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Heating Oil: The Ol’ Reliable Fuel

reliability of heating oil new york

There’s a big push to replace oil-fired heating systems with electric ones these days, but is it a smart way to go for Sullivan County homeowners?

The truth is, when it comes to keeping you warm through the long New York State winter, heating oil offers unique advantages that few energy sources – especially electricity – can match.

Heating Oil Advantages

Why stick with heating oil rather than switch to electricity? Consider these benefits:

  • A much better safety record – According to a recent National Fireman’s Protection Association study, electric heating accounted for six times more fires, more than nine times more civilian deaths, nearly 12 times more civilian injuries, and nearly 15 times more direct property damage than heating systems powered by liquid fuel. This is mostly because heating oil is not flammable in a liquid state: it requires very specific conditions in order to burn at all.
  • A smaller carbon footprint – Fans of electricity will point to the incredibly low emissions produced by electric appliances, but that doesn’t take into account how much environmental damage is caused by generating electricity: nearly half the electricity generated in New York State is produced by burning natural gas, which is 95 percent methane – a greenhouse gas with 84 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. When you consider that nearly two-thirds of electricity generated at most power plants is lost between the plant and the consumer (according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration), that makes for a lot of greenhouse gas!
  • Better efficiency – Many of today’s oil-fired furnaces and boilers boast efficiency percentage ratings well into the 90s; combine that efficiency with the high burning temperature of heating oil (see #2) and you’ll see why heating oil usually delivers more heating bang for your buck than electricity.
  • Higher heat output – When it comes to pumping out the BTUs, nothing beats good old-fashioned oil heat. Heating oil can generate temperatures of up to 1,200°F when burned – more than any other fuel source, and much more than electricity. That means your home will heat faster and you’ll need to burn less fuel to stay comfortable.
  • Longer-lasting equipment – With proper maintenance, today’s oil-fired heating furnaces and boilers can last 30 years or more – significantly longer (sometimes twice as long) as systems powered by electricity.

The bottom line: Don’t buy the hype: there’s a reason why oil heat has been the most reliable source of home heating in the northeastern U.S. for more than a century! To learn more, contact the heating pros at Black Bear today. And remember: for reliable heating oil deliveries in Sullivan County, nobody beats Black Bear!