Oil Heat ... Efficient!
Heating and hot water system efficiency is a measure of the amount of usable heat
extracted from the potential energy of the fuel. For example, if your heating system is
evaluated at 85% efficiency, it means that 85 cents of every dollar spent for heat and hot
water are consumed within the home. The balance is exhausted through your chimney or flue
Thus, the combination of high efficiency and minimal exhaust of emissions are desirable
traits for a home heating fuel. Oil-fired equipment has always provided these features for
both heat and hot water.
There are may ways to compare heating system efficiency. The most widely accepted measure
is the U.S. Dept. of Energys Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE).
Using this benchmark,
Oil-heat gets excellent ratings. Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiencies of new oil equipment
range from 83% to 94%.
The average gas unit sold has an AFUE in the low 80s, while ratings on individual
gas units vary from 78% to 95%. While the high end efficiency of some natural gas systems
may look attractive, they exhibit higher water vapor in the exhaust than an
system- which can be corrosive to the heating unit.
Electric resistance heat has between 27% and 31% AFUE; air to air heat pumps between 51%
and 62%; and geothermal heat pumps 76% to 82% AFUE. Electric heat is inefficient because
nearly two-thirds of the heat value of the fuel is lost in the generation and
transmission. With Oil
heat, you create usable heating energy right at your house and
distribute it throughout your home.
Oil Heat is ... Clean!
heat systems are among the cleanest of combustion devices. New oil burners release near zero levels of smoke and combustion discharge. Residential oil burners produce less than one-third of one percent (.003) of total particulate emissions in the U.S. each year.
Emissions from residential gas burners are about the same as from equivalent size oil burners, according to government research agency studies. Neither fuel releases particulate matter of any consequence.
Oil Heat is ... Environmentally
While electric heat at the point of use has no emissions at all, the power plant creating the electricity may be giving off significant emissions depending on how power is generated.
Heating oil is environmentally benign. It is non-toxic, contains no carcinogens, and is
Competitor innuendoes and exaggerated media reports that depict heating oil as an
environmental hazard are unjustified.
Residential oil tanks do not present a threat to human health or the environment. A
properly installed and maintained oil tank can last for decades.
heat has the least environmental impact of any type of space heating and hot water
fuel, attributable to its high efficiency and clean burning. Natural gas and propane are
similarly benign, while electric, coal, and wood heat are far more detrimental to air
Oil Heat is ... Economically
The price of energy in the region where you live is the most dominant influence on total
For example: The installed cost of an electric heat system may look attractive, but when
you calculate the annual operating costs for electric power in particular, any first time
For the past four years the cost for
Oil heat has been consistently lower than comparable
natural gas costs. In climate regions of the country where Oil
heat is dominant, the cost
to a homeowner for utility supplied natural gas in 1995 can be as much as 40% more than
Oil heat! Energy analysts do not foresee that the price advantage for
heat will diminish
The best way to compare
energy prices is to calculate the price per BTU, a unit of heating value, for each fuel.
- Heating Oil contains 138,690 BTUs per gallon.
- Natural Gas has 100,000 BTUs per therm. It takes 1.4 therms to equal the
heat content of
one gallon of heating oil.
- Kerosene has 131,890 BTUs per gallon; 1.05 gallons equals the heat content
of one gallon
of heating oil.
- Propane has 91,500 BTUs per gallon; 1.52 gallons equals the heat of one
- Electricity has 3,413 BTUs per kilowatt hour (kwh); 40.6 kwh equals the heat
a gallon of heating oil.
Energy prices can vary widely across the country. Your Oil
heat dealer can provide you with
the information to accurately compare energy prices in your area.
Heat is ... Safe!
Oil, gas, electric heat all have commendable safety records when the equipment is
installed properly and maintained regularly. However, when heating units malfunction
safety hazards can occur.
Should that situation arise,
heat offers important safety advantages:
of air and
Heating oil is non-explosive. If a heating oil leak should occur, it is not an
hazard. When natural gas leaks, an explosive mixture
Heating oil will not burn in a liquid state. If you were to place a lit match into a
vial of heating oil, the match would be extinguished because heating oil in liquid
well below it's flash point of 140 degrees F, the temperature at which it
begins to vaporize
in order to fire inside a burner. By contrast, natural gas will
burst into flames when
mixed with air if a match is struck in their presence.
heat enables you to have a supply of fuel oil stored safely on your property.
Do not worry about the weather, because the oil in your tank is yours to use for heat and
hot water whenever you want.
By comparison, in extremely cold weather, natural gas customers can be subject to pressure
drops in the pipelines. A severe pressure drop can result in total loss of heat.
Heat is ...
oil is environmentally benign. It is non-toxic, contains no carcinogens,
and is biodegradable.
Competitor innuendoes and
exaggerated media reports that depict heating oil as an environmental
hazard are unjustified.
Residential oil tanks do not
present a threat to human health or the environment. A properly
installed and maintained oil tank can last for decades.
heat has the least
environmental impact of any type of space heating and hot water fuel,
attributable to its high efficiency and clean burning. Natural gas and
propane are similarly benign, while electric, coal, and wood heat are
far more detrimental to air quality.