There are many different fuel sources that people can use to heat their homes. Some options are far more efficient and cost-effective than others. Some options are also far safer than their alternatives. Heating oil is one of these. Following is everything you need to know about the process of making heating oil and transporting it.
It is first important to understand why the manufacturing process for this essential resource is so critical. One option for home heating fuel is natural gas. In fact, this fuel source is increasing in popularity at a very rapid rate. New refineries are being built all across the nation and more homeowners are converting to natural gas for their primary and continuous source of heat.
This is actually having a number of devastating effects on the natural environment. Deforestation, decimation of the surrounding wildlife, greater emission of greenhouse gases and loss of natural habitats are just a few of the many developments that can be expected during the construction of pipelines. It is important to note, that pipelines also have to be supported by nearby power plants, which can be equally detrimental.
More importantly, however, natural gas is incredibly explosive and flammable. It is also very toxic when inhaled. If you breathe natural gas in, you are in danger of dying from carbon monoxide poisoning. Even a small leak, if not caught early on and corrected can result in a household explosion that impacts not only the affected household, but all of the building structures that are adjacent to it. In terms of human health, when natural gas leaks are not fatal, they can cause headaches, lethargy, stomach upset and many other issues that are likely to increase in severity.
Reports of residential explosions are currently on the rise. Leaks that result in these events can be difficult to detect. This is because natural gas is odorless. A special chemical is added to give it a sulfurous smell, but this is not always easy for many people to detect. Another thing to note about natural gas as a fuel source is the fact that the pipelines that carry it can rupture and leak as well, particularly when outside temperatures become exceedingly low.
Heating oil, however, does not pose any of these dangers. Despite what its name might suggest, this oils is actually non-flammable and non-explosive. In fact, homeowners can even drop lit matches into their heating units that have been filled with this oil. The matches will simply fizzle out. It is not possible to cause an explosion with this fuel.
It is also far less detrimental to the natural environment. There is no need to invest in new pipelines for heating oil or build refineries to support them. To continue supporting this heating method, there are very few additional drawbacks that the natural environment would have to sustain.
Heating oil is a distillate of petroleum. Thus, it is derived from the fossil fuels that are already being used, or crude oil. Once extracted from the ground, this base product is then separated into fractions and purified. Each fraction has its own weight and viscosity that makes it applicable for a specific purpose or application. The oil that is used to warm up residential homes is a refined version of fraction number two.