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How Do I Keep My Oil From Freezing?

frozen heating oil massachusettsHeating oil is one of best ways to heat your home here in the Massachusetts: it’s safe and efficient, and burning it produces more heat than any other fuel.

Another great thing about fuel oil is that it can be stored for at a later date, which means you can order heating oil when the price is right, or when it’s convenient for you. But one problem that could occur with heating oil is that it can freeze if temperatures dip low enough, stopping your furnace or boiler in its tracks.

The good news is there are ways to prevent this from happening – but first, let’s take a look at why oil freezes in the first place.

Why Does Heating Oil Freeze?

When temperatures drop (starting at about 35 degrees), heating oil becomes cloudy; at this point, your heating system will still function perfectly. Once the temperature drops below 20 degrees, however, the paraffin contained in heating oil begins to separate from the oil and crystallize; these crystals will clog the fuel line, slowing the flow of oil. At 16 degrees, oil starts to thicken (or “gel”), creating potentially big problems for your equipment, including shut-down.

Preventing Oil Gelling

The best way to avoid a frozen fuel problem is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are four ways to do that.

  • Install your oil filter indoors – This will prevent your filter from clogging with wax.
  • Insulate your fuel lines – Be sure to insulate your entire fuel oil supply system with a waterproof insulating material.
  • Use blended or treated heating oil – Heating oil blended with kerosene or another improved additive has a lower cloud and freezing point than traditional fuel oil does.
  • Shelter your oil tank – Bury your fuel lines underground, and strongly consider building a shelter if your heating oil tank is outdoors.

For heating oil that will COMPLETE-ly stand up to any weather, trust the pros at Needham Oil Complete Heating & Cooling. Our crews are on the road all winter long providing reliable heating oil delivery in Middlesex and Norfolk counties, MA. Contact us today to learn more, or to become a Needham Oil Complete customer!