If you've recently moved into a home whose home heating system uses fuel or heating oil, it helps to know some of the basics that make this fuel source different from natural gas or propane.
Oil-Fueled Heating Information
While all three create heat through combustion, fuel oil differs in a number of significant ways.
- It has to be delivered to your home. Unlike natural gas whose pipelines are widespread in many urban areas, oil needs to be stored onsite in tanks that either sit in your yard, underground, or in a basement or garage. Oil is safe to store onsite because it's not explosive. Its flash point — the temperature at which it will spontaneously burn — is high at 126 to 204 degrees, unlike propane or natural gas that burn at -156 degrees and -306 degrees, respectively.
- Before the heating season starts, it's a good idea to schedule an oil delivery. Griffith Energy Services provides automatic or scheduled deliveries. Most providers include tank and system maintenance as part of the cost of the oil. Fuel oil deposits will form at the base of the storage tanks, and these need to be removed. Each home heating system that uses heating oil requires a filter to keep the system clean. This filter needs periodic changing that the licensed delivery person will do.
- Heating oil burns hotter than gas. You may be pleasantly surprised when you turn on the furnace or boiler to see that your home warms faster. Fuel oil creates 300 percent more heat per unit than natural gas or propane. Oil is more economical to heat with than electricity, as well.
- The system will last longer. Besides getting more heat per unit consumed, oil heating systems last nearly twice as long as gas heating systems. The average life span of a gas furnace is 14 years, while one that uses fuel oil can reach 30 years with routine professional maintenance and air filter changes.
If you're new to home heating with heating oil, contact the pros at Griffith Energy Services. We provide a full range of outstanding HVAC services and heating fuels for homeowners in the Baltimore area.
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