Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Heating Oils & Kerosenes

heating oil tank & dock

Q: What is heating oil?
A: Heating oil is a liquid petroleum product that is burned in a furnace or boiler to generate heat. Heating oil is made from crude oil.

Q: What is kerosene?
A: Kerosene is a flammable liquid made by distilling petroleum at a high temperature. Prior to the widespread availability of electricity, kerosene was used mainly in lamps, lighting homes and farms. Not used for that purpose now, most kerosene is used as a home heating fuel.

Q: How do I know if I should use heating oil or kerosene for my heating unit?
A: Rinker Oil's experts can help you determine which heating fuel, and which grade, is ideal for your particular situation. Here is a rule of thumb: if you have an indoor fuel tank in your basement that is protected from the elements, use heating oil. If you have a fuel tank that is exposed to cold and wind, use kerosene. Kerosene does not gel when the temperature gets cold.

Q: Is heating oil clean?
A: Yes! Heating oil produces fewer emissions than coal, and because of advances in the last 25-30 years, is now comparable to heating with natural gas for hydrocarbons (particles of unburned fuel) released.

Q: Do I still need to have my oil-burning furnace cleaned regularly, even though it is a clean fuel?
A: Yes. It is important to have your heating system tuned up each year to make sure that it is in proper working condition. The best time to have this done is in the spring or summer, before the beginning of the heating season. Our experts can provide this service.

Q: Do you wait to deliver oil to customers on your auto-delivery program when the prices are at their highest?
A: Absolutely not. Just like you, Rinker Oil Corporation is a consumer buying heating oil on the oil market. Just as you do not want to pay a high price for your oil supply, we don't want to pay high prices for ours. We cannot predict what will happen to wholesale prices; we deliver according to your usage rate.

Q: Do you offer price protection plans for heating oils and kerosenes?
A: Yes. Each year we offer our customers the opportunity to join our Smart Pay Plan, which is a 12-month budget with a cap on per-gallon pricing. We also offer a Pre-Buy Program. Contact us for more details about these plans.

Q: I seem to be using more fuel than in the past, what could cause this?
A: There are many factors. Perhaps there's a change in your lifestyle, such as a newborn baby, that requires you to keep your home warmer. Weather also plays a big part in how often you use your heating system, with both temperature and humidity making a difference in how warm or cold we feel. If your fuel usage is increasing and you don't know why, contact us so that we can help keep you warm as affordably as possible.

Q: Should I have my tank filled before the summer months?
A: Yes. When you leave an oil tank partially filled, it allows air to get inside where water can condense. This causes bacteria to build in your tank, which results in sludge, a leading cause of breakdown in many heating systems. Condensation can also erode your tank, causing leaks or even a spill.

Have we answered all your questions about heating oils and kerosenes? If so, we hope you'll become a Rinker Oil Corp. customer. If not, please contact us or call us (585-968-3330) with any other questions you have.

Serving Western NY including Bath, Hornell. Wellsville, Olean, East Aurora, Springville, Warsaw Wellsville and the Norther Tier of PA including Bradford, Smethport, Coudersport PA

Rinker Oil is your locally-owned, full service energy team!