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Is it Okay to Switch Between Oil Types or Grades for a Home?

Oil plays a major role in keeping our homes warm and cozy, especially during the winter months. But have you ever wondered whether it’s okay to switch between different types or grades of oil? Some homeowners may have tried using different varieties of oil to save on costs, while others may have done so because of availability issues. If you are one of those wondering about the impact of such a switch, you’re in the right place! Read on as we discuss whether it is okay to switch between oil types or grades for a home.

Firstly, it’s essential to decipher what type of oil you are using. There are two primary types: heating oil and diesel fuel. Generally, heating oil is used to heat homes and is a type of fuel oil, while diesel fuel is designed for use in vehicles. It’s important to note that heating oil is designed to burn more efficiently and cleaner than diesel fuel, and it’s less expensive compared to diesel.

Switching between heating oil and diesel fuel is never recommended unless it’s an absolute emergency, and the oil burner technician has approved it. Diesel fuel has a high level of sulfur, which can damage the furnace, resulting in costly damages. Moreover, diesel fuel is not optimized for residential use and may release pollutants into the air.

There are different grades of heating oil, including 1, 2, and 3. Grade 1 heating oil has the lowest viscosity and is lightweight, making it more expensive than other grades. Grade 2 is widely used and is more viscous and heavier than grade 1. It’s less expensive than grade 1, and most oil furnaces are designed to use this grade. Grade 3 heating oil is the heaviest, least expensive, but the dirtiest heating oil grade. It’s used in fewer homes as it requires advanced oil burner technology.

Switching between grades of heating oil is usually okay. However, it’s important to maintain consistency and not switch grades frequently. Consistent use of one grade will help preserve the furnace, reduce the buildup of soot, and improve efficiency. Frequent switching of heating oil grades can clog the furnace filter and cause the furnace to work harder, leading to increased fuel consumption.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that most oil companies provide a blend of grades to consumers. This blend is to optimize heating efficiency and reduce the buildup of soot. Most furnace service providers also recommend the use of these blends as they tend to be cost-effective, especially when compared to using different grades.

Switching between different oil types can be risky and expensive. It’s essential to stick to one type of oil that’s designed for its intended purpose. When it comes to switching between oil grades, it’s generally okay to try different grades, but it’s not recommended to switch frequently as it can cause damage to the furnace. Using a blend of grades is usually the best option, especially if the blend is designed to optimize heating efficiency and reduce soot buildup. If you are ever in doubt about which oil type to use, consult your oil company and your furnace service provider to ensure optimal performance and safety.


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