Oil Burner Safety and Efficiency

Posted by Beckett Corp. on Aug 21, 2019 10:00:00 AM

While older oil burners and oil appliances sometimes experienced a wide range of safety and efficiency issues, many advances have been made in more recent years to ensure that today's burners operate with peak performance. This includes improvements to both the design and engineering of oil burner systems as well as education and training for modern technicians. In this post, we will discuss oil burner safety and efficiency today as well as the advancements that made possible modern oil heat as we know it.

Improving Modern Oil Burner Efficiency

Early oil burners were produced in order to convert coal- and wood-fired appliances, which required manual shoveling, to the automatic comfort experience delivered by oil. Oil burners helped to provide a more hands-off heating system free of manual labor associated with coal and wood. However, these retrofit burners left smells as well as debris in the house that didn't fit with the modern lifestyle consumers were looking for. As residential and commercial construction evolved throughout the years, customers came to expected cleaner combustion and heating solutions.

Newer homes and construction also led to tighter spaces that allowed less energy to escape to the outside. Walls and windows were sealed tighter and better insulated, and in many cases, chimneys were eliminated to prevent heated air from escaping the home. However, as the construction got tighter, this also cut down on air sources that the oil burner required for clean combustion. Exhaust fans were installed in kitchens and bathrooms, which also competed with the burner for air.

At this point, the oil industry needed to step up with solutions and come up with ways to provide clean air to the burner so it didn't lose out on clean combustion. Thankfully, the industry rose to this challenge, innovating new burner designs and technology that both improved air delivery and eliminate potential unpleasant smells thanks to cleaner combustion. Burners have been redesigned for use with various venting methods, such as venting directly outside or through chimneys. Combustion air delivery systems were designed to ensure consistent air for the burners. These systems lowered emissions and improved building performance by reducing air leakage, once expected for combustion air. With these improvements, oil burners became reliable sources of home comfort and made it much easier to regulate home temperatures.

AF-1 Oil burner from Beckett NX residential oil burner from Beckett
Click here to learn more about the AF/AFG Residential Oil Burner and other burners from Beckett. Click here to learn more about the NX Residential Oil Burner and other burners from Beckett.

The Role of Today's Techs in Oil Burner Safety

As oil burners went through these series of changes and redesigns, modern oil technicians must stay aware and up to date on the technology in order to provide safe and efficient service. While the development of the modern primary control contributed greatly to improved oil burner safety, only burners that are properly installed by well-trained technicians can provide the safest, most reliable performance in the system. Most manufacturers take great care to ensure that their techs have training available, but it's also important for customers to check that they're hiring a well-trained technicians.

The oil industry lobbied for and maintains a government-funded organization known as NORA (National Oilheat Research Alliance). NORA provides funding to oil industry programs including consumer education, professional education, improving energy efficiency, and safety. Through NORA, oil technicians can stay up to date on training, changes in the industry, and installation and maintenance techniques for modern oil systems and components. With this education available, consumers can be confident in the ability of industry trained oil technicians.

Rest comfortably, as today's well trained technicians will keep each of you safe and warm and leave your oil burners operating at peak efficiency and safety.

Topics: Oil Heat, Oil Burners

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