Does Heating Oil Go Bad?

There are many different benefits to using heating oil to heat your home or business. For example, heating oil is not explosive and therefore safer than a lot of alternatives. Heating oil systems are also very efficient and economical. However, you may question whether heating oil will go bad. For example, if you have heating oil left over after the winter season, will you be able to use it within the next year or will you have to replace it.

How long does heating oil last?

On average, heating oil should last between 18 and 24 months, which means that odds are you won’t be wasting the oil you’ve invested in. However, there are a few factors that can affect whether or not your heating oil goes bad. These include the following:

  • The condition of the tank – Most heating oil tanks are stored in utility sheds, basements or storage rooms above ground – although they can be built into the ground as well. Over time, oil tanks will age and corrode – especially tanks that are built beneath the soil. This can lead to the oil becoming contaminated by rust, water, dirt and debris, all of which can cause the heating oil to go bad.
  • The temperature – Heating oil can coagulate if extremely low temperatures occur. Once the oil has taken on a gel consistency, it can clog your filters and lines. Fortunately, once the oil is warmed back to above freezing temperatures, the oil should become usable once again.

Related Post: Fuel Oil vs. Heating Oil: What’s the Difference?

The condition of your heating oil

So how exactly can you tell if your heating oil has gone bad? In many cases, you should be able to tell by the smell. If bacteria has managed to leak into the heating oil and caused sludge to form, then this sludge should create a foul odor. Simply remove the cap from your heating oil tank to determine if the oil smells. If your’e unsure about the smell of your heating oil, then you should schedule an appointment with a professional to come to inspect your oil.

Your heating oil should last a year and a half at the very least; however, it can go bad depending on certain factors, such as the condition of the tank. For more information about the use of heating oil or to schedule a heating oil service, be sure to contact us today at Woolley Home Solutions.