Waste oil heaters, or otherwise referred to as waste oil burners may just be what you are desperate need of, but although you are in the process of exploring the different models on the market, you don’t want to go with just any model – you want to find the right one, which we are going to help you do.
While we do have a bunch of the best garage waste oil burning heaters in the market listed for sale on this specific page, our intention is to give you a thorough understanding of the pros and cons before you are making up your mind and making the final call on your purchase decision.
We will also answer some of the most commonly asked questions we get for this type of product, and if you ever have other questions about these machines, do feel free to reach out to a member of our stuff. We are commonly adding more information to this article to better be able to serve our users.
How do waste oil heaters work?
Rather than simply discarding things that we consider waste, there are certain products that can in fact use those products and turn them into something useful. One of these types of products is waste oil heater, or sometimes referred to as either a burner or a furnace.
Certain types of businesses are likely to accumulate a lot of the oil that can in fact rather be turned into heat and used this way, so rather than figuring out the disposal of this oil, garages and other types of businesses smartly turn to these types of machines to make better use of the things that they already have available. Where some may just see old, unusable oil, these types of machines can are great when you are wanting to do something about that utility bill you have, while still making good use of some of those waste products.
In the following sections, we will also address some of the other questions that you may be interested in getting addressed, such as the amount of money that this product may be able to save you and your garage. As it isn’t a cheap product to start off with, it is only natural that you are curious about the answer to that question.
The term “waste oil” means that you are basically dealing with a product that is no longer able to be used for its intended purpose, although it may have other purposes. The most common types of oil that these include are transmission fluid, hydraulic oil, motor oil and fuel oil, why it is no surprise that garages end up with vast amounts of this oil, but it also means that this type of oil will have a lot of impurities that you don’t get in the product that the oil was originally intended for. Big farms, automotive shops, garages and other industrial settings are places where a lot of this oil usually gathers, why these are also likely going to be a lot of the places that end up being the places that could benefit from the use of one of these waste oil furnaces.
Rather than simply disposing old oil in the intended manner, where it would be brought off to some dump site, where it would be burned instead, businesses came to find out that burning it themselves, in the appropriate setups, could in fact help lower the electricity bill, especially during those cold winters, where the place would otherwise need to be heated in another manner.
As with a normal burner, there is a tank that holds the waste oil that will let it burn, which powers an electric motor with a fan. A pump inside the device will run the waste oil through a filter, filtering out a lot of the toxins that would otherwise be released, at which point the filtered oil is being pumped into the burner where it is preheated before it is turned into mist and sprayed into the blast tube, that also draws air into it. At this point, the heated oil is ignited, allowed by the presence of the air in the blast tube, and in turn, a heat exchanged takes the hot air that is produced, and the heat is transferred through the exchanger at which point it gets distributed through the room. The gas that is produced will rather be let out through a chimney rather than into the garage. That is basically how it works.
Before you start using the device, it is important that you make sure you are in fact dealing with oil that is considered safe to use in these machines, meaning you will need to make sure that this is considered on-specification oil rather than off-specification oil. It is also possible to test the oil in order to make sure that it is safe to burn.
Before you choose that this is the greatest gift that your garage has received in a long time, it’s important to make sure that you are in fact allowed to use one of these devices where your business is, as there are some places that regulate their use more stringently than others, and some areas that do not allow their use at all. In other areas, you might be able to use them, but only if you have a permit to do so. If you don’t have the necessary permits to use a waste oil heater, or if you aren’t making sure that the oil is being properly filtered in the process, you may be setting your business up for getting a fine for the use of this oil.
Are waste oil heaters safe?
From the name, it makes sense that we often get the question as to whether or not these machines are safe to use, but you need to know that the EPA in fact regulates which fuels are considered safe to burn. The name in itself does not sound very appealing, but you should know that the different types of oil are regulated, as most types of oil have burning regulations. The good thing about these models is that they will be able to safely burn some of the off-specification types of oil, that normal furnaces can’t because they may contain too much of certain substances for normal furnaces, which could include lead, for example. You can’t simply go out into your backyard and start burning off waste oil, as it is likely to be illegal, as it could emit a bunch of dangerous toxins into the air.
When it comes to the actual safety of burning off waste oil, it is important to know that the burning of any type of material is associated with a certain level of risk, but it can be especially dangerous if you aren’t taking the necessary actions to actually ensure that these things are being done in a safe manner, which includes the proper maintenance of the unit. However, it also requires that you are in fact using a high-quality burner, and that it has been installed and tested properly to make sure that no problems exist. Make sure to read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure that the continued burning of your waste oil remains safe. The fact of the matter is that when you are dealing with oil, it is imperative that you take the necessary safety precautions to ensure that everything is done in the right manner, the same way you would ensure that you are only buying a fuel transfer tank from a manufacturer that has been approved to manufacture these units. Interested in our portable sawmills? We have a safety section on those as well!
Do waste oil heaters smell?
The truth is that burning off waste oil can easily smell if the smoke isn’t being properly filtered, and you can easily end up getting a fine for smell pollution if you are using one in an area where it is heavily regulated, and you aren’t adhering by the standards that are put in place.
A properly working piece of machinery shouldn’t be emitting bad smells, however.
How much oil does a waste oil heater use?
The great news is that these machines may be able to save a bunch of small machines a lot of money, as they’re especially popular among small mechanic shops, being the ones that may have a bunch of this oil readily available.
A common waste oil burner will burn about 4,000 gallons per year, which can roughly translate into $8,000 to $12,000 in savings every single year. If you do the math on it, it means that it becomes a very good purchase very quickly. No wonder they are so popular among small companies that have a lot of this raw gold readily available, not having to rely on the fuel needed for the more common furnaces.
Doing the math on how much oil you will use for your burner
After reading online, we’re sure that you have seen that the same way there are a bunch of wood lathes, plasma cutters and wide belt sanders available, there isn’t only one waste oil burner available either, and there are a bunch of things that you need to look out for when you are realizing just the type of equipment that best serves the purpose for you.
The question of how much oil a waster oil heater uses depends on a range of variables including the building size in which it is being used, the capacity of the furnace, the climate in which you are situated in, and how well you have insulated the building that you will be using it for. Each of these factors will play a role, meaning if you have a building with better insulation, you will also need to burn less oil every single year.
Additionally, you will need to find out how many hours per week, month and year you are in fact trying to keep the place warm for, which will again depend on the various factors, such as how long the shifts are, how many days per week you are planning on staying open, and how warm you want it to be when you don’t have a shift going on there.
If you have a garage with 1 to 4 bays, you are likely going to be burning around 160 gallons of oil per month, as you will be using 1.0 gallons per hour, whereas if you have a garage with 7 or more bays, you are likely burning roughly 370 gallons per month. With the bigger example, you would likely be saving an estimated $700 to $1,000 per month from using waste oil burner instead of a regular one.
If you have a bigger building, and you have ready access to this type of fuel, there are other businesses saving as much as $32,000 annually.
Thinking about this as a return on investment rather than a cost
While you may initially be intimidated by the fact that some of these machines may cost thousands of dollars, at least if you’re looking for a solution for a bigger shop, we encourage you to look at the potential savings you will be garnering from going with this option, as opposed to having a normal furnace. Reality of the matter is that you will have to heat your shop, whether you do it one way or another, and if you’re currently not using an option that uses waste oil, your heating bill could be quite significant.
Instead of thinking about a cost, think about this as an investment, and consider just how many months of saved heating you will need before you have seen the purchase of this unit be worth it, and you will have recouped the amount of money that you initially put out to get the option to save for years to come. Are you feeling ready to save a bunch of money for your business already, or would you rather keep continuing with that traditional furnace you have been using in the past?
Choosing the right waste oil burning heater for your garage
We already went through the various things to consider when it comes to choosing the right unit for your garage, which includes the number of bays, the size of the place and more.
If you are looking to have upwards of 4,000 sq ft heated, with the help of 140,000 BTU, you may want to get a model like the CE-140 waste oil furnace, which is the traditionally recommended model from Clean Energy Heating Systems when it comes to smaller shops with upwards of 4 bays, allowing you to save immediately.
Do you have upwards of 5,000 square feet and need 175,000 BTU instead, then our recommendation is that you use the CE-180 waste oil furnace, which sis great for garages with 3-6 bays, providing you not just with safe heat, but also clean heat.
Does your shop have 7,000 square feet and need something with the capacity of 245,000 BTU, then we encourage you to look into the CE-250 from the same company, as they make some great waste oil burners.
For garage needs that go up to 9,000 square feet, the CE-330 is the machine you will need that provides a lot of power, and more specifically 325,000 BTUs, allowing your garage to save a bunch of money every single month. Do not miss out on the money-saving potential of that waste oil you have.
For warehouses and commercial garages, you may have even bigger needs that could be provided by the CE-440 that allows upwards of 420,000 BTU, translating into a whole bunch of monthly savings once you get it installed rather than that traditional furnace your shop has been using.
In our previous example, we showed you which models would be appropriate given different garage sizes, and different heating requirements from the manufacturer, Clean Energy Heating Systems. However, reality is that they’re not the only ones around, and if you start looking around, you will see that another popular manufacturer out there includes Lanair.’Their models include the MX200, MX150, MX250 and L-110.
Should you DIY?
Chances are that if you have been looking around, you may have come across people and videos that have instructed you on how you could potentially go the DIY route and build your own, and that warrants a word of caution, since you are very quickly going down a path that could not just cost you a lot of money but could also end you up in a bunch of trouble, as well as put people’s lives at risk.
While you might initially think that you are handy and could easily put together such a furnace yourself, you are opening yourself up to a world of trouble by doing it this way, including not abiding by local regulations, which could mean you end up getting fined massively as a consequence, and you may also end up voiding any potential insurance coverage you have from doing so, since you are creating a fire hazards when these things aren’t made properly.
One thing is that the burning of such oil is very likely regulated where you live, likely by the EPA if you are living in the United States, or another federal entity if you are living in a different country, but the emissions of the burner may not live up to the cleanliness requirements if you are simply building your own, and the EPA strikes down rapidly when they figure out that the emissions from your garage aren’t within the legal limits set by the governing body.
If an accident happens with a unit you built yourself, you can also be certain that the insurance company will point to some small clause in the terms that you signed when you originally got insurance for your shop that may say something like engaging in illegal activity, or not taking reasonable caution in your operations, and suddenly you’re finding yourself without valid coverage in the case of an accident. The same is very likely to be the case if you were intending on building this furnace for your residential garage, also.
If you choose to build one yourself, you will also be required to actually be able to make any spare parts yourself, whereas if you are buying one from a reputable brand, spare parts will be available when you need them, saving you a bunch of hassle, as well as avoiding a lot of unnecessary risk, and securing the safety of your shop going forward.
Debunking some of the myths that we commonly get
With their potential for cost savings, it is no surprise that these machines are loved by small businesses, garages and other companies in general, but with their name and reputation also come a bunch of myths that we keep running into. Being a relatively new invention, there are still things that people are learning about them, including a lot of misinformation that is being shared, that may have in fact been true with regards to some of the previous models, although those have been addressed with newer models.
With these myths being nothing but myths, we want to make sure that you get all the necessary information before potentially avoiding these products due to their previous reputation.
They’re dirty and hard to clean
We understand it – you want to run a professional business, so of course you are worried about the potential for bad odors in your shop that would turn away or put off potential customers. The reality of the matter is that when you are getting a quality furnace, such as the ones listed on here, they’re not hard to clean or dirty.
I can’t use them without generating my own waste oil
Although the benefit may be the biggest for businesses that actually generate this waste oil themselves, there is also potential for savings for companies that aren’t generating this type of oil themselves, as you can buy it.
While it may seem like a big initial investment to put in, we hope that we have convinced you that they aren’t expensive – they may cost money, but this is money that will come back into your pocket through the savings you are getting.
We hope that this guide has given you a more comprehensive idea of what to look out for when you are buying a waste oil heater, and how you both make sure that you are doing safely, and saving your business as much money as possible. We strive to only partner with trustworthy companies on Atlantic Aspiration, no matter if you are looking to get a waste oil burner, an engine driven welder or something else!