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Heating oil is a popular resource for keeping homes cozy in the Columbia, Maryland, area. This fuel has helped to warm homes for decades. A steady supply and affordable price makes this an obvious choice for many homeowners. If you rely on heating oil, you may be interested in learning more about where it comes from and the benefits of using it to heat your home. Read on for a brief history of heating oil and a look at how it works in your home.

Where Does Heating Oil Come From?

Oil is created when geological forces compress the remains of plants and animals. Scientists estimate that the process takes hundreds of thousands of years. The oil forms deep in the earth and gradually bubbles upwards. This crude oil is then refined to produce products like gasoline and heating oil.

Customers in the United States get heating oil from either domestic oil refineries or imports. These imports typically come from Canada and get shipped to the East Coast, where the demand for heating oil is highest.

When Did We Begin Using Heating Oil?

The modern use of heating oil dates back to the 1840s when crude oil was first distilled to create kerosene for lanterns. Shortly after, M.A. Fessler developed an oil burner. Drawing on the discovery of crude oil in California, Fessler created the Fess System Co., which later became Petro. In 1865, John D. Rockefeller established the Standard Oil Company. This went on to become ExxonMobil, which is still among the top oil companies.

Is There a Ready Supply of Heating Oil?

The supply of heating oil fluctuates. Since crude oil can be used to make both heating oil and gasoline, the demand for gas can result in a lower supply of heating oil. Following Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, Gulf Coast refineries shut down, and the demand for gasoline soared. In response, operational refineries began making more gas, and the supply of heating oil dwindled.

How Is Heating Oil Transported?

In the United States, heating oil is transported first to large storage terminals, which serve large distribution areas. From these terminals, the oil is moved to smaller storage facilities by barge or rail. Trucks can then move the oil in smaller quantities directly to residential and commercial storage tanks. This last stage of delivery is where we come in, helping you get the heating oil you need delivered directly to your home.

Who Uses Heating Oil?

Heating oil is a popular choice for home heating, particularly in the Northeast region of the United States. About 20% of homes in this area use heating oil as their primary means of space heating. Residential consumers in the Northeast accounted for 85% of heating oil sales in 2017. Commercial use of heating oil is lower here, accounting for only 35% of total commercial consumption of this fuel.

Of the 10 million homes in the U.S. that use heating oil, 300,000 were constructed in the last decade. Though the use of heating oil is declining slightly, this is still a very popular choice for maintaining home comfort in cool weather.

What Are the Benefits of Heating Oil?

Heating oil is a popular choice for home heating because it is affordable, efficient, and clean. This is also a very safe choice for home heating when you take the proper precautions. Each gallon of heating oil generates 138 thousand BTUs of heating energy. Combustion of heating oil produces almost no particulate matter.

Heating oil prices fluctuate, but savvy consumers can make the most of price drops and find ways to heat their homes at minimal cost. Summer is the best time to stock up on heating oil, as this is when prices are lowest. Between 2010 and 2015, the average price for heating oil was $2.40 a gallon.

If you’re heating your home with oil, we can offer the convenient delivery services you need. Order your fuel from Griffith Energy Services, Inc. Give us a call at 888-474-3391 to learn more about current prices and delivery schedules for your home.

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