Heating oil delivered by your fuel company may seem like it only has one use--to heat your home. Yet, what happens when a storm cuts all the power to your home and/or your oil furnace is not functioning in sub-zero weather? Can you use the heating oil for other things? The answer is "yes," and here are some of the alternative emergency uses for heating oil.
Oil is extremely flammable, but if you are careful with it, you can use it in place of electricity until the power is turned back on. (This only applies to lights and lighting, however, so do not attempt to use it for other electrical purposes.)
There are a couple of different ways you can do this:
Whatever oil lamp option you choose, just be very careful not to tip the lamps over or drop them.
In Oil Space Heaters
If your oil furnace is going to be out of commission for a while, you can take what little oil you have left and use it in oil space heaters. These smaller versions of oil furnaces heat quickly, but they do need a source of ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Usually you can vent them out an open window, but you will need to construct a vent port that keeps the winter storms and winds out, or you will have to open your windows just enough every few hours to air out the house. If you keep your oil heater on all night, keep your windows open just a crack, keep your CO2 alarms plugged in, and give your oil space heater a wide berth around it to avoid accidental fires.
Cooking and Fireplace Logs
You can use a small amount of the heating oil for cooking and starting fires in your fireplace too. There are some online instructions for how to construct a laboratory oil burner, and you can use that for cooking purposes. To jumpstart a fire in your fireplace, or if you do not have any firewood, moisten rolled newspapers in heating oil and use in place of firewood.
For more information, contact a business such as Olympic Energy LLC.
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