There are numerous kinds of heating fuels for use in both commercial and residential buildings. Many residential and business property owners favor heating oil, also referred to as #2 heating oil. It has a high calorific value. This term describes how much heat is produced per unit. This type of oil produces a substantial amount of heat per unit.
In addition, it is stored safely in oil tanks for future use. Those who own property can purchase and store fuel during non-peak seasons since prices are lower during these times. They can then use the fuel when colder weather arrives. However, using this type of heating oil presents one major challenge. As temperatures drop, oil of this kind can essentially freeze. This forces your heating system to shut down because it recognizes this phenomenon as a lack of fuel.
Understanding How Heating Oil Can Freeze
Fuel oil can be stored outdoors in above ground or underground storage tanks. When the temperature goes below 35 degrees Fahrenheit, heating oil usually becomes cloudy. Nevertheless, the furnace remains unaffected, as the fuel flow continues in the normal fashion. When the temperature plummets below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, however, a vital component of heating oil called paraffin begins to crystallize. It separates itself from the oil. As these crystals form, they clog the surface of the fuel filter as well as the internal walls of the line. This results in a reduced oil flow rate, often enough to completely shut down the furnace.
Proper Protocol When #2 Heating Oil Freezes
When fuel oil freezes, a heating company should be called at once to service the entire system. They can restore it to proper function. An alternate source of heat must be used in the meantime to keep residents of the dwelling comfortable. Portable electric heaters can be helpful during such an event, or if the home is equipped with a fireplace, wood can be burned to produce heat.
However, if these alternative methods prove insufficient, residents should dress warmly when waiting for the heating company to make their service call. It may also be helpful to attempt to thaw the fuel lines and melt the oil tank’s wax. Blowing hot air throughout the area with a hair dryer is the safest way to accomplish this goal. Nevertheless, it is important to exercise caution when using such an appliance on snow or ice. It is always best to leave heating system maintenance up to the pros.
Preventing Frozen Fuel Oil
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and for this reason, it is a good idea to take steps to prevent heating oil from becoming frozen in the first place. The tips outlined below usually prove helpful with regard to this matter:
- Keep Oil Filters Indoors: Temperatures within a home are always higher than outdoor temperatures. Therefore, the probability of clogging by wax will be reduced if the oil filter is installed indoors.
- Insulate Your Fuel Lines: Oil located within fuel lines can freeze quickly if the lines are not insulated. This is primarily due to the wide surface area that is exposed to the cold temperatures. Therefore, insulating the entire fuel supply system is one’s best course of action, and only waterproof insulating materials should be used.
- Use Blended Heating Oil: It is also wise to invest in blended heating oils, which feature a lower freezing point and a lower cloud point than their traditional counterparts. A blend of kerosene and diesel fuel is usually the best choice if one’s goal is a freeze-resistant fuel oil. It is important to understand, however, that these components should only be mixed by a heating expert who can create appropriate heating oil with a low freezing point.
Heating Oil Delivery Warwick PA
To make sure #2 heating oil does not freeze, property owners should also consider burying the fuel line underground and sheltering the fuel tank. A qualified heating technician can advise consumers appropriately where such issues are concerned. There are a few different ways that you can preserve your heating oil during the winter. Be sure to discuss your options with a qualified heating oil delivery service company.
For a professional company that not only offers exceptional heating oil delivery services but also HVAC maintenance, be sure to contact Princeton Heating & Air Conditioning. We can improve your comfort levels during the winter while making your home more energy efficient. Our HVAC specialists are Nate-certified HVAC so you can rest assured that they have the experience and skills necessary to make your heater work at its best. We are among the few providers in NJ to hold a Carrier Presidents Award Dealer distinction. Call us to schedule heating oil delivery or HVAC maintenance and repair.
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