across the UK are delivered in bulk. The company itself is owned by the UGI Corporation, which itself is an international distributor of LPG.
Flo Gas are another leading supplier of LPG. Founded in 1984, they have become one of Europe’s leading LPG suppliers. They have a presence in
the UK, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands.
They have over 35 years’ experience providing reliable, affordable energy solutions to off-grid homes in England, Scotland and Wales. They are still a small company at heart, but customer satisfaction and service is their top priority.
Read our latest blogs to help you make a decision:
Ready to Switch from Oil to LPG?
If you feel ready to look into an Oil to LPG conversion…well done! You’re now one step closer to getting that much-needed warmth for your home.
If you live off-grid and are keen on getting this moving, you can speak to one of our in-house experts for some final reassurance and advice. Before settling on a specific boiler. To do so, just give us a call on 02920 650 025 and we will be happy to discuss or answer any questions you may have!
Alternatively, you can get a free online quote for a new boiler straight away by clicking here.