Avoiding Heating Oil Runouts
Running out of home heating oil in the middle of a Maryland winter is no fun – but a quick turn of the weather here or a bout of forgetfulness there and you could end up in a no heat emergency.
The good news is that running out of home heating oil will probably not harm your furnace or boiler, since your equipment has an emergency switch that will automatically turn off the burner when there is no oil in the tank.
Then, there’s the bad news: besides the discomfort and potential risks of being 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. That means you will need a heating system service call, a possible system reset, and a new filter. Frozen pipes are also a major concern, with potential for thousands of dollars in flood damage.
What to do if you run out of heating oil
- If it is winter, 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. NEVER use outdoor equipment (barbecues, outdoor stoves, etc.) indoors – carbon monoxide build up can be extremely dangerous or even deadly.
- Contact us ASAP for an emergency delivery.
Questions to ask if you run out of heating oil
If you’ve run out of heating oil, do a little detective work – it could help you prevent the problem in the future. Ask yourself the following questions to determine why:
- 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?
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.
- 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.
- Install 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 Carroll Home Services. Our experts can restart your burner, take care of any problems that arise and refill your tank to keep your family safe and warm at home.