If you recently moved into a home with oil heat, you likely have quite a few questions if it's your first time using this type of fuel. Fortunately, oil is a safe and effective way to heat your home, so you don't need to worry about the safety of your family. The following Q & A can further help answer any other concerns you may have.
When should you call for a delivery?
Answer: This in part depends upon your oil provider. Many providers offer different service plans at different price points. For example, you may opt to sign up for a monthly top-off service, which means your oil will be automatically delivered monthly during the heating season. This often at a pre-set price. Alternatively, you may opt to schedule refills as you need them. As a general rule, order a refill before the tank drops to a quarter full. Filling an empty tank can disturb sludge at the bottom, which can clog your furnace lines.
Are there emergency options if you run out of oil?
Answer: Yes. An oil provider, such as Olympic Energy LLC, may be able to schedule an emergency delivery after hours, although there will be an extra fee associated with this service. Another option is to purchase a few gallons of diesel fuel at the gas station, if you know where the fill pipe for your oil tank is located. Home heating oil and diesel for cars is the same fuel. The only difference is the price and color, since they are dyed to tell them apart from each other for road taxation purposes.
Is it necessary to be home during oil delivery?
Answer: This depends. If your tank is located inside, such as in the basement, you will need to be home to grant access unless there is a fill valve located outside the home. Fortunately, most homes have outside fill valves. It also depends upon your payment agreement. If you have agreed to pay upon delivery, you will need to be home. Otherwise, you will be billed for your fill. Generally, it is a good idea to be home for the first fill-up of the season in case the delivery driver runs into any problems.
Do you leave the oil in the tank at the end of the heating season?
Answer: Ending the heating season with a reserve of oil in the tank is best, since you don't want an empty tank over summer. This is because an empty tank is more likely to clog furnace fuel lines with sludge when you refill in fall. At the end of the heating season, simply shut down your furnace and replace the filters so it is ready for next fall. You can schedule a tune-up with an HVAC professional, too, for more peace of mind.