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How Do I Keep from Running out of Heating Oil?

Running out of heating oil

One of the bigger hassles any homeowner has during heating season is keeping track of how much heating oil they have in their tank, especially once things start to get busy come back-to-school and holiday time.

Unfortunately, those periods of brief chaos correspond with times when cool fall and cold winter weather arrive here in the Finger Lakes – times when your need for heating oil (and most likely your use of it) will grow quickly.

Sometimes too quickly.

It’s happened to the best of us at one time or another: anything from an unseen heating oil tank leak to simple absentmindedness can contribute to leaving even the most responsible homeowner on the wrong end of a no-heat emergency.

Whatever the cause, running out of heating oil is not a fun experience, and it could end up being worse than that: for one thing, heating oil prices are usually higher during heating season, so you’ll pay more to heat your home if you fill up at the height of a cold snap rather thank during the offseason (like now, for instance). You’ll also have to pay a premium for an emergency heating oil service and delivery rather than a simple fill-up.

In an oil-fired heating system, a fuel run-out could also lead to other complications as dredged-up sludge from the bottom of your heating oil tank clogs filters and narrows passages throughout your heating system.

The bottom line here is that it’s an excellent idea to avoid running out of heating oil. The question is, how do you do that?

Here are four suggestions:

  • Fuel up before the cold arrives. Avoid the temptation to wait until the first cold snap to order your heating oil – you may burn through your fuel more quickly than you think, putting yourself at risk for a run-out. Get a jump on your fall heating oil deliveries by placing your order today.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to order. Waiting until the last minute for a delivery –especially in cold weather – is a recipe for a no-heat emergency. Be proactive: order your fuel when your tank is no less than one-quarter full (ideally a little before then).
  • Use Automatic Delivery. When you sign up for Ehrhart’s automatic heating oil delivery, you won’t have to worry about running out of fuel. In fact, you don’t really have to do a thing except pay your bill – our automated system will estimate (with high accuracy) when you need a refill based on your past usage and the current weather. When your tank is nearing one-quarter full, you’ll be contacted directly to schedule a heating oil delivery.
  • Keep your heating equipment properly maintained. Regular, professional heating maintenance will help keep your furnace or boiler running at peak efficiency, which means your equipment will sip rather than gulp down fuel. Professional service will also help spot leaks, performance drop-offs, and other problems before that could lead to bigger problems down the road.

Stay on top of fuel management this fall with FREE automatic heating oil delivery from Ehrhart, plus preventive maintenance from our expert heating system technicians! Contact us today to learn more.