The oil-fired boiler is a very polluting type of heating. This is why it was decided to stop installing them in new buildings or even to replace those at the end of their life from 2022. The existing alternatives promote renewable energies, because the goal is to gradually eliminate them. Oil-fired boilers which are expensive and in no way promote environmental protection, quite the contrary. Solar heating, wood heating, the installation of a heat pump are for example ecological alternatives to heating with fuel oil. Each variant has advantages and disadvantages and must be adapted to your home.
What alternatives are there to oil heating?
If you want or need to replace your oil heating system in the coming years, start educating yourself about the alternatives as soon as possible. Because there are many. For example :
- The gas condensing boiler,
- Heating with wood pellets
- Heat pump,
Supporting measures are being developed so that you can replace oil heating systems with new, more climate-friendly heating systems.
What is the interest of these alternatives to the fuel oil boiler?
The alternatives to oil heating have a number of advantages:
- They are not prohibited from 2022.
- The energy they use is subject to less price changes.
- These same alternative energies don’t smell as bad as fuel oil.
- Alternative energies are often more climate friendly.
- More funding is available for so-called clean energies.
What alternatives to an oil-fired boiler in old buildings?
In an old building, practically all alternatives to oil heating are possible. What is important is the thermal state of the building, whether it is a new building or a renovated old one. Of course, if it is a new building, it is possible to provide the necessary space to store wood pellets while in an old building, there is not necessarily room for this. A heat pump can also be an interesting heating system. Especially when there is underfloor heating and good insulation.
Which renewable energies to replace an oil-fired boiler
In order to no longer use fossil energy in your heating method, opt for a heating method that uses renewable energy such as a heat pump, solar or photovoltaic heating or even wood pellet heating. If you replace your oil-fired boiler with a gas condensing boiler, you can simply heat it with biogas.
Wood is often seen as an almost climate neutral fuel, as trees grow back and when wood is burned, only the CO2 that was bound to the wood during the growth phase is released. Nevertheless, it is still a valuable natural raw material. This is why these heating systems must also be operated in the most economical and efficient way. What is ideal, for example, is to combine solar energy with a wood pellet boiler. It is a very environmentally friendly combination.
Solar heating is often part of hybrid heating. The sun’s rays heat the collector and the solar fluid it contains. Solar heating also works in winter. However, solar thermal systems generate much less income in winter than in summer due to the shorter sunshine duration. The larger the sensor area, the more support there is and the higher the installation costs. About a third of the cost of purchasing and installing a solar thermal system can usually be covered by grants.
The operation of wood pellet heating systems is comparable to that of oil heating systems in many ways: the boiler is usually installed in the basement. A dry storage room is required for the pellets. If you have an oil-fired boiler, chances are you will have enough room to replace it with a pellet boiler. But it may also be that more space or height is needed. The combustion as well as the annual filling with firewood or wood pellets work fully automatically. Of course, the ash pan has to be emptied manually a few times a year. The acquisition costs of wood pellet boilers are significantly higher than for a gas condensing boiler. However, the installation of heating can be partially financed by certain support programs.
Wood pellets are made up of pressed wood residues such as sawdust, wood chips or residual wood. Pellets have an advantage over wood logs. Because the water content is very low, very little ash remains and much less pollutants are released. Small wood-fired combustion systems emit considerable amounts of harmful fine dust. This is why the use of particulate filters is strongly recommended.
The heat pump
In principle, every home can be equipped with a heat pump for heating and hot water. But switching from oil heating to a heat pump if you live in an older apartment is not always worth it. Heat pumps operate with low flow temperatures and are therefore particularly suitable for well-insulated houses with underfloor heating. Heat pumps use ambient heat, either from the air, groundwater or soil. The heat is compressed and made available at a higher temperature level. There are special electricity tariffs for heat pumps, the price of which is much lower than the average price of household electricity. The more climate and environmental friendly this electricity, the better. The heat pump is particularly environmentally friendly in combination with a photovoltaic system. In this way, homeowners can reduce their electricity costs and also improve the profitability of their photovoltaic system through higher own consumption.
The condensing boiler
The most common alternative to traditional oil-fired boilers today is the condensing boiler. The gain in efficiency compared to conventional boilers is due to the fact that with this technology, the residual heat generated is not dissipated but is also used for heating. A condensing boiler should operate as evenly as possible for the best possible result. Condensing boilers are relatively inexpensive. The purchase of a modern boiler is therefore amortized fairly quickly. However, you will be hard pressed to get aid if you do not combine the installation of your condensing boiler with renewable energy.