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    What happens when you run out of home heating oil?

    At this time of year when there seem to be a million other things happening, it’s not hard to see why people can forget about household chores – like who’s turn it is to sort out the home heating oil. If you forget to order home heating oil, there could be more implications for your home than simply feeling a bit cold and running out of hot water for your shower in the morning. If it happens to you, here’s what you can expect.

    Why does this happen?

    If your home heating oil has run out quicker than you expected, ask yourself these questions:

    • When was the last home heating oil top up?
    • Have you changed the frequency of your heating on your timer?
    • Have you increased the temperature on the thermostat?
    • Have you recently turned on some additional radiators in the house?
    • Is your oil tank secure, or have you been the victim of fuel theft?
    • Is the boiler working properly? When was the last time you had it serviced?

    What are the implications of running out of home heating oil?

    If you have identified the cause of the problem, there are other implications of running out of home heating oil, other than the obvious inconvenience of a cold house. Many people fear that running out will damage their boiler, however there is a safety mechanism built in to it so that it will switch off the burner if there is no oil to combust.

    It may however result in clogged filters and fuel lines. This is because the dirt and residue that collects at the bottom of your oil tank may become lodged in the lines, and it could require a heating engineer to call out and clean these, which is an additional expense for you which would be better avoided.

    After you have a heating oil top up, you many also have to reset the system. In addition, if your radiators have been off for a while, you may also need to bleed these and release any trapped air inside, to ensure they work most efficiently again.

    What can you do to prevent it in future?

    Prevention is better than cure as they say, so to avoid running out of home heating oil there are a few simple things you can do for added peace of mind:

    • Monitor your oil tank contents with an electronic tank gauge
    • Protect against theft. Get a secure tank lock and be aware of any reported fuel theft crimes in your neighbourhood.
    • Order your oil in plenty of time – don’t leave it until the last minute when bad weather and other external influences could delay delivery
    • Take advantage of our Planned Delivery Service – we can take the hassle out of remembering to order oil to ensure that you never run out again, because we’ll calculate your average daily usage and take into account factors like colder weather and deliver your oil to you automatically when you’re running low. Find out more about this service on our website.