- By ezHomeHeating.com
- In Blog
- Posted January 23, 2015
Heating oil or Fuel oil is a low viscosity
petroleum product which is primarily used for heating
homes. It is predominantly used in the Northeast US States.
Heating oil (also known as No. 2 oil) is refined from crude
oil. During the refining process, heating oil condenses between 475
and 670 degrees Fahrenheit compared to other distillates which
condense between 650 and 750 degrees Fahrenheit.
Compositionally, it is quite similar to diesel fuel except for the amount
of sulfur - slightly higher in heating oil. Heating oil is dyed red to
clearly distinguish it from diesel. This is done to keep it tax-exempt
and to make sure that its not legally used as diesel for for
transportation (which is taxed).
No. 2 Heating oil has a flash point of 126 degrees Fahrenheit and produces
roughly 138,500 BTU (British Thermal units) of energy per gallon.
Heating Oil Prices
The cost of heating oil is largely dependent on the cost of crude oil (as
much as 60-70% of the total cost). Marketing and transportation costs
account for the next biggest chunk (around 15-20%) and the remaining can
be attributed to refining related costs.
Heating oil costs are also largely affected by the supply of crude which
is controlled by the OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Countries) nations. Since the cost of crude is generally high in the
winter months, heating oil prices are highest from October thru March.
Homeowners typically can save money on heating costs by filling their
tanks in late summer or early fall months.
Heating oil is commonly delivered to homes via tanker trucks operated by
independent oil dealers in local markets. Upon delivery it is stored in
oil tanks located either in above-ground storage tanks in the
basement/garages or in under-ground storage tanks.
A typical homeowner in the Northeast generally uses anywhere from
800-1300 gallons of heating oil during a typical winter.
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