The Three Grades Of Home Heating Oil, And The Differences Among The Three

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Of all of your utilities, your home heating oil might just be the one you think the least about. However, thinking about what type of heating oil you use could save you hundreds of dollars over the long run, both in the cost of your oil and the maintenance for your home heating system. Unfortunately, unless you are installing a new oil tank, you're going to have to continue using the same grade of oil, as mixing types can be dangerous for your home heating system, much like putting regular gasoline in a car that takes premium can be problematic. 

No. 2 Grade

This is the cleanest and most efficient grade of home heating oil. What sets this type of oil apart is the near complete lack of contaminants and the amount of BTUs per gallon produced by this type of fuel, meaning you get more heat per gallon out of this grade. Also, this type of fuel is closest in composition to gasoline and diesel fuel, and is a type of light oil, which means that it is distilled rather than left over from the oil distilling process.  

No. 4 Grade

This type of oil is a mixture of No. 2 and No. 6, and is a good intermediate between clean burning No. 2 and cheap No. 6 grade. If you are planning on replacing your oil tank in the near future and want to save some money on your future oil fill-ups without resorting to super-cheap, and in some countries illegal, No. 6 oil, ask about having your tank filled with this versatile grade. 

No. 6 Grade

This is the cheapest of the three options for home heating oil, and in this case, you get what you pay for. This type of oil is pretty toxic to wildlife, so make sure to check your local regulations on heating oil before using this grade. No. 6 is often used in industrial applications, and it is fairly rare in residential homes. It is important to know that this type of oil, while cheap, can cause some serious maintenance issues for your furnace system as well. Due to the maintenance and environmental issues, it is often best to avoid this type of heating oil altogether. 

Knowing exactly what can and should go into your home oil tank is important for the sake of your utility bill, and making a change in your preferred type of oil can save you hundreds over the years. However, in the end, the experts know best, and switching your type of oil should only happen after serious consideration of alternatives to save some money on your home heating bill. 

For more information, contact MacLeod's Plumbing & Heating Fuel Delivery or a similar company.


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