Is Heating Oil Or Kerosene The Right Fuel For My Home?

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When it comes to heating your Hudson Valley home or business, there are many fuel choices – including kerosene and heating oil. But how do you decide which fuel is best for you? Let’s take a look.

Heating oil

There’s a reason why people have been turning to heating oil for more than a century to warm their homes and businesses (several, actually). For one thing, oil outputs more BTUs than any other fuel, so oil-fired heating equipment warms your space quickly and cost effectively. For another, oil is considered by many to be the safest type of fuel because it will not explode or catch fire. In fact, heating oil will not burn at all in a liquid state: it must first vaporize in order to ignite inside your burner.

The one problem with heating oil is that it “gels” (freezes) at a temperature of 16°F (heating oil doesn’t turn to “ice” like water does; it turns into a gummy liquid that can jam your burners and break down your heating system). This makes using heating oil problematic in cold areas where outdoor tanks are the norm (mobile home communities, for example).


Kerosene (sometimes called “lamp oil”) is a combustible hydrocarbon liquid that is used to power everything from space heaters and heating systems to jet engines and rockets. Kerosene burns cleaner and more efficiently than heating oil due to its refining process, and it doesn’t gel in the winter.

However, when it comes to heating a home, kerosene does present several problems compared to heating oil. For example, kerosene has a lower flash point, meaning that it poses greater risk for a fire than heating oil. Burning kerosene also produces more carbon monoxide than burning heating oil, which makes adequate ventilation a safety necessity.

Choosing your fuel

Both heating oil and kerosene are effective fuels that can be safely used; choosing between the two comes down to your storage tank location and current system.

If your oil tank is inside of your home or business, use heating oil; if it’s outside your home or business, use kerosene or a blend of heating oil and kerosene to keep your equipment operating reliably when temperatures are low.

Just remember: if you have an existing heating system, choose the fuel it was meant to use. The wrong one can be dangerous and harmful to your equipment!

Need kerosene delivery or heating oil delivery in the Hudson Valley? We can help with both! Contact the pros at Bottini Fuel today to learn more.