A heating oil system may feel and sound like it’s too traditional but it’s still one of the best ways you can raise the temp in your home naturally. For starters, it’s a lot cheaper than heating electric heating systems as you don’t have to pay for electricity anymore. It’s a great option if you want to save but of course, it takes time and preparation to get one in your home.
Heating oil systems are a bit more complex than what you may have been used to. As such, it’s important to keep in mind a few factors that can affect how the system works. Knowing these factors can make or break your heating oil system and heating oil tank. Here’s everything that you need to know.
Some States Encourage You To Avoid Heating Oil Systems
While it is an efficient heating method, not all states want you to have a heating oil system in your home. The problem is that these can be hazardous to your health. Moreover, if you don’t properly maintain it, it can be the cause of an uncontrollable fire. You should check with the local authorities first if you want to get a heating oil system.
One such state that encourages you to regulate your heating oil system is New Jersey. As per their regulatory laws, you can get a grant if you are going to uninstall a heating oil system in your home if it leaks. You must know how to properly maintain a heating oil system as it can have adverse effects if you aren’t too careful.
How Much Oil Do Oil Tanks Contain?
The usual oil tank for residential properties contains up to 275 gallons of heating oil. However, some oil tanks are bigger than most and this is what other homes have if they have the space for it. The size of the oil tank doesn’t matter much as it’s the consumption rate that you should be concerned with.
On average, a residential home can burn through as much as 100 gallons of heating oil per month. This means that you will get a refill after at least every three months. However, keep in mind that the consumption rate depends on how much you use the heating system; this means that you can run through the oil faster during the winter season.
Above Ground vs. Underground
Two types of heating oil tanks can be used for your home. Experts from Simple Tank Services say that underground and above ground heating oil tanks have their advantages and disadvantages. You should know what these pros and cons are first before picking one or the other.
Underground heating oil tanks are usually buried a few inches deep in your backyard. These are the more common oil tanks you can find. What’s great about them is that you don’t have to allot space in your house specifically for these oil tanks. Underground heating oil tanks are hidden from sight.
On the other hand, underground heating oil tanks can be a bother to maintain and fix. Once these begin to leak, it is harder to detect as you have to check for other signs such as contaminated water and soil that smell of the oil. Still, it’s often the preferred choice because of its efficiency.
Above ground, tanks are usually placed in the basements. The only upside to them is that they are easier to keep in check as they are visible in plain sight. Once they spring a leak, you can simply check below the tank if there are any oils pooling at the bottom. Other than this, there aren’t other upsides.
What you choose solely depends on a few factors such as the size of your yard and whether or not there’s space for a tank underground. Contact your local contractor or heating oil tank provider to know which is more suitable for your home.
Keep in mind that heating oil systems aren’t compatible with any form of oil you see. Certain oils are best suited for your heating oil system to ensure that it burns through it as efficiently and as safely as possible. It’s also good knowing what these compatible oils are just in case you run out and you need to have it replaced with something else temporarily.
It’s not right to simply put any oil you can inside the heating oil tank as this could result in the system not being able to work properly.
The NCBI notes that there are a few alternatives that you can use for your heating oil system. The most common oil you can use is kerosene. It’s a low-grade oil that’s often found in your home. It is lighter than gas oil which makes it the cheaper option. Though a great alternative, make sure to avoid the fumes when replacing your oil as the fumes from kerosene can cause nausea.
Another common alternative is referred to as red diesel. It’s often compared to the diesel you use for your cars so this could be readily available in your home in case of emergencies. These oils come in easy pour canisters so it should not be troublesome to refill your oil tank using this.
Of course, it would be best to simply have your oil replaced by a contractor nearby. This is the safer and more preferred method simply because these companies already know what it is to do with your heating oil system. Still, it’s best to know your other options especially if the contractors are not always available to replace your oil.
A heating oil system is not for people that don’t have the time to maintain things. It’s efficient on costs but it does require upkeep and maintenance checks every once in a while. Before you get that heating oil system in your backyard up and running, make sure that you are prepared to handle the responsibility first as it could mean a lot if you don’t.