Most people buy heating oil a few times a year, then store in an oil tank until they need to use it. The question is, how long can you store heating oil before it becomes harmful to use in your furnace or boiler?
The good news is that common No. 2 heating oil has a shelf life of somewhere between 18 and 24 months. That means you’re fine if you want to use fuel that’s left over from last season, or if you want to order heating oil now and use it next heating season.
Oil on the older side of that scale can still be used – it just burns less efficiently as it ages. There will come a time, however, when burning older oil will not generate enough heat to meet your furnace or boiler’s minimum requirement: when that happens, your heating system will shut off automatically, and you’ll need to call for service to get it up and running again.
Of course, 18 to 24 months is simply an average shelf life for No. 2 heating oil; problems with water and bacteria (which break down fuel), a corroding storage tank, or the presence or absence of life-lengthening chemical additives in the fuel can push the scale up or down.
Having quality oil is always a good place to start – a big reason to buy your heating oil from Burt’s Reliable.
The bottom line: if you get your heating oil from a reputable supplier (like us), maintain your heating oil tank, and aren’t waiting two years between heating oil deliveries, you should be fine.
Now is a great time to order heating oil, with heating oil prices at offseason lows. Contact Burt’s Reliable today to schedule a heating oil delivery, and remember: for quality heating oil delivery in Long Island’s North Fork and East End, nobody beats Burt’s!