Heating oil has been a mainstay in American home heating since the 1920s (especially here in the Northeast), and for good reason: when you consider the cost of fuel and the durability of oil-fired heating equipment, it just may be the best heating value for your Long Island home.
But how does heating oil stack up when it comes to safety? As it turns out, heating oil is probably your best bet on that score, too.
The safety of heating oil starts with the properties of the fuel itself: unlike natural gas or propane, heating oil will not burn at temperatures you would normally find in your home. To burn, heating oil must first be heated to a temperature of 140 degrees, then vaporized – just as it is inside your boiler or furnace. If you dropped a lit match into a bucket of room temperature heating oil, it would simply go out as if you dropped it in water.
As is the case with any other home energy source, the key to keeping your oil heating system operating safely is professional heating maintenance for your equipment. During an annual tune-up, a service technician will perform several tests to make sure your heating equipment is working correctly; if he spots a potential safety or performance issue, he’ll take care of it right away.
Another safety improvement in today’s world of heating oil is the emergence of double wall steel and plastic or fiberglass heating oil tanks, which virtually eliminate oil leaks. While older, single wall steel oil tanks were durable, they were susceptible to internal corrosion – a problem that could lead to surprise tank leaks or even tank failures.
Carbon monoxide – the dangerous and potentially deadly byproduct of any kind of fuel burning – is obviously something to take very seriously. Although both oil and gas combustion both produce CO, heating oil holds a big advantage when it comes to carbon monoxide detection: if an oil burner goes out of whack, it will produce smoke – a natural warning to people in your home. A gas burner, on the other hand, will produce only colorless, odorless carbon monoxide; this makes a CO buildup harder to detect.
If your oil furnace is producing black smoke or soot, contact us right away — this is a sign your equipment is not functioning properly and the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning exists. It’s also critical to have tested and working carbon monoxide detectors in your home, and to know the telltale symptoms of CO poisoning, such as headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue.
Heating oil – the best and safest way to heat your Suffolk County home! Contact us today to become a Southville Petroleum customer and keep the reliable heating oil deliveries coming all fall and winter long.