Millions of homes in the UK remain unconnected to the national gas supply network and instead rely on alternative power for warmth such as LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas), electricity, renewable energy or oil heating.
For those new to operating an oil boiler, making the change can seem a little daunting. HECAS are here to help with a few important facts about heating oil. In older and some commercial boilers or agricultural equipment, gas oil is usually used. This is a heavy oil which is sometimes referred to as ‘red diesel’ or ‘35-second oil’.
Kerosene, which is much lighter and cleaner, is the most common heating oil used in UK households. The fuel can also be known as ‘28-second oil’ or simply as ‘heating oil’.
Heating oil costs are particularly variable, depending on location and date of ordering (summer is usually the cheaper time to purchase heating oil).
Some boilers and tanks are not clearly labelled and so you can find out what type it is by consulting the previous owner. If this is not possible, an OFTEC-registered technician will be able to offer further assistance.
If possible, kerosene should be used as it is more efficient than gas oil. Kerosene is far less likely to ‘wax up’, a process in which crystals form in the fuel and impede its flow and efficiency, during periods of cold weather.
Premium kerosene, which burns incredibly cleanly, can be purchased and improves efficiency, though costs more than standard kerosene. Additives are readily available that will allow you to treat your own standard heating oil.