Winter in Maryland can be tough. Homeowners can experience cold weather and frigid temperatures during this season. This is why it is essential that each home has a central heating system to keep it warm and comfortable during these freezing months.
A safe and easy way to keep your home warm is to use heating oil. However, heating oil comes with certain problems and risks. With this in mind, it is important that homeowners know about its price, use, risks, and safety tips.
If you are a heating oil user in Maryland, or if you are planning to use heating oil in your heating system at home, you need to know these things:
Dealing with heating oil
While heating oil is generally safe, it is not without risks. There are certain measures that you have to apply when dealing with heating oil in your home. Keep your fuel burner away from any flammable. Make sure that there is no flammable material within three feet from the burner. Give the burner enough space because contact with any object may cause a fire.
It is also important that you keep the tank away from the reach of children. Put it in a safe place. It helps if you educate the family members about the safety procedures regarding the use of heating oil.
Schedule a regular maintenance check. Your fuel burner needs to be checked regularly, at least a few times a year. Maintenance check and inspection ensure safety in your home. You need to make sure that the burner is still heating safely. Additionally, this also ensures that the equipment is still functioning efficiently. This is not only for safety reasons, but also for cost-efficiency. In addition, find a reliable heating oil provider. Another great way to buy heating oil at a great price is by comparing prices online.
Risks when using heating oil
There are certain risks that you need to be wary about when using heating oil in your heating equipment at home. The common risks are fumes, fire, and leaks.
A good sign that your heating system is still working fine and is generally safe to use is the lack of smell. If you start smelling the smell of oil in your home, then it could mean that there is something wrong with your heating system. It’s a sign that you need to have it checked by a technician.
The odor typically is a sign of a crack or a misalignment in the heating equipment. The fumes are potentially dangerous, so contact a technician immediately if you notice any smell.
However, there are also odourless fumes. An example of this is a carbon monoxide leak. This is dangerous as well. Since it is odourless, it could be difficult to detect. The best way to detect any fume coming of your burner is to install a carbon monoxide detector at home. Better yet, have your heating system regularly checked.
Normally, heating oil does not explode. It does not usually cause fire under normal circumstances. However, fire is still a risk if you are a heating oil user. To prevent fire damage, never place any flammable material near the burner or heating oil source.
A leak is the last thing you’d want to happen to your heating system. If your tank leaks, it could contaminate your drinking water, soil, and cause other problems that could jeopardize your family’s health and safety. It is very costly to repair too. The most practical option is to prevent it from happening. The best way to prevent a leak is regular maintenance.
Here are some tell-tale signs that you have a leak at home:
- A sudden or sharp increase in fuel use may possibly be due to a leak.
- Any damage to your soil, loss or change in vegetation is a sign of leak. This is if the tank is located outdoors.
- The presence of “oil odor” around the home is a common sign of a leak.
- If your water has a different odor or taste, have your water tested by a water treatment specialist to see if it is due to a leak.
- Signs of corrosion present in your tank. If you notice these, immediately call a technician to check your tank.
- Overfilling brought about by insect nests, snow, and ice can cause leaks and spills.
If you suspect a leak in your burner or pipe, contact your heating oil provider immediately. In case of emergency, or in severe cases, you can also call the local fire department. Do not try to fix the leak yourself. You could make things worse or pose harm to yourself and your family members.
Always leave these matters to professionals. Leave maintenance and repairs to the experts.