Heating Oil: Frequently Asked Questions

Written on: September 20, 2023

A Look at Safety, Efficiency and More

oilheat hudson valley, ny If you have recently moved into a home that uses heating oil, you may have a lot of questions. Here are the answers to some common questions to help you get to know—and feel good about—your home’s heating fuel.

Is Heating Oil a Clean-Burning Fuel?

Yes, advancements in both fuel quality and heating equipment have made that possible. Many heating oil companies in the Hudson Valley deliver Bioheat® fuel. This is a blend of ultra-low sulfur heating oil combined with premium biofuels made from renewable resources such as animal fats, recycled restaurant cooking oils and plant oils.

As ultra-low sulfur Bioheat fuel becomes more widespread in the future, home heating oil will move closer to becoming a carbon-neutral fuel. Read how heating oil has become cleaner over the years.

Do I Need to Change My Equipment to Use Bioheat Fuel?

No. Most major heating system manufacturers accept Bioheat fuel as covered under their warranties for use, and you won’t need to make any changes to your furnace, boiler, or oil storage tank to use it. Performance standards for Bioheat fuel have been approved by ASTM International, an organization that sets industry standards for fuels and lubricants.

Is Heating Oil an Efficient Way to Heat My Home?

Yes. Technology has brought great improvements in heating oil equipment efficiency, which has reduced annual fuel consumption by as much as 40%. Naturally, this has saved heating oil consumers a lot of money on fuel.

Plus, Bioheat fuel is cleaner burning than conventional heating oil, which helps to increase system efficiency even more and reduces your home heating expenses, all while keeping your home warm and comfortable.

Bioheat fuel leaves fewer deposits on your system’s internal parts. That helps to reduce wear and tear, meaning you will likely have fewer breakdowns and a longer life expectancy for your oil boiler or oil furnace than compared to operating it with traditional heating oil.

As far as modern heating oil equipment like oil boilers and oil furnaces, new systems now have efficiency ratings as high as 95%. This provides homes with more warmth for less fuel.

Modern heating oil systems are also much smaller than older ones. The average boilers and furnaces today are compact yet powerful, and similar in size to a three-drawer filing cabinet. Learn more about heating oil furnaces and boilers.

Is Heating Oil a Safe Way to Heat My Home?

Absolutely. First, heating oil cannot burn in its liquid state. Before combustion can even occur, heating oil must first be vaporized into a finer mist by your oil burner at temperatures above 140°.

Second, the fuel you have stored in your heating oil tank right now is very safe because it can’t explode. In fact, if you were to drop a lit match into a bucket of heating oil, the flame would go out, just as if you dropped the match into water.

Third, a heating oil system poses a very low risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If an oil burner ever malfunctions, you’ll most likely see smoke and the safety devices will shut the furnace or boiler off.

Fourth, the advent of Bioheat® fuel has made home heating oil even safer. That’s because Bioheat fuel has a higher flash point, also known as ignition temperature. It’s just one more thing that homeowners who use Bioheat fuel can feel good about.

Read more about safe Bioheat fuel.