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Witten by Bernard Morgan (Engineer) & Adam Apperley (Marketing). Published: February 19, 2024. Updated: February 19, 2024

Gas vs Oil Boilers – Which Is Best?

Gas vs Oil - Which is best | Boilerhut

Oil and gas are the primary sources of fuel for heating your home. When you are considering a new boiler this could be your first consideration.

If you aren’t connected to the UK gas grid than oil is normally the first thought. But if you had a choice, which would be best? We’ll look at the differences and help you choose…if this choice is open to you.

It is worth noting that LPG is becoming more popular. LPG boilers are similar to natural gas boilers and are less expensive to install than oil boilers. But, LPG is more expensive than oil as a fuel. Read about LPG vs oil here >

Understanding the Core Differences

Oil and gas heating systems offer differences that may influence your decision.

  • Fuel Delivery and Availability: Gas boilers benefit from continuous supply through secure pipelines. This offers a pay-as-you-use model. In contrast, oil boilers require upfront payment for fuel deliveries. This is then stored in onsite tanks, introducing a forward-planning element for refuelling. It does allow you to buy fuel during lower price periods.
  • Equipment and Maintenance: Oil boilers generally demand more space and stringent maintenance. This includes soot cleaning and filter replacements to maintain efficiency. Gas boilers also need annual services but involve less intensive upkeep. This results in slightly lower service costs. A positive for oil is that many models of oil boiler are available in an internal and external model variant. This can save space in your home, if you have the space outside.
  • Efficiency and Operation: Modern gas condensing boilers typically outperform oil boilers’ efficiency. This is thanks to their ability to operate at variable temperatures and recycle energy. However, oil is a potent fuel source, and advancements in oil boiler technology have bridged the efficiency gap.
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Choosing the Right Boiler

Selecting between an oil and gas boiler hinges on several considerations. The main consideration is fuel availability. If your home is connected to the gas grid, gas tends to be the choice. But system efficiency, environmental impact and maintenance requirements are also considerations.

Once you know which fuel you are using, you will need to consider your boiler type. Are you currently running a system, regular or combi boiler? Or is the property heated by an old back boiler or electric storage heaters?

Swapping one boiler for another is the quickest and cheapest way of installing a new oil boiler. However, if you are changing from a regular boiler to a combi boiler costs increase. This is due to the additional pipework and removal of tanks.

If you have electric storage heaters, these will be removed, and a whole new central heating system will be installed with your oil boiler.

Once you know the fuel and type, you need to consider size. We won’t go into that in this guide – instead, read our guide about boiler sizing. But essentially, you don’t want to under or overpower your boiler as it will be inefficient. This costs you money in fuel spend.

If you would like to learn more about oil boilers, head over to our oil boiler section >

Installation Considerations and Environmental Impact

  • Installation and Maintenance: Installing gas boilers is typically more straightforward, especially for homes already connected to the gas grid. Oil boilers necessitate additional components like storage tanks and oil lines from the tank to the boiler. This complicates installation.
  • Boiler Cost: Natural gas boilers are generally cheaper than oil boilers. There are differences in their workings, of course. However, as gas is more widely used gas boilers benefit from mass production more than oil boilers. Read more about new boiler costs.
  • Environmental Considerations: Gas heating is cleaner, producing lower carbon emissions than oil. However, the environmental footprint of oil boilers can be minimised. This is done through the use of biodiesel blends and improved burner technologies, like Blue Flame.

Cost Analysis: Oil vs. Gas Heating

The operating costs of oil and gas heating fluctuate based on market prices, system efficiency, and consumption. Historically, gas heating has been more cost-effective than oil. This is attributed to lower fuel prices and higher efficiency rates of gas boilers. But, with fluctuating pricing, you will need to consider the best option for you.

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Final Verdict by Boilerhut

The decision between an oil and gas boiler relies on factors like fuel availability, efficiency, installation requirements, and your environmental priorities. For homes with access to natural gas, gas boilers offer a seamless and efficient heating solution.

Conversely, oil boilers present a viable alternative for off-grid properties. Recent technological advancements enhance their appeal, efficiency, and eco-friendliness.

Partnering with a reputable installer and considering the long-term implications of your heating system on your energy bills is crucial. Boilerhut is committed to guiding homeowners through this decision-making process. We ensure a heating solution that aligns with your lifestyle, budget, and environmental values.

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If you need a new or replacement boiler or are looking at having a central heating system installed, get an online quote (it takes less than 1 minute), and you’ll get an instant price. But why choose Boilerhut:


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