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When Does Heating Oil Spoil?

Heating oil expiration massachusetts

Running out of heating oil in the middle of a Central Massachusetts cold snap is never fun.

To avoid that problem – and perhaps to save a little money with off-season fuel fill-ups – most of us buy our fuel oil in batches throughout the year, so our heating system ready for action once the cold days and nights arrive.

While taking heating oil deliveries this way can be a smart strategy in theory, it can only work if heating oil has a substantial enough “shelf life” to sit in your heating oil storage tank until it’s needed.

The question is, does it?

The truth is, heating oil can – and will – spoil over time. Bacteria in your oil tank and in the oil itself will degrade the oil, causing it to thicken into unusable sludge. Certain acids can also decrease the shelf life of your oil, as can paint, sludge, and rust. Water can also inhibit heating oil’s ability to burn.

Typically, heating oil can last about 18 to 24 months without decaying, as long as it includes the right additives is stored correctly.

The tricks to long lasting heating oil

To make your heating oil last as long as possible, do these three things:

  • Have your heating oil tank inspected regularly. A professional heating oil storage tank inspection will confirm that your tank is not corroding from the inside out. Corrosion can lead to rust contamination and other problems with your fuel oil.
  • Always order quality heating oil from a reputable heating oil supplier.
  • Estimate how much oil you will need for the season. It’s a good idea to know approximately how much heating oil you will use during the course of a heating season so you don’t order and store heating oil you don’t need. If you need help with estimating your oil use, just ask us.

Need a reliable supply of heating oil any time of the year within our Middlesex or Norfolk County service area? We can help. Contact Needham Oil Complete Heating & Cooling today for expert heating oil delivery and heating oil service in Central Massachusetts!