How Do I Keep My Home Heating Oil Usable This Winter?

With Winter fast approaching and forecasts of freezing temperatures ahead, the thought of heating dilemmas in your home can cause much unneeded stress and worry.  Frozen pipes can be a major headache for homeowners, but can our home heating oil freeze too?

The answer is no. Even in extreme temperature changes, your heating oil will not become a solid mass in your oil tank – it may just thicken into a gel-like consistency. However, this is unlikely to happen to your oil, as your oil tank will also protect it from the cold.

Despite knowing this doesn’t mean that you can’t run into problems with your home heating in the cold weather. Certa provide tips on keeping your home warm and your heating oil usable this winter. 

1. Insulate your pipes

We know that your home heating oil won’t freeze, but water can freeze very easily when the temperature plummets. So, if you see exposed pipes around your home, insulate them well to protect them from frost. If there is water in your fuel pipes, this can freeze and cause a blockage – often this is what makes people think that their home heating oil has frozen, as this blockage prevents the fuel from reaching your boiler.

To prevent this from happening, follow these simple steps:

  • Check that all your fittings and openings on the oil tank are secure and can’t let in rainwater
  • Always ensure your tank cover is replaced tightly after a home heating oil top up to prevent any water getting in
  • Buy insulating foam for your pipes from a DIY retailer and cut them to fit yourself. Over time they may deteriorate or become damaged so check them regularly to ensure they are offering your pipes adequate protection 

2. Use home heating oil additives

Using home heating additives in your tank this winter will offer lots of benefits to you. Adding just one bottle of home heating oil additives to your tank before you get a top up (they won’t mix as well if you do this after a top up) will help remove any water build up in the tank. Other benefits include improving the efficiency of your heating system and reducing any sludge or grime build up in your tank (especially useful if your oil tank is older).

Using a home heating oil treatment as a preventative measure can help ensure that your heating system produces ample heat and maintains its efficiency throughout the winter. 

3. Service or upgrade your boiler

Without having your boiler serviced recently, it could be working harder and using more fuel than is needed to heat your home. Like many items that are in regular use, it is important to have your boiler serviced regularly. No matter how much home heating oil you have left in your tank, it’s useless without a functioning boiler.

By booking an annual service, you can:

  • improve your boiler’s efficiency
  • replace any parts that they recommend to extend its working life
  • reduce the chance of expensive breakdowns or maintenance issues over winter

The last thing you want is for your oil-tank heating system to break down or suffer from reduced efficiency, just as temperatures are starting to drop and heating oil costs rise. Therefore, it’s essential to maintain both the system and the heating oil it burns. A few small changes are all it takes to ensure peace of mind when it comes to keeping your home toasty warm this Winter. 


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