Can (And Should) You Burn Diesel Fuel In Your Oil Furnace?

Industrial & Manufacturing Blog

If you've cycled heating oil through your home's furnace for years, you may have become accustomed to the fluctuations in price tied to the local and regional supply of crude-based products. While the current per-gallon price for heating oil hovers around $2.13, only around half its peak price in 2012 through 2014, diesel fuel still remains slightly cheaper at around $2.00 per gallon. Is it worthwhile to begin running diesel fuel in your oil-burning furnace? Read on to learn more about the practical differences between fuel oil and diesel to determine whether making the switch is a good option.   

Can you use diesel fuel in an oil furnace?

Diesel fuel and oil are similar in structure and fairly interchangeable in your home's heating system. Both substances are derived from crude oil; however, diesel fuel is sometimes mixed with additional additives to improve combustion or decrease the amount of soot generated through the heating process. In many cases, homeowners can even brew their own biodiesel by mixing vegetable or animal fats with a solvent like methanol.

While diesel or biodiesel should be able to seamlessly integrate into your existing fuel supply, it can be much more drying to rubber and plastic hoses and seals than traditional heating oil. As a result, it's often a good idea to slowly mix in a small amount of diesel while keeping a watchful eye on your seals to ensure they remain intact. If you begin to notice a seal cracking, peeling, or pitting, you may want to dial back the amount of diesel you're using in your fuel mixture until you're able to replace this component.

Should you switch from oil to diesel in your furnace? 

The decision to switch should largely depend on pricing trends in your region and the age and efficiency of your furnace. Using diesel (or a mixture with high diesel content) in an older furnace accustomed to burning fuel oil can actually help clean out soot and sediment that may have built up inside the furnace and fuel holding tank. Even if you decide to stick with heating oil, it can sometimes be beneficial to run a cycle or two of diesel fuel to help keep your furnace in good shape.

On the other hand, there are parts of the country in which diesel prices tend to be much higher than the price of fuel oil, despite their similar origins. If you live in such a region, switching to diesel may not make much financial sense -- especially if you find yourself replacing seals, hoses, and other plastic or rubber components shortly after the conversion takes place. 

For further assistance, contact a local outlet, such as Ferrell Fuel Co Inc.


29 March 2016

Exploring The World of Forklifts

Hello everyone. I'm Becca Brown. Welcome to my awesome website. I created this site to explore the wide world of forklifts. I like to study their build types, safety standards and operation. Although I do not drive forklifts for work anymore, I did for my first job. At that point, I fell in love with this interesting piece of machinery. Did you know that you steer forklifts with their rear wheels? That is just one fun tidbit about these vehicles. There are so many more. My discussions about forklifts will land here to help educate you readers about these topics and more. I hope you come back often to learn all you can about forklifts and their operators. Thanks for visiting. Please come back anytime.