Used Oil Heaters

Disposal costs: $185 a month for 12 months

Heating costs: $450 a month for 5 months

Total annual costs without a used oil heater: $4,470

Operational costs of heater (maintenance, cleaning, electricity, etc.): $650 annually

Ave. cost per unit (installed): $6,700

ROI time frame: About 1-3/4 years

Average lifespan: 16 years

When considering the total cost of ownership for these pieces of equipment, you should also account for their efficiency, reliability and durability. Here are some things to consider in making your purchasing decision.

  • Pre-heating systems can hold oil at a precise temperature for more consistent operation. Automatically controlled metering pumps should deliver more consistent fuel volume. Both features will add to the unit price.
  • Similarly, combustion from on-board air compressors will add to the purchase price when compared to units that rely upon a shop-air connection. However, this type of design can also increase heater efficiency. Examining usage patterns, compressor output and air line condition can help show you the right route to take.
  • As is true for all shop equipment, some units will provide a lower list price in offering fewer bells and whistles. Depending on shop size and need, these lower-priced units can be very effective.
  • Maintenance, in terms of frequency and access to service points, will also affect operational efficiency. Some brands require more frequent maintenance, but others can go longer before needing the attention. The level of difficulty in performing this maintenance should be considered, as the hours that accumulate in servicing them can become a significant expense.
  • The warranty coverage of the unit's parts, and the machine as a whole, will vary, but they're worth comparing. These differences can impact your long-term return on investment.