New gas boiler, your thoughts welcome

We are considering replacing our ancient oil boiler with a gas boiler, to run from a tank in the garden (gaz de ville not an option).
We’ve had a quote for 6400 euros, and had a visit from the Primagaz rep who explained about their 5 year fixed price contracts to supply the gas itself. We undestand we might be able to get a tax credit as we’re now resident in France.
Before anyone suggests wood pellet systems or pompes a chaleur, we’ve also had quotes for those too, and ruled them out on the basis that we don’t have enough space for the wood pellet hopper and they’re both vastly more expensive. For pompe a chaleur the radiators would also need to be replaced, apparently.
Our question is, has anyone any experience of installing a new gas boiler of this sort, or of contracts that last a few years?
Also, what are your thoughts on running costs and efficiency?
Many thanks

This site - - suggests roughly 10-14cents per kWh

What sort of radiators do you have, heat pumps do  work best with high surface area types but it’s probably not mandatory to replace them (although the system might need to run less efficiently if you stick with the existing radiators).

Do you intend one system to supply hot water as well.

I am now replacing the old oil-fired system with a pompe à chaleur using the original radiators. I can’t see why radiators need to be replaced ? The plumber hinted that one radiator may need to be added to balance the system but that’s to review when the system is up and running in the winter months. The system is costing about 11000€ but I am entitled to 3500€ grant from the EDF. Other grants are available from the Region and the ANAH (local authority) depending on income etc. Gas was an option ut I didn’t want the hassle plus I believe the property will be more saleable with a pompe à chaleur.

Depends on the radiators - traditional radiators are efficient with flow temperatures around 70°C, heat pump systems cannot manage these high temperatures and are most efficient with flows around 30°C - so need larger surface areas to warm the living space. Underfloor systems are the best match but you can get higher surface area radiators which are better with low flow temperatures.

It’s hard to say specifically in Andreas’s case - the installer could just be being really conscientious in advising the best solution - might be worth going back and asking if they really need replacing.

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Or get a second or third devis and the advice which goes with it ?

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Always good advice in any case :slight_smile:

Is it wise for anyone to fit any fossil-fueled heating system now?
Apart from the issue of not wanting to add to the climate/ecological breakdown problem yourself - won’t government etc action on this mean that you’ll have to change it all over to another system anyway soon (by which I mean within say 10 years)?
Neither pellets nor air-source heat pumps are the only answers within the current carbon cycle, by the way - we heat entirely with log woodburners - our neighbours have a geo-thermal system - and there’s always the fall-back of electric, which in France is based overwhelmingly on nuclear and renewables, not fossil fuels.


Also radiators with fans warm the area far quicker for more comfortable surroundings.

Have you the space and planning for 60 ish evacuated solar tubes?

Yes the intention is to have the boiler run the hot water as well.
At present we have a large tank that heats twice a day on the heures creuses. Always seems far too hot for me, and more than we need.
The radiators are old and large but very olid. A couple of engineers have said they should be fine once they’ve had a good clean out and some new valves put on.
Thanks very much for the link.

Sorry, I’ve no idea what they are. We just have a small/medium garden.
There is a garage roof that is south facing.

But aren’t there thousands of urban households running on gas? Are they all going to be forced to change?

Our quote came in at 17k!

The government announced earlier in the year that oil-fired boilers would be phased out in ten years so it’s safe to assume the same announcement for gas boilers will follow suit sometime in the not too distant future IMO. Governments are becoming greener and greener to win more votes so fossil fuels are on borrowed time I feel.

In the UK there is a backlash against woodburners. Do you think that will happen in France? We’ll freeze if they get blacklisted.

Unless you spend around 45% of your electricity during hours creuses, the increased tariff the rest of the time you loose. Might be ok if you get an electric car.
The water must reach 60 for legionella destruction that’s why it’s hot but you are supposed to reduce it with a blending valve close to the tap to reduce the risk of scalding

The UK has introduced an emissions standard but its a low threshold - any stove manufactured in the last 10 years should exceed it. There is no standard in France as far as I know.

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That’s good because we want another woodburner for the kitchen.
We like pellet burners but think the pellets would need too much room for storing.

Not really good as the emissions standard is for good reason, you breathe cleaner air, room sealed apart from opening the door to re fuel.
EU regulations on emissions from stoves in 2022

None of my friends with pellet stoves have special storage space, they buy a few sacks when they need them. Great heat output, programmable timing.

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We currently live in Cyprus but are hoping to move to Gers sometime next year. We have looked at many houses just so that we can get a feel from prices etc.
One of the most important factors for us will be the method of heating, if the primary heating is electric then we don’t look any further.
If the property has a wet system run from a gas or oil fired boiler we would 100% set some money aside to modify the system to run on an air to water heat pump.
The water flow temperature from an air to water heat pump is generally capable of reaching 60C, your radiators will most probably been sized on a flow and return temperature of 80/70C. For this difference your radiators for the heat pump would need to have approx 30% increase in surface area to provide the required out put, they could be changed to double panel and finned so that the pipe connections don’t need to be changed.
However, LG have a high temperature unit that will provide a flow temperature of 80C so no need to change the radiators.
The most important factor for an air to water heat pump is that the maximum heat output is around 16kW. If you have heat losses greater than this then a heat pump won’t be good enough.
With the level of insulation in new houses then heat pumps are the future. 1kW power in and around 4kW heat out.
If replacing your current system with a heat pump is a possibility then I’d give it serious consideration, it will be a massive factor if in the future years you want to sell up.

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