If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact

Undecided on oil boiler

  • 27-03-2022 5:11pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭

    Am I mad to consider having an oil boiler installed?

    Renovated a cottage over last number of years , all pipes in place, at moment Stanley stove heats rads/water but with everything going on....

    The house isn't 100% ready for Air to water and dont think it will, although I did alot of work on it. I keep getting told to avoid the Heat Pumps for various reasons fron a few colleagues and also the cost of the HP compared to an oil condensed boiler is quite a bit.

    Any advice welcome

    Post edited by Thespoofer on


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,485 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    I like the fact that your thinking about it mate. Don't think your mad at all, if I'm honest.

    Heat pumps are fantastic pieces of equipment. The impression is that they are "newfangled", but in reality the tech is old skool and has been around for 100+ years. It's just that they've gained traction over the past decade or so. Like you, I looked into it myself for my own place. I was borderline and I felt that the risk doesn't equal the reward. I don't have underfloor heating and the radiators would (probably) have to be replaced with larger ones, so these things weighted on me. I could spend €10-15K and bask in the warmth of doing right by the environment, but still find that I have a freezing house. My BER rating was D1 and there was a few things that I'd have to fix to make it viable.

    Went with the solar panels option. If you haven't gotten them in, this is probably the safest return on investment you'll make and bring you a fair chunkc along the road to energy self-sufficiency.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭Thespoofer

    Thanks for this. I'm the same in regards to the solar panels, I'd be more in favour of investing in this set up as opposed to the HP.

    Your situation sounds quite similar to mine, would gave to go bigger with rads, no underfloor heating etc.

    Thanks again.

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 6,521 Mod ✭✭✭✭Irish Steve

    This will be an interesting discussion, and it very much raises some challenging questions about where SEAI are going with their grant structures, and what the Government are doing to encourage real moves from people, rather than throw obscene sums of money at contractors who are already working to capacity.

    Making it impossible for DIY schemes to get grant aiding is not exactly being fair to people who are well able to do their own work, or don't fit the profile of "standard" installations, or self builders, and what was wrong with the idea that the UK have gone for, where green energy schemes are VAT free for the next 5 years.

    We have a limited budget to make changes here, and our options were to look at Solar, or a heat pump of some sort, or to upgrade some 30 year old Double glazing that's not great in terms of the U value of the glass units.

    In the end, we've decided to upgrade the double glazing, and the doors, to help even more with keeping the heat we've paid for in the house. There is absolutely no help from SEAI for that, despite it being a significant sum, and the end result will be an improvement in our BER, and a decrease in our energy usage as a resultm so I don't understand why SEAI are refusing to help with this option.

    Solar is all well and good, we would be able in theory to benefit from this, but the FIT is still not agreed, and likely to be limited in the value and possibly the maximum feed in, so effectively, if you don't actually use a lot of electricity at the moment, there's not a lot of advantage in putting in Solar, and for reasons that escape me, SEAI don't want to encourage battery usage. Then there's the problem that when you most need it, Solar will most likely be lower output because of cloud cover and the lower sun angles during the winter months.

    Heat pumps. In some cases, sold by snake oil salemen, we were lucky, a mature salesman who owned the company had a good look at our property, and said that while we could in theory put in a heat pump system, we'd be dissapointed with the cost of running it, and the result, unless we were prepared to spend a LOT of money, which wasn't an option.

    Tearing up 200 metres of tiled floor to put in underfloor heating is not an option, and there would also be issues with getting adequate temperature in the hot water, Putting in larger aluminium radiators would be horribly expensive, so his recommendation at that time was to concentrate on making sure that the fabric of the house is upgraded to keep the heat in, and that's what we've been doing and are now taking a step further.

    As for where this is going, in relation to SEAI, I have to wonder who they are trying to help, as it very much doesn't look like they are wanting to help older people who are likely to be living in older houses that need more upgrading to be viable for the long term, and with the recent massive hikes in energy costs as a result of the Ukraine situation, it's not going to get any easier or better for a long time to come, and whatever about having to increase the unit costs because of raw material price rises, where are Bord Gais coming from with a €50 hike in their standing charge, I see no justification for that massive hike in charges.

    At this stage, I have nothing but contempt for the simpering leader of the Green party, he is so clueless it's embarrassing. For pensioners and the like on fixed incomes, there is so little for them in the current grant schemes, it's sickening, and they are one of the groups that are most vulnerable to the issues that are only just starting to be visible, the next 12 months are going to be a nightmare for many people and the only ideas that Ryan and his ilk seem to have is to increase taxes to discourage usage. Nothing worth talking about in terms of schemes to make the heat put into a house go further or last longer.

    Shore, if it was easy, everybody would be doin it.😁

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,091 ✭✭✭✭Gael23

    Given that’s it’s such an old house getting an efficient condensing oil boiler isn’t a ridiculous proposition

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭Thespoofer

    Ok, so I had an air tightness test lined up in a couple of weeks ( recommended by Technical assessor) going to cut my losses and have cancelled it.

    I'm going to go with the new oil boiler/controls and in the near future look at Solar.

    In a couple of years a heat pump can be added to the new oil boiler if I feel it would benefit the house.

    The other thing I'm looking at is the older part of the house how to heat this area a bit better. The floor area is small so maybe a low profile UFH that can be tee-d off the existing radiator might be an option.

    Also are those electric mats might be an option ( for a small area ) but not sure they burn out after a few years though.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 12,097 ✭✭✭✭KCross

    Why cancel the assessor? Surely that’s of benefit to you regardless of what your heat source is?

    it will tell you where you need to focus your money and reduce your heat demand.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭Thespoofer

    Well to be fair I've done alot of work up to this point , external insulation, all new windows/doors, all inside newly stabbed including all walls done with insulated slab, new pipes/rads, electrics, alot of the attic insulated but needs more done.

    I employed an assessor a couple months back and to be honest found him a bit , casual. He basically told me ( after receiving payment) it's going to be difficult to approve for HP as I did alot of it myself ( it is to a good standard ) so ge recommended an air tightness test.

    After considering the house may fail the air tightness test as it may need more work done and then another test ( this money would pay for a new boiler ) ,I decided to cut my losses and go with my own instincts on it. To be honest, I know myself where the cold parts of the house are.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2 smith4130

    Be sure to have it sized correctly, efficiency drops of drastically if its not the correct size for your needs, too small and it'll be running too hard, too big and it'll not have enough cold return to it from the house causing the a short burn interval and the boiler not getting up to full temperature on the condenser. You can parallel air and oil, largest consumption of btu's is getting cold to warm, running a used heat pump to maintain an average 18° consistently in your rads preventing your house and getting cold and quickly boosting with oil when required is by far and away the best set up for an old cottage. Digging up the floor creating a heat bank is fine if it's single source air tight high efficiency insulated new build but it's not necessary. Run a dehumidifier in the coldest area of the house, it takes 8 times more energy to heat damp air.