What To Know About Your Home's Oil Heating System

Posted on: 8 April 2015

If you have recently purchased a home that uses oil for its heating system, you may have some questions about how it works or what it will cost you.  As the majority of new homes built use electricity or natural gas, you may be unfamiliar with how oil functions.

How Oil Heats Your Home

In an oil heating system, the oil is kept in a tank, where it is saved until your thermostat detects that the house is at a lower temperature than desired.  Oil is then pulled into a burner and converted into a gas, which is a fuel and air mixture. This gas then heats different elements, depending on your heating system. The heat is distributed to your home one of three ways:

  1. Warm air, distributed through vents
  2. Hot water, sent through baseboards
  3. Steam, distributed through radiators

How to Order Oil for Your Tank

Oil can be ordered by quantity, by your determined budget, or you can simply have your tank filled when you notice it is getting low.  It is recommended that you should refill the tank before you go below a quarter of a tank.  To know the size of your tank, it is ideal to have it initially filled from empty, if possible.

It is also recommended that you keep your oil tank mostly full, if not completely full, in the summer months, to avoid condensation on the inside of the tank. 

How Much Oil Will You Use?

As with any other resource, your oil usage largely depends on the size of your home, it's location, and other factors.  However, the average oil usage in the height of winter months (December through February) is about 100 gallons of oil per month. The remaining months of the year match the usage of these 3 months combined.

Care for Your Oil Heating System

While oil heating is safe to use, and as clean as any other heating system, it does have special needs to watch out for.  An ill-used or unused tank can leak oil into the soil or local water system.  To avoid this hazard, you should have your tank inspected both before the winter season, as well as at least once during.  If you have an unused oil tank, you should have it safely removed from the premises by professionals.

Some companies offer all services for your tank, such as pumping, cleaning, filling, and removal.  Other companies specialize in only one or two of these services.  To find the company that you need, you can contact Cash Oil or search in your local phone directory under "oil-waste" or "recycling," to have your tank cleaned, or "oil tanks," to have it filled or removed.