How Does Oil Heating System Work?

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Those that use heating oil for home heating enjoy the various benefits that come with it. Oil heating systems have clean and environment-safe operations. They also have a lifespan that’s twice as long as other fuel systems. Oil heating systems are worthy investments because they are very efficient and cost-effective, especially newer models with high Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings. This article answers a common question, “How does an oil heating system work?”.

To begin, we will dispel some common oil heating system misconceptions.

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Common Myths Regarding Oil Heating Systems

  • The Environment: There is a common misconception that oil heating is worse for the environment compared to other systems. This is untrue, as fuel oil burns cleanly and falls within the Environmental Protection Agency’s air pollution standards. New technology has also resulted in fuel oil having a cleaner burn, making it one of the best heating systems for the environment.
  • Price: Heating oil systems cost less and have a lifespan that’s twice as long as other heating units. You also save 5% of your fuel expenses when using an oil heater. These reasons make heating oil systems a worthy investment.
  • Safety: Many people think that heating oil is unsafe. This is not true as heating oil is very safe in its natural state, like diesel fuel. Heating oil, when stored properly, doesn’t risk explosion or be of any cause of concern, unlike natural gas systems.
  • Lifetime: Heating oil systems have an impressive service – 30 years longer than propane and natural gas, which have a lifespan of about 11 to 14 years.
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How Oil Heat Works

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Heating oil systems can warm your home in three ways: radiators, baseboards, or vents. Its operation starts when the thermostat temperature drops at a specific level. This will signal your heater to begin home heating.

Oil heating will move the liquid from the heating oil tank to the burner using a pump. The oil becomes a warm mist at this point, and it mixes with the air. This blend of fuel and air travels into the burner, creating flames in the combustion chamber.

The oil then heats the water or air, depending on what type of heating system you have, to be used for home heating. Air systems are called central forced-air systems and use ductwork and vents to circulate the heated air throughout your home. Water systems are known as hydronic heating systems, and they heat water before sending it to baseboards or radiators, depending on what you have installed at home.

Heating systems are available in two types: a furnace and a boiler. The two types of HVAC systems come with a few differences. A common feature is that the newer models for both system types have more efficient operations. This is all thanks to the fact that HVAC technology has focused on creating heating systems with impressive energy efficiency levels, or AFUE ratings.

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Oil-Heat Furnaces

image of a high efficiency oil furnace

Modern furnaces with minimum efficiency levels run better and more efficiently than older ones. A fan forces the exhaust air to pass through a heat exchanger.

When you want an oil-powered furnace, the best ones are the newer condensing furnaces. They allow less heat to be released outdoors. Moreover, they cool the gasses first instead of venting hot exhaust immediately. This way, the water vapor condenses, and exhaust escapes outside via a side plastic pipe.

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Oil-Fired Boilers

image of a high efficiency oil boiler

Hydronic boilers heat water, which it distributes throughout the house to heat rooms via baseboards or radiators. When the water cools, it cycles back to the boiler to be reheated.

Steam boiler is another kind of heating oil system. They are less common. They work by boiling water and allowing the steam to circulate throughout the system and heat rooms using radiators.
The primary difference furnaces and boilers have with each other is that the former utilizes air for heating while the latter uses water. It has the same process as heated oil, ensuring the system remains warm so that the cold air or water can repeatedly cycle for reheating.

Both types of heating systems use oil for heating. The process begins in the combustion chamber. This is where the oil turns into flames. The heat exchanger will then warm the water or gasses circulating through the system.

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Oil Heating System Maintenance

The oil heater system, whether forced-air or hydronic heating, needs proper upkeep like all HVAC systems do. This will ensure that it is in excellent and efficient working condition. The first step is to clean the thermostat before winter starts to help the device better regulate the temperature in your home.

Next is maintaining the oil heating system’s blower and stack parts. These components monitor the burner, and their maintenance will remove particles and debris that can slow your heater’s function.

You can do some maintenance tasks, but it is best to have an HVAC professional do it for you. They can ensure that your system runs as it should before the start of the heating season. Be sure to book HVAC services today if you haven’t done it yet. Annual cleaning is all your heating system needs to work efficiently, increase comfort, lower heating costs, and improve air quality by providing clean air.

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Related Article: Best Ways To Maintain Your Hydronic Heating System

Environmental Benefits Of Using Oil Heating Systems

benefits of using oil heat

Oil heating systems generate clean heat. New systems have nearly zero smoke levels and combustion debris released into the air or your home. According to the EPA, oil burners offer one of the cleanest combustion processes.

Storing oil tanks doesn’t threaten your health or the environment. When properly cared for, your tank can last for many decades. Heating oil is non-toxic, so it doesn’t have carcinogens and is biodegradable.

The benefits oil heater systems have on the environment is another great reason to invest in them. Aside from being more cost-effective and having a long lifespan, you also help the environment because it releases nearly no debris or smoke into the air.

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If you need a new heating system, consider an oil heating system now that you are aware of how it works and the benefits it brings. Modern systems are more environmentally-friendly and will help save money in the long run.

An HVAC professional should check your heating system so you are assured that it works as it should before the winter months begin. This way, the system won’t stop working when you need it the most. Ensure that your heating system works properly by scheduling a cleaning today.

Call McAllister Energy For All Your Home Heating Needs

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For all your HVAC and oil delivery needs, contact McAllister Energy. We have some of the most highly qualified and professionally certified technicians in Camden County, New Jersey. Each of our friendly techs can conduct all kinds of HVAC services, such as oil tank upgrades, boiler repair, ductless installations, furnace replacements, and more. We have various oil delivery plans and financing options. This way, you can customize your fuel deliveries to meet your needs. Our heating oil delivery and HVAC services are affordable and are done accurately and promptly at all times. Click the link to view our service area.

All of our services come with a guarantee. Our HVAC maintenance services improve your energy efficiency and home comfort while decreasing your HVAC costs. We can also assist you when you need to replace your heating and cooling system. We will help you find the best make and model for your home without sacrificing your budget. Our experts have the skills, training, and experience to ensure that all your home comfort needs are met. Book an appointment with us today. Call McAllister Energy for a free, in-home estimate.

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