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Quality of Heating Oil

Julian Ku
Julian Ku Member Posts: 43
Hi, this may seem like a silly question, but I just installed a new oil burner and I am wondering whether the type of heating oil I use makes a big difference in its operation. I am currently using a local source of heating oil, which has lower prices than some of the bigger brand names. Does anyone here have an opinion on whether the quality of the heating oil used makes a difference? And if so, how to find higher quality heating oil?

Many thanks in advance for your advice.


  • Matthew Grallert
    Matthew Grallert Member Posts: 109
    Heating Oil

    Heating oil does vary slightly in the additives the various oil companies use.  #2 fuel oils is what you are buying and other then some of the additives the fuel is all the same.  Now it you really want to keep your system cleaner long ie maintaining original efficiency long consider burning diesel fuel.  It has a much much lower sulfur content and can keep filters cleaner and heat exchanging surfaces cleaner longer.  It is however more expensive.  Better yet kerosene, very little of the junk in it that fills filters and covers heat exchanging surfaces, some of the things that affect/lower efficiency.


  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,006
    one caviat......

    burning Diesel or K1 for long periods of time can be detrimental to the oil pump life. The sulfur is in there to lubricate the pump. It is a trade off....kpc
  • Matthew Grallert
    Matthew Grallert Member Posts: 109

    I think you'll find that the sulfur is in the fuel oil not for it lubricity but because it is not economical for the refiners to remove it for the relativaly small amount they refine for heating oil. My guess is there will be a mandate requiring no sulfur in the near future.There used to be a very big market for sulfur, there no longer is.  If sulfur were in the fuel oil to provide lubrication there would be a standard percentage PPM.
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