We’re nearing the end of August, which makes it the perfect time to prepare for the forthcoming cold season. Did you know that, on average, two thirds of a property’s annual heating oil consumption occurs between October and March?
If you are one of approximately 4 million households that rely on off-grid fuel to warm your home, being prepared in advance of the cold snaps is essential.
Here’s a quick guide to getting prepared for winter 2019/2020.
Preparing your heating oil tank
- Fuel gauge – it’s important to monitor your fuel gauge. It’s likely that any sudden drops in fuel are due to leakage and therefore damage to your tank.
- Surrounding area – ensure that the area surrounding your domestic heating oil tank is in good condition and accessible for heating oil deliveries.
- Insulation blanket – you should consider installing an insulation blanket, which prevents separation in the fuel, especially if your home is in a particularly cold area.
- Tank damage – your tank should be carefully checked over for any damage including rust, cracks etc. Along with the tank, check the pipework and fittings. If your tank is showing signs of age it may be time to consider replacing it with new tank.
- Tank security – as the nights draw in it’s increasingly important to ensure your tank and it valuable contents are as secure as possible. There are tips on preventing heating oil theft here.
Click here for more information on how to look after your oil tank.
Service your boiler
- Look after your boiler – the last thing you want when it’s sub-zero temperatures outside is your boiler breaking down. There are many reasons why your oil boiler should be serviced regularly.
- ‘Competent Person’ – not only is it important to service your boiler, it’s important to have it serviced by the right person. Ensure you choose someone recognised by OFTEC as having the right qualifications.
Making sure your heating system and your AGA, if you have one, are ready for the winter in advance will mean you should have a stress-free winter season. For those in rural areas, especially older residents, being left without heat can be devastating, so advance planning can successfully reduce the risk of ill health caused by cold after a system failure.
Take advantage of quieter periods
- Switching on – many people start turning their heating on in October so it’s a natural consequence that distributors start getting busier around this time. Make sure you’ve topped up whilst it’s quieter.
- Adverse weather – it goes without saying that when autumn/winter arrives, so does colder, bleaker, harsher weather. It’s important to top up your oil tank while it’s easy to do so rather than waiting and risking the roads being inhabitable under several feet of snow!