Heating Oil Has Key Safety Advantages
If you still associate heating oil with fuel smells, black smoke and soot, well, those days are long gone. In New Jersey, many heating oil companies proudly deliver eco-friendly and extremely safe Bioheat® fuel. This clean-burning fuel is kind to the environment and your pocketbook. It leaves far fewer deposits in heating equipment, reducing the need for burner cleanings.
But perhaps most importantly, Bioheat® fuel is far safer than other standard heating fuels out there like natural gas. Let’s break that down and explain why.
Non-flammable Heating Oil Cannot Explode
Unlike natural gas, heating oil cannot explode. You need to heat oil to 140 degrees and vaporize it to make it burn. In fact, that’s precisely what happens inside your oil burner. If you were to drop a lit match into a bucket of heating oil, it would get extinguished the same way it would if dropped in water!
By contrast, natural gas can be lit with an open flame, which is extremely dangerous any time there is a gas leak.
Inside a home, natural gas leaks can lead to explosions and asphyxiation. While heating oil spills can have negative consequences too — especially the risk of expensive cleanup and environmental remediation —they don’t tend to be as severe and certainly not as dangerous as natural gas.
Continuing in this vein, today’s heating oil storage tanks are virtually leak-proof. They have double wall steel, plastic or fiberglass construction and protection against corrosion. Your New Jersey full-service heating oil company can also inspect your tank regularly to address any potential structural issues early.
Heating oil: Reliable, Uninterrupted Supply
In New Jersey and elsewhere in the Northeast, many households depend on heating oil for space heating and water heating. With your own onsite storage heating oil tank and a trustworthy heating oil company to rely on, you can be confident that your New Jersey home will stay warm and your family will be safe in the coldest months.
But when you depend on a natural gas utility for your heat and hot water, you don’t have the same peace of mind. A leak in one of their old, deteriorating pipes could knock out heat for a whole residential block!
Carbon Monoxide: Heating Oil Vs. Natural Gas
Although the chances of your oil-fired heating system leaking carbon monoxide (CO) are far lower than in a natural gas heated home, it is still possible — particularly if your equipment hasn’t been serviced properly. But unlike natural gas, a heating oil system will show visible signs that there is a problem.
With that said, don’t wait to call your heating oil service company if you ever see black smoke or soot coming out of your furnace or boiler. This is sign that something is seriously wrong with your equipment. There could be a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning as well.
For safety’s sake, it’s vital that you place carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home and near each bedroom. Test them and change their batteries regularly. In general, replace them after five years. (Check manufacturer guidelines for more specifics about when to replace). Also, please ensure that you and your family know the symptoms of CO poisoning, which include headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue. Note: CO poisoning can often be mistaken for the flu since the symptoms are similar.
Read more about heating oil safety.