Heating tips with an oil boiler
Updated: Dec 23, 2020
Of all the possible methods to heat our house in Mallorca, the oil boiler is usually the least recommended method. Fuel has risen in price considerably in recent years and it is the least efficient system on the market. However, if you have a diesel boiler in your home, the first recommendation is that you carry out annual maintenance on the machine. It is necessary to perform checkings in the boiler burner so that the performance of your boiler is the best possible.
Oil boilers have an internal thermostat that allows constant temperature regulation. This constant temperature is what the boiler must maintain in order to respond immediately to the hot water that a heating system or a tap may need. One way to save on fuel is to lower that holding temperature to 60 degrees Celsius. We do not recommend lowering the temperature further, as you could damage the boiler. With the lowest constant temperature, the boiler starts less times, consumes less, and when it works, it does so for longer, avoiding future breakdowns and improving overall consumption.
Depending on the type of boiler we have in our home in Mallorca, it will be advisable to adopt a series of additional measures:
- If you have a heating-only oil boiler (it only heats radiators and produces domestic hot water), you will also have a storage tank installed in your home. If you have this type of boiler, your storage tank should have good insulation and be able to heat itself independently without the need for the boiler (those that have an electrical resistance). This will allow you to turn off the boiler in times when heating is not necessary.
- If you have an instantaneous oil boiler (heating and domestic hot water), you should know that these appliances do not leave chance for savings. When you buy them, they are very cheap, but they need a high temperature to supply hot water and it should always be on (it consumes diesel all year round). In this case, to save, we directly recommend its replacement.
- The diesel boiler with a hot water tank is halfway in terms of efficiency. Its tank has a good insulation, but it must be turned on all year round to have hot water in the house.
All boilers need a control unit that starts/stops the heating pump to supply hot water to the radiators or underfloor heating. These control units are divided into two broad categories: non-programmable (the desired temperature must be changed manually, in order to start or stop heating) and programmable (allow setting start and stop times for heating). As heating experts, if your intention is to save on your bill, we recommend the use of programmable control units, which automatically modify the temperature of our home, regulate our climate comfort and do not require manual manipulation.
As a general rule, homes that have a diesel boiler usually have it because there is no gas supply (off-grid homes). An alternative to oil heating is pellet or biomass stoves due to its fuel is much cheaper (a price per kW produced of € 8.95 compared to € 4.95). However, pellet stoves need accumulation tanks as large or larger than the accumulators of diesel boilers.
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