Here in New England, including our service area in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts, heating oil has long been the heating fuel of choice for homes.
And with good reason! Heating oil is the most cost-effective fuel for home heating, and it gets your home warm faster than any other fuel source. Heating oil is also right there at your home, so you never have to depend on outside utility lines as you do when you use natural gas for heating.
But there’s another reason heating oil should be your choice: Safety.
Heating oil is the safest home heating fuel. Surprised? Heating oil, despite the “oil” in its name, isn’t an immediate fire hazard. Drop a lit match into heating oil, and it will be extinguished right there. Really!
That’s definitely something you can’t do with natural gas.
Fact: Heating oil has to be heated to at least 140˚ Fahrenheit before it can be vaporized and combusted in your home’s furnace or boiler.
You know what else is safe? Today’s heating oil tanks. They’re now made with double-wall steel, as well as plastic and fiberglass, to make them virtually leakproof. There are also built-in alarms that prevent the tank from being overfilled, further reducing the risk of spills and leaks.
All of this being said, you still have to take care of your oil-fired heating system to make sure it continues to operate safely.
Maintenance is essential. A regular tune-up by the trained and experienced professionals at Wesco Oil includes a thorough inspection that lets them find problems before they become hazards.
Inspect the heating oil tank. Take a close look at the area around your heating oil tank between tune-ups and heating oil deliveries. If you spot any pools of oil, contact Wesco Oil immediately. Also check the tank closely for signs of impending tank failure such as dime-sized blistering on the paint, condensation on the outside of the tank that remains long after a heating oil delivery, and pinhole leaks.
Practice carbon monoxide safety. First, heating oil poses very little risk when it comes to carbon monoxide leaks. But they can happen, especially if your oil-fired heating system is not properly maintained. Contact Wesco Oil IMMEDIATELY if your boiler or furnace is producing black smoke or soot. Install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home, and outside all bedrooms. Test and change the batteries are recommended.