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Combining oil fired central heating with a solid fuel stove

Combining oil fired central heating with a solid fuel stove

I have oil fired central heating, can I get a solid fuel stove that will help to heat the radiators so I don't have to use as much oil? - Sean, Galway.

With the large increases in oil prices over the last number of years, many householders are installing boiler model stoves in conjunction with their existing oil boilers, to heat their homes and therefore greatly reduce their oil consumption. A boiler model stove is three to four times more energy efficient than an open fire. A solid fuel boiler model stove will provide a complete central heating solution by heating radiators (typically 10 to 12 radiators), hot water and also ample direct radiant heat to the room in which the stove is installed. In addition to reducing oil consumption, solid fuel central heating allows the householder to budget their fuel costs on a weekly basis, which in the current economic climate is a major advantage.

The normal installation practice involves the 'interlink' of the solid fuel boiler model stove with the existing oil fired central heating system in the house. A typical 'interlinked' system will incorporate the following essentials features (1) a dual coil hot water cylinder and (2) a 'gravity' heating circuit to dissipate the heat from the stove to the hot water cylinder. I would recommend that you consult your heating installer to determine if your house is suitable for a solid fuel stove installation.

Once installed, the solid fuel boiler model stove will heat the radiators and hot water thus eliminating the need to have the oilboiler operating. The oil boiler would typically be used to provide backup heat once the stove is in operation.

If you have an existing 'sealed /closed' heating system and/or the heating demand is far greater than the heat available from the boiler model stove, I would recommend the installation of the Stanley Eco Connect Control Unit. This unit will allow an oil fired 'sealed' heating system (e.g. a system boiler) to be connected to a solid fuel 'open' system, unlike the 'interlink' arrangement previously detailed, where both units must be on an open system. The Eco Connect will automatically bring on the oil boiler if the solid fuel stove is unable to satisfy the heating zones, therefore both units will operate continuously together if required. However, the stove will remain the main source of heating and the oil boiler is used as backup only, thereby reducing oil consumption. The Eco Connect control unit will allow up to four heating zones and a hot water zone to be connected to its control panel.

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