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Is Diesel A Good Alternative For Oil Furnaces?

Is Diesel A Good Alternative For Oil Furnaces?

Even though winter may not yet be here, many homeowners start using their oil furnaces to keep themselves warm a few months before it does. But what can you do if your oil supply is running low and you are unable to properly fill your furnace? Does any choice exist for a short-term fuel fix that will keep you toasty in the meantime, such as diesel?

Diesel is a suitable alternative to home heating oil in practically all heating furnaces because it is sold at gas stations. Diesel and heating oil No. 2 are both midweight petroleum distillations that may be used in the same systems and provide about the same amount of heat.

Is Home Heating Oil And Diesel Fuel Equivalent?

Is Diesel A Good Alternative For Oil Furnaces?

Diesel burns similarly to the oil used to heat homes, thus it will serve as a suitable stopgap in between oil furnace fills. But it’s important to understand that burning diesel is just a smart move in the short run.

Diesel is not a good long-term substitute for heating oil in your furnace. The furnace’s functionality will eventually be hampered by attempts at prolonged use.

Diesel burns a little hotter than heating oil, which can harm your furnace’s components if used too frequently. Recognize diesel for what it is: a temporary band-aid.

Remember that only heating oil No. 2 can be substituted with diesel. This kind of heating oil is used in almost all home oil furnaces; the No. 2 denotes the weight and quality of the oil. If you use another type of oil in your heating furnace for whatever reason, diesel will most definitely not work for you. Make a preliminary check to ensure that your furnace is utilizing heating oil No. 2.

Can Off-Road Diesel Be Used To Power My Oil Furnace?

To show that they are untaxed and suited for use as off-road fuel, off-road diesels are dyed red. These include agricultural use, the filling of heating oil boilers, and the refueling of equipment not meant for use on public roadways. But can you use your furnace to heat your home with these types of diesel fuel?

Is Diesel A Good Alternative For Oil Furnaces?

In general, off-road and colored diesel is a suitable substitute for heating oil. These days, dyed and off-road diesel is often ultra-low-sulfur diesel.

Most state regulations allow either low sulfur or high sulfur heating oil. This means that while colored or off-road diesel can sometimes be used in place of heating oil (when used for off-road machinery or agricultural use), it is not always possible to do so.

How Do You Fill An Oil Tank With Diesel?

Is Diesel A Good Alternative For Oil Furnaces?

As was already said, there are particular techniques to add diesel to your oil tank without getting into difficulties. As long as you don’t intend to use diesel as a long-term solution, there is no restriction on how much you can use at once while filling your tank. To securely add diesel to your heating oil tank, use the procedures below.

  • A container with a minimum capacity of ten gallons for diesel fuel is initially required. To distinguish diesel from any other fuels you might have kept on hand, choose a yellow container.
  • Visit your neighborhood gas station to buy the fuel. Depending on how much you believe you’ll require to last until you receive more heating oil, buy five to ten gallons.
  • Turn off your furnace before putting gasoline in it.
  • Head to the fill pipe for the oil tank outside the building. Remove the cap, then fill the pipe that goes into the gas tank straight with fuel.
  • Before turning the furnace back on, wait ten minutes. By doing this, any silt that may have been disturbed up can return to its original location. When the engine is started once the residue has settled at the bottom, only clean gasoline should pass through the pipes, protecting your system from clogging.
  • The oil filter or the fuel oil lines will likely need to be cleaned by a professional if your system has unlucky experienced any clogging or sludge intake.
  • Restart your heating system and use it as usual.

What Factors Affect Diesel And Heating Oil Prices?

You might have noticed a distinction between buying diesel and home heating oil in the same amounts. Even though home heating oil is exempt from taxes, diesel is still subject to them.

The price of crude oil at any one moment is the main factor of both fuel costs. The fact that heating oils and diesel fuel are priced similarly demonstrates the fact that these two fuels are similar in many aspects.

However, each of these fuels has unique expenses that may make one more expensive than the other at a given time. Diesel usually costs more because it must adhere to strict sulfur requirements that heating oil is not required to follow. Additionally, diesel is subject to a number of taxes in the US that are not applicable to other fuel sources.

Heating oils must consider delivery expenses, but diesel does not. Diesel can be purchased at your neighborhood gas station, but heating oil must be delivered. The fact that heating oil delivery trucks are substantially smaller than diesel trucks adds to the expense. Less fuel is given each truck as a result of this.

The price of the oils takes all of these factors into account. Even though there are many similarities between the product and itself, there are distinctions in how they are handled that have an effect on price. Remember that while diesel occasionally seems like a cheap alternative, it will eventually cause damage that will be expensive to repair.

How Long Will Five Gallons Of Diesel Last In A Tank Of Oil?

How warm you want your home to be and the size of your home are two elements that affect how long a fuel supply will last you. However, five to ten liters of kerosene or diesel will often last you one to two days. When choosing how much diesel to buy to last until your subsequent delivery of heating oil, keep this in mind.

Consider purchasing more fuel than the recommended ten gallons if your home is larger. By doing this, you can be confident that your house will remain comfortable until your next delivery.

Notes On Running Your Home Furnace On Other Fuels

Another suitable short-term substitute for heating oil is kerosene. However, gasoline is not. Gasoline is a thin distillation that, if put inside your furnace, will harm it and interfere with its operation. Under no circumstances should you attempt to use ordinary gasoline in your furnace for an extended period of time.

Take the following precautions if you plan to store diesel in your home for use as a heater. Fuel should be kept in yellow-colored containers with readily visible labels.

Diesel should not be kept for longer than six months since it will start to deteriorate and possibly become harmful. To extend the shelf life of your fuel, you can add an additive.

The substitution of diesel furnace oil only works in one direction, as a concluding point. In other words, heating furnace oil cannot take the place of diesel fuel for cars. It is the lubrication required to maintain an engine’s proper operation without causing harm or posing a threat.

In Conclusion

When your supply of heating oil runs out, diesel is a suitable substitute to keep your house cozy and warm. It will be a fantastic short-term fix for a terrible issue as long as you are aware of its capabilities and limitations. We hope this article has made it clear to you, as an oil heater user, what diesel can accomplish for you. For many years to ahead, may you live in security and comfort.

Is Diesel A Good Alternative For Oil Furnaces?

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Written by HVAC Contributor

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