Much like oil-fueled furnaces, oil fired hot water tanks utilize an oil burner along with a combustion chamber, placed beneath the tank, as the heat source for warming up water. The burner ignites when a thermostat detects the water temperature dipping below a predetermined limit. The resultant flame created in the combustion chamber then heats the bottom of the tank, which in turn, heats the water. When the thermostat senses the temperature of the water to be at the correct degree of warmth, the flame shuts off.
From all home-heating fuels, oil produces the hottest flame. This translates into water being heated faster by oil fired hot water tanks than those powered by gas or electricity. Experts state that water heated by oil gets hot three times faster than water heated by gas and five times more quickly than by electricity. What this boils down to is money: Hot water obtained from oil is cheaper to the consumer than water heated by gas or electricity.
Comparing Fuel Prices
The lower initial cost of the fuel, too, makes oil fired hot water tanks a more economical way to heat your home water. For the same amount of money, the homeowner can operate oil-fueled tanks from two-and-a-half to a whopping five-and-a-half times longer than with electrically operated water heaters. And although gas hot water tanks are not quite so expensive to heat water with, they, too, operate at a higher cost than oil-burning water tanks, with many of them operating at less than 70 percent efficiency.
The gas and electricity industries actively promote their products to consumers with price incentives geared to entice homeowners by lowering costs of equipment and installation that make them initially less expensive than oil-burning tanks. But the true value must be calculated with an eye toward the long run, the cost of operating gas and/or electrically run heaters as compared to those of running oil fired hot water tanks. With that in mind, it is not difficult to see that home heating oil is much cheaper to the consumer over the years it is being used.
Of course, the costs versus benefits of converting from gas and/or electricity hot water heaters to oil fired hot water tanks must be taken into consideration when homeowners are considering making a switch. It would not make much economic sense to change out a gas or electric hot water heater if you only plan to stay in your home for a short time.
It also only makes good sense to switchover from gas or electric to oil if a home heating oil supplier does business near where the home is located. Before purchasing an oil-fueled water heater, make sure you can keep it supplied readily and inexpensively.
Like all appliances and anything else run on traditional fossil-based fuels, oil fired hot water tanks continue to rise in the cost of their operation. But as opposed to gas and electricity, home heating oil remains the least expensive. So if you live in an area that supplies it and intend to stay longer than several years in your home, take a look at oil-fueled water heaters. It just may be the answer to replacing some of your hard earned cash that otherwise gets spent on heating water.