As the weather continues to get colder, it might be time to turn on your oil boiler. Most of us have gas boilers or furnaces in our homes. But, there is a place for an oil boiler instead.
Oil boilers are very like other heating sources, except they use oil not gas or electricity as power. As a boiler heat source, the oil boiler contains water. The oil creates power that heats the water, and then that heat is pumped throughout your home. There are also wood boilers that allow you to use a renewable fuel to heat your home, but you need to have the space for these outdoor products and the wood needed to heat them.
There are some pros and cons to oil boilers. The pros and cons of oil boilers are discussed in the next section. And, then we will describe how to use an oil boiler safely and efficiently. So, keep reading and you will discover all you need to know about oil boilers.
Why Use an Oil Boiler?
The first question you probably have is why you should use an oil boiler. Most importantly, an oil boiler allows you to heat your home without being connected to a gas line. If you live far outside of a populated area, gas may not be available or may be extremely expensive.
The same is true of electric heaters. If you live in a rural area, you may not be connected to city electricity. Plus, even if you are connected to an electric line, electric heating is much more expensive than oil heat. In fact, oil boilers cost 2.5-5.5 times less than electric heating options. That equates to a lot of savings for you.
Another reason to consider an oil boiler is that oil is a more efficient fuel than gas. Oil burns hotter than gas. Oil boilers can also use all of the off-gases that burning oil produces as fuel. Thus, there will be much less waster when you use an oil boiler.
Keep in mind that there are some cons to oil boilers. The price of oil is a major con. Oil prices are more volatile than other heating sources. They vary much more, which means that the price of oil will sometimes be quite high, which makes the oil boiler less cost-effective. Also, oil has to be shipped to your home. And, finally, the maintenance of oil boilers will be more intense because there will be a lot of soot and dirt buildup.
How to Use an Oil Boiler
Now that you know why you may want to use an oil boiler; it is time for the how-to section. Here are four tips for using your oil boilers properly.
Take all necessary safety precautions.
Oil is not necessarily more dangerous than gas or any other type of fuel. However, you have to take the appropriate safety precautions. These include using the correct type of oil for your product and ensuring that any issues are fixed immediately.
The biggest risk in an oil boiler is the creation of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a gas that has no smell or taste. If you inhale too much of it, you or your family could die. It is unlikely that there will be a carbon monoxide problem with your oil boiler. As long as you leave a window open when lighting it and get any issues fixed immediately things should be fine.
Check for leaks.
One of the main reasons to consider an oil boiler for heating is its efficiency. If your oil boiler springs a leak or two, it will be much less efficient. You don’t want that.
It doesn’t matter where the oil tank is located, it could leak at some point. Oil leaks are expensive to repair and can cause major problems to your water supply and soil. Your best way to handle a leak is to recognize the signs and get it fixed immediately. You can find a great list of the top signs of an oil leak in this article.
Use either the correct fuel.
Depending on your specific oil boiler, there are a lot of different oils that you can use. Make sure to read your user’s manual to determine which type of oil is recommended.
There are a variety of types of oils. The most common are kerosene and red diesel—also called gas oil. Red diesel is most often used in commercial settings. For homes, kerosene is a common choice. It is lighter than red diesel and more affordable. You can choose from basic kerosene or Glenburn kerosene. As stated above, your user’s manual will tell you which type is preferred.
Have the oil boiler cleaned regularly.
Oil boilers tend to get dirtier than other types of heaters. This makes regular cleaning an important part of their maintenance. Often it is recommended that you have your oil boiler cleaned once per year at the end of the winter. However, if you live in a cold climate or run your boiler a lot, you may want to have your oil boiler cleaned twice per year. In this scenario, cleaning in the fall and at the end of winter is preferred.
Never try to clean your oil boiler yourself. Instead, hire an OFTEC registered engineer to do the cleaning. This will ensure your warranty remains effective, and that your oil boiler is cleaned properly.
The right oil boilers can be a great heating choice for your home. They are often a cost-effective alternative to gas boilers or furnaces. Plus, they remove the need for gas lines on your property. While there are cons to oil boilers as well, when chosen and used correctly, their pros often outweigh the negatives.
Try an oil boiler today and experience the difference this type of heating makes to your home and your pocketbook.