Although most UK households use gas for central heating purposes, around four million homes in the UK run oil-fired central heating systems. This can be down to a wide selection of different reasons, but most commonly it is because the main gas network is not close enough to connect to.


Oil-fired central heating is one of the most efficient ways to heat your home. When you use a good quality oil-fired central heating system that is installed well you should have just as much efficiency as a traditional gas system, if not more. For the most efficiency, the same control should be given as those in any other similar system. For example, room thermostats should be used and the thermostats and boiler should be wired in an interlock in order to prevent any short cycling when room heating or hot water are not needed.

Types of Oil Used

The vast majority of oil-fired heating systems in the UK use kerosene oil, also known as 28 sec oil. This type of oil burns very cleanly, making it ideal for domestic heating purposes as it leaves little deposits such as soot and smoke on after burn. 28 sec oil is also commonly used in popular kitchen ranges such as AGA. 35 sec oil is also another type of oil which is often used in domestic heating situations. If you’re unsure how to tell the difference between the two, it’s quite simple – 28 sec oil is a yellow colour whilst 35 sec oil is red. Home heating oil prices can vary daily, but should not cost you more than a gas system.

Oil Central Heating Boilers

When you use a well-fitted and good quality boiler for oil central heating, CO2 emissions should be no greater than normal gas. Your oil central heating boiler should always be fitted by a competent fitter who is capable of measuring flow and pressure both before and after the boiler is commissioned and fitted in order to ensure that there are no leaks which could cause damage or put the homeowner in danger.

For more information on setting your oil-centred heating system up, contact a reliable engineer.