The oil 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 aim is to gradually eliminate the oil-fired boilers which are expensive and in no way promote the protection of the environment, quite the contrary. Solar heating, wood heating, the installation of a heat pump are for example ecological alternatives to oil heating. 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 years to come, start researching the alternatives as soon as possible. Because they are many. For instance :
- The gas condensing boiler,
- Heating with wood pellets
- heat pump,
Accompanying 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 oil boiler?
Alternatives to oil heating have a number of advantages:
- They are not prohibited from 2022.
- The energy they use is subject to fewer price variations.
- These same alternative energies do not smell as bad as fuel oil.
- Alternative energies are often more climate-friendly.
- More funding is available for so-called clean energy.
What alternatives to an oil 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 construction, it is possible to provide the space needed to store wood pellets, whereas 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 boiler
In order to no longer use fossil energy in your heating mode, opt for a heating mode that uses renewable energy such as a heat pump, solar or photovoltaic heating or even wood pellet heating. If you are replacing your oil boiler with a condensing gas boiler, you can simply heat it with biogas.
Wood is often considered an almost climate-neutral fuel because 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. That is why these heating systems must also be operated in the most economical and efficient way. What is ideal is, for example, 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 revenue in winter than in summer due to the shorter sunshine duration. The larger the sensor surface, 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 subsidies.
The operation of wood pellet heating systems is comparable to that of oil heating systems in many respects: the boiler is usually installed in the basement. A dry storage room is needed for the pellets. If you have an oil boiler, chances are you have enough space 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 works 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 consist of pressed wood residues such as sawdust, wood shavings or residual wood. Pellets have an advantage over wood logs. Because the water content is very low, very little ash remains and far fewer pollutants are released. Small combustion systems using wood emit considerable amounts of harmful fine dust. This is why the use of particle 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 heating oil to a heat pump if you live in the old is not always worth it. Heat pumps work 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, ground water or the earth. 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 household electricity price. The more climate- and environment-friendly this electricity is, the better. The heat pump is particularly environmentally friendly in combination with a photovoltaic system. In this way, owners can reduce their electricity costs and also improve the profitability of their photovoltaic system thanks to higher own consumption.
The condensing boiler
The most common alternative to traditional oil-fired boilers is currently the condensing boiler. The efficiency gain 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 run as evenly as possible for the best possible result. Condensing boilers are relatively inexpensive. The purchase of a modern boiler is therefore amortized quite quickly. However, you will find it difficult to obtain aid if you do not combine the installation of your condensing boiler with renewable energy.