As the cold weather approaches, you might be thinking about the most cost-effective and efficient way to heat your home. It’s wise to consider a variety of fuel alternatives, as well as different ways to optimize your home for energy efficiency.
After all, heating systems aren’t only about your comfort, they also account for nearly 42% of your entire energy bill.
Everything You Need to Know About Home Heating Oil
Whether your home is already equipped with an oil-fueled furnace, or you’re upgrading your home’s heating system this season, you’ll want to know about the source that is fueling your home’s heat. These 16 facts will tell you everything you need to know about home heating oil so you can make the right decision for your home.
- Approximately 18 million American households use heating oil to warm their homes each winter.
- The most significant demand for home heating oil in the U.S. is in the Northeast region of the country. More than 5.5 million households in this region of the country use heating oil as their primary fuel during the winter.
- There are three terminals for heating oil storage in the Northeast: Groton, CT, Port Reading, N.J., and Revere, MA.
- Heating oil is an extremely clean source of fuel. In fact, newer oil-fueled home heating systems run on nearly zero emissions, while simultaneously burning more efficiently. Some new oil-fueled heating systems boast 95% efficiency ratings.
- As a whole, home oil burners produce only .003% of total particulate emissions in the United States.
- The formula for heating oil continues to advance thanks to bioheat technology. Heating oil can be mixed with low-sulfur biofuels, made from oil blended with sunflower, soybean or vegetable oil, which cut sulfur emissions by 75 to 80% and cut particulate matter by 80%.
- By burning clean fuel, homeowners can reduce the number of regular cleanings and maintenance visits required on their heating equipment each year. With traditional oil, sulfur builds up and creates deposits on heat exchangers. Increased grime means homeowners must clean their systems more regularly to improve efficiency.
- Heating oil burns 300 degrees hotter than natural gas allowing it to warm your house faster, and maximize its output.
- Due to increased efficiency in heating equipment, the average consumer now uses 25% less heating oil each winter than in 1989.
- Annual heating costs for heating oil are consistently lower than natural gas or electricity. The Department of Ecology studies estimates that oil heats 16% more efficiently than natural gas.
- When adjusted for inflation, heating oil is cheaper today than it was 20 years ago. On average, oil heating prices are 2.5 to 5.5 times lower than electric-based heating prices. And, homeowners with heating oil-based systems spend less, on average, than those heating with natural gas systems.
- Home heating oil is very safe. It is non-explosive. Even mixed with air, heating oil does not become explosive like natural gas does. And unlike with propane, a lit match would go out if it were to be dropped into a pool of heating oil.
- The inhalation of oil fumes is not fatal, and there’s a very low possibility of carbon monoxide entering your home from using heating oil.
- The portability and access to heating oil is an advantage for homeowners who live in remote or rural areas. It’s easy to have heating oil delivered to your home, even if another fuel like natural gas isn’t accessible.
- Homeowners don’t need to worry about heating oil shortages. While natural gas and propane can become scarce during the coldest months of the year — creating shortages — this is not the case with heating oil. Homeowners with heating oil can rest easy knowing there will be a steady stream of fuel when you need it most, especially if you opt for automatic delivery services.
- Replacing your home’s heating system can be frustrating and expensive. While natural gas and propane systems last from 15-20 years, oil-based heating systems tend to last for 30 years or more with proper maintenance.
Given how clean, safe, and efficient home heating oil is, it is no wonder why so many households in New Haven and Fairfield counties use it to heat their homes. Before winter hits, contact your HVAC company to ensure your heating system is running properly, your fuel is filled, and your home is optimized for efficiency.
Do you want to know more about home heating? Check out these helpful resources: