Home Heating Oil: Fact vs. Fiction

fact-vs-fictionMost people grow up their whole lives using electricity and natural gas to power and heat their home, never making the opportunity to try alternative fuel sources, which have been proven to be more cost-effective and less harmful to the environment. This article will focus on some of the common misconceptions that many people have about home heating oil, providing facts on this beneficial fuel source that just might help homeowners who are considering using it in their home.

Fiction – Home heating oil is very dangerous for homeowners and the environment.
FACT – Home heating oil is very safe for all involved.

It is important for Massachusetts homeowners to understand that there are different safety risks involved for different types of petroleum products. The good news is that home heating oil is on the very safe end of the safety spectrum. Compared to other types of residential fuel, home heating oil does not ignite at room temperature and poses little to no safety risk, as it is safely stored inside of a durable tank on your property.

Compared to other fuels that are used on residential properties, such as natural gas or gasoline, home heating oil is in a class all by itself. Natural gas can also become concentrated inside a home, due to a leak in a pipe, fitting or appliance and has a history of causing large explosions. Recently, a natural gas blast occurred in San Bruno, California that destroyed or damaged over 50 homes and killed eight people. Gasoline is also very flammable and is actually formulated to ignite easily.

Fiction – We are running out of natural oil resources.
FACT – There is lots of oil in the U.S. and all around the world, including non-fossil oils.

While there is a limited resource of fossil fuels, such as natural gas and oil, there is absolutely no bottom in sight for the overall oil supply in the world. New exploration has uncovered many important finds right here in the United States that has raised hopes of a boost to our own domestic supply sources. Only a small portion of our oil imports in the United States come from the Middle East, contrary to popular belief. Our largest supplier is Canada and only one of our six top international suppliers – Saudi Arabia – is even in the Middle East.

Massachusetts homeowners will also have access to home heating oil that is made from a combination of traditional residential fuel and renewable biodiesel, which has become an industry standard and established fuel option in the United States. As growth and awareness of these renewable energy sources become more popular, they will become more available to your local Massachusetts heating oil service provider. Biodiesel comes from a diverse range of sources, including algae, cooking oil and soybeans, and has become an important alternative energy source.

Fiction – Using home heating oil is “old-fashioned” – nobody uses it anymore.
FACT – Home heating oil provides an advanced, high-efficient residential fuel source.

While it is true that home heating oil has been used for many, many years, it is hardly past its prime. In fact, this residential fuel is evolving quickly thanks to the transition to an ultra low sulfur level and innovative blends created with renewable biofuel sources. Many appliances manufacturers are embracing these advances and are developing high-efficiency equipment for commercial and residential use that has the potential to rival any similar products that are used with other fuel sources, such as natural gas.

Modulating burners is just one of the design advances made in the modern home heating oil industry. These burners use a different size of flame depending on the demand for heating, reducing energy consumption and saving money on energy bills. A large flame is used when a building or home requires a lot of heat, while a smaller flame is used to heat a building evenly even when less energy is required. Variable speed blowers for home heating oil furnaces and boilers with advanced metal alloys allow for more efficient heating and temperature control.

Fiction – Home heating oil is more expensive than other types of residential fuel sources.
FACT – Home heating oil is actually less expensive than many other types of fuel.

From 1992 to 2006, home heating oil was by far the better economical value than natural gas in most states, including the northeastern states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. However, as markets change and fluctuate, each energy source is able to enjoy a temporary cost advantage. Between 2006 and 2010, natural gas became a popular and economical choice in many states across America.

However, due to rising demand and expansions within the natural gas industry, experts anticipate that the costs of natural gas will continue to rise in the coming years, making it less affordable than it has been in recent years. The natural influence of supply and demand will likely cause the price of gas and oil to equalize in our very near future.

In addition to source costs, homeowners can also work with their Massachusetts heating oil service provider to help conserve energy through the use of specialized equipment. This advanced, high-efficiency equipment can help homeowners to reduce their residential fuel consumption by as much as 35 percent, helping to lower their overall energy bill.

Fiction – Home heating oil is bad for the environment.
FACT – Home heating oil is a clean energy source.

While other energy industries are working to get around regulations that prevent harmful drilling practices, such as “fracking” or hydrofracturing, the home heating oil industry is working to produce a cleaner, more environmentally-friendly residential fuel. In fact, home heating oil drillers and producers are currently working with regulators across the country to require the use of “ultra-low” sulfur products and the use of clean, renewable blends of biofuel. If everything goes according to plan, a bulk of the home heating oil sold in the United States will consist of a blend of renewable biofuel and the “ultra-low” sulfur heating oil.

The reason the home heating oil industry is pushing for these mandates is to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower the carbon footprint of the residential fuel industry. Studies have proven that a cleaner burn can be achieved by using a blend that contains 12 percent biofuel versus natural gas. Natural gas also has other impacts on the global environment, such as increased climate change and atmosphere pollution, due to its high level of methane emissions.

Where to Get Massachusetts Heating Oil Service
If you live in Southeastern Massachusetts or Rhode Island, it is important to choose a reliable, safe and customer service oriented home heating oil service provider. Columbus Energies has been serving residential and commercial customers in the Southcoast region for over 60 years, providing valuable service, installation and delivery of home heating oil, propane gas, HVAC, plumbing and preventative maintenance. Call for more information about the services and programs available by calling toll free at 1-877-674-1492. See why Columbus Energies is your one-stop energy provider!