When people think of oil in any capacity they probably think of thick sludge. They probably also think of huge thick clouds of black smoke when it is being burned. But heating oil is probably a lot different than most people think.
For starters, it is called oil but more closely resembles kerosene. It isn’t a thick viscous fluid like your car’s motor oil. It runs pretty freely and has almost the same viscosity as diesel.
Another attribute of heating oil is that it burns pretty clean. In fact, it releases fewer emissions into the atmosphere than gas. Donna B. from a heating oil in Lynchburg Virginia company said “some of the newer systems can even re-burn gas. So, you are getting much more bang for your buck and there is overall less of an impact on the environment.”
Heating Oil Systems
An average heating oil set up in a home will last about 30 years. This is longer than a natural gas system. So, in this regard it is a better investment. Furthermore, there is less demand for heating oil so there won’t be supply problems.
It is true that 5 million homes in America are on a heating oil system. That is just 5% of all households however. Heating oil is being thought of as a possible solution for a push in the “greener” direction.
Essentially you have three sources of energy that power the human race:
- Fossil Fuels
So far, renewables have not produced the energy it would take to power civilization. Nuclear has many detractors because of the fact that the waste has a half-life of many thousands of years. Fossil is the best bet if we can find a way to severely limit the amount of pollution which gets released into the atmosphere.
There is promise in the field of cold fusion. This would essentially give us an endless supply of energy and it would be clean burning. Think of a fusion reactor like having having a small chink of the sun in a containment unit. The tiny sun would boil water (or salt in some models) and spin a turbine. All you would need to power this tiny sun is the same ingredients which power the big one: helium & hydrogen.
Using heating sources that not only keep us warm but have minimal impact on the environment is the number one pursuit for folks in the heating and energy field at the moment. Heating oil is re-emerging as a top candidate because of its low emissions and ability to be re-burned.
If more funding and energy were put into heating oil research and development there is no doubt it would surpass gas as the number one alternative in the public’s mind.
As it stands, the public is being sold on natural gas because it sounds cleaner but in actuality it isn’t. Public perception is everything and those who control the information control it. Keep heating oil in mind the next time the topic of energy use and heating comes up. You just may surprise some people.