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Oil Heat Boiler FAQs

The Basics

oilheat boiler Suffolk County, MA As someone living in the Greater Boston area, you know how harsh winters can get. You hopefully also realize how hard your boiler works to keep you and your family comfortably warm. And you’ve probably noticed your need for heating oil has increased. Thankfully, you’ve got a dependable heating oil provider. You can always count on Scott Williams for heating oil service, heating oil delivery, and great heating oil pricing. We also provide expert boiler installation, boiler repair, and boiler maintenance in Boston’s South Shore.

You depend on heating oil and on your boiler to keep your household warm, but how much do you know about heating oil and boilers? Keep reading to find out.

What Is Heating Oil?

Heating oil is made from crude oil that has gone through a refining process called distillation. Through the process of distillation, hydrocarbons are removed from the crude oil and become a substance that can be further purified and blended to make the heating oil that works in your home’s furnace or boiler.

However, Scott Williams doesn’t just deliver conventional heating oil. As part of our commitment to fuel efficiency and energy conservation, we deliver B10 Bioheat® fuel, a blend of ultra-low-sulfur heating oil and 10% biofuel that’s made from renewable sources. This is just one of the ways we strive to provide our customers with the best value possible.

Furnace vs Boiler

Some people use the words furnace and boiler interchangeably, but they’re not the same thing. It is true that both appliances heat your home, but each goes about it in a slightly different way.

What is the difference? A boiler heats water while a furnace heats air. A boiler’s circulator pumps the hot water through a system of pipes, distributing the water to radiators, baseboards, or air handlers throughout the home. Some older boilers are designed to create steam. The pipes are connected to steam radiators throughout the home.

The easiest way to tell if a home has a boiler or a furnace is to check for radiators and vents. A home that has radiators (or baseboards) also has a boiler. A home with vents has a furnace.

How Do Boilers Work?

Boilers use hot water or steam to heat your home. For this reason, a boiler is called a hydronic heating system. A boiler can either be a hot water boiler or a steam boiler.

If you have a hot water boiler, your boiler burns fuel to heat water. That hot water is then pumped through pipes to baseboards, radiators, in-floor radiant tubing, or other sealed hydronic devices throughout your South Shore home. Then the water returns to the unit and the cycle repeats.

If you have a steam boiler, the process is very similar to that of a hot water boiler. However, in the case of a steam boiler, the water is converted to steam before being circulated throughout your home.

Boilers run quietly and generate comfortable warmth. They don’t rely on fans or blowers, so they don’t contribute to the blowing of dust, dirt, or allergens in the air.

Is My Boiler Efficient?

How do you determine the efficiency of your boiler? You look for its Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. The higher the AFUE, the more energy-efficient the unit is.

Here are the ranges:

  • 56 – 70 AFUE: low efficiency
  • 80 – 85 AFUE: medium efficiency
  • 90 – 98.5 AFUE: high-efficiency

According to the US Department of Energy, older furnaces and boilers have efficiencies in the 56% to 70% range. However, modern heating systems can have an AFUE as high as 98.5%.

A Provider You Can Trust

For all of our customers living in Boston’s South Shore, Scott Williams is a heating oil provider you can trust. We’re committed to delivering for our customers and selling our heating oil at a fair price. Whether you live in Suffolk, Norfolk, or Plymouth County, you can trust us to deliver for you.

Contact us today to order heating oil or if your boiler needs maintenance, repairs, or replacement.