When I moved into my first place, I couldn't believe how dirty everything was all the time. I found myself dusting and mopping continuously, only to deal with a fresh layer of grime later. After awhile, I realized that the problem was blowing straight out of my air ducts. My ventilation lines were so dirty that it was spreading grime through my house every single time the air clicked on. Fortunately, I called an HVAC contractor who was able to clean my vents to a gleaming shine. I know how big of a difference cleaning up your ventilation system can make, which is why I want to spread the word.
As the price of heating oil continues to rise, you may be debating the move toward a less expensive fuel. However, purchasing a new heater or boiler (or retrofitting your house for electric heat) can be even more expensive than your current heating bills. However, there is at least one new alternative that will allow you to keep your current heating infrastructure while switching to a substantially less expensive type of fuel. Read on to learn more about how you may be able to run biodiesel in your current oil heater, as well as some of the benefits biodiesel holds over heating oil.
What is biodiesel?
Biodiesel is a type of fuel that is essentially created from recycled oils -- such as corn or canola oils used in cooking, animal fat, or soybean oils. Biodiesel is essentially the diesel equivalent of ethanol, or the corn-based fuel used in gasoline autos, and can replace traditional diesel fuel in vehicle engines and other applications. One relatively recent and fruitful discovery has been the ability to use biodiesel in oil-burning heaters and boilers with only minimal (if any) modification to the existing system. This can allow you to upgrade your heating fuel without installing a new heater or even repairing your existing one.
What are some of the benefits of biodiesel over heating oil?
There are several significant benefits of switching to biodiesel. The first is the cost. Heating oil varies in cost by region and year, but can generally be found hovering in the $2.75/gallon to $4.00/gallon (or higher) price range. Because biodiesel oil is filtered and recycled, it's generally available at a much lower cost. In some cases, you may even be able to produce your own biodiesel for close to free.
Another benefit of biodiesel is the environmental impact. By switching to biodiesel, you're making good use of resources that have already been used before, while eliminating the need to drill or pump fresh heating oil into your home. This fuel is clean-burning and much better for the environment than heating by using propane, wood, or electricity.
One effect of biodiesel that may or may not be a positive is the odor. Although all the exhaust produced by your heater will be well-vented to the outside, you may catch an occasional tasty whiff of french fries or other goodness while walking outside. If you're dieting and wouldn't like the temptation, you might want to avoid using recycled oils from fast-food restaurants or other food service providers.
How can you convert your oil heater to run on biodiesel fuel?
The great news about the biodiesel conversion process is that it is simple and requires almost no equipment. All you'll need to do is slowly begin to add a small amount of biodiesel fuel to your heating oil supply. As your heater grows accustomed to this mixture, you'll begin to add a higher proportion of biodiesel to the heating oil. Eventually, your heater will easily be able to run on a full biodiesel mixture. By performing this conversion gradually, you'll be able to monitor any problems or issues that develop and dial back the amount of biodiesel used if you aren't satisfied with the results.
In some cases, you may not want to go "full" biodiesel -- you'll still be able to save money and help the environment simply by replacing a portion of the heating oil used with biodiesel. This can provide an advantage in summer months, when heating oil is generally less expensive. In winter. you can switch to a more biodiesel-heavy oil mixture to help save on heating costs. For more information about your home heating look at sites like http://www.alliedairheat.com.