As the winter season progresses, you probably won’t think much about how your heating system works as long as it continues keeping your home warm and cozy. While the thought of your system breaking down may be the last thing on your mind, there’s another problem that not many people think about during the winter months: if temperatures get too low, the fuel oil used in your heating system can freeze up. When this happens, it can cause your furnace to shut down, and you’ll be left shivering indoors! Our oil delivery specialists at Fred F. Collis & Sons explain what you need to know here:
Why Does Heating Oil Freeze Up?
Out of the many types of heating fuel that are capable of heating residential and commercial properties, heating oil is one of the most popular in the country. Sometimes referred to as #2 heating oil, this fuel is widely known for its high calorific value. It’s usually stored in oil tanks either above or below ground and is used by furnaces or similar heating equipment.
Lower temperature can begin to affect your heating oil. If the temperature of the oil drops below 35 degrees Fahrenheit, it can start to look cloudy. This shouldn’t make an impact on your home’s oil furnace or similar heating systems, so you should be fine. However, if it gets below 20 degrees, the paraffin (a component in heating oil) will begin to separate from the oil and crystallize. This will cling to the inside of the fuel lines and slow down the oil flow rate, which can affect your heating system’s performance. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this from happening in your home.
Preventing Heating Oil From Freezing
One of the most effective ways to keep your oil from freezing is to create a shelter for your fuel oil tank or bury the fuel lines underground. You’ll need to work with a professional heating technician if you want to do this effectively. You can also consider installing insulation around your fuel lines to prevent freezing. Just make sure waterproof insulation is used to prevent moisture from seeping through.