Serving the Hudson Valley region

Heating Oil Safety: How Safe Is It Really?

the safety of heating oil hudson valley

Heating oil has been heating American homes for nearly a century, and for good reason: when you consider the cost of fuel and the longevity of oil-fired equipment, it just may be the best value in home heating.

But how does heating oil fare when it comes to safety? As it turns out, quite well: unlike natural gas or propane, heating oil will not burn under conditions you would normally find in your home. To burn, heating oil must be vaporized and ignited in a specific way – a process that happens inside, but not outside, your boiler or furnace.

Maintenance is a key to heating oil safety

As with any fuel, maintenance is the key to keeping heating oil equipment operating safely. During an annual tune-up, a service technician will perform tests to make sure your heating equipment is working safely and correctly; if he spots an issue, he’ll take care of it right away.

Modern oil tanks help, too

Another safety improvement in today’s world of heating oil is the emergence of double wall heating oil tanks, which virtually eliminate oil leaks. While older, single wall steel oil tanks were durable, they could corrode from the inside – a problem that could lead to leaks or even tank failures. Now, with inner tanks made from plastic or fiberglass, the chance of an oil leak is near zero if the tank is properly installed and maintained.

CO poisoning is less likely with heating oil systems

Although both oil and gas combustion produce potentially dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide as exhaust, heating oil holds a big advantage when it comes to carbon monoxide detection: if an oil burner is not functioning properly, it will produce smoke – a natural warning to people in your home. A gas burner, on the other hand, will produce only colorless, odorless carbon monoxide; this makes a CO buildup harder to detect.

If your oil furnace is producing black smoke or soot, contact us right away — this is a sign your equipment is not functioning properly and the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning exists.  It’s also critical to have tested and working carbon monoxide detectors in your home, and to know the telltale symptoms of CO poisoning, such as headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue.

Heating oil – the best and safest way to heat your Hudson Valley home! Contact us today to become an Economy Oil customer and get reliable heating oil deliveries in Dutchess, Columbia, Orange, Sullivan, Delaware, Greene, and Ulster counties.

Please note: At Economy Oil, your safety and comfort are always our priority. Please contact us to learn more about how we are working to keep your family and our crews safe and your heating oil deliveries coming through this challenging time.