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Will My Heating Oil Freeze?

Written on: December 18, 2023

A Frequently Asked Question

heating oil Hillsborough County, NH When you have an outdoor heating oil tank, you have to consider how the weather will affect it. Now that winter is here, you need to worry about how cold it gets. When heating oil falls below a certain temperature it gels. What is heating oil gelling? It’s when it freezes into a thick sludge. It never becomes solid like ice, but gelling can still cause problems. How cold does it have to get for your heating oil to gel? Gelling happens at around 20 degrees Fahrenheit and affects your heating system in the following ways:

Can I Prevent Heating Oil Gelling?

There are steps you can take at your New England home to protect your heating oil from gelling.

  1. Insulate the heating oil tank: Cover your heating oil tank with a shed that will protect it from the elements.
  2. Use treated oil: There are certain heating oil additives that can help prevent gelling.
  3. Bury your fuel line: If your heating oil line is above ground, burying it will provide some insulation.
  4. Install a wider fuel line: A wider fuel line will be less prone to blockages due to gelling.

Remember, a Full Heating Oil Tank Is Best

Remember, there are a number of reasons why you should keep your heating oil tank full. When your tank runs low enough, debris can clog your oil filters. Clogged oil filters reduce the efficiency of your heating system and can even cause it to fail altogether. Both of those scenarios will cost you more money in energy and/or repair costs. An emptier tank is also more susceptible to condensation. The water formed by condensation forms an ideal environment for bacteria to build up and create heating oil sludge in your tank. If that sludge gets into your filters, it will decrease your system’s efficiency or cause it to fail. Condensation can also cause rust, and that rust can cause your heating system to fail. A fuller tank is also less susceptible to gelling, because the more heating oil in your tank the longer it takes to freeze.

How full is full enough? Try to keep your tank at least half full (though fuller is better) all year long.

Automatic Heating Oil Delivery

You can eliminate the need to worry about how much heating oil you need by signing up for automatic delivery with Brideau Energy. It’s convenient and eliminates one more thing from your to-do list. As an automatic delivery customer, we’ll monitor your fuel usage and the local weather. This will allow us to reliably estimate your usage and make timely deliveries—even when the weather fluctuates. With automatic delivery, you’ll avoid all the hassles and costly problems associated with a run-out (like extra fees and difficulty scheduling a delivery on short notice). Of course, if you prefer to keep track of your fuel levels and delivery schedule yourself, you can. We also offer will-call delivery service.

Since 1987, Brideau Energy has served families and businesses in Central Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. We are the area’s premier family-owned, top-quality fuel company, and your comfort is our priority.

Brideau Energy provides our customers with convenient heating oil delivery on an automatic or will-call basis. Contact Brideau Energy today to learn how we can make a difference for you!