At Roach Energy, we’ve filled countless tanks in the Eastern Panhandle region with premium heating oil. Many of our heating oil delivery customers ask about the product we deliver. Where does heating oil come from? How is it different from other oil products? Why does it now seem to burn cleaner than the oil they grew up with?
We’re always happy to discuss the fuel we sell. Here are some answers to frequent questions we receive.
How is heating oil made?
Heating oil — sometimes called no. 2 heating oil — comes from crude oil pulled from the ground through wells. Petroleum products like heating oil, diesel and gasoline come from crude oil that has been refined through fractional distillation.
This distillation process involves heating the oil to a temperature of over 1,000 degrees! This removes impurities that can harm equipment like car engines or, in the case of heating oil, your furnace or boiler.
How is heating oil different from other crude oil products?
Heating oil goes through a different production process than the gasoline you put in your car. Among other things, gasoline contains additives that aid its performance in car engines. This means gasoline can break down much quicker than heating oil.
Home heating oil is much closer in composition to diesel. Indeed, they’re nearly identical. One of the main differences between the diesel in a truck and the heating oil in your home is that heating oil isn’t subject to the same taxes.
Another comparable oil product oil is kerosene. Kerosene is distilled at a much higher temperature than no. 2 heating oil and has a lower “gel point.” It can withstand more frigid conditions. It also burns much hotter, so you need special equipment to use it.
How has heating oil changed in recent years?
Today’s heating oil is more efficient and cleaner than the product your grandparents used. It’s now ultra-low sulfur, and the heating oil industry is incorporating biofuel. Biofuel is a cleaner-burning product made from organic and recycled materials like:
used cooking grease
inedible corn oil
The resulting blend reduces carbon output significantly. It’s also much easier on your heating equipment. This means less wear and tear and fewer repairs!
Is heating oil a good home fuel?
Heating oil is one of the most effective ways to warm your home. Let’s compare heating oil’s heat output to natural gas. Heat output is measured in British thermal units (Btu’s):
Heating oil produces 138,690 Btu’s per gallon.
Natural gas produces 1,030 Btu’s per cubic foot,
One gallon of oil gives off the same amount of heat as 135 cubic feet of natural gas. Heating oil is a more efficient choice.
Heating oil is also safe for your home. It will not explode. In fact, it can’t even burn as a liquid. That’s why your oil-fired heating system must heat your oil to 140 degrees to vaporize it for burning. Oil heating systems also have a very low risk of carbon monoxide infiltration. They are equipped to shut down if the burner malfunctions.
Interested in receiving Roach Energy’s top-quality heating oil? Join our family of happy customers!