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Does Heating Oil Freeze?

Does Heating Oil Freeze?

How frosty winter weather can affect your heating fuel.

heating oil bloomfield, nj For households in Bloomfield and other cities in Northern New Jersey, heating oil has long been a dependable way to stay warm in the coldest winter conditions. Heating oil produces roughly 138,500 Btu of heat energy per gallon. To get that same heat production, you’d need about 134 cubic feet of natural gas or 41 kilowatt hours of electricity.

The team at the JW Pierson Co. speaks to Garden State homeowners about the best ways to take care of their furnaces, boilers and the heating oil that powers them.

The “Gel Point” of Heating Oil

Heating oil begins to solidify when temperatures drop to about 16°F. However, heating oil will not freeze as water does. It goes through a process called “gelling,” where it becomes thicker and transforms into a viscous waxy sludge.

Gelling can pose considerable issues for a home heating system. The sludgy fuel in your heating oil tank takes up more space and settles on the bottom, leaving less burnable fuel for your heating equipment. Your fuel lines are also in danger from gelling oil, which can build up in them and narrow the passage to your heating system’s burners. The result is a much lower fuel efficiency for your heating equipment.

Your oil-fired heating system has an atomizing nozzle. This component turns your liquid fuel into vapor, making it possible for the burner to ignite it. When heating oil gels, it can can block the atomized. It also can clog your fuel filter. These issues may lead to system breakdowns and pricy repairs.

Preventing Gelling in Heating Oil

Where is your heating oil tank located? Most North Jersey households have tanks in the basement or possibly a garage. Older homes may still have an underground tank. Because these tanks are often warmed from indoor heating or naturally insulated by being buried, the risk of heating oil gelling is relatively low, even when it’s freezing outside.

Some steps can protect your heating oil if it’s at risk of reaching the “gel point.” However, you should not make alterations to your home heating system on your own. It can reduce its performance and potentially create safety issues. We can discuss your options with you.

HVAC companies help people prevent cold-weather fuel issues with the following measures:

Talk to Pierson about your heating oil options.

At JW Pierson, we do everything possible to ensure our customers have the best heating oil and heating oil storage for their home needs. In addition to delivering premium-quality Bioheat® fuel, we are also a resource for houses and mobile homes that need kerosene, with its lower gel point.

Do you need heating oil, kerosene or an upgraded heating oil tank? Reach out to JW Pierson Co. today. We are ready to help you this winter!