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It’s unmistakeable – the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is upon us. It’s always a pleasant time of year, with cooler daytimes and red leaves, but we all know that winter is not far behind and if you live in one of the 1.6 million UK households that use home heating oil, you’ll also know that it’s time to fill your tank.
We’re all familiar with the traditional boiler breakdown on the coldest day of the year so far – it’s a cliché, almost. This happens, however, because people don’t prepare their boiler for the sudden demands they’ll be putting on it when the mercury drops. If you use heating oil, you’ve also got the tank to think of. It’s not just about filling it, it’s about making sure there’s no cracks, no water in the system and some other checks.
Look at your oil levels and get that order in sharpish
The change in the seasons means that the demand for oil goes up, which means that the prices also rise. In some areas, winter weather makes it harder for deliveries to get to more remote areas, so the charges might also go up, or even worse, deliveries could be delayed for several days. If you want to avoid this sort of trouble and take advantage of the last few weeks of pre-winter prices, look here.
Get your boiler serviced
Summertime is really easy for your boiler and by the time autumn rolls around, it’s out of condition. As soon as temperatures start to drop, your boiler can come under a lot of strain, which means it could give out when you need it the most. Oil burners can build up soot over the course of a year so you need to give your boiler an overhaul before the busy season starts to avoid the most common problems.
Look over the tank for any damage
You can do this yourself – look for cracks, bulging, rusting or loose parts – and if you see anything untoward, call your technician. Don’t try to do it yourself.
Take a look at the tank base and the pipes to see if there’s any cracks. If the temperatures drop below zero, any cracks could widen and let water in or let oil out. Furthermore, if the structure isn’t sound, your supplier may refuse to deliver to you until the problems are resolved. It’s much more comfortable to deal with this in August than it is in November.
Cut back any plants that have grown over the tank
Plants that have grown to cover the tank base or the pipes must be removed because they can cause damage, or hide it, as well as make access for delivery drivers difficult. It’s also possible for vents to become blocked by fallen leaves.
Sort out your tank lock
Oil theft happens more over the winter, as is easy to imagine, so you need to check over your tank lock and any other security fittings and equipment. Lubricating your tank lock is also important so that it doesn’t seize up in very cold weather.
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