Fixing Your Plumbing To Fix Your Life

Ditching The Traditional Fuel: Home Heating Conversion Overview

With the freezing temperatures of winter finally shifting to the summer thaw, it's the perfect time to start thinking about how to maximize your heating for next year. If you've been thinking about making the switch from traditional heating oil to an alternative fuel source, making the switch now gives you time to sort it all out before the weather cools off for the next winter season. The good news is that you don't even have to replace your furnace. With a few structural changes to your existing furnace, you can use any of a variety of fuel sources.

Used Cooking Oil Conversion

Used cooking oil is most widely known for being an alternative fuel source for cars. What many homeowners don't realize is that it's also effective for household heating. Not only can you burn used cooking oil for heat, you can also use clean oil, which will burn cleaner since you won't need as much filtration for new oil.

You can find conversion kits for cooking oil heat in many places, including from your local home heating technician. The kit includes an air compression system as well as a preheater. The compression system helps to regulate the air pressure, which is essential for proper combustion with cooking oil. The preheater must be installed between the storage reservoir and the furnace. It will warm the oil before it reaches the furnace, which is essential for the proper oil flow. You'll also need to install a multi-layer filtration system to allow for the use of used oil, as it must be heavily filtered to eliminate contaminants. This will be positioned at the front of the supply line, directly next to the reservoir.

Used Motor Oil Conversion

Used motor oil is one of the most accessible forms of alternative fuel, because it's typically stored in large drums at automotive service centers until it can be properly processed and disposed. Many of these locations will actually allow you to pick up those storage drums free of charge because it saves them the cost of recycling.

If you want to use motor oil for your heating fuel, you'll need a motor oil conversion kit. Much like the cooking oil system, it will include a preheater, filter, and air compression unit. Since motor oil is thicker than cooking oil, there's an extra filtration layer and the preheater will actually warm the oil more to help thin it out.

No matter which heating source you opt for, the conversion is typically a simple weekend project. If you're not comfortable tackling it on your own, talk with your local heating contractor for help and check out sites like for more information on your heating unit.