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How Safe Is Heating Oil?

is heating oil safe? southeast Massachusetts

Heating oil has been keeping New Englanders warm for nearly a century – a testament to the effectiveness of this Btu King. But how does heating oil stack up when it comes to safety?

As it turns out, heating oil is probably your best bet in that regard, too.

Heating oil safety starts with the properties of the fuel itself: unlike natural gas or propane, heating oil will not burn in conditions you would normally find in your home. To burn, heating oil must first be sprayed into a fine mist by a precise combination of pump pressure and nozzle angle, which creates flammable vapor.

Heating system maintenance is the key to safety

As is the case with any other home energy source, the key to keeping your oil-fired heating equipment operating safely is professional heating maintenance for your equipment. During an annual heating 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.

Modern oil storage tanks: making leaks a thing of the past

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.

Lower CO risks

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 malfunctions, 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 northern Rhode Island or southeast Massachusetts home! Contact us today to become a W.H. Riley & Son customer and keep the reliable heating oil deliveries coming all fall and winter long.