How to Look After Your Heating Oil this Winter

If you use heating oil you’ll appreciate that, as it doesn’t come from the mains, you need to look after it so you’re snug all winter. You need to look after not only the tank, but the oil itself, and so here are some handy tips to help you maintain your precious supply.

Buy the best fuel you can afford

The most important tip is to get the best oil you can reasonably afford – use an oil distributor that follows widely-accepted codes of practice. You might think you’re getting a bargain, but if the oil you bought is poor quality, then you’ve just got yourself a false economy. You’re much safer buying home heating oil from or a similar dealer.

Secure your tank

Your tank must be secure and well-maintained to prevent theft and also wear and tear. Monitor your oil levels regularly, especially during the summer when you may forget about it – this is when thieves can strike because no-one’s watching! Install locks and alarms, and try to ensure that your tank is within view of your house.

Look after your tank

As well as checking your oil levels, you need to make sure there are no cracks or loose pipe joints, as these can lead to expensive and dangerous leaks. Not only do you lose your oil, but you could also damage the nearby environment, especially the aquatic environment.

If you do have a spill, contact the Environmental Protection Agency ASAP so it can be dealt with.

Use a bunded tank

A bunded tank is, essentially, a tank-within-a-tank. This means that if one of the tanks, even the inner one, springs a leak, the oil won’t escape. Your tank should also have gauges and alarms that will alert you if there’s a sudden drop in oil levels. You should also have your tank and boiler serviced at least once a year to make sure there are no problems developing.

Look after your heating oil

You might think of the oil as the dispensable, replaceable part of the equation, and while it’s true that the oil gets used up and has to be replaced eventually, it’s actually the most important component of your heating system!

You buy in your oil and expect it to last until spring, but the truth is that heat, moisture and time can cause your oil to degrade. You should either buy oil that already has additives in it, or think about adding them yourself. These additives contain lubricants, detergents and anti-oxidants to slow down the degradation processes and to clean the inner components of your tank and boiler, making operational problems less likely. Make sure you look out for sludge and water in the tank – two major causes of problems for oil tanks.

A final note is to make sure that your home is well-insulated. If you’re buying good quality oil, looking after it and maintaining your tank and boiler, it’d be a shame for all that heat to escape through the roof or through a leaky window.

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