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Does Heating Oil Expire?

Do you use heating oil in Bucks County, PA? In 2020, the U.S. Energy Information Administration found that about 5.5 million households in the United States used heating oil as their main source of heat, and around 4 out of 5 of those were in the Northeastern US. Here in Pennsylvania, oil heat is common for its reliability and price efficacy. Our customers love the independence and safety that oil heat provides their household. It’s very common for homeowners to stock up on oil, whether that’s because prices dropped or they’re looking to receive a bulk order discount. But what if you don’t think you’ll use that much oil this season? Does heating oil go bad? How long does it take for heating oil to expire? Find out now.

Heating Oil in Bucks County | Does Heating Oil Expire?

Yes, heating oil does go bad. But not that quickly. A high-quality heating oil that is stored properly can last anywhere from 1.5-2 years. Oil that’s going to last long needs to have the right additives to prevent bacteria from growing. That’s why we only offer our customers fuel oil #2, given its high efficiency and low level of impurities. By paying for more refined heating oil, you’re paying for higher efficiency, less sludge, and longer shelf life.

While such additives extend the life of your heating oil, they won’t do anything if you add them later. The products used to keep your oil from becoming contaminated work proactively, not reactively. Any additives to your heating oil will do their job when mixed in during or before delivery, not after.

Why Does Heating Oil Go Bad?

Like anything else, heating oil deteriorates. No matter how hard you try, there is always going to be a measure of bacteria in your tank. Over time that bacteria grows and degrades the oil. That’s okay, a minor amount of bacteria in the tank is not going to have a negative effect on the heat that’s put out. But if your tank is not sealed properly or filled with sludge, your oil is certainly going to deteriorate faster. An improperly sealed oil tank is going to allow water and grime to seep in, further contaminating the oil. A tank that’s left too low for too long is also susceptible to increased bacteria growth. Empty space in an oil tank is just more room for condensation to build. That condensation gradually increases the water in your oil tank and encourages bacterial growth.

How to Make Heating Oil Last?

Make sure your tank is clean before you order an oil delivery. You want it clear of sludge, rust, dirt, and anything else that could contaminate your oil. Only putting high-quality oil in it from there out is crucial. This will further reduce the amount of sludge that builds up over time.

How Can You Tell if Your Heating Oil in Bucks County Went Bad?

One of our customers’ favorite things about utilizing oil heat is its safety and simplicity. How so? Heating oil does not produce “the silent killer” known as carbon monoxide. If your heating oil has gone bad, you’ll be able to tell simply by the smell. If bacteria has grown in the oil, sludge will have formed, and the sludge creates an odor. If you suspect your oil might have gone bad, take the cap off of your tank and see if it is giving off a bad smell. If you’re not sure what it should smell like, call an HVAC professional to diagnose it for you. Additionally, if you hear strange noises or see any kind of smoke coming from your heater, be sure to have someone look at it.

Best Heating Oil Deliveries in Pennsylvania

Bucks County Fuel provides our area with the utmost superior service and offers the most economical heating oil pricing for over a decade. We strive to retain an outstanding reputation in the community and guarantee our clients will receive nothing less than the best service imaginable.