How Long Is Heating Oil Good For?

heating oil life span new york

If you’re like most heating oil customers, you probably buy your fuel in large amounts several times a year, then store it until you need it. But how long can heating oil stay “fresh” for, and what happens if you use it once it passes that date?

The good news is that No. 2 heating oil (the most common form of heating oil used in the home) will last, at full strength, for an average of 18-24 months. That means there’s no need to panic if you didn’t finish up all your fuel after last heating season; it will work just fine in the coming heating season. In fact, it’s a good idea to order heating oil in the offseason if your tank is half full or less to prevent bacteria-friendly condensation from forming inside your tank.

Older oil can still be used – it’s just less combustible (meaning that it won’t produce as much heat as new oil). However, you don’t really want to over-rely on this older oil if you want your furnace to function properly: if burning your older oil can’t meet your furnace’s minimum requirement for heat, the furnace will shut off, and you’ll need to get professional heating system service to get it up and running again.

Avoid aging your oil!

Of course 18-24 months is simply an average shelf life for No. 2 heating oil; several factors can influence that number up or down, including:

Having quality oil helps, too – a big reason to buy your heating oil from us.

The bottom line: if you get your heating oil from a reputable supplier, maintain your heating oil tank, and aren’t waiting two years between heating oil deliveries, you’ll be fine!

For quality heating oil delivery in Orange, Sullivan, and eastern Ulster County, NY, trust the pros at Penguin Energy. Contact us to become a Penguin customer today!