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HEATING SYSTEMS
Each heating system has its advantages and disadvantages. Many boats have two heat sources which should complement each other.
SYSTEM
Advantages Disadvantages

Solid Fuel Stove
space heater
• Easy to light
• Quick to warm up
• May be able to burn logs*
• No battery power needed
• Needs fairly regular attention
• Creates dust
• Not thermostatically controlled - but you can open doors and windows!
• Flue pipes need cleaning out
Solid Fuel Stove
with central heating
• Easy to light
• Stove is quick to warm up - rads will take longer
• May be able to burn logs*
• Needs fairly regular attention
• Creates dust
• Rads may go cold when banked-down over night
• Not thermostatically controlled
• May use battery power to drive a circulation pump running continuously
• Flue pipes need cleaning out
Gas central heating (Alde Comfort or Compact boiler)
• Very user friendly / easy to control
• Thermostatically controlled
• Can have 7 day timer control of the circulation pump (but not the gas valve)
• Quiet and clean
• Room sealed appliance (not early models)
• Uses a lot of gas if on 24 hours every day during the winter - best used as a complement to a stove (solid fuel or diesel) in the saloon
• Uses battery power to drive a small low amperage circulation pump
Diesel Stove drip-feed space heater (Bubble, Kabola, Refleks, etc) • Constant 24 hour heat
• Silent
• No mess
• Daily attention not required
• Runs off the diesel tank (or separate tank)
• Manual heat control
• Slow response to heat control
• Diesel pan needs cleaning reasonably frequently
• If not a gravity diesel feed, it may use battery power to drive an electric fuel pump to supply the diesel
• Electric fuel pump, if fitted, can make a clicking sound
Diesel Stove drip feed central heating (Bubble, Kabola, Refleks, etc) • Constant 24 hour heat
• Silent boiler
• No mess
• Daily attention not required
• Runs off the diesel tank (or separate tank)
• Manual heat control
• Slow response to climate changes
• Diesel pan needs cleaning every 8 weeks or so
• May use battery power to drive a fuel pump to supply the diesel
• Electric fuel pump, if fitted, can make a clicking sound
• May use battery power to drive a water circulation pump
Diesel central heating compact forced air burner
(Eberspächer, Mikuni, Webasto, Hurricane, etc)
• Very user friendly / easy to control
• Thermostatically controlled
• Can have 7 day timer control
• Clean
• Runs off the diesel tank (or separate tank)
• Hurricane units reported to be much more reliable than its competitors
• Uses battery power to ignite the flame with a glow plug
• The glow plug carbons up if the batteries are low and may need regular cleaning
• Uses battery power for 2 motors running constantly whilst operating (air and circulation pumps)
• Electric fuel pump can make a clicking sound
• The exhaust can make a 'roaring' noise
• Fuses in the control box need cleaning periodically
• Needs regular servicing
• Hurricane units considerably more expensive than its competitors
WARNING: Several deaths have occurred on board boats because of blocked/restricted flues - be it soot, tar, spiders, rust, birds' nest, crushed pipes - whatever. Make sure you have your flue checked & cleaned on an annual basis, more often if you burn a lot of wood or not smokeless 'coal'.
*Wood burnt in stoves should always be well-seasoned otherwise there is a risk of flammable tar building up in the flue and also your roof will become a black sticky mess!
ABNB Ltd, Crick Wharf, West Haddon Road, Crick, Northampton, NN6 7XT

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