Home HeatingHeating Oil vs. Diesel Fuel: What’s the Difference?

May 10, 2019by oil4wales

Heating Oil vs. Diesel Fuel: What’s the Difference?

Never fear, the boiler care team at Oil 4 Wales is here to clear up any questions you might have.

If you’re wondering whether you need heating oil or diesel fuel, it’s important to understand what their uses are. Here is our Oil 4 Wales guide to the difference between heating oil vs diesel fuel.

Heating your home in the United Kingdom is easier now with the prices being stable. After the price of heating oil rose to an all-time high back in 2012, it recovered and it’s now at EUR575.5 per 1,000 liters. That’s why it’s a great investment if you want to keep your home warm during the winter.

When it comes to Heating Oil vs Diesel Fuel, both have their own purposes. However, they’re very similar in such a way that some people interchange them. This is the main reason behind the various myths surrounding heating oil.

Regardless, there are some differences between the two. Let’s explore each of it and find out.

Making the Fuel

Before refining, crude oil has carbon and hydrogen atoms available in certain ratios. These form a wide variety of compounds based on the hydrocarbon chains’ size and length. When it gets refined, the process separates the chains according to their different boiling points.

Compounds that possess lower boiling points get pushed and settle at the top. Meanwhile, compounds that have higher boiling points sink at the lower levels. It’s during this process where the lighter substances like propane and gasoline get distilled before heavier substances like diesel fuel, heating fuel, and lubricating oil.

What is Diesel Fuel?

As a product of the distillation process, diesel is at the middle point when it comes to weight. It comes with the appearance of oil but it’s heavier than gasoline. Compared to gasoline, diesel is less difficult to make in terms of refining.

Diesel doesn’t evaporate as fast and it doesn’t have the volatile nature present in gasoline. Its main functions are to power various vehicles like trucks, trains, buses, and boats. This is in addition to its use as fuel for power generators.

What is Heating Oil?

Heating Oil is a blanket term referring to a wide array of fuel formulas. What this means is that it can become heavier than diesel fuel, with a similar weight to motor oil. As a result, it provides more heat without burning a lot of fuel in the process.

This substance is the standard when it comes to heating your home. However, you can still use other substances like diesel, kerosene, jet fuel, and more. You need to take note that heating oil is the most efficient substance out of all of them.

Heating Oil vs Diesel Fuel: Power Difference

Heating oils used in your homes have a heavier composition compared to diesel fuel. They share almost the same heat-giving properties. Common heating oils can produce 138,500 Btu (British Thermal Unit) per gallon while its diesel counterpart can only produce about 137, 500 Btu.

Depending on the type of heating oil, it can either have a higher or lower Btu compared to diesel.

Things to Consider in Winter

During this time, standard diesel often gets blended with kerosene to counteract gelling as well as wax precipitation issues. In really cold regions, a similar blending can happen with the standard heating oils for home use. That’s why heating oils often get called “Arctic Grade Diesel” since it can function more effectively in that weather.

Benefits of Heating Oils

Fuel oil heaters for home use grant several benefits to your home. Its top advantage is its efficiency. It’s derived from the high Btu content found in the substance compared to natural gas, diesel, or even electricity.

It’s Safe

Unlike other fuels, heating oils aren’t explosive. It only ignites when you use an advanced system that involves a boiler or an oil burner. This reduces the number of accidents related to carelessness with home heating systems each year.

It’s Warmer

The heat from the flames generated by heating oil burns 300 degrees hotter. It helps your home and water get hotter faster. It’s the best choice compared to diesel and natural gas.

It’s Economical

The heating costs you get from using heating oils is a lot lower compared to natural gas and electricity. A lot of studies conclude that using heating oils for your needs is 16% more efficient than natural gas options. What this means is that you save more each year, giving more value to the money you spend.

It’s Efficient

When you use modern oil heat systems, you’re guaranteed that it performs at 85% efficiency at least. It means that for every euro you spend on heating oils, you enjoy 85 cents worth of heat as well as hot water. Compared to diesel and natural gas, heating oils take the lead when it comes to efficiency.

It’s Cheaper

Recent years saw a considerable drop when it comes to the price of heating oil. Again, with the efficiency that comes with it, you save more money when you use it for your central heating system. It causes you to spend less as years go by, allowing you to fork your hard-earned cash to other bills or save them up for emergencies.

It’s Cleaner

The heating oil system produces cleaner air compared to other heating systems. When producing heat, it only produces about less than 0.003 of all the particulate emissions in the United Kingdom. It’s also proven that the oil isn’t toxic, no proven cancer-causing compounds, and biodegradable.

Take Advantage of the Best Oils Today

When it comes to the discussion of heating oil vs diesel fuel, the two substances have a lot of similarities. It’s one of the main reasons a lot of people swap them out in certain situations. But if you want a fuel that gives you a lot of value for the money you spend, go for heating oils.

Heating oils are safe to use and give a lot of efficiency due to its higher Btu compared to other types of fuel. In turn, your heating expenses decrease because it’s hotter than other options and can heat your home faster as a result. Add that to the fact that it produces a small number of particulate emissions, you get yourself a heating system that’s friendly to the environment.

Do you need heating oils for your home? Contact us today and we’ll help you get some.