Truth Vs. Myth
There are some myths about oil heat that need to be explained.
Myth No.1: The Oil heat supply could run out.
Truth: Heating oil customers have nothing to worry about. Oil heat reserves were at a 24-year high in the summer of 2009, according to the Wall Street Journal. Global petroleum reserves are plentiful too, and with over 100 oil-producing countries, the U.S. is not dependent on any one source for our supply. In the event of a shortage, the United States is well prepared with 727 million barrels in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and approximately 2 million barrels in the Northeast Heating Oil Reserve. In addition to plentiful supplies of petroleum, there is a renewable supply of liquid bio-fuel that blends readily with heating oil to fuel an Oil heat system.
Myth No. 2. Oil heat is bad for the environment.
Truth: Oil heat produces near-zero levels of emissions today and is not regulated by the Federal Clean Air Act. Equipment manufacturers are introducing new oil burners that further reduce emissions by "re-burning" the flue gases created inside a boiler or furnace. The Oil heat industry will soon adopt new reduced-sulfur blends that can be mixed with bio-fuel to create one of the cleanest heating fuels available.
Myth No. 3: Oil heat is more expensive than natural gas.
Truth: Annual price data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration for 1987 to 2008 shows that Oil heat was less expensive than natural gas in 20 of the 22 years in Massachusetts. In New York State during the same years, Oil heat was less expensive than natural gas in 15 out of the 22 years.
Myth No. 4: Oil heat is old-fashioned.
Truth: Oil heat and the equipment that it fuels are both on the cutting edge of heating technology. The fuel itself is being transformed through sulfur reduction, blending with bio-fuel, and the use of advanced additives. Oil heat boilers and furnaces improve every year with the incorporation of new technologies like secondary heat exchange and modulating burners. System efficiency has improved so much in recent years that the average Oil heated home cut oil consumption by 33.6% between 1978 and 2005.
Myth No. 5: Oil heat is dirty.
Truth: A properly adjusted and maintained Oil heat system burns cleanly, and any soot that is created occurs only where it belongs - inside the system's combustion chamber and flue. The liquid fuel should never be present outside the tank and the burner, and you should never smell it. If you can smell the fuel, ask your Oil heat dealer to check it out.
Myth No. 6: Oil heat tanks are a nuisance.
Truth: Oil heat tanks represent two of the fuel's great strengths: independent storage, and safety. When you have a supply of Oil heat in your tank, you are more impervious to supply disruption than your neighbors who use natural gas. Natural gas depends on uninterrupted service to keep your home warm, and any pipeline incident can cause an outage and put the home at risk.