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What’s the Lifespan of Heating Oil?

Many items we buy have an expiration date: milk, eggs, vegetables, bread, cosmetics, medication and so on. But does home heating oil 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

You heating oil will be fine when the chilly weather descends upon Wisconsin again. That’s because the average best-used-by lifespan of home heating oil ranges between 18 and 24 months. And that lifespan can be even longer if your local Wisconsin oilheat provider delivers low-sulfur, high-quality fuel that has been treated with additives, which act as a fuel preservative.

Why a full tank is better

If you have plenty of fuel in your storage tank right now, that’s actually good news. Empty space in your oil tank creates problems for both the tank and your oil in it.

The culprit here is condensation. When you have a lot of empty space in your tank, water condensation can form. That condensation is most common during the spring and summer. Tanks that are outdoors, aboveground and in an unshaded area are more vulnerable to developing condensation.

Water and oil don’t mix

Water is denser than heating oil, and the two don’t mix. When water forms on the bare walls of the empty part of the tank, it drips down and sinks to the bottom. It then becomes fertile ground for the development of bacteria and other microorganisms. That eventually results in sediment forming at the bottom of the tank.

Not only can that sediment corrode your oil tank, it can also break down your heating oil and cause other problems, including clogged fuel lines, which can cause your heating system to shut down.

You can help keep the lifespan of your home heating oil long by making sure your tank is properly maintained, clean and well-sealed. Plus, you’ll have the comfort of knowing your tank is all set to get back to work once Wisconsin’s weather turns cold again.

Why not take care of filling your oil tank now? Contact your local Wisconsin heating oil provider to request a delivery.