Fuel oil is the third most used energy in domestic heating systems. However, it still raises a lot of questions among many French people, especially about its energy and economic efficiency. Here is what you need to know about fuel oil.
What is heating oil?
Heating oil is a liquid fuel obtained from the distillation of crude oil. This energy is also called "fuel" or "oil". Like natural gas and coal, fuel oil is classified in the category of fossil fuels. Its particularity is that it is an available and accessible source. Households can easily find an offer to sell oil on the internet in order to obtain them easily.
Its marketing does not require installation and connection to a distribution network as is the case for natural gas. This fuel is also accessible on the market, compared to other non-renewable heating energies.
Heating oil is very similar to diesel, but there are still a few things that set them apart. Diesel fuel is more flammable than fuel oil because its cetane concentration is much higher. Fuel oil also has a very high sulfur content (1000 ppm), which gives it its combustion efficiency. Diesel only has a maximum sulfur level of 10 ppm. Furthermore, what distinguishes domestic fuel oil from superior fuel oil is that it is free of additives aimed at improving its quality.
What are the special features of using oil heating?
Fuel oil comes entirely from petroleum refining, whereas propane gas is only half so, for example. To reduce the carbon footprint linked to the use of fuel oil, the latest boilers that operate with this fuel are very efficient. They are designed with environmentally friendly technology. Their performance is optimal, which reduces energy consumption. Heating equipment that uses fuel oil also has the advantage of offering better thermal comfort than the majority of other solutions that run on fossil fuels.
In addition, oil heating has a very high calorific value. Thanks to this, this system is effective in large spaces. Boilers are also reliable equipment with a lifespan that can exceed 20 years. This longevity helps to make heating with oil a cost-effective solution. In addition, this system makes it possible to produce domestic hot water. Its maintenance is also easy and inexpensive. Be careful however, since 2022, theinstallation of oil boilers has been prohibited under certain conditions as part of the fight against climate change.
Rising energy prices: what aid for households?
More than 10 million French people use boilers that run on fuel oil, not counting those who use other fossil fuels. Given the increase in energy prices in line with inflation, there has been a dazzling rise in the price of fuel oil, with an increase of more than 80% since the spring. The government has therefore decided to help the poorest households that heat with fuel oil. Indeed, while the tariff shield applied to electricity and gas, fuel oil had not been the subject of any measure aimed at supporting the most modest populations.
As a result, exceptional aid of 230 million will support the French concerned. A targeting of households that will be able to claim this aid is thus underway following the proposals of the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire. It is indeed a question of precisely determining the households heating with fuel oil for their principal residence and not for their secondary residence. A temporary device, certainly, but particularly expected by the lower classes strongly impacted by inflation.
How can you save on your annual heating oil costs?
If you heat yourself with oil, you can save money by taking a few simple steps.
Estimate and forecast your fuel oil consumption over a long period
To save on your annual heating oil costs, you must first have an idea of your consumption. For this, you can measure it over a given period. The best way to achieve this is to check the fuel oil tank according to a consumption frequency of your choice (weekly, fortnightly, monthly, etc.). You must do this exercise over a significant period to have a realistic average value of your consumption. There are different types of gauges that you can use to measure the level of fuel oil in your tank.
Then base yourself on the values recorded periodically to get an estimate of your annual consumption. Knowing that climatic variations are factors that cause energy expenditure for heating to fluctuate, add a margin of at least 10% more. With this exercise, you can forecast your half-yearly or annual consumption in order to order the quantity of fuel oil required. A large order allows you to save delivery costs and allows you to benefit from reductions on the price of fuel.
Using a high density polyethylene (HDPE) tank, you can store fuel oil for a long time. This type of tank is anti-corrosion and does not alter the heating energy. If your tank is unable to store the volume of fuel oil you will need over the year, you can take out an annual supply contract.
Steps to take to reduce energy consumption
To reduce your energy expenditure on heating, make sure you have adequate and efficient equipment. For example, if you own for a condensing boiler, You can save up to 20% of your expenses in the purchase of domestic fuel oil. Installing underfloor heating saves you up to 15% in heating energy. In addition, this equipment improves comfort in your home thanks to the homogeneous and gentle heat it diffuses. Also equip yourself with the latest generation radiators that consume less than traditional models. Apart from the equipment, you must ensure that your home benefits from good thermal insulation.
There are many ways to save energy. Find out enough about them in order to benefit from efficient heating at a lower cost. In addition, it is recommended to ventilate the house for about 10 minutes a day to renew the air. It also helps to wick away moisture. During ventilation, the radiators must be switched off. When these are in operation, it is important to avoid air inlets in order to limit energy loss.
How to choose the right heating oil supplier?
A heating oil supplier presents itself as a partner who can meet all your heating needs. You must therefore choose a service provider who offers other services such as:
- equipment maintenance,
- installation of equipment (renovation or new installation),
- home insulation...
Emergency response offerings are also important when choosing a fuel oil supplier. Apart from the services offered, it is necessary to take into account the transparency of the offer before choosing your service provider. It is important that you can control the variation in the prices of this fuel throughout France. Also take into account the means of payment, the delivery service and above all, the size of the company. Indeed, the more a distributor has a big budget and a large-scale activity, the more he will be able to make you benefit from the best prices.
To be certain of not encountering difficulties in obtaining your fuel oil supply, opt for a structure that masters the distribution circuit throughout France. This type of company is often in partnership with several hundred local distributors, among the best. With specialized companies near you, you are sure to be easily supplied at all times. In addition, a structure specialized and experienced in the sale of fuel oil on a national scale allows you to take advantage of the lowest prices of your region. This type of structure also offers the possibility of making a group order for fuel oil with your neighbours. This offer saves you more.
Oil heating: some maintenance tips to adopt in winter
The maintenance of an oil boiler is important for the safety and for the performance of the heating system. However, this task should be done by a professional, as it requires great expertise. The only thing you need to do regularly is to check the pressure of your equipment. When it drops below 1 bar, you must add water to the boiler. In winter, you will have to repeat this exercise very often.
It is important to note that All maintenance work must be entrusted to a professional at least once a year. To request the intervention of an approved heating specialist in winter, it is recommended to make an appointment several weeks in advance.