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Home Heating Oil Additives and Grades: What’s the Difference?

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Just as with the different octane ratings of the gas you put in your car, the different grades of heating oil come down to a standard of measurement of performance. Premium gas, having higher octane, provides more efficiency during combustion and better fuel economy, and is better for your car’s engine since it keeps it cleaner. The same is true for the fuel oil you buy for your home.

Generally, there are three different grades of heating oil:

  1. The first grade, commonly known as home heating fuel, is used for residential purposes. This is formulated in the refining process, during which raw crude oil is heated and then condenses.
  2. The second grade is the least expensive but also the dirtiest, resulting in the need for more frequent maintenance and cleaning of your furnace and heating system. This grade has the highest amount of pollutants and sulfur.
  3. The third, an intermediary grade heating oil, is a blend of high- and low-grade oils. This type is typically used for industrial and commercial purposes.


There are also differences among the common home heating oil additives.

  • Water Controller – Oil tanks can have water condensation. A water controller controls the excess amount of condensation in the oil tank.
  • Stabilizer ­­– Stabilizes fuel oil from outside environmental factors such as temperature and humidity.
  • Line and Oil Gun Cleaners – These additives clean the fuel delivery line that feeds burners as well as sludge build-up that develops at the bottom of the tank over time.
  • Biocides – Treats and diminished microbial growth in the tank.

These additives improve the tank’s combustion efficiency and the life span of your equipment—just as a higher-octane gas does for your vehicle.

Homestead’s Home Heating Oil Additives

Homestead uses TES-3400 Additive. TES-3400 increases burner efficiency and economy, while cutting down on fuel-related issues. It is designed to improve a wide variety of performance properties and contains antioxidants to increase oil stability, reduce the risk of water-related corrosion in your oil tank, and extend the life of your heating equipment.

So what else can you do to maximize the performance of your home heating equipment? We recommend opting for automatic oil delivery—this helps you avoid running out of oil and having to call for delivery outside of standard hours.

Homestead is currently offering 25¢ OFF per gallon, on the first 500 gallons, for new automatic oil delivery customers. Call today to take advantage.