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Jbob

New heating system needed

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Hi folks

My wood burner has developed a leak between the back boiler and the fire box. I have been advised that it has reached the end of its life and need replacing. I have been told it could be repaired but I have decided I don't want this system to heat my house and supply hot water anymore. To much hassle, too inefficient and too much money to keep the house warm.

I am considering an external oil combi boiler but will need a tank installed as well. Alternatively I am considering a wood pellet boiler. This is the expensive option but it does provide something nice to look at if you chose the right model and is a bit more eco friendly plus there are the RHI payments to consider which are a good incentive.

Does anyone have any experience with wood pellet boilers? Any installers on here? Does anyone have any advice on running costs and how well they heat the house etc? I would like a system that I can run easily and provide good heating. It needs to be responsive and easy to control.

All thoughts welcome.

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I looked into this vaguely a while back. My impression was that the wood pellets were pricey (and only likely to get more so) and the install costs of pellet boilers were high, to get the RHI value.

In the end, we went oil boiler, with a couple of log burners.

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Both wood pellet and wood flake are high maintenance (particularly the auto feed).

Non mains gas very expensive oil less so but I suspect likely to rise.

Heat pumps are getting all the hype but my experience (5 years ago) was they were not very good but ground source was far better than air source as sub 600 mm ground temperatures fairly stable and constant.

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Posted (edited)

I would agree auto feed pellet boilers have a potential for high maintenance costs but there are gravity fed non-electric alternatives available for both heating the room and water. Obviously you would need to like the designs of these boilers to have them in your room but water heating boilers could be in a utility room so not so critical on the looks. A few links below on non electric pellet boilers.

http://www.rohlmann-dienstleistungen.de/peletofen--bruno-.html

http://www.meskostav.zaridi.to/kachle_bruno_pelety.html

http://www.meskostav.zaridi.to/kachle_bruno_pelet.html

https://www.diltoo.com/poele-a-pellet-sans-electricite-ecolo-19265.html

http://wellbeingsprl.com/15-poeles-a-pellet-sans-electronique-et-electricite

https://acb13.net/nos-produits-granules-poele_sans_elec

https://www.maxblank.com/en/stoves-and-fireplaces/stove-with-baking-compartment/

There are also pellet patio heaters, outdoor cookers and barbecues even the odd indoor cooker that are all non-electric.

 

 

 

Edited by SPAS 15
oops

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You could go lpg gas and have a big storage container that may be buried in the ground. Have a look on calor website. 

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5 hours ago, SPAS 15 said:

I would agree auto feed pellet boilers have a potential for high maintenance costs but there are gravity fed non-electric alternatives available for both heating the room and water. Obviously you would need to like the designs of these boilers to have them in your room but water heating boilers could be in a utility room so not so critical on the looks. A few links below on non electric pellet boilers.

http://www.rohlmann-dienstleistungen.de/peletofen--bruno-.html

http://www.meskostav.zaridi.to/kachle_bruno_pelety.html

http://www.meskostav.zaridi.to/kachle_bruno_pelet.html

https://www.diltoo.com/poele-a-pellet-sans-electricite-ecolo-19265.html

http://wellbeingsprl.com/15-poeles-a-pellet-sans-electronique-et-electricite

https://acb13.net/nos-produits-granules-poele_sans_elec

https://www.maxblank.com/en/stoves-and-fireplaces/stove-with-baking-compartment/

There are also pellet patio heaters, outdoor cookers and barbecues even the odd indoor cooker that are all non-electric.

 

 

 

Having lived in South of France I can tell you that pellet burners are very popular- as far as maintaining them/cleaning them, no more so than a normal wood burner.

Autonomy varies from around 30 hours to 72 from the ones I have seen ( small decorative types) 

We still have a large wood burner and as we don’t spend a great deal of time there our wood store should do for another five years.

Once that’s exhausted then we shall be going down the pellet route with domestic heating capabilities 

Love that wood burner/oven combination though 

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I had a look about 3 years ago ......... and as I have mains gas, it was a 'no brainer'.

Wood pellets - expensive - slightly less so if you buy big bulk at at time - but then you need a lot of storage space.  Maintenance/spares long term worried me as the feeder looked 'wear prone'.

Heat pumps.  Air source unsuitable (I need 40 KW of heat).  Ground source works well in a well insulated house with underfloor and steady 24 hours a day warmth, but has quite a low water temperature capability, so needs BIG radiators.  Laying collector would be a problem for me I think (lots of mature trees - roots) and I didn't think the vertical type would work.  For the capacity I need - there is a lot of collector and the pumping losses are quite high, so running costs reflect that.  Not good for house cool in day, warmer in evening, so better suited where people are in all day.  My electricity supply capacity is also limited to 80 Amps ....... and with an electric cooker etc, I would have had to have a larger cable supply installed I think.

Liquified gas - is good, but I believe expensive.  Most suppliers operate a 'fill when needed' managed service.

Oil is also good.  Boilers need a little more service than gas equivalents, and tanks need to be 'bunded' I believe - so are quite big.  You can buy oil and pick your time to suit budget and price to an extent - or you can get a managed service.

I assume you don't have access to mains gas?

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About six years ago I was lucky enough to get on the government worm front heating program at the time I had a multi fuel  wood/coal stove running five radiators and it worked fine but as I was having problems with my joints I decided to change  over to oil heating.    

I love it just have it serviced once a year cost about £100 and as oil is not to expensive at the present time I have a 1200 ltr tank I just have 500ltrs put in when it gets down to about half full and that is it best thing I ever did getting fitted.

They do say that mains gas is best but if that is not an option I say go for the oil option you will not regret it.

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Like Sandspider we looked into this in Southwest Scotland when replacing the inefficient back boiler and emersion heater. We opted for external oil combi and 1200 litre tank. Very pleased with the result.

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Thanks of the input so far guys, it's much appreciated.

Mains glass isn't an option. 

Oil is going to be a cheaper in stall. I only need the boiler and the tank. The only concern I have with oil is the volatile nature of the price. I had an oil fired Rayburn in my last property. 

The wood pellet option is attractive with the rhi payments. Storage for bulk buy isn't a problem. I would use my log shed to store bags of pellets. I done mind a little labour to fill the hopper but the work I do at the moment with my wood burner is getting tiresome. 

3 minutes ago, Dave at kelton said:

Like Sandspider we looked into this in Southwest Scotland when replacing the inefficient back boiler and emersion heater. We opted for external oil combi and 1200 litre tank. Very pleased with the result.

How much oil do you get through? We live in an 3 bed ex council 1955 block built semi detached on the edge of Bodmin.

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12 hours ago, Jbob said:

Thanks of the input so far guys, it's much appreciated.

Mains glass isn't an option. 

Oil is going to be a cheaper in stall. I only need the boiler and the tank. The only concern I have with oil is the volatile nature of the price. I had an oil fired Rayburn in my last property. 

The wood pellet option is attractive with the rhi payments. Storage for bulk buy isn't a problem. I would use my log shed to store bags of pellets. I done mind a little labour to fill the hopper but the work I do at the moment with my wood burner is getting tiresome. 

How much oil do you get through? We live in an 3 bed ex council 1955 block built semi detached on the edge of Bodmin.

 

12 hours ago, Jbob said:

Thanks of the input so far guys, it's much appreciated.

Mains glass isn't an option. 

Oil is going to be a cheaper in stall. I only need the boiler and the tank. The only concern I have with oil is the volatile nature of the price. I had an oil fired Rayburn in my last property. 

The wood pellet option is attractive with the rhi payments. Storage for bulk buy isn't a problem. I would use my log shed to store bags of pellets. I done mind a little labour to fill the hopper but the work I do at the moment with my wood burner is getting tiresome. 

How much oil do you get through? We live in an 3 bed ex council 1955 block built semi detached on the edge of Bodmin.

We have a three bed detached 1960s timber frame bungalow about 1100sq feet and use about 1200-1500 litres per annum. We usually have it set on auto between October and May and have individual radiator thermostats. If it gets really chilly of a night I light up the wood burner in the lounge rather than put the heating up.

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, Dave at kelton said:

 

We have a three bed detached 1960s timber frame bungalow about 1100sq feet and use about 1200-1500 litres per annum. We usually have it set on auto between October and May and have individual radiator thermostats. If it gets really chilly of a night I light up the wood burner in the lounge rather than put the heating up.

I've been in the same boat after we moved into a 1950's 3 bed semi 6 months ago. We'll need a new boiler soon & will be keeping the oil heating system with log burner for evenings, after looking at all the other options.

So far we used about 1200ltrs since the end of September & the back of the house is open to fields behind & there is 2 women in the house 😣

 

Edited by landy george
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13 hours ago, Jbob said:

Thanks of the input so far guys, it's much appreciated.

Mains glass isn't an option. 

Oil is going to be a cheaper in stall. I only need the boiler and the tank. The only concern I have with oil is the volatile nature of the price. I had an oil fired Rayburn in my last property. 

The wood pellet option is attractive with the rhi payments. Storage for bulk buy isn't a problem. I would use my log shed to store bags of pellets. I done mind a little labour to fill the hopper but the work I do at the moment with my wood burner is getting tiresome. 

How much oil do you get through? We live in an 3 bed ex council 1955 block built semi detached on the edge of Bodmin.

Don't compare an oil rayburn running at 40% efficency all day to a modern oil boiler running at 85% as the boiler is much more efficent and running for shorter periods.

 

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Posted (edited)

My experience of oil over the last 2 years is that the price hasn't been volatile.

We pay around £250 for 500L and it lasts ages due to combined use of woodburner and putting on a jumper.

What about a log gasification boiler? I like the look of these as you're not at the mercy of a pellet supplier doubling their price if they feel like it.

Edited by Muddy Funker
Because I want to?

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1 hour ago, landy george said:

I've been in the same boat after we moved into a 1950's 3 bed semi 6 months ago. We'll need a new boiler soon & will be keeping the oil heating system with log burner for evenings, after looking at all the other options.

So far we used about 1200ltrs since the end of September & the back of the house is open to fields behind & there is 2 women in the house 😣

 

Sounds like us we are in an exposed hill position and the lady of the house feels the cold

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2 hours ago, Stonepark said:

Don't compare an oil rayburn running at 40% efficency all day to a modern oil boiler running at 85% as the boiler is much more efficent and running for shorter periods.

 

Thats a very good point. I hadn't thought of that. 

2 hours ago, landy george said:

I've been in the same boat after we moved into a 1950's 3 bed semi 6 months ago. We'll need a new boiler soon & will be keeping the oil heating system with log burner for evenings, after looking at all the other options.

So far we used about 1200ltrs since the end of September & the back of the house is open to fields behind & there is 2 women in the house 😣

 

1200 litres doesnt really sound a lot in the grand scheme of things. Say you use it over summer to just for hot water the you may be looking a approx £750-1000 a year? £250 a quarter?

I think I worked out that wood pellets would cost something similar. However the RHI payments could be put towards paying that (if you happy to write off the idea of getting the boiler paid for by government) and let the government pay for running the boiler.

The problem I have is my wife has been diagnosed with Fybro and I want to be able to keep the house at a steady tempurature and have sufficent hot water all day long.

My dad has had an oil Combi boiler fitted last yr and is raving about how nice the winter was. I pal of min said dont go for a combi but have a condensing boiler. Hes a plumber and doesnt like combi's. 

16 hours ago, Jaymo said:

Having lived in South of France I can tell you that pellet burners are very popular- as far as maintaining them/cleaning them, no more so than a normal wood burner.

Autonomy varies from around 30 hours to 72 from the ones I have seen ( small decorative types) 

We still have a large wood burner and as we don’t spend a great deal of time there our wood store should do for another five years.

Once that’s exhausted then we shall be going down the pellet route with domestic heating capabilities 

Love that wood burner/oven combination though 

 Do you have any research on them thats made you want to go the wood pellet route or is it just whats more common locally so the obvious choice?

Thanks again folks for all the usefull input. I only want to this once and so want to make the right choice.

The wife would go with whats cheapest option so she can spent the rest of the money on a new bathroom though.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Jbob said:

I pal of min said dont go for a combi but have a condensing boiler. Hes a plumber and doesnt like combi's. 

I'm with him on that.

Edited by Yellow Bear

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