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Can I use Biodiesel in my Oil Furnace?

There are a lot of reasons to use biodiesel – one of the main reasons being that it is one of the most cleanest burning fuels that you can use when compared to other types of fuels. However, if you have an oil furnace, you may be wondering if it’s possible to even use biodiesel. Fortunately, it is.

Using Biodiesel in Your Oil Furnace

Biodiesel is a cleaner burning fuel for a number of reasons, including because it doesn’t produce CO2, is carbon neutral and is biodegradable. Because of the fact that it’s a cleaner burning fuel, it also means that you won’t have to clean your oil furnace as often. The following are a few steps you should take in order to transition to biodiesel for your oil furnace:

  • Check for corrosion – Inspect the burner pump seals for cracks and missing pieces. These seals need to be replaced if damage is uncovered. Because biodiesel is a solvent, it will cause your seals to corrode faster than furnace oils that are petroleum based.
  • Replace filters frequently – Although the sludge on the walls of the oil fuel tank will eventually be dislodged by the biodiesel because it’s a solvent, the sludge can also end up clogging up your filters. When you first switch to biodiesel fuel, you’ll need to clean your filters regularly until the sludge buildup has been removed.
  • Make the transition slowly – Don’t just switch from heating oil to biodiesel straight away. Begin with a fuel that’s 98 percent petroleum-based oil and two percent biodiesel. Then the next time you fill up your furnace, use a mix that contains five percent biodiesel. You can then switch to ten percent, and then to 20 percent. Although you can keep going like this, you may not want to use 100 percent biodiesel since it could increase the risk of cracked or corroded seals. If you want to use 100 percent biodiesel, make sure that your furnace is carefully inspected to make sure the seals are in perfect shape.

These are the steps that you should take in order to switch to biodiesel for your oil furnace. Keep in mind that you’ll want to store your biodiesel properly – in an indoor or underground storage tank – to prevent it from gelling in colder temperatures.

For more information about switching to biodiesel fuel in New Jersey, be sure to contact us at Woolley Home Solutions today.

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"While a number of fleets in New Jersey, including the Department of Transportation, have used biodiesel blends for many years, this pump opening marks the first time biodiesel will be sold directly to consumers in the state. We commend Woolley...

Joe Jobe CEO (National Biodiesel Board)
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