Both oil and renewables can offer efficient, reliable heating for rural properties without access to mains gas, explains Anna Wakefield, Marketing and Communications Manager for Grant UK.
For housebuilders and developers in areas off the grid, choosing the right heating system is an important part of any new-build or renovation. Whether opting for a traditional oil-fired boiler, a greener alternative like heat pump or biomass boiler, or perhaps a combination of both, there is an efficient solution for practically any property.
Depending on your resale market, potential clients may see renewables as adding value to their home. Alternatively, they may be more confident with a fuel source they are familiar with and feel an oil-fired condensing boiler is a cost effective, dependable choice.
Oil fired boilers
Modern oil-fired boilers are no longer the inefficient machines of the past: new condensing appliances can operate at almost half the cost of a typical 25 to 30 year old boiler and are easy to install and maintain.
For over two years, both Grant and Riello’s R&D teams worked on a joint initiative to develop a compact Blue Flame burner and match this to Grant’s Vortex condensing oil boiler range. The principle of combustion on blue flame appliances differs from that of a yellow flame burner in that the combustion gases are re-circulated through a specially designed blast tube, allowing them to mix with atomised droplets of fuel and fresh air (oxygen) drawn in through the burner, to produce a clean blue flame with far lower NOx emissions.
This year the company is also introducing new Vortex boiler house models, increasing the number of heating outputs on offer. A boiler house appliance is ideal for locations which are difficult to access, where a white cased version is not the most appropriate solution. The range also welcomes new red cased models to cater for properties that need smaller boilers. New sizes include 15/21kW, 21/26kW, 26/35kW, 36/46kW, 46/58kW and 58/70kW outputs.
Air source heat pumps
Compared with other domestic heating methods, heat pumps can provide savings on fuel bills. Units like the Grant Aerona³ can deliver over three times the amount of energy for every 1kW of electricity used, depending on the flow temperature and the climate conditions prevailing at the time.
The Grant Aerona³ heat pump is available in three outputs of 6, 10 and 16kW, all ERP rated A++ and MCS Approved. The Heat Pumps are ‘inverter driven’, producing a consistent heat output. In addition, they are compact in physical size. Through a combination of clever design features and improved insulation, the Aerona³ achieves low noise levels whilst operating.
Heat pumps will suit properties that want to incorporate a green technology when space is at a premium. As with all Grant products, our heat pumps are geared towards easy installation and maintenance for both the housebuilder and end user. This is because there is typically less annual maintenance, lower carbon emissions and, when correctly sized and installed, reduced fuel bills.
As heating technology continues to move forward and innovation delivers higher efficiency ratings, we are seeing clever hybrid options which combine heating fuels such as oil with a heat pump, ultimately giving the best of both worlds.
An example of a hybrid is the Grant VortexAir – a unit that couples together a VortexBlue blue flame oil-fired condensing boiler (in a 15-21 or 21-26kW output) with a 16kW Aerona3 inverter driven air source heat pump. It does this in either one compact casing with just a single flow and return connection into the house, or as two separate units, with the boiler section installed internally.
This allows the oil boiler to be fitted first as a stand-alone unit, replacing an old appliance and providing immediate heat and hot water for the householder. The heat pump can then be fitted externally, maybe at a later date, giving householders an option to tap into renewable energy and the benefits it can present.
Solar Thermal is another popular renewable technology that could be incorporated into an oil, heat pump or hybrid heating system. It is very reliable and operates from both direct and diffused sunlight, so is perfectly designed for the UK’s varied weather. The technology can achieve as much as a 70% saving in water heating costs. Roof mounted solar collectors transfer heat to the cylinder where hot water is produced. With the Grant Solar system, our patented high efficiency collector can be installed using either an ‘on-roof’, ‘in-roof’ or ‘flat-roof’ arrangement and maintenance is kept to a minimum with the use of self-cleaning glass. Grant Solar is available in kit form complete with all the required components
Both oil and renewable heating systems provide significant benefits to off-gas properties. The innovations brought to the market by companies such as Grant are adding value to homes and will be supported for many years to come.