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Oil Fired Heating System Basics

Oil fired heating systems massechusetts

Heating oil is a great way to heat your home or business – it’s stable, safe, and affordable, and it provides more BTUs per gallon than any other home fuel source.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation circulating about heating oil that might put doubt in people’s minds about using it. The good news is that most of these doubts were caused by problems that have been solved by modern technology and can be easily handled with the help of an experienced heating contractor.

Let’s take a look at some heating basics, along with some tips that will show you how to keep your heating oil equipment working on par or better than any other system on the market.

How heating oil furnaces make heat

A heating oil furnace is a great way to heat your Massachusetts home. Here’s how your home furnace works with heating oil to provide heat to your living space:

  • Heating oil is pumped from the storage tank to the furnace, where it’s turned into a fine mist. Heating oil will not ignite in liquid form!
  • The mist travels to the combustion chamber, where it mixes with air and is ignited by an electrical spark.
  • As the chamber heats, a blower forces warm air through your home’s duct system and into your rooms, warming the air.
  • Harmful exhaust fumes from combustion are released harmlessly through your furnace’s ventilation system.

TIP: Routine professional heating system maintenance will keep your furnace working safely and efficiently for a decade or more!

Storage tank basics

In a cold climate like we have here in central MA, heating oil storage tanks are usually housed indoors or below ground – mostly because heating oil will begin to gel (freeze) at 16°F; when gelled heating oil thickens, it can clog your system and cause breakdowns.

Aboveground heating oil tanks are typically stored in a utility room, basement, or garage and range from 220 gallons to 1,000 gallons; the most common size used in homes is 275 gallons. Oil tanks typically come in oval and cylindrical shapes.

TIP: By properly sizing and placing your heating oil tank, you can avoid many heating oil system problems, including gelling, corrosion, and heating system breakdowns.

Modern heating oil tank construction

In the past, oil tanks were constructed almost exclusively from steel, which could corrode in the presence of condensation (water) inside the tank. Steel tanks are still available today, but they are built to a much higher standard than in the past.

Alternative construction materials have also become more common, including fiberglass and polyethylene plastic, which are often used as the inner lining of a double-walled storage tank. When combined with leak detection technology, these materials make today’s oil storage tanks virtually leak-proof.

TIP: With high-tech, eco-friendly heating oil storage tank options from Needham Oil complete, you can be sure your tank will be safe for years to come. Contact us for details.

Looking to install a heating oil storage tank in Middlesex County or Norfolk County, MA? Now is a great time to do it. Contact us today to learn more or get a FREE, no obligation estimate, and learn how you may qualify to receive a $200 state rebate on the purchase of a new oil storage tank from the pros at Needham Oil Complete Heating & Cooling.

Please note: At Needham, your safety and comfort are always our priority. Please see our COVID-19 Service Update Page to learn more about how we are working to keep your family and our crews safe and your home comfort services coming as we navigate this challenging time in central Massachusetts.