How To Avoid Heating Oil Sludge Problems

preventing oil sludge michiganWe’ve got enough on our minds this year without having to deal with a heating system problem – but that’s exactly what you could end up with if you don’t pay attention to heating oil sludge.

What is heating oil sludge?

Heating oil sludge is a dark, viscous substance that builds up on the bottom of your oil storage tank over time. It consists of dirt and debris, rust flakes from the inside of the tank, and bacteria that feed on your oil. The problem with heating oil sludge is that normal refueling can stir it into the fuel mix, clogging filters and causing problems for your heating system.

What problems does tank sludge cause?

Tank sludge robs your heating oil system of efficiency by clogging the supply line. If sludge build up is left untreated, it can even cause your heating system to seize, leaving you without heat – and with an expensive heating repair bill.

How do I prevent heating oil sludge?

  1. If you have an outdoor heating tank, consider installing one indoors – or at least enclosing it in a shed to reduce daily temperature swings that cause condensation build up. If your tank is in a cold basement, ask for oil treated with an “anti-gelling” agent to keep the oil flowing.  
  2. If you have an older tank, consider having it drained by a waste oil contractor (or, if it’s older than 20 years old, consider having it replaced. Removing years of built up sludge this way can save you money on repairs and help your heating system to perform better.
  3. Avoid purchasing your heating oil from second-rate discount fuel companies. Instead, stick with reputable dealers like Lansing Ice & Fuel that source their fuel from quality suppliers and treat their fuel with sludge-busting additives. Always remember – “you get what you pay for”!
  4. Have your heating system serviced by a qualified technician every year.

Stay safe and warm this winter – contact Lansing Ice & Fuel today to learn more about reliable heating oil delivery in the Greater Lansing, MI area!