Avoiding Heating Oil Runouts
The last thing you want to do in the middle of an Ontario winter is run out of heating oil – but it can happen pretty quickly if temperatures suddenly drop and you forget to check your fuel gauge.
The good news is that running out of home heating oil will probably not harm your furnace or boiler, since your equipment has built-in emergency measures that shut down the burner when there is no oil in the tank.
The bad news is that besides being at risk in a dangerously cold house, a heating oil runout can clog filters and fuel lines with the sediment that collects at the bottom of your oil tank, which means an out of pocket heating system repair for you. Frozen pipes are also a concern, with potential for thousands of dollars in flood damage.
If you run out of heating oil, do these three things as soon as possible:
- Take immediate steps to retain the heat you have in your house: close curtains, block under-door drafts, hang blankets over doorways, etc.
- If you have other forms of heating such as fireplace or electric heater, use them – but NEVER use outdoor equipment (barbecues, outdoor stoves, etc.) indoors – carbon monoxide build up can be extremely dangerous or even deadly.
- Contact us for an emergency delivery.
A little detective work could help you prevent a future heating oil runout, or could help you to solve a current problem with your heating system. Ask yourself the following questions to determine why you ran out of heating oil:
- When was the last time you filled your oil tank?
- Has there been a sudden shift in the weather?
- Did someone raise the thermostat?
- Is your furnace or boiler working correctly?
- Is your heating oil tank gauge working correctly?
- Is your oil tank accessible to theft?
- When was the last time you serviced your furnace or boiler?
Five ways to preventing a heating oil runout
When it comes to fuel runouts, prevention is always best. You can avoid running out of home heating oil if you:
- Choose automatic delivery – let us worry about managing your heating oil deliveries.
- Monitor your fuel gauge regularly, especially during a cold snap. Your tank gauge is a clear glass or plastic cube with a series of markings on the outside: F, ¾, ½, ¼. The numbers tell you how full the tank is, typically indicated by a red marker or float. If the float is at the bottom of the gauge or not visible, your tank is empty (or close to it).
- Order when your tank is no less than 25 percent full (sooner if it is really cold) – don’t wait until the last minute; instant deliveries are not always possible.
- Consider Installing an electronic tank gauge to monitor your heating oil level.
- Secure your oil tank to prevent theft.
If you run out of heating oil this fall or winter, don’t panic – contact Core Fuels. Our experts can restart your burner, take care of any problems that arise and refill your tank to keep your family safe and warm in your Ontario home.