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Bioheat® Fuel in South Carolina: The Future

Date: February 15, 2024

On the Road to Net-Zero Emissions

bioheat south carolina Did you know that modern heating oil is a vital part of America’s movement toward net-zero emissions?

Advanced liquid heating fuels like Bioheat® fuel combine ultra-low-sulfur heating oil and biofuel, which is made from renewable products like used cooking oil, plant oils and animal fats, among other products. Made in the U.S.A., Bioheat fuel is one of the cleanest-burning energy sources.

Not only do heating systems burn fuel more efficiently with Bioheat fuel, but equipment also lasts longer and requires fewer repairs. No heating system modifications are necessary to start using renewable Bioheat fuel.

The end game is to eventually transition to B100 Bioheat fuel (0% petroleum, 100% biofuel). Recently, the R.W. Beckett Corporation and Carlin Combustion began production of the first burners with B100-compliant components.

Additionally, the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) has demonstrated that a home heated with B100 Bioheat fuel and using solar panels to produce electricity can reach net-zero carbon emissions quickly — and at an economically viable cost.

All of this is exciting news for everyone who appreciates the many benefits of using modern heating oil to stay safe and warm at an affordable cost.

Heating Oil and Energy Efficiency

Do you know heating oil is a superstar when it comes to keeping your home warm and cozy? That’s because heating oil packs a wallop of heat energy. For every gallon of oil burned, nearly 140,000 Btu’s of heat are produced. To put that in perspective, that’s the equivalent of about 70,000 60-watt lightbulbs.
Technology has also brought great improvements in heating oil equipment efficiency, reducing annual fuel consumption by 20% or more. This has saved heating oil consumers a lot of money on fuel.

Today’s heating equipment regularly achieves efficiency levels of 85% or better. With the introduction of higher blends of Bioheat fuel, we will start to see more super-high-efficiency systems available in the U.S. These systems will achieve efficiency levels of 90% or more.

Heating Oil and Safety

Home heating oil has an excellent safety record, especially considering that it has been widely used for nearly 100 years.

First, heating oil is not only biodegradable and nontoxic, it’s nonflammable too. That means it cannot burn in its liquid state. Before combustion can occur, heating oil must first be vaporized by an oil burner at temperatures above 140°.

That’s why the oil in your tank is as likely to explode as the water in your backyard swimming pool. It’s that safe!

Secure and Safe Supply with Your Oil Tank

Modern heating oil storage tanks have been designed to be virtually leak-proof. Whether your heating oil storage tank is located in your basement or outside your home, modern tanks have been designed with corrosion-resistant materials.

With your own onsite storage heating oil tank and a trustworthy heating oil company to rely on, you can be confident that your South Carolina home will stay warm and your family will be safe when temperatures drop in the Palmetto State.

Safety Net for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

A heating oil system also poses a very low risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. If an oil burner malfunctions (most often due to a lack of maintenance), the safety devices in the unit will typically shut the furnace or boiler off.

But you shouldn’t hesitate to call for heating oil service if you ever see black smoke or soot coming out of your heating oil furnace or heating oil boiler. This is a sign that something is seriously wrong with your equipment. There could even be a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning as well. Although this situation is rare, if it ever happens, shut down your heating system and call for service.

Please be aware that besides a malfunctioning boiler or furnace, there are many other sources for carbon monoxide leaks, including:

  • operating unvented appliances for long periods of time
  • backdrafts caused by pressure imbalances near the heating system
  • leaving a vehicle idling in an attached garage
  • running a gasoline-powered generator in a basement or attached garage
  • a blocked flue.

That’s why it’s vital that you place carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home and near each bedroom. You should do this with smoke detectors too. Test your detectors and change their batteries regularly. In general, replace them after five years. (Check manufacturer guidelines for more specifics about when to replace). Also, please ensure that you and your family know the symptoms of CO poisoning, which include headaches, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. Note: CO poisoning can often be mistaken for the flu since the symptoms are similar.

Bottom line: with a bright future ahead of us, you can continue to feel good about heating oil, whether it’s cleanliness, efficiency, or safety. If you have any questions, please reach out to your local South Carolina heating oil company.