Kerosene and gas oil: what’s the difference?

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If you’ve been browsing through the different heating oil products available on our website, you’ll probably have wondered what differentiates gas oil from kerosene and premium kerosene, and which appliances or heating systems will require each product. We don’t like the idea of any of our heating oil customers suffering from confusion over their domestic heating products, so we thought we’d explain in more detail the differences between the three products we have on offer.

Gas oil

Gas oil is a product widely used in agriculture and industry, although it still features in some domestic heating systems up and down the country. Gas oil is the ‘heaviest’ oil we sell, meaning that it is the closest to pure crude oil in our range. Also known as 32 second oil and red diesel, gas oil can be used as a vehicle fuel in some off-road and agricultural vehicles and is the least clean-burning of all of the fuels in our range, having similar characteristics to the diesel you put in your car.


Kerosene is the most common heating oil in use across the UK at this time, and is a lighter fuel than gas oil. Kerosene burns more cleanly than gas oil, and can also be used in range cookers like AGAs, Rayburns and Rangemasters. Kerosene heating oil users are often pleased to discover that it is thought to combust more easily and burn more efficiently than its gas oil counterpart.

Premium kerosene

As the name suggests, premium kerosene is our top-of-the-range heating oil, and can be used in all standard kerosene boilers.

Premium kerosene is a cleaner-burning fuel than both gas oil and regular kerosene, meaning that it produces fewer emissions than its rivals. As well as being more environmentally sound, premium kerosene contains additives designed to prolong the life of your boiler and its components, meaning that although it is more expensive to buy, it could save you money on maintenance in the long run.

Hopefully, our brief guide should have given you more of an insight into which heating oil product keeps your home cosy. Of course, different boilers require different fuels, so if you’re not sure whether you should be ordering gas oil or kerosene from us, check with the manufacturer first. Click here to see our full range of heating oil products, and be sure to get a quote on your home heating oil for the most competitive prices.