The P. Gagnon & Son Blog

Does Heating Oil Freeze?

Be secure in your heating oil supply with P. Gagnon & Son

heating oil Rye, NH In the Seacoast Region, the transition from typical winter weather to something much colder – and more hazardous – can happen swiftly. During this time of year, it is not uncommon for temperatures to plummet well below freezing, reaching single digits when factoring in the wind chill.

During freezing cold weather, customers of P. Gagnon & Son can rely on our dependable heating oil delivery and service, including our worry-free Automatic Delivery. However, a common concern that arises during sustained sub-freezing temperatures is the possibility of heating oil freezing.

Let’s talk about what impact winter’s cold can have on your heating oil supply.

Heating oil does not freeze; it gels

Heating oil does not freeze solid like water turning into ice. Instead, it undergoes a thickening process commonly known as gelling or waxing. Gelling occurs when the outdoor temperature drops below 20 degrees, which can prevent the heating oil from reaching your heating equipment. As a result, you experience heat loss.
Here are some of the ways that gelling oil can have a negative effect your heating oil tank and heating 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.

Tips to protect your heating system

To mitigate potential damage to your heating equipment during cold weather, consider utilizing heating oil with stabilizing or anti-gelling additives. Additionally, there are alternative methods to minimize the risk of harm.

If it is safe to do so, you can warm up the room where your oil tank is located. One way to accomplish this is by opening a door to a neighboring heated room.

Ensure the security of your heating equipment by opting for a comprehensive service plan. This valuable coverage encompasses an annual professional tune-up, enabling a skilled heating technician to identify and address issues such as clogs and buildup caused by gelling. Additionally, you’ll receive the benefits of coverage of many parts and labor costs for repairs and priority service in the unfortunate event that your heating system malfunctions during the winter months.

Next time your heating oil delivery driver fills your tank, take the opportunity to engage in conversation. They might have valuable insights to help you safeguard your fuel supply, even in the harshest winter conditions.

Protect your home’s heating oil from gelling with P. Gagnon & Son

Today’s heating oil is not what it was just a few decades ago. One of the biggest changes has been the addition of biodiesels to ultra-low-sulfur heating oil (ULSHO).

These biodiesels are made with natural, renewable resources including:

  • recycled commercial cooking fats
  • plant oils including soybean, sunflower, rapeseed, and inedible corn
  • algae
  • animal fats

Another significant change is helping to keep your heating oil from gelling in cold weather. The premium heating oil delivered by P. Gagnon & Son is treated with UltraGuard, an additive that stabilizes the heating oil, which helps to prevent gelling.

Get dependable heating oil delivery from P. Gagnon & Son! Become a customer today.