Did you know that more than 46,000 households in the state of Michigan rely on safe, efficient and reliable oilheat to keep their families comfortable for a good portion of every year? That amounts to more than 118,000 individuals.
This news sometimes comes as a surprise, but heating oil is a very safe fuel to use in your home.
Today’s oil storage tanks are virtually leakproof. They’re designed to resist corrosion and can last for decades. With, modern technology it’s even possible for your supplier to monitor your tank remotely. Not only does this ensure that you’ll never experience a run-out, but it protects against leaks, which, while rare, can have devastating effects if they’re not stopped immediately.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a constant concern for homeowners, and rightfully so. The good news here is that heating oil is a very low-risk fuel when it comes to this issue. In the event of a malfunction (which is usually the result of a lack of maintenance), the unit’s safety devices will, in most cases, turn off the boiler or furnace.
While it’s good to know what your fuel of choice can do, it’s also helpful to know what it can’t do. Unable to burn in its liquid state, heating oil can only be ignited with the help of an advance burner. In fact, combustion only takes place above 140°—after heating oil is vaporized by the burner.
Oilheat also can’t explode. Have you ever seen a lit match go right out when it was dropped into water? If so, you’ve probably seen how easily the flame just goes right out. The same thing happens if a lit match is dropped right into heating oil.
Here’s the truth: today’s oilheat systems boast efficiency ratings upwards of 95%. This means they’re using less fuel to get the job done than they ever have before. And if you’re in a house with an old system, you will be amazed at the difference when you upgrade. New systems burn fuel 95% cleaner than they did back in the 1970s!
And that’s not the only change the industry has seen as a result of the technological advances over the past generation: These days, homeowners who use oilheat go through 50% fewer gallons annually than people did in the 70s. So what we need just 700 gallons for now used to require 1,400 gallons!
When it comes to keeping a house warm, heating energy is another way oilheat stays at the front of the pack. Almost 140,000 Btu’s are generated for every gallon of oil burned. An easy way to think of it is that this is the same as about 70,000 60-watt lightbulbs, and that’s a lot of energy for not a whole lot of oil!