The Difference Between Fuel Oil and Heating Oil

Don’t get confused about which fuel heats your home

Going all the way back to 1917, Burt’s Reliable has provided heating oil to homes throughout the North Fork and East End of Long Island. In fact, we provide many types of fuel, from home heating oil to on-road diesel.

You might hear the expression fuel oil from time to time, perhaps even in reference to the heating oil that powers your boiler or furnace. But are fuel oil and heating oil the same thing?

How are heating oil and fuel oil different?

Heating oil is fuel oil, but not all fuel oil is heating oil. Did we confuse you there?
Fuel oil is any petroleum product that can power a home heating system or an engine. A stricter definition of it refers to heavier fuels created from crude oil — heavier than gasoline, for example.
So, what products fall into this fuel oil category?

  1. Kerosene — This fuel has been around for a long time. It’s made by distilling crude oil at extremely high temperatures. Kerosene has a low “gel point.” This means it can continue to work well in sustained freezing temperatures. We often deliver it to customers with mobile homes or outdoor fuel tanks.
  2. Diesel — You might be most familiar with the diesel sold at your neighborhood gas station. Diesel is used both on the road and off. Some off-road uses include farm equipment and power generators. There’s no chemical difference between on-road and off-road diesel. They just taxed differently.
  3. Heating oil — Petroleum-based home heating oil, also called no 2 fuel oil, is essentially the same as off-road diesel. However, our heating oil delivery customers receive an eco-friendlier product.

What’s special about Burt’s Reliable heating oil?

While petroleum heating oil is similar to diesel, Burt’s Reliable delivers a product called Bioheat® fuel. This is a blend of ultra-low-sulfur heating oil and biofuel. Biofuel is a gallon-for-gallon substitute for petroleum. It’s made with organic and recycled ingredients. These include the following:

  • soybean oil
  • used cooking oils
  • inedible corn oil
  • canola
  • tallow
  • algae

What makes our Bioheat fuel so special? To begin with, we use a blend containing 20 percent biofuel (called B20). This blend has a lower carbon intensity than natural gas. It reduces sulfur oxide emissions by as much as 80 percent and nitrogen oxide by roughly 20 percent. B20 Bioheat fuel also significantly reduces mercury and particulate matter emissions.

Additionally, our heating oil is much cleaner-burning and reduces the deposits left in your heating equipment. This will reduce the amount of maintenance you need to do and prolong the life of your system.

And if that’s not enough to get you excited, Bioheat fuel can also lower your New York state tax bill. Empire State residents qualify for a 20¢-per-gallon income tax credit for using B20 Bioheat fuel. Our average customer saves $150 per year.

For friendly, dependable heating oil delivery in Suffolk County, get in touch with Burt’s Reliable today.