Getting free heat – and light – from waste oil

by Antonio Pasolini on August 21, 2009

In times of financial crunch, a little bit of effort and imagination can help offsetting some of the costs related to running a house. Energy Refuge caught wind of a blog that gives you advice on how to recycle waste oil and convert it into a source of heat.

The Oil Burner Guide is a blog set up by a waste oil enthusiast who claims to have made massive savings by installing a waste oil burner. That’s the good news. The bad news is that before you start saving, you need to spend some money. “This is definitely a long term investment”, says the blogger. “A quality oil burner will cost you several thousand dollars and that’s without the cost of installation. Depending on your current set up the installation can be in the $1500-$2000 ballpark. But when you think about what you stand to gain over the course of five years the payback is immense.” He says his heating bill for last February was $10, when it could easily have come up to $400 if he had used the service of a gas company.

But are these oil burners environmentally-friendly? According to Northwest Alternative Energy, yes, they can be. “Waste oil burners have been used to heat air, boilers and waterstoves for over 40 years. In that time they have evolved to become highly efficient, versatile and environmentally friendly. Today’s waste oil burners can burn used oils such as used vegetable oils, recycled oil, used motor oils, used transmission fluids or used hydraulic oils. Many are retrofittable to a multitude of fuel oil fired heaters and fuel oil fired boilers.”

So it seems like it’s well worth looking into the possibilities of waste oil recycling. And while you’re at it, you may well learn how to recycle waste cooking oil into light. Have fun!

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