Autumn is almost upon us and many of us are starting to think about filling up our oil tanks and “digging in”, ready for the colder weather. If you’re a heating oil novice, or if you’re an old hand, you should know that now is the time to prepare your tank to get ready for winter.
If you look for and resolve any problems now, while the weather is still warm, you can relax as the temperatures drop, knowing that you’re unlikely to have to deal with a breakdown or a leak on the coldest day in December.
Here’s what to do.
Check the oil levels in your tank and make an early order
Once the cold sets in, a lot of people turn on their boilers for the first time. This leads to a sudden spike in the demand for oil, which not only pushes up prices, but also means delays and longer waits for deliveries to arrive. If the weather suddenly turns bad, deliveries may be held up even more – at the very worst possible time.
So, it makes perfect sense to schedule your emo.ie delivery over the summer, when prices are low and it doesn’t matter if you have to wait for a week or two. In fact, while you’re waiting, you can take care of some other things as well.
Get the boiler serviced
You’ll be using your boiler much less over the summer, so by the time winter rolls around, cranking it into action can put a strain on it. Summer’s the best time to get a service as you won’t need your heating and engineers will be more available because there’s always people who leave it to the last minute! Don’t be one of them.
Check the tank for damage
You should check your tank over regularly anyway, but summer is a good time because it’s no great shakes if you spot a problem and you need to get the engineer in. You should look for rust spots, cracks, bulges or other distortions in the tank, as well as damaged or insecure tank caps and filling inlets. These problems don’t go away, they get worse and can lead to boiler damage, so attend to them ASAP.
Look out for damage on the tank base and pipes
There’s no such thing as a harmless small crack – over time, especially in freezing weather, those tiny cracks will grow, making oil leaks much more likely. If your tank or your pipes aren’t safe, your delivery driver may even refuse to complete the delivery. Cracks and loose fittings are also vulnerable in high winds and heavy rain, so they need to be sorted out.
Cut back overgrown plants
As part of your winter prepping, you’ll no doubt be cutting back plants, so make sure you take care of the plants around the base of your oil tank. Any overgrown plants here should be removed as they can restrict engineer and delivery access, as well as cover up damage. You should also check that vents and bund areas aren’t blocked or clogged by falling leaves.
Lubricate the lock
Heating oil theft can happen at any time of the year and if you’re about to fill up for the winter, you need to make sure your lock works properly and won’t seize up. It’s a good idea to lubricate the lock and stay on the safe side.