Running out of heating oil in the middle of a cold Rhode Island winter is something we all want to avoid; to keep this from happening, most of us buy our fuel oil in batches throughout the year so we’re ready for action once heating season arrives (the smart move, of course, is to buy your heating oil in the off-season, when prices are typically at their lowest).
While stocking up on heating oil can be a convenient and cost effective strategy in theory, it can only work if heating oil has a substantial enough “shelf life” to sit in your heating oil tank until it’s needed.
The question is, does it? Let’s take a look.
Heating oil is a fuel made from the fractional processing of crude oil. Similar to the diesel fuel that is used in diesel cars and trucks but without the engine helping additives, home heating oil is a different color than road-ready oil (which is dyed to differentiate the two, since road diesel is taxable).
One important thing to realize is that heating oil can (and will!) spoil over time. Bacteria in your oil tank and in the oil itself can degrade the oil, causing it to thicken into an eventually unusable sludge. Certain acids can also decrease the shelf life of your oil, as can paint, sludge, and rust. Water can also inhibit heating oil’s ability to burn.
Typically, fuel oil can last between 18 and 24 months without decaying. This is true as long as it includes the right additives is stored correctly.
To make your heating oil last as long as possible, do these three things:
Need a reliable supply of heating oil any time of the year within our RI service area? We can help. Contact Vaughn Oil today for expert heating oil delivery and heating oil service in Rhode Island!