Homeowners here in Idaho Falls, like everywhere else, are always looking for ways to cut their heating bills. That leads many homeowners with oil-powered furnaces to wonder if there are any cheaper fuel alternatives they can use. The one that the team here at Conan Heating & Air Conditioning gets the most questions about is old waste oil. Here’s the lowdown on whether you can use old waste oil to power your home’s furnace.
Not All Oils Are Equal
When most people think about oil, they think of a black, viscous substance or a thinner mixture like you’d use in an automobile. In reality, oil is a blanket term that describes a variety of petroleum-based products. Home heating oil is really not oil in the way that most people think of it. It’s kerosene, which is more similar to diesel fuel than it is to conventional oil products.
One of the things that sets kerosene apart is that it’s thin and lightweight. It is kerosene that the majority of residential furnaces need to produce heat. By comparison, waste oils are typically heavier and dirtier. So, if you were to burn them in a typical furnace, you’d end up with clogged filters and an extremely dirty operation.
Waste Oil Heaters
It’s worth pointing out that there are furnaces designed to operate using waste oil as fuel, called waste oil heaters. They typically feature special filters and burners that can accommodate waste oil’s impurities and thickness.
The trouble with using waste oil for that purpose, however, is the pollution it creates. Since waste oil isn’t clean, burning it carries the consequence of releasing harmful substances into the air, which is why many localities have made this practice illegal. Regardless, burning waste oil is not something you’d ever want to try at home.
Consider More Efficient Heating Options
The bottom line here is that you can’t burn waste oil in your home’s furnace. So, if you’re looking for a way to cut your heating costs, consider installing a more efficient heating system. For example, we carry a complete range of geothermal heating solutions that cost far less than oil furnaces to operate. If you want to learn more about cheaper heating solutions for your Idaho Falls home, contact Conan Heating & Air Conditioning today!