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7 exciting developments in oil heat technology.

There is a lot going on today in heating oil that homeowners can feel great about. From plant-based and ultra-low-sulfur heating oil to boilers and furnaces that raise efficiency, reduce electricity consumption and power these new fuels, it truly is a changing (and exciting) world for oil heat. Homeowners who heat with oil are in a great position, compared to their neighbors, thanks to the great new advancements available with oilheat. Here are just seven examples.

1. Environmentally friendly oil heat is getting even greener with Biofuel®.

A good argument can be made that today’s oil heat is more environmentally friendly than natural gas—and that the gap is widening. Consider these facts:

Gas heat is primarily methane, which as a greenhouse gas traps 20 times more heat in the atmosphere than the carbon dioxide released by oil heat.

And while natural gas is produced only from the earth’s limited supply of fossil fuels, oil heat is moving toward the promising—and infinitely renewable domestically—world of Biofuel.

Biofuel mixes U.S.-grown crops such as soybeans, sunflowers and corn with biodiesel to create a cleaner-burning oil heat that also virtually eliminates any dependence on the world’s oil supply. Further, researchers are working hard to produce oil heat using algae, which would reduce cost even more and allow the industry to move away from any fuel vs. food competition. (It can even be made from recycled cooking oil.)

Not only does Biofuel produce more heat than standard #2 home heating oil, it also releases fewer particulates and can be used in modern equipment without any system modifications.
The American Society of Standards and Materials is so excited about B5 oil heat (95% petroleum oil and 5% biodiesel) that it is moving to endorsing it as the equivalent of oil heat.

2. Ultra-low sulfur also becoming the industry standard.

In many markets, oil heat dealers now offer ultra-low-sulfur oil heat, which has 99% less sulfur than regular fuel oil. Not only does it burn cleaner and more efficiently—comparing favorably with natural gas—it also ensures lower operating costs, because heating systems using ultra-low-sulfur fuel require less maintenance and experience fewer service problems.

3. Electrical output brings more power and savings to oil heat.

Cogeneration—the ability of a burner to generate both heat and electricity—is coming to oil heating systems. Homeowners will be able to use the electricity to power their homes, or feed it back into the power grid and reduce their electric bills. It also means that one day soon a system will be able to power itself during a power outage.

4. High-tech hybrids combine oil heat with other renewable fuel sources.

Solar and geothermal energies can integrate with oil heat in hybrid systems for water heating. That means a household’s water can be heated with little or no fuel required.

5. “Intelligent warmth” through automated smart controls.

As with many modern home appliances, oil heat systems are now available with self-diagnostic features that will alert both you and your oil heat dealer to potential problems with your equipment and self-regulate its operation.

6. Technology that already saves millions of dollars and billions of gallons.

Engineers have developed remarkable two-stage burners, electronic ignitions and low-mass boilers—just some of the technologies that have saved homeowners millions of dollars in fuels costs and conserved billions of gallons of oil. These energy-efficient technologies and others have helped produce systems that burn fuel 95% cleaner than in 1970.

7. Get more power and efficiency in a smaller footprint.

While modern oil burners emit near-zero levels of pollution, contain self-diagnostic controls and are far more powerful and efficient than older systems, they are at the same time smaller than ever—requiring as little as five square feet. So not only can you have an optimally comfortable living environment that saves you money and is environmentally friendly; you can also free up more living or storage space in your home.
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