Advantages to using an oil burner heater include the amount of heat it produces, the safety of burning oil and the cost of the furnace. Oil furnaces tend to cost less than gas furnaces as of 2015, and they have long life spans often ranging from 10 to 20 years.
When oil is in a liquid state, it doesn't burn. It burns at 140 degrees or higher, at which temperature it turns into a gas. A lit match dropped into oil goes out, while a lit match dropped into gas lights the gas on fire. Oil furnaces are also less a carbon monoxide hazard than gas furnaces, because oil furnaces release smoke or soot when something is wrong with the machine. Since gas furnaces don't have this visible indication of a problem, carbon monoxide can be released without the user realizing it. Oil furnaces heat areas efficiently and evenly, and oil produces more heat than gas.
There are four types of oil furnaces: horizontal, upflow, downflow and waste oil. Horizontal furnaces are wide and allow air in on one side. An upflow furnace takes air from the bottom of the furnace, heats it and pumps it through the top of the furnace. A downflow furnace does the opposite, taking air from the top of the furnace, heating it and pumping it through the bottom. Waste oil furnaces use recycled oil, which saves money. However, the oil needs to be filtered several times because of how dirty it is.