Some homeowners steer away from oil heaters because they've heard myths that they're inefficient, unsafe and more prone to breakdowns than natural gas or propane heaters. In reality, however, oil heaters are a safe and cost-effective option for many family homes. Before you cast the possibility of getting an oil heater to the side, make sure you know the facts.
Oil heaters are an eco-friendly, sustainable option.
There is a common misconception that oil furnaces release a lot of pollutants into the atmosphere. While this may have been true of old, inefficient oil furnaces, today's oil furnaces are very safe for the environment. Coal, electric and wood heat release far more greenhouse gases than oil heat. The sulfur content of today's heating oil is also lower than that of heating oil several decades ago. As a result, very few pollutants are released when oil is burned.
Heating your home with oil may be more cost-effective than heating with natural gas.
When you have a natural gas heater, natural gas is stored outside your home by the gas supplier, and flows into your home as you use it. The rate you pay fluctuates—you always have to pay the current going rate for the natural gas you are using. Oil, however, is stored in a tank on your property. You can have save money by having the tank filled when prices are low. The newest furnaces are so efficient that they burn very little oil, meaning you'll pay less overall for fuel than if you were to use natural gas heat.
With an oil heater, you don't have to worry about carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that can cause several illness and even death if inhaled. A natural gas furnace may leak carbon monoxide into your home, but oil furnaces are very unlikely to do so. Because of the manner in which oil burns, you would see visible smoke and soot long before enough carbon monoxide is produced to cause a problem, which would allow you to turn the heater off and get the problem fixed before there was any danger.
Heating oil will not explode.
Don't worry about your oil tank exploding—this is just a myth, and it will not happen unless your yard is on fire for a long time already. Oil must be heated to above 140 degrees F in order to ignite, and even on the hottest days, your tank will not reach this temperature. Liquid oil does not ignite until it's vaporized, so you don't have to worry about sills exploding, either.
When deciding which type of heater is right for your home, remember not to overlook oil heat from a company like Self Heating Cooling as an option. It's a clean-burning, cost-effective choice for many homeowners.
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