Why Do We Use Heating Oil?

Heating oil is one of the most popular forms of home heating, especially so in the northeast. However, what makes heating oil so popular? There are a lot of varying reasons for why you should use heating oil. It is not only very efficient, it is very safe to use and easy to come by! Today, we will discuss how home heating oil originated and why it’s still as popular as it is!

Heating Oil vs Forced Hot Air

You can find some of the oldest homes in the country in the Northeast United States! Many of these homes even date back to the 1800s! Some even earlier than that! Most homes in the early 1900s where heated by a coal-fired furnace that was located in the basement. Similar to fuel oil, the coal was delivered to homes via a truck and was shoveled into the furnace to keep the house warm. However, slowly and surely these coal systems ended up becoming replaced over time with wood burning systems. Heating Oil was more convenient than using a coal or wood based furnace and slowly began to become more popular as the years went on.

Compared to Coal and Wood, heating oil produced more heat and was easier to operate and maintain. It was also easier to store. Storing coal and wood was a hassle. However, oil has a form of easy storage in the form of the oil tank! The tank draws oil from your tank and sends it directly to the burner. With Coal and wood, you would have have to manually add them into your basement’s burner. This become obsolete with the implementation of oil heating.

While completely phased out at one point, coal heating is slowly making a comeback and becoming more popular in modern homes.

The Transition of Coal to Heating Oil

As home heating oil became more popular in the mid-1900s, coal delivery trucks slowly became both coal and fuel oil delivery, until being completely phased out into just heating oil. It then slowly became the the norm, as it was more cost effective while producing a better heat output compared to coal and wood based heating.

Heating Oil Benefits

Compared to other types of heating such as propane, natural gas, electricity or kerosene, Heating Oil has many benefits. Take Radiant Heating for example, which uses a constant flow of heat across your flooring. However, there a large list of benefits and they are listed below:

Heating Oil Is Very Safe: Heating Oil Itself is very safe. It can’t be ignited in it’s liquid state. If you were to put a lit match into a bucket of fuel oil, it would simply burn out. Although, we don’t recommend trying it at home (because heating oil stinks). For the oil to burn, it must be heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and atomized before the burner ignites it.

Very Efficient: A single gallon of heating oil can produce 138,000 BTUs. When comparing it to propane that only produces 91,500 BTUs per gallon. However, oil furnaces cannot use 100% of those BTUs, it will still produce 117,725 effective BTUs. That equates to about 85% of the total BTUs. Additionally, propane tanks are also less efficient. Propane tanks are only 95% effective. While that might seem like a lot, when it comes to effective BTUs per gallon, you’re only getting 86,925 effective BTUs out of propane. We go more in depth about this topic in this article.

Cost Effective: Oil Prices in today’s day and age are fluctuating. However, they are still cheaper when comparing to propane prices. Right now propane prices are averaging around $4 a gallon. However, heating oil has seen prices as low as $2.75 a gallon as of recently! That’s a drastic difference! Additionally you’ll need 1.35 gallons of propane to create the same amount of heat as a a gallon of heating oil! With propane you’re effectively paying more for less heat!

No Buying Restrictions: Your fuel oil tank belongs to YOU. That means you have complete control over where you can buy oil from. You are not restricted to a plan given to you by your local dealer. You can order oil from wherever you’d like! With fuel such as propane, you DON’T own you tank and are forced to order through the dealer that sold you the tank. Not having any restrictions on where you can order from will save you hundreds of dollars a year.

If You Run Out You Can Add Diesel: Diesel is practically the same as fuel oil. If you run out, diesel can keep you warm in a pinch. Simply run to the gas station and pick up around 5 or so gallons of diesel to keep you warm until your delivery of oil comes. It will normally keep warm enough for the night. Although, we don’t recommend using it for long term usage. We have an entire article discussing this topic here.

While oil prices fluctuate frequently, they will still usually be cheaper than propane heating.

Heating Oil is Very Easy to Monitor

Most people typically sign up for automatic delivery, have a float gauge or Smart Oil Gauge setup to monitor their tank. They do this to ensure that they don’t run out of oil and wake up with a cold house.

The Smart Oil Gauge is used most commonly now. It can send you alerts of when you get a fill or when you’re running low. It gives up to date readings and usage for day, week, month and year! You will know how much oil you have at all times using one. You’ll also be able to order oil off of our FuelSnap website! It gives the lowest prices guaranteed and is easy to use!

Adjusting your thermostat will also help you to save money on oil. By turning down your thermostat, you’ll control how much you’re burning. This will help you ensure that you are getting the most usage out of your oil as possible!

Heating Oil Is the Best Way to Heat!

Home Heating Oil is a fantastic and reliable form of heating, especially in the Northeast. You will not only feel comfortable with this form of heating, but you will also save more money in the long run. It is cheaper and more efficient than other forms of heating such as propane and radiant heating. It’ll also produce more effective BTUs that will ultimately take less time to heat your home.

Having access to a heating oil tank on your property means that you can purchase heating oil a website like FuelSnap, or through your local dealers! You will also have complete control of where you can order oil from and when you get it. Unlike propane or natural gas that forces you to order through them on their schedule, you’ll be able to order when you need it!

Happy Heating,