Don't Leave Ordering Your Heating Oil until the Last Minute

Many people leave ordering their heating oil until they have either run out completely or at the bottom of the tank. There can be many reasons for this including:

  • They don't monitor levels in their tank and run out unexpectedly.
  • They don't have the funds or need to save up before they can order their next delivery.
  • Their heating oil is stolen.
  • Their heating oil tank experiences a leak.

Whatever the reason, running out of heating oil is a real pain and can mean no central heating or hot water (if you don’t have an immersion heater). Whilst this may be tolerable in the summer months when it is relatively warm, going without heating in the winter is not only uncomfortable, it can be dangerous if there are vulnerable people such as the elderly and very young in your family.

Running out of heating oil also presents the home owner with additional problems including:

  • You will end up paying more for an emergency delivery of heating oil and you can’t time your tank top up to coincide with times of the year when heating oil is cheaper.
  • You won’t be able to take advantage of any oil group buying saving schemes that you may be involved in as these tend to exclude emergency delivery and, in some cases, order their oil at specific times.
  • Running your tank down to empty or very low levels can cause sludge that builds up in the bottom of the tank to be disturbed when you have a delivery. This can then get into filters and cause your boiler to fail. This may need a heating engineer to then visit and repair the problem.
  • If you run out during the winter months you may find that demand on the heating oil suppliers is high and they may take some time to get to you with a delivery.
  • You may be able to order an emergency delivery but, if there is snow and ice at the time, the oil tanker may not be able to get to you.

How to avoid running out of heating oil.

Some simple steps and planning can help ensure you don’t run out of oil and find yourself shivering in the winter. They include:

  • Buying a heating oil monitor so that you can check your oil levels easily and even be alerted if they drop below certain levels. If you can’t afford a monitor then get into a routine of checking the level of the oil in the tank using the tank gauge or a dip stick.
  • Consider signing up to a heating oil payment plan so that you pay for your oil on a monthly basis in advance thus preventing cash flow problems when you do need to order.
  • Add additional security measures to reduce the risk of heating oil theft e.g. oil tank locks, CCTV, alarms and security lighting.
  • Buy your oil in the summer when prices are usually cheaper so that you know you have a full tank before the winter when your consumption will increase significantly.


This article was written by Kim Bardsley from - The UK's No.1 Heating Oil price comparison site.

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