What is Heating Oil?

Heating oil is one of the more popular forms of fuel for heating homes where other methods of heating are not readily available, such as properties located in rural or remote areas where there is no access to the National Gas Network. It is relatively inexpensive compared to other alternative fuel sources (such as LPG), and is normally delivered by road tanker directly in to a storage tank. Some tanks may be located underground, but most are normally in a secluded corner of the garden.

Types of Heating Oil

Three main varieties of heating oil are available:


Kerosene

The majority of oil-fired boilers are now designed to use Kerosene, because it tends to cost less and burns more efficiently than Gas Oil.

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Premium Kerosene

Many Kerosene boilers can also run on Premium Kerosene, a modified type of Kerosene that contains chemical additives, such as fuel-stabilisers and inhibitors, that help to break down deposits in the storage tank.

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Gas Oil
(or Red Diesel)

Gas Oil can be found in many applications, but is more commonly used for non-domestic purposes. It is sometimes called ‘35 second oil’, ‘cherry fuel’ or ‘tractor fuel’, but more commonly ‘Red Diesel’ because of the dye used to indicate the reduced tax duty compared to normal automotive Diesel,

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Which Heating Oil?

Two basic types of heating oil are available - Kerosene and Gas Oil. Both have variants, so it is important to find out which kind of heating oil you need before you order, as using the wrong type could cause serious damage to your boiler. If you have recently had a new oil heating system installed, full details of the oil you can use will be provided in the boiler manufacturer’s documentation provided by your installer. If your property already has an oil-fired heating system, there are several easy ways to identify which oil you need:

  • See if your storage tank has a label on the side of it - this should show the oil type.
  • Check the colour of the oil in the level sight gauge on the side of the tank (Kerosene is straw/yellow, Gas Oil is red/pink).
  • Check the boiler documentation, if available.
  • Check any previous delivery notes
  • Ask the previous owner or landlord
  • If you are unsure which type oil your system uses, you can always call our Customer Service desk on 0800 500 3178.

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