As a heating oil user you’ll be well aware of how important it is to look after your fuel supplies. Unlike gas, which is supplied as and when you need it, heating oil must be delivered and then stored in a nearby tank – so protecting your heating oil is crucial if you want to stay warm all year round.
Luckily there are a number of ways you can protect your heating oil investment, whether it’s against leaks, theft or just general wear and tear over time:
1) Buy Quality Fuel
One of the first heating oil tips to follow, is to make sure you’re dealing with an oil distributor that abides by the FPS (Federation of Petroleum Suppliers) Code of Practice. It’s not much use taking the time to care for your heating oil, if the fuel you’ve purchased is of a poor quality.
2) Protect Your Tank
You should also check that your tank is as secure as possible, to prevent thefts. By monitoring your heating oil levels regularly, you will be able to report any crimes swiftly, particularly in summer when tanks are used less often and thieves are more likely to strike. There are also a variety of locks and alarm systems that heating oil users are encouraged to use, to reduce the likelihood of your tank being targeted. However, one of the easiest solutions for preventing heating oil theft is to position your tank in clear view of the house. That way, you can keep a close eye on your fuel supplies at all times.
3) Maintain Your Tank
As well as protecting your tank against theft, you should perform regular checks to ensure that your tank is well maintained. Look out for cracks and loose pipe fittings as these could lead to a potentially costly oil spillage. As well as the price of replacing your lost fuel, leaks can cause damage to nearby wildlife and water supplies, leading to an expensive clean-up operation.
NOTE: If you do suffer an oil spill, be sure to contact the Environment Agency immediately so that the oil can be dealt with as soon as possible.
4) Consider Bunded Tanks
Using a bunded tank also helps to prevent the likelihood of oil loss. Bunded tanks use a tank-within-a-tank approach, so even if your inner tank suffers a leak, the oil will not damage the surrounding environment. You should also check that any gauges and alarms are working effectively as these can alert you if a leak occurs. Ensuring that your tank is regularly serviced by an OFTEC-qualified technician is also a worthwhile investment, as it can help protect against spills and breakdowns.
5) Take Care of Your Heating Oil
Heating oil itself also requires some maintenance if it’s to remain in the best condition. Over time, moisture and heat can cause fuels to degrade. In order to slow this process, you should consider using an additive. Heating oil additives contain a mixture of chemicals that prevent oil from oxidising and reduces the likelihood of sludge developing in your tank. This leads to a more efficient burn and helps avoid operating problems. Getting a local OFTEC technician to check for the presence of sludge and water in your tank is another great way of looking after your heating oil supplies.
Most heating oil users, are not only concerned with protecting their fuel stores, but also getting the most out of them. In order to achieve this, consider improving your energy efficiency by making sure your home is well insulated and devices are turned off when not in use. By combining energy efficiency with effective protection of your heating oil, you can get the most from your fuel stores, without worrying about the threat of theft and oil spillages.