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What You Should Know About Oil-Fired Heating Systems
Table of Contents
How Oil Heating Systems Work
The basic functioning is easy to understand. Once the ambient temperature drops below the setting on your thermostat, it triggers the heater to start up. Different types of heaters distribute heat differently, but work similarly to each other. They all serve to warm up your home.
Some use radiators with steam, others make use of hot water under the floors, and some vent warm air. In this article, we will cover the various designs and discuss how they work.
Oil-Fired Heater Designs
In general, there are two different designs of heaters that use heating oil: air-based and water-based. Hydronic heaters use either steam, hot water, or a combination of the two. Air-based heating systems heat up the air inside the heater and then spread it throughout the house. Forced-air systems accomplish this by using a system made up of:
- an air blower
- ducts that act as airways to provide a pathway for the air to travel
- a series of vents where it can escape the ducts
The vents are commonly located in the walls or the floor. As the system vents heated air, a secondary duct system brings cold air back to the heater to create something called the heating cycle.
The other type, water-based heaters, make use of a boiler that heats the water to the required temperature. The system then distributes the heated water or steam throughout the house. If the system uses hot water, then it usually sends the water through the baseboards of the home, or sometimes through radiators. Steam-based heating systems keep heating the water until it becomes steam, and then pipes it to radiators for the purpose of heating the house.
Major Oil Heating System Components
There are several major parts that make up an oil-fired heating system, including:
Heating Oil Tank
You can find the fuel oil storage tank…
in different places in homes. The location depends on the system’s design. Sometimes the tank is above ground, other times underground. Sometimes inside, and sometimes outside. Regardless, it is important that you check your tank to make sure that potential issues such as leaks or contaminants do not occur.
It is also important that you make use of higher quality fuel. This is because the higher quality fuel oil has fewer impurities in it. Impurities have a direct effect on how quickly sludge builds up in the tank, affecting the useful lifespan of the storage tank. As a result, it is better to pay a little bit more for better quality home heating oil delivery in order to save money later on replacement storage tanks.
While the heater is running, oil is moved out of the storage tank and into the burner. The burner takes the oil and atomizes it. It, then, mixes the atomized oil with air to ensure that ignition can take place.
Once the heater ignites the mixture of air and oil, the flame heats up the heat exchanger, a collection of metal tubes. Since the exchanger is made of metal, it is a very good heat conductor. It is capable of staying hot for an extended period of time. The secondary duct moves cool air over the surface of the heat exchanger. In turn, the heat exchanger heats the air as it flows over it.
The blower in the furnace is responsible for the distribution of the heated air through the duct system and into your home.
When heating oil burns, it releases a variety of gases, including toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, or CO. This happens as a byproduct of combustion and it occurs with all heating fuels. In order to keep you safe from these dangerous fumes, the a fuel oil heating system funnels its CO through the flue, and releases the CO gas into the outside air. Even given these safety precautions, it is wise to get carbon monoxide detectors and install them in strategic locations in your home. This is true, regardless of the heating fuel that you use for your home.
In general, fuel oil heaters give off signals long before there are possible problems with a CO leak. Regardless, having carbon monoxide detectors in your home can help to protect you from the dangers that CO creates.
The best way to make sure that the entire system is in prime condition…
is to hire an HVAC trained technician that can perform preventative maintenance. This keeps the system in proper working order.
Fuel Oil Delivery Services
There are two major designs for oil-based heaters. These are water-based systems and air-based systems. Both work on the basis of heating up the water/air and then using a system of either pipes for water or ducts for air to distribute heat throughout the home. The major parts of these systems are:
- Storage tank: stores fuel oil
- Burners: burn the oil/air mixture to create flames
- Heat exchanger: absorbs the heat from the flames and transfers it to the water/air that the system is based on
- Blower: used in air-based systems, to push the air through the ducts
- Flue pipe: expels dangerous gases from the system
Regardless of the safety features present, make sure to install several CO detectors in your home to protect you from the possibility of a CO leak. In addition, hiring a trained technician to check on the heating system on a regular basis can help to prevent problems from coming up. A heater tune-up should happen about once per year. Make sure that when you are searching for “fuel oil delivery near me”, you order fuel from a well-known and reputable source.
If you are looking for the best “heating oil companies near me”…
look no further than Skylands Energy. We provide the best local fuel oil prices and fastest delivery times. You can count on us for high quality fuel and friendly customer service. You can choose from a range of different delivery plans and financing options. If you need HVAC services, our Nate certified technicians can ensure that your heating system is operating efficiently and safely. We are proud to be your home comfort specialists. Get in touch with our office as soon as possible to set up an appointment.