How Do I Heat My Home Using Oil? | Trillium Mutual Insurance
Category Auto & Residential Lifestyle Risk & Claims

Heating your home and keeping your family warm during the cold months of the year is essential for every homeowner. However, you have several different home heating methods to choose from. Natural gas heating systems, along with electric heating systems, are currently the most popular choices among homeowners. Still, there is another heating system on the market that holds its own against the competitors… oil.  Heating your home with oil is a safe, clean, and extremely efficient option that more than 8% (and rising) of homeowners are currently using. Where some may view oil-based heating systems as old fashioned and outdated; however, oil heating systems are an inexpensive, safe, clean, and come in abundant supply.

Is It Safe to Heat My Home Using Oil?

Prioritizing the safety and well being of your family is always a top priority, which begs the question, is an oil-based heating system safe? The answer is yes. Heating oil is a clear liquid, with a rose tint, which is nonexplosive and can extinguish a lit match just as quickly as water, making it a safe choice. Heating oil also contains no cancer-causing agents, which simply means that it is safe to store in your home. Long-term exposure to heating oil fumes, often due to undetected leaks, can cause liver and kidney damage, diminished ability to smell and taste, and other serious health problems. Heating oil is not currently known to cause cancer, although one of its constituents -– benzene –- is carcinogenic. It should be noted that the oil does not burn in its liquid state. In order to burn, the oil would need to be vaporized, which means it would need to be heated above 140 degrees. The storage used to keep oil has also been improved to give the homeowner peace of mind. Storage is now constructed of fiberglass and polypropylene, which is corrosion resistant. However, it would be best if you kept in mind that, like other fuel-burning appliances, oil does present a carbon monoxide risk.

What Are the Differences Between Oil and Gas Heating?

Gas heating is a very popular way to heat millions of homes worldwide, and while oil-based heat is on the rise, there are a few differences between the two options that should be considered. Gasses, such as propane, are stored in specific tanks that keep the gas safely contained. Oil is held in its own type of specified container that is resistant to corrosion and leaks. Both heating tanks should be kept safe from any possible physical damage and should strictly be installed and serviced by trained professionals. If damages to the tanks were to occur, gas is explosive, and the oil, when spilled, can cause environmental damage.


What Precautions Should I Take During Maintenance?

Your home oil-based heating system should always be serviced by a trained professional with annual checks. These yearly tests will ensure the safety and efficiency of your heater.

Common causes of spills, which mostly accompany older metal fuel tanks, are often due to water and sludge build-up in the bottom of containers, or exterior corrosion. If not taken care of or replaced, these can cause pinhole leaks.

What Gauge is Best Used with My Oil-Based Heating System?

The best options available on the market are fiberglass and polypropylene if you are purchasing a brand-new storage tank for your heating oil. Be sure to consult your locally licensed oil contractor, and they will be able to refer you to current by-laws and codes. The minimum gauge allowed for metal tanks is a 12 double gauge wall.


How Effective is Oil-Based Heating?

Oil-based heating systems are more powerful and efficient than most of the top heating alternatives. This is because heating oil for homes burns an average of 300 degrees hotter than most common gas systems. One gallon of oil has a BTU energy level of 120,000, whereas natural gas has a BTU level of only 20,160 per gallon.


How Do I Learn More?

To learn more about Oil-Based Heating, contact the experts at Duliban Insurance at 1-855-385-4226.  Their licensed professionals will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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