Why Oil Heat Makes Sense for New Hampshire
For years, home heating oil has been the choice for keeping families warm in New England. More than 80 percent of homes that heat with oil in the United States are located in the Northeast. One half of all homes built before 1950 still heat with oil. Oil heating systems are more likely to be regularly maintained than other types of heating equipment, which keeps the system running at a highly level of efficiency for longer, extending the life of the furnace or boiler.
Because oil heat is largely found in older homes does not mean it’s outdated. Furnaces and boilers have advanced greatly in efficiency in the past 30 years and today’s high-efficiency units rival those that burn other fuels, such as natural gas. New designs in oil heat burners are allowing homeowners to install efficient radiant heat systems, giving customers more heating options while reducing heating costs. Energy saving technologies also include modulating burners that use less fuel when less heat is needed and improved controls which optimize the on/off cycle for more even heating.
New technology is also making home heating oil a more environmentally friendly option than ever before. Home heating oil can now be produced with ultra-low sulfur content or by adding biofuels. Testing has shown that a blend containing 12 percent biofuel burns cleaner than natural gas. Work is being done in collaboration with policy makers and oil delivery companies to encourage more companies to sell a blend of ultra-low sulfur heating oil and renewable biofuel.
Some homeowners have sought to change their heating system because they worry about the price of oil or incorrectly believe that the supply of oil is dwindling. Consumers must remember that fuel is a commodity and that price fluctuations are to be expected. Natural gas wasn’t always as affordable as it is today. From 1992 through 2006, natural gas was the more expensive way to heat a home in many states, including Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. Then in 2006, natural gas prices began to fall, largely due to expansion of natural gas drilling throughout the United States. Today, we are seeing oil prices fall, again in large part because of expanded drilling in energy-rich states.
These prices could change again in future years, depending on supply and demand. Power plants and vehicle fleets are transitioning to natural gas, while industry leaders are looking to expand the export of liquefied natural gas. All of these factors could drive up demand and the price of natural gas again.
Price volatility also depends on global affairs, and in some cases can be affected by unrest in places like the Middle East. However, the U.S. gets much of its oil from within our own borders, and places like Canada and Venezuela.
Another benefit to oil heat that you may have overlooked is that you are more than likely supporting a locally-owned family business, and the local economy. The majority of oil suppliers in New England are locally owned, which means their drivers, office staff and owners are local as well. Other fuels, like natural gas, are not as likely to have local suppliers, but instead will be delivered by a large corporation via pipeline. M.L. Halle Oil is a New Hampshire-based company that employs local workers and has long supported organizations in the Manchester area and beyond. If you have questions about how to get the most out of your oil heat, call M.L. Halle today.