Oil free or oil filled

Discussion in 'DIY' started by shaka, Dec 5, 2011.

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  1. Not exactly DIY but nearest forum I could find.
    I am buying a radiator to add extra warmth to my conservatory during the winter. So advice sought which is best Oil free or Oil filled.
  2. Both cost a lot, not a good idea for prolonged use, are you planning on using it right through, or just odd days?

    Fan heaters would warm it up quickest, I would think, our first place ( a flat) had oil- filled rads, they cost more in one winter season, than the cost of installing gas central heating.

    It might be unfeasible to add a new rad onto the system now, but it's worth a go.

    TIP.... if you are getting a conservatory built, get in a plumber first and get advice, the tossers who build these thing aren't interested, they just want to crash them in, but with advice you can insist on a rad being installed at the same time with very little extra cost and disruption.

    Preferably your own trusted plumber though, I won't even work for conservatory builders, they never want to pay....
  3. Almost any form of heating is cheaper than electricity.
  4. Yep, yep, yeppity, yep.

    And all electric heaters have the same efficiency, they are all resistance heaters and all the heat comes out in the room.
    Anyone trying to tell you their electric heater is more efficient is a snakeoil salesman.

    It might be worth while calculating the heat losses from your conservatory.
    You may well find that the large glazed area has a huge U-value and trying to heat it would be like trying to fill up a bucket without a bottom to it. Which is why they often don't have heateing fitted.
  5. It's worth it for say, Christmas or a family do, but as an every day thing, no.

    As soon as the sun stops getting over the extension roof to warm it for free, it's off for the winter for me.
  6. However, some are called convector heaters, some are called fan heaters, then there are different materials used in the filaments. 101 variations.

    Some are called radiators. I am sure different companies are capable of making maximum efficiency heaters. Just as different street lights are more effective in certain environments.
  7. No, really. They're all 100% efficient at converting the current into heat and you can't get any improvement on that.

    Unfortunately the efficiency of converting the fossil fuel into current and transporting the current is something like 40%, which is why the electric option is always more expensive.
  8. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    looking at something similar myself and have three options none of them cheap. opinions would be welcomed.

    1. underfloor electric with new tiles on top.
    2. two BFO rads
    3. wood burning stove.
  9. IIRC there are building regs issues with central heating on the 'main' system in a conservatory ...
  10. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    Yep there are which is why most go in after construction.
  11. Underfloor is the most convenient and will at least warm it from the ground up (and then out through the glass roof...) .

    But the woodburner would be the cheapest to run if you've got a readily available source of timber and you can conveniently route the flue to the outside. Even a small stove can get through a fairly large amount of timber burning continuously. You might consider a multifuel stove and use coal if you haven't got time to be constantly feeding it with logs.

    Rads have the disadvantage of both delivering the heat from higher up and convecting meaning that a lot of the energy ends up radiating up through the roof without getting anywhere near you.

    One idea that might bear consideration in fitting some sort of temporary insulation inside the roof for those months of the year that the sun isn't strong enough to do much warming. When my grandparents had a "garden room" built on their cottage grandfather came up with a system that allowed him to slot in a sort of false ceiling made up of insulation panels supported by 1x2 aluminium box sections that clip into permanent mountings that hold the sun blinds in summer. It made it noticeably warmer even without heating
  12. Pretyy good, I've had a couple of houses with floor heating. However, it leaves you paranoid, as you have to keep the floors as clear as possible - carpets/rugs and so on are not recommended, as they cause hot-spots. If the hot spot is over a heat sensor, then the floor heating will switch off.
    Burning logs, while cheap, is not that efficient, also needs cleaning after every burning. For wood/biomass heating, you're better off looking at wood pellets or wood chips. But for a stove, you will still need to it clean out every time.
  13. We have two wood burning stoves and they are pretty much burning continuously. The one upstairs has to be allowed to burn out before going to bed as its just to bloody hot in the room else.

    They are messy no argument on that but they belt the heat out and they cast a cheery glow. Plus if you get a flat top one like ours you can cook on them and save on the gas.
    • Like Like x 2
  14. I've been working in building services off & on for 30 years and have had much peripheral involvement with gas and oil boiler, specifying not installing.
    I did a couple of Hetas courses to get up-to-date on the RHI stuff.

    Wood burning stoves have cheap/free fuel, and are often DIY installed by people that I wouldn't trust to plumb in a kitchen tap. I'm happy to admit that they scrare the living crap out of me.
    They are carbon monoxide generators by design, and the carbon monoxide is burnt in the second stage of combustion in approved stoves and gasifier burners only. CORGI blokes get alarmed by something like 50 ppm CO, a wood burner can chuck out 2000ppm quite easily.
  15. Many rural properties do not have a mains gas supply. However they are close to a plentiful supply of windfall wood. If you have an AGA or similar stove you can heat the whole house on free fuel.