It's not a new idea to burn used motor oil for heat. But a local business has modified the old practice to more efficiently warm its building. Geoff Redick reports.
SCOTIA, N.Y. -- A used car dealership might not be the first place you look for innovation.
But Fogg's Automotive in Scotia, yes, the same business behind those "Buck Wild" and "Foggy Credit" television commercials is putting its innovative minds to work. Brothers and owners John and Chuck Fogg have put together a boiler system that runs entirely on used motor oil.
"The burning of waste oil has been around for awhile," said John Fogg on Tuesday. "The concept of using a boiler to burn it is relatively new."
John and Chuck stress, they're not the first ones to use the idea, but they did assemble much of the machinery and piping necessary to make it possible for their business. What makes the idea so convenient for Fogg's Automotive is the company's auto service department, which performs thousands of oil changes per year. The waste oil is stored in several on-site tanks, and is piped back into the building to be used for heat during cold winter months.
The boiler is specially-calibrated to burn used motor oil. It's advised that individuals should not attempt to heat their own homes with such oil, since most home models are not able to handle the contaminated oil.
But for Fogg's, it makes perfect sense. The boiler heats a water pipe system, which transports the hot water throughout Fogg's 28,000 square-foot facility, and heats it much like a giant stretched-out radiator.
"It's a very expensive project to do, but the return is very good. You make your money back rapidly," says John Fogg. "The savings is thousands of dollars."
The Federal Environmental Protection Agency encourages the burning of waste oil for heat, as it eliminates some of the transport of oil, and the chance for a spill or other hazard.