Surveys have shown that while heating oil customers have exceptionally high levels of satisfaction with the service they receive, many people have big misconceptions about the safety of heating a home with oil.*
The truth is heating oil has always been a remarkably safe fuel.
People who understand this say this is a big reason why they choose oilheat instead of switching to another fuel.
Unlike natural gas, an oil heating system poses a very low risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If an oil burner malfunctions (most often due to a lack of maintenance), the safety devices in the unit will typically shut the furnace or boiler off.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that oilheat consumers shouldn’t have working carbon monoxide detectors inside their homes, especially near all bedrooms. Besides a malfunctioning boiler or furnace, there are many other sources for carbon monoxide leaks, including:
- operating unvented appliances for long periods of time
- back drafts caused by pressure imbalances near the heating system
- leaving a vehicle idling in an attached garage
- running a gasoline-powered generator in a basement or attached garage
- a blocked flue
Make sure you check your carbon monoxide (and smoke) detectors regularly to confirm they operate properly!