Knowing your Fuel Type

 Knowing the fuel type that runs your home heating system and other components in your home is a basic element of home repairs you should learn. One of the first questions a service or repair company will ask you is....

"What type of fuel heats your home?"

There may be more than one type of fuel that heats your home, depending on additions or renovations to your home.

Most home heating systems, whether it is gas or oil-fired fuel, still need electricity to start the unit and run the pumps and motors. Like a car that needs a battery, but is fueled with gas or diesel.


Fuel type that is oil-fired is pumped into your large oil tank located either in your basement or more recently outside of your home.

The outside tank is usually enclosed for protection from the outside elements. The tank is installed with a drip pan underneath to catch any spills from the oil tank. Corrosion sets into the tank after many years and it is an environmentally good idea to have installed under the tank.

A local oil company will deliver your fuel with their truck and pump the home heating oil into your tank for you.

Your oil company will delivery the fuel on a call by call basis. Meaning, you must call for a delivery when you need oil. On the other hand, you can be on a list for automatic delivery. During the cold winter months you may have a delivery once a month. Likewise, in the warmer months you may only get a delivery every 2-3 months. Depending on your usage, the weather and how many oil-fired components you have in your home determines your deliveries .

Payment is usually done at the time of the fill-up or billed monthly if your are an automatic customer.


Fuel type that is gas can either be natural gas or propane. Natural gas is pumped into your house thru gas pipes that have been installed under the ground down your street. Each home or apartment that has gas fuel has a gas meter located outside or inside of the house.

Your local gas company will document your usage and bill you monthly. The gas meter has black gas piping attached from the gas line on your street. The other side of the meter has piping running into your home to your heating system. The black gas piping is the best indicator that you have some type of gas fuel.


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