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Does Heating Oil Spoil?

heating oilMany items we buy have an expiration date: milk, eggs, vegetables, bread, cosmetics, medication and so on. But does home heating oil also have a “best-used-by” date?

It’s a question that may come up if you looked at your fuel gauge when the heating season ended and noticed that plenty of heating oil remained in your tank. You may wonder if that fuel will still be good when you turn on your home heating system again in the fall.

No worries. No. 2 heating oil has a typical shelf life of about two years—a wide enough window to cover heating oil that you purchased during the previous heating season.

If your heating oil is getting close to that age—say, for example, if you own a vacation property or second home that you don’t use every year, or use only during the summer—you can still use the heating oil, although it probably won’t produce as much heat as “fresh” oil.

If the oil is so old that it can’t burn hot enough to reach your furnace’s minimum temperature range, your furnace will automatically shut off; if that happens, you will need to hire a professional to restart your system. If you know for certain that oil has been sitting in your tank for more than two years, it’s probably better to have your tank professionally drained and refilled.

Quality fuel treated with additives lasts longer

It’s important to keep in mind that two years is simply an average shelf life for No. 2 heating oil. Several factors can raise or lower that number, including:

  • the amount of bacteria in your heating oil
  • how much corrosion your tank has suffered
  • whether or not there are life-extending additives in your heating oil—you get this when you rely on Discount Oil Brokers for your fuel

Starting off with quality heating oil is a big help. That’s a big reason to continue getting top-quality treated heating oil from Discount Oil Brokers rather than an unknown discount supplier.

The bottom line: If you get your fuel from a qualified heating oil supplier, properly maintain your heating system, and haven’t left your heating oil sitting unused for years, you should be in good shape when it comes time to run your heating system again.

For dependable delivery of high-quality heating oil at the best prices, choose Discount Oil Brokers. Contact us today to schedule a delivery or to become a customer

How Much Fuel to Order

Try our easy-to-use oil delivery calculator to determine how much fuel you’ll need to order.

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