Dealing With Furnace Problems

Dealing With Furnace Problems

Four Common Concerns Home Buyers Have About Heating Oil

by Eliza Chapman

You've been looking for a new home for a while, and you think you've finally found it. The house has the perfect number of bedrooms, is tastefully finished, has a gorgeous yard, and is in a top-rated school district. There's just one problem: it has an oil heating system. 

Many home buyers turn away from homes with oil heating, but in fact, many of the concerns these buyers have about this type of heating system are based more in hype than in fact. That perfect home may indeed be perfect -- heating system and all. To ease your mind a bit more, here's a look at some of the common concerns home buyers have about heating oil, and why they may not be so concerning after all.

Concern #1: Heating oil is terrible for the environment.

While it is true that oil-based heating systems are not as eco-friendly as, say, geothermal heating or solar heating, oil-based furnaces and boilers have come a long way in recent years and are much cleaner than they used to be. Today's heating oil is 95% cleaner than heating oil was in 1970. The current systems also produce a lot less soot, which means cleaner air both indoors and out. Make sure you buy your oil from a company that is dedicated to eco-friendly solutions, and your carbon footprint won't be nearly as large as you're worried it could be.

Concern #2: Homes heated with oil are always dirty.

You may remember visiting oil-heated homes as a child and noticing the buildup of soot and ash in the basement. However, as stated above, modern oil furnaces and boilers produce a lot less soot. You'll still want to get your furnace or boiler cleaned once a year by a heating professional, but the grime really should not come out of the furnace or boiler itself. Your home can be just as clean with an oil furnace as with any other heating fuel. 

Concern #3: Having to fill the oil tank is a hassle.

While natural gas is supplied continuously through pipelines running to homes, oil is stored in a tank on your property. You might be worried that you'll forget to have the tank filled or that having to be around when the heating oil company fills the tank will be a burden if you work a lot. But oil companies have addressed these concerns. Most will schedule automatic filling appointments to keep you on-schedule. If they show up and your tank does not need filling, they'll just come back again later. And since they can bill you online, there's usually no reason for you to actually be present when your tank is filled.

Concern #4: Oil heating is dangerous.

You may be worried that the oil tank will blow up or that hot oil will spill into your home. However, these concerns are completely unfounded. In fact, oil is one of the safest heating fuels because it won't just explode when there is a leak. It has to be vaporized first, and that won't just spontaneously happen. While an oil spill outside presents a risk to the environment and wildlife, you can prevent spills by looking over your tank frequently and having it repaired at the first sign of rust or a loose valve. Oil spills are rare, and it's the environment that's at risk -- not your family.

It's silly not to buy a home you love just because it has an oil-burning heating system. This might not be the most common heating fuel anymore, but it's not nearly as bad of a choice as most people assume. For more information, visit websites like


About Me

Dealing With Furnace Problems

A few years ago, I could tell that we were having serious furnace problems. In addition to dealing with a house that was constantly too cold or too warm, we were also plagued by a noisy, smelly furnace that seemed to have trouble on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I didn't know enough about furnaces at the time to spot the problems quickly. One day, the entire system died, and it was beyond repair. After having that experience, I learned a lot about HVAC systems, so that I could troubleshoot future systems. This website is all about teaching you what you need to know so that you don't end up in the same situation.