Oil fired central heating

Socialise and chat about other areas of your life
Just need some advice really, if anyone is in the know!

We are still house hunting and quite a few of the places that we are looking at are in smallish towns/villages, hence a lot of them seem to have oil fired heating.
This has put us off because we thought it would be expensive (in comparison to gas CH) and difficult to manage but it seems a shame to turn down some lovely places because of this.

Any advice whether it is workable or not for us city dwellers minus a car? Image
We have oil central heating and I wouldn't have anything else. I have to say our house has double glazing, loads of loft insulation and also cavity wall insulation and it's always lovely and warm. Yesterday we had the heating on for a total of 2.5 hours and we were not a bit cold. We find that the radiators heat up very quickly and then retain the heat. It is a bit of a shock when we order a full tank full of oil but then I speak to people with gas or electric heating and they hate their bills too.
Yesterday we had the heating on for a total of 2.5 hours ....
2.5 hours is nothing compared to what my wife would need though so I guess it boils down to how warm one needs to keep. We have our gas boiler on 24/7 via thermostat as my wife would feel more pain if she was cold. And by "cold", I mean if the temps were to drop below 19 degrees C. Generally, the thermostat is set for 21 degrees during the day and 19 during the night.

With this in mind, we looked at properties with oil-fired central heating in remote villages and after much investigation, we were shocked at how much it would cost us to fill the outside storage tank and how much we would use. One lady whose house we went to see said she half filled her tank, costing her £700 and that would last her only 3 months as she likes her heat. Remember, too, that the system also provides hot water for washing, washing up etc. This worked out MUCH more than we use in gas.

As I say, it all boils down to how warm you like to keep, whether you *need* the warmth due to disabilities/pain, how bad a winter you get etc etc etc.
A problem with oil is that there is less competition and no price controls. This means it is harder to predict how much you will have to spend. Depending on the size of tank and how fast you use it, you will have one or more big bills - and if you cannot choose to buy in the less expensive time of year/when the market dips, this can be especially difficult. note that there are schemes for group buying to keep costs down, also many suppliers have a monthly direct debit scheme, although they seemed more expensive to me than watching out for the best price and avoiding running out and panic buying.

Have a look at the chart on http://www.boilerjuice.com to see how variable the price of heating oil can be. To give some idea, when buying at least 1,000 litres at a time (best balance between best price and spreading cost for us) over the last few years I have had to pay:
January 10 52.29 ppl [pence per litre, including VAT]
April 10 47.20 ppl
August 10 41.95 ppl
February 11 54.43 ppl
August 11 57.17 ppl
November 11 59.86 ppl
June 12 56.60 ppl
July 12 57.65 ppl
[1000 litres - move decimal point one place to the right to see the total bill in £]

We used about 2,500 litres a year, but this house needs old double glazing to be upgraded, has next to no cavity in the old brick walls, and Dad needed it warm all day and warmer than an able-bodied person would want through the night. On my own I shall be using considerably less!

Don't forget the boiler needs servicing once a year to remain as efficient as possible, at the moment this costs £80 - £100 each time around here, including the regularly-replaced jet nozzles.

All that said, don't let the presence of an oil boiler put you off buying a place that is otherwise right for you. It is no more hassle on a day-to-day basis than gas, you just have to adjust to buying your fuel in 'chunks'.

(Edited to get the URL right)
I personally wouldn't be put off by oil fired central heating.
We are half underfloor and half radiator heating here (no mains gas), fired by oil. Plus the WIAGA. Initial cost of filling the tank you may think a bit on the dear side, but it really is effective. Like electricity and gas, it all depends on how much you use. Our average price per litre for oil is about 59p, 1000 litre tank fill costs £600 or so.
Just central heating should last a few months, the WIAGA makes it more costly for us.

Why don't you view somewhere which has oil central heating and ask the owner about costs, they'll happily tell you.
Some of us live in areas where there is no mains gas but a few people round here do have that other gas in big tanks. Is it called LPG? Anyway, that's expensive too.

Regarding my 2.5 hours heating the other day, I had my 88 year old Mum staying over the weekend and she really feels the cold but as it was very sunny outside and our house really gets the sun we were all lovely and warm. She said she was lovely and warm and even took her cardi off!!
Right now you oiler's have told your story's I'll tell you a solid fuel one for this winter
I have had 2 and a half ton of coal @ £300 per ton and a gas cylinder that cost £60 which
is 47kg the big one that has lasted 14 months purely for cooking in the summer and
a few days in winter as the Rayburn does the rest hot water and central heating.
the Rayburn does not get used in the summer when the weather is warm hot water
then come's from an emmersion heater which is manual switch on when wanted
and the gas cooker running on Lpg same as a caravan so you can say I run electric gas
and coal for a year is less than £1500 and IF the electric goes off in the winter I
have my own generator to run central heating pump and electric freezer and fridge
and so on BUT I have never used it YET Image as the longest elec has been off is 3 day's
freezer is ok up to app 48-60 hours Image
Also check as many councils run schemes were groups club together to order and get way lower costs then one offs
We have LPG tank, because no mains gas in the village.
I've been checking prices lately and it's around 46p/litre. Can't say much about efficiency because we have useless insulation and no double glazing, so I'm fighting a losing battle. The electricity bill has reduced by almost two-thirds in 6 months since dad died, mainly due to washing/drying costs before I'd guess.
I tried to get free insulation (loft and cavity wall) and had a date for the company to do the work in January, but 2 days before they rang and said their funds had been stopped. Since then I've been told I don't qualify any more, being on ESA or IS isn't enough, have to have a child or disabled person in household which I don't now.
we had storage heaters and hey pumped bills up so we had them taken out now we have an electric fire and also a oil heater and works well do not find it expensive like people say i would go for it