FAQ's on Installing or Replacing a New Residential Heating Oil System
When shopping for a new home oil heating system or considering an upgrade, homeowners often have questions. Here are a few to consider if you’re thinking about installing or upgrading your home’s oil heating system.
How does an oil burner work?
Heating oil must be vaporized and mixed with air before it can burn. The oil pump carries the oil from the storage tank, pressurizes it and discharges it from the burner’s nozzle, which sprays the oil as a fine mist. The process is called atomizing. The droplets are mixed with air and then ignited by a spark from the burners ignition system.
The flame heats the air in a heat exchanger inside the boiler of the furnace. On one side of the metal heat exchanger is a flame on the other is the water or air, which circulates inside your home. All of the emissions are the released through the chimney.
What’s the difference between a furnace and a boiler?
To heat your home, a furnace uses air, and a boiler uses water. A furnace heats air, which is the distributed throughout your home via ducts. A boiler heats water, which is then sent throughout your home in pipes or radiators, or sent to a fan air coil unit, which heats the air.
What’s a Steam Boiler?
A steam system converts water into steam that is sent to radiators to heat your home. In general, steam burners had not been used in new homes since the 1950s, when forced hot water systems became cheaper. However, steam is still an efficient and comfortable heating option.
How much heat does an oil burner make?
Efficiency levels for oil systems can exceed 95%. Each gallon burned, releases 138,000 BTUs of energy.
Can I determine the age and life expectancy for a heating system?
One way is by checking the unit’s serial number; the date is sometimes hidden within that number. Look for labels or tags new the unit. It’s possible the installer labeled the system with a date during installation.
Do I need a chimney?
Some newer systems vent directly and don't require a chimney. The latest trend is to put the boiler outdoors or to combine a furnace and air conditioner and have the unit outside.
What kinds of oil heating systems are available today?
Today’s oil heating systems are extremely versatile and can heat using water, steam, or warm air. Additional, a boiler can distribute hot air through your home using hydro-air. This makes systems compatible with air conditioning. Oil heat is also an excellent option for radiant heating.
Oil heating is a cost efficient, energy efficient and increasing environmentally friendly choice for keeping your home warm. New units are designed to burn biofuels and blends as well as traditional oil and can be up to 95% efficient, which translates into less energy use and lower operating costs. For more information about oil heating or converting your existing system to take advantage of the changes in oil heat, contact your home heating oil dealer.