Winter is a joyous time for many. It means the holidays are in full swing, as families gather to celebrate and spend quality time together. The new year brings renewed hope and resolutions. But with winter also comes some really bone-chilling weather in many parts of the world. The harsh, low temperatures, snow, and ice can all be hazards, especially if you do not have a good way to heat your home. If you are unhappy with your current home heating method, consider learning what is home heating oil and whether it is right for your home.
In its basest form, heating oil is one of several products made from petroleum. The liquid petroleum is low viscosity, so it is easier to pour and flow into pipes and get it into your boiler or furnace. There it is warmed up to provide heat to your home or building.
Any building that uses this as its primary heating source will have a storage tank somewhere on site. This could be inside the structure, such as in a basement. More commonly, the tanks are located outside and fed into the burner or furnace through pipes. Most of these tanks are above ground, but some are buried underground to help prevent theft of the oil, which does happen sometimes.
It is your responsibility to do occasional inspections of your tanks to see that they are in good working order. If you are found to have a leak, you may be subject to steep fines and cleanup costs. Since spilled fuel in consider a biohazard in most areas, the cleanup costs can be astronomical. When you get a delivery, your delivery person will usually inspect, but in between deliveries, you must do your own inspections as well.
The burning of the fuel source does cause some smoke to escape into the air, but modern methods of refinement have found ways to combat this. You can, if available in your area, order a biodiesel blend which burns cleaner, reducing the amount of CO2 emitted. These blends are much better for the environment as a result.
In the USA, many homes in New England, the rest of the northeast and quite a bit of the northwest use heating oil as their primary fuel source in winter. Canada also has a strong market for it, especially in rural areas where they might not be hooked up to the grid to use electrical heat sources. People all across England, Scotland and Wales also use various types of heating oils in their homes.
In the UK, many people join up with their neighbors and pool their money to buy the oils in bulk. They make one big purchase with a big bulk discount, which reduces the total cost for the winter. They must agree on a single delivery day and pay up front, but the savings are worth the time it takes to decide on a day and pool the money together.
For those who cannot or choose not to participate in these types of bulk deals, there are myriad websites that track the prices of the oils for you. You can keep up with dips and raises in prices so that you know when a really good deal comes around and can take advantage of it.