For many homeowners in the Northeast, heating oil is their main defense against the winter cold. But while this fuel can keep you warm all winter long, it isn’t invincible against the elements. When temperatures drop below 32°F, the paraffin wax in the oil will start to break down and crystallize. As it gets colder, the fuel will eventually thicken into a gel, clog the filter, and prevent your heating system from working. Fortunately, while you may not have control over the weather, practicing the following prevention tips can help you keep your fuel lines clear of gelling.
5 Tips to Keep Your Heating Oil From Gelling
1. Move the Filter Indoors
Even if you install an oil tank outside or below ground, you can still reduce the risk of clogging the line by moving the filter inside. When indoors, the fuel filter will be at a more stable temperature, allowing the heating oil to pass through without gelling.
2. Insulate Fuel Line
Another way to keep your heating oil at a stable consistency is to insulate the fuel line. Since this resource may be exposed to snow, ice, and other types of moisture, it’s critical to use insulation that is also waterproof.
3. Cover Your Tank
If you have an above-ground tank outdoors, ask a heating service professional about the best way to shield your equipment from the elements. In many cases, building a simple structure around the tank will help block freezing temps and prevent gelling—especially if they are properly insulated and fully covered.
4. Ask About Additives
In the past, homeowners kept their heating oil fluid by mixing it with other fuels during the winter. Today, consumers can skip the complications of combining fuels and instead ask their heating oil supplier about additives. These safe formulas are designed to keep heating oil from gelling without compromising the fuel’s performance.
5. Widen the Fuel Line
The wider the fuel line, the more difficult it will be for clogs to occur. While it’s not a fool-proof solution, upgrading to a wider line can help reduce your risk of gelling. Ask your heating contractor which options are most practical for your setup.
Keeping the Fairfield County, CT, community warm since 1962, Servco Oil & Propane is committed to keeping your heater on all winter long. From delivering advanced-formula BioHeat® to providing 24-hour emergency heating service, these specialists offer the comprehensive care you need to keep every aspect of your system in good condition—including the fuel line. In the event gelling has caused a clog, this team also offers effective repairs to reliably restore the flow of fuel. For more information on these capabilities, visit this propane and heating oil supplier online. To request assistance, call (203) 762-7994.