Many people in Long Island choose to stay warm with heating oil because it’s reliable and safe – so safe, in fact, that heating oil won’t burn in liquid form. But heating oil has a cousin – a fellow form of diesel fuel that gets less press in the home energy world, but definitely has its place in home heating circles: kerosene.
Like heating oil, kerosene is made from crude oil – but kerosene is a “light” fuel: it burns much hotter than heating oil, which means it can be only be used in furnaces and other equipment that is equipped to handle high temperatures (this is why kerosene is often used to power jets and other aircraft).
Kerosene can be stored longer than gasoline and is often considered to be a more user-friendly form of fuel. It’s often used for mobile homes, or homes in cold climates where fuel tanks are kept outdoors. It is important to note, however, that burning kerosene fuel produces carbon monoxide, which means that adequate ventilation is critical if kerosene is used indoors.
Since they are both a product of crude oil processing, the prices of both heating oil and kerosene are tied to crude oil – a globally traded commodity whose market price and conditions change daily. Weather and local competition can also drive the costs of both fuels, as can regional and federal fuel policies. Overall, kerosene tends to be slightly more expensive than heating oil.
Both heating oil and kerosene are effective fuels that can be safely used, which means that choosing your fuel often comes down to the type of tank your property has.
If your tank is inside of your home or business, you should use heating oil. If your tank is built on the outside of your home or business, then you should use kerosene (or a blend of both fuels) since it will operate better when temperatures are low.
If you have an existing oil burning system heating your home or business, it is important that you know which type of fuel to use: choosing the wrong kind of fuel could harm to your system and could also be dangerous. Contact the heating pros at Burt’s Reliable today to learn more.