But one area that sometimes gets overlooked when people evaluate heating oil is safety.
Many experts believe that heating oil is safest way to warm a house, since there is virtually no risk of explosion (as there is with propane or natural gas) or even fire (if you drop a lighted match in a drum of heating oil, it would go out as if you had dropped it in water; to ignite heating oil, you need to vaporize the fuel and subject it to high heat, which is exactly what happens inside your oil furnace. Those conditions are virtually impossible to replicate inside your home without the benefit of a precision burner).
Still, like any fuel, proper care is needed to ensure safe operation of a home oil heating system. Here are four heating oil safety tips for your Central Massachusetts home.
Shop wisely – If you’re looking to install a home heating oil system, choose one whose storage tank includes a built-in overfill alarm; this alarm whistles to alert a heating oil delivery tech when the maximum fill level for the tank has been reached, which helps to prevent spills.
Keep an eye out for leaks – Visually inspect your oil storage tank from time to time, looking for pools or drops of oil that could indicate a leak. If you discover a leak, contact us immediately so we can help you arrange proper cleanup before more damage occurs. Never attempt to repair an oil leak on your own!
Watch for signs of carbon monoxide poisoning – Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, deadly gas that can be produced when heating oil (or any other fuel) is incompletely burned. If your oil furnace is producing black smoke or soot, contact us immediately — this is a sign your equipment is not working properly and that you are at risk for CO poisoning! For more peace of mind, be sure to test and replace the batteries in your home’s carbon monoxide detectors at least twice a year. If you don’t have carbon monoxide detectors in your MA home, GET THEM TODAY – it’s the law!