Heating Oil 101: What You Should Know About Heating Oil

Ever wondered what heating oil actually is? In this blog, we will break down 5 things you should know about heating oil.

First off, what is heating oil? Heating oil is the oil delivered via truck to your home to heat it. There is no difference between heating oil that is used to heat a home or a business. All residential heating oil delivered in New England since July 2018 is Ultra Low Sulfur Heating Oil. If you want to go deeper, here are a few more details. These days residential heating oil (ULSHO) is essentially diesel fuel (ULSD) but it is dyed red to indicate that taxes have not been paid on it. Did you know that you have to pay tax on fuels that are used in cars and trucks? Yup - basically anything that is used for road transportation. This is why if you run out of heating oil (or are close to it), you can grab some diesel and put it in your heating system in a pinch.

How is heating oil made? Heating oil begins as crude oil, the gushing liquid that is extracted from the earth. Because crude oil has a number of impurities and won’t work in an oil-burning furnace or boiler, it needs to go through a process called refining where the oil is distilled—yes, just like moonshine and all your other favorite alcoholic bevvies. In fractional distillation, crude oil is heated with high-pressure steam to a super high temperature – and when we say ‘high’, we’re not talking 100 degrees Fahrenheit, we’re talking like… 1112 degrees Fahrenheit—and that’s not a typo. Through this process of fractional distillation, hydrocarbons are removed from crude oil and become their own pure substances. Those substances are then purified and blended into a bunch of products, including heating oil.

Is heating oil is safe? Heating oil doesn't ignite at room temperature; in fact, if you drop a lit match into a pool of heating oil, it will go out, just as if you had dropped it in water. If a leak should happen, it’s not an explosive hazard. 

Is heating oil is efficient? A gallon of heating oil produces 35% more heat than a gallon of natural gas. That means you can use less fuel to make the same amount of heat. In addition, heating oil produces the hottest flame of any home heating fuel, allowing it to warm your house faster.

Are heating oil systems are durable?  A new heating oil system should last for 15 to 25 years or more if you do a good job of taking care of it. And using ULS heating oil will help your furnace run smoothly and efficiently thereby lengthening the life of your system.

Don’t forget, “Reorder at ¼” or better yet join our automatic delivery with a no run-out guarantee!