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Can Heating Oil Freeze?

Date: February 6, 2023

It may not turn to ice, but freezing fuel can still make you lose your heat

does heating oil freeze boston, ma In Boston and its surrounding towns, it doesn’t take long for run-of-the-mill winter weather to turn into something much colder — and more dangerous. Already this season, we’ve had multiple nights where temperatures dropped to the teens — and into the single digits with wind-chill.

When the weather outside turns arctic, Cubby Oil & Energy customers are happy to receive dependable heating oil delivery service from us. But one concern that people have during periods of sustained sub-freezing temperatures is whether heating oil can freeze.

Heating oil doesn’t freeze; it gels.

Heating oil doesn’t freeze solid like water turning to ice. It thickens in a process generally referred to as gelling or waxing. Gelling starts to happen when the outdoor temperature drops below 20 degrees. It can cause heating oil not to reach your heating equipment. You lose heat as a result.

Here are some of the ways that gelling oil can negatively impact your system:

  • As heating oil starts to thicken inside the tank, fuel sinks to the bottom, and less combustible components remain on top.
  • Oil that has waxed or gelled can build up in your fuel lines, making them narrower.
  • Heating oil passes through your system’s nozzle and fuel filter, which converts it to a mist for safe combustion. If your heating oil has thickened, it can create a clog.

Cubby Oil & Energy protects you from cold weather gelling.

If you’re a Cubby Oil customer, you already know that we deliver the cleanest heating oil in the region: Bioheat SuperPlus™. What you may not know is that we use additives to lower the chance of waxing and gelling.

We treat all our fuel with a proprietary product that stabilizes it and dramatically reduces the likelihood of gelling in icy weather. For outdoor tanks, we use a cold flow additive that reduces the pour point and lowers instances of gelling.

Other ways to protect your heating system in freezing weather.

In addition to using heating oil with stabilizing or anti-gelling additives, there are other ways to minimize the chance of damage to your heating equipment in frosty weather.

If there is a safe way to do so, warm up the room containing your oil tank. You can do this by opening a door to an adjoining room that’s heated.

You can also protect your heating equipment with a service plan. This coverage will include an annual professional tune-up, where a heating technician can detect clogs and buildup caused by gelling. It also ensures discounts and priority service if your heating system breaks down in the winter.

You can also speak to your heating oil delivery driver the next time they fill your tank. They may have tips to keep your fuel supply safe, no matter how cold it gets.

Are you looking for a dependable heating oil partner in greater Boston? Join the happy family of Cubby Oil customers!

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