Switching from oil to pellets

10 tips for installing a new heating system

Our heating systems provide us with heat and convenient hot water around the clock – for as many as 2,000 hours a year. But once it gets to 15 or even 20 years old, you should really start to think about modernising your heating system. By this stage, it will have worked really hard.

If your car had been running for the same number of hours, it would have driven 2.5 million kilometres on average. Even the most powerful motor would struggle to continue running error-free under those circumstances. Heating systems that are older than 15 are considered to be technologically outdated. They usually need more fuel than is necessary, are prone to malfunctions and pollute the environment.

So don’t leave it too late and replace your old heating system in good time.

It’s worth modernising!

  • More reliability
  • Lower heating costs
  • Better environmental protection
  • More convenient heating

Wood fuels: the energy sources of the future

Anyone who no longer wants to depend on oil or gas should make the switch to a renewable energy source, such as a wood fuel. Heating systems powered by pellets, wood and wood shavings are particularly well suited to this switch as they are fully automatic and can be operated as easily as an oil-fired boiler. The technically advanced boilers are very reliable and also very economical.
Even the process of storing and transporting the fuel to the boiler itself is similar to that of an oil heating system. It is usually possible to repurpose the existing oil tank room into a pellet storage room without any trouble.

Economical heating always

Pellets and the like have been the best-value fuels available on the market for many years now. And not forgetting that wood is a regional energy source that is available almost literally on our doorstep, is processed in our factories right here in Austria and constantly grows back.

Out with oil, in with pellets! Let’s get started!

To guarantee that nothing can go wrong when modernising your heating system, we have summarised the ten most important points for you here:

1. Get informed

Research which pellet boiler is best suited to you. You can find lots of information online. You can contact most manufacturers by phone. Go to trade fairs to receive guidance in person or visit showrooms to take a look at possible boilers before making a decision.

2. Get advice

Contact a trusted local installer. They will be able to offer expert advice and will recommend a suitable heating solution to meet your requirements.

3. Establish your requirements first

  • Ask your chimney sweep whether your flue needs to be renovated.
  • Do you have enough space for a year’s worth of pellets? In most cases, the oil tank will be large enough to easily convert it into a pellet storage space. With the free Windhager app for planning a storage space, you will have an answer at the touch of a button.
  • Decide which kind of pellet storage and feed system is best for you (brick-built storage room, fabric tank, sheet steel tank or buried tank).
  • Can you carry on using your existing heating system (pumps, radiators, etc.) or is it outdated? It is almost always worth modernising everything at the same time.
  • Are there any subsidies available? Conversions to environmentally friendly pellet heating systems are often subsidised. Find out whether you are eligible for funding from the government, the state or your local authority.
  • Who will do the electrical work? The electrics of the new heating system must be connected up properly. Some installers work closely with specialist electrical companies to this end or will have trained electricians already within their organisation.

4. Get a quote

The following costs need to be included in the quote:

  • New boiler with controller
  • New hydraulic components such as pumps and distributors (if necessary)
  • Disposal of the old oil-fired boiler and oil tank (if necessary)
  • Renovating the flue (if necessary)
  • Pellet storage room (removal system and storage system)
  • Installation work
  • Insulation of the heating pipes
  • Electrical connection of the new boiler
  • Start-up of the heating system by the customer service team

5. Place an order

When you are happy with all the elements of the quote, commission a trusted installer to convert your heating system.

6. Contact the authorities

Before you start any modernisation work, many local authorities require you to submit a building application. If this is the case, take this opportunity to also submit your subsidy application. Your trusted installer will usually be able to help you with this.

7. Get a flue inspection report

It is recommended to have your flue inspected by a chimney sweep before starting any conversion work. They will be able to advise you whether or not the flue needs to be renovated. You will usually need a new flue for modern boilers as they are much more efficient than older ones and so have much lower flue gas temperatures as well. This is quite a simple process, which involves pulling stainless steel pipes into the flue.

8. Coordinate a timetable

Discuss the schedule for the modernisation with your installer and go through the individual steps together. The boiler replacement will usually take a few days.

9. Order and store pellets in good time

Note that the delivery time for the small compacted wood granules is usually two to three weeks.

10. Put the new heating system into operation

Have your heating system commissioned by a trained expert or the customer service team of your chosen boiler manufacturer. Take this opportunity to check with the technician whether the heating system is working as required and have them explain exactly how to operate the system.