If you’re new to Vermont winters, or maybe making that big step and purchasing your first home in the immediate Manchester area, you probably are looking for information about the best ways to keep your home warm and comfortable all season long. The good news is you have a few options including propane, natural gas, and electricity. However, the best option for our long, cold winters is undoubtedly oil heat. Those other fuels simply cannot provide the same heating energy!
And yes, while it is a fossil fuel, it’s a far cry from the dirty-burning product that was used just a few decades ago. Here are the answers to all your questions about heating oil to get you more familiar.
Heating oil is a refined form of crude oil that comes from deep wells both on land and offshore. Most heating oil today is referred to as “#2 heating oil”. Further, all the heating oil used in Vermont and throughout New England is ultra-low sulfur heating oil. Ultra-low sulfur heating oil is cleaner—and cleaner-burning—than “regular” heating oil.
What makes heating oil a better way to heat your home? Heating oil has a higher BTU output per gallon. That means it will warm up your home faster than other types of fuels.
Higher BTUs also mean you’ll use your heating oil supply more slowly than, say, propane. That means that even if the per-gallon cost of propane is less than heating oil, you can pay less to heat your house with heating oil.
Heating systems and equipment that run on oil are generally less expensive to purchase and tend to last longer on average, too.
For instance, a heating oil-fired furnace can last nearly 30 years, and a heating oil-fired boiler can last 25 years. New heating oil systems also now burn fuel 99.9% cleanly, according to studies conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven Laboratory. That means heating oil is exponentially better for the environment than it used to be—even as recently as twenty years ago!
Most people are surprised to learn that heating oil doesn’t ignite at room temperature and is nonflammable in liquid form. Heating oil must be heated to 114° and vaporized via the combustion process to burn.
If it’s stored properly, in a well-maintained storage tank, heating oil is safe for the environment, too.
As we’ve mentioned prior, the oil used in homes today is dramatically different than the oil burned in the past. Thanks in part to the transition to ultra-low sulfur heating oil, particulate emissions have been reduced significantly from the already low levels of the past few decades. So how much cleaner is it? Traditional heating oil has a sulfur content of up to 4,000 parts per million. In contrast, ultra-low sulfur heating oil has a sulfur content of just 15 parts per million.
Because it’s so clean-burning, ultra-low sulfur heating oil improves the efficiency of your heating system—saving you money as it operates. It also helps your system last longer and reduces breakdowns.
Heating oil is stored in a tank right on your property—either in your basement or outdoors, above, or underground. Tank size depends on the size of your home and can range from 275 gallons for a small one- or two-bedroom home up to 500 gallons or more.
While you don’t want a tank that’s too small—you’ll need to get frequent deliveries, there isn’t really a benefit to having a tank that’s bigger than you need, either—if you use your home seasonally or only part-time, you may need less oil than if you live there full time. The professionals at Dorr Oil and Propane are always happy to answer all your questions and help make sure you have a tank that’s the right size for your home and your usage.
If you heat your home with oil, you need a heating oil company you can count on for reliable delivery service. Dorr Oil & Propane has been providing reliable heating oil delivery to customers in southwestern Vermont for more than 20 years. We provide convenient delivery service as well as price protection plans, equipment installation and service and so much more!
Contact us today to learn more and get started on becoming a customer.