Boiler efficiency

Households could be missing out on significant fuel bill savings

Households could be missing out on significant fuel bill savings

With the warm weather hopefully on its way, households are being urged to ‘spring clean’ their heating system to avoid missing out on significant savings.

The recent ‘Beast from the East’ double storm emphasised the importance of keeping your heating system in tip top shape. Now the weather has started to settle down, it’s a good time to check everything is working efficiently to ensure you make the most of the savings on your fuel bills during the warmer months.

In response OFTEC, which represents the oil heating industry, has issued a spring cleaning checklist to help people cut energy costs over the warmer months:

  1. Adjust your heating timers. Check the heating is coming on at the correct time, especially if you changed the ‘On/Off’ times to heat your home for longer during the cold weather.

  2. Turn off individual radiators. Ensure you aren’t wasting money heating rooms you aren’t using. Also check the radiator temperatures in your main rooms if these were set higher during the cold weather.

  3. Make sure you have enough heating oil. You may have used more oil than usual during the prolonged cold snap. Check how much you have left and top up early to avoid any emergency deliveries. We recommend you use an FPS fuel supplier.

  4. Have your boiler serviced. The sub-zero temperatures this winter mean that your boiler and heating system will have been working very hard. Have the system checked over by a GasSafe (for mains gas) or OFTEC (for oil) registered technician who will ensure it is working correctly and to maximum efficiency. Abbey Boilers do LPG, Gas and Oil annual services

10 Things to Know About Oil Tanks

If you find yourself moving into a new property with a heating oil tank or you just want to recap on what's good practice for your oil tank, our top tips are sure to help. 

1.  Understand you tank

If you have recently moved into a property with an oil powered central heating system, examine your tank, find the sight gauge, find the filter and learn where the cut off valve is, in case of an emergency.

2. Check your tank regularly. 

Oftec (the Oil Firing Technical Association) recommend you look over your tank weekly. Look for any cracks, scratches, bulges or rust, which may allow the fuel to leak. 

3. Replacing your tank

Oftec suggests that the lifespan of the average oil tank is 20 years. This number can fluctuate depending on the amount of maintenance the tank has received.

4. Tank and Oil Insurance

A lot of household insurance policies do not include your heating oil tank. The environmental agency recommends you take out another insurance policy that covers your tank for any loss of oil, any expensive environmental cleanups and the cost of cleaning your own and any neighbouring properties. 

5. Getting to your tank

It is important that your Heating Oil delivery driver and your heating engineer are able to access your tank for inspections, deliveries and maintenance. 

6. Protecting your tank and oil. 

Although not common, oil theft does happen, especially in more rural, isolated, properties. Although it is important for tradesmen to have easy access to your tank,  it is also important that the tank is not obvious to everyone else. You can limit the chance of theft by shielding your tank form the road, installing a security light or alarm and regularly monitoring your oil usage. 

7. Checking your oil levels

Running out of oil is an easy but problematic and expensive thing to do. Running out of oil means you will require an emergency fuel delivery and possibly an oil technician to re-start your heating system.  

8. Leaking tank

Heating oil is toxic and dangerous for the environment and wildlife. If your tank does leak, try to limit the damage as much as possible by; trying to stop the leak, placing a bucket or something similar down to catch the leak and phone Abbey Boilers on 01403 275512  

9. Water in your tank. 

Condensation and leaks can happen in your tank. This causes a buildup of water. Water can contaminate the fuel in your tank and cause problems with your central heating, boiler, or Aga. Our annual service includes a tank check. If water is found by our engineer, it can be easily removed and save you a whole world of trouble. 

10. Service your boiler and tank annually. 

An annual oil service at Abbey Boilers costs £72. Here at Abbey Boilers, we follow the recommended guidelines set out by OFTEC and suggest your oil heating system is serviced once a year. At the inspection, our engineer will check your oil boiler, in addition to your tank, your supply pipes and your filters. For the reasons, you should get an annual service, click here. 

All Things Oil Tanks

Below, is a brief guide to oil tanks. From price to size to oil regulations Abbey Boilers has the experience and the expertise to answer all your questions. 

The tanks themselves:

Oil tanks can be installed inside, outside, or underground. Heating oil tanks are made of fabricated steel or plastic. Both of which can be integrally bunded (tank has two layers)  or single skinned. Integrally bunded tanks are made of one tank inside another. The outside one housing the main tank's fittings and vents. This type of tank tends to offer better protection than the single skinned tanks because there is more room between the two layers to prevent oil leaking externally. 

The essentials:

Most single skinned tanks need to have a bund built around them for protection. However, the necessity of this is dependent on where you live and the position of your tank. The bund is designed to hold up to 110% of your tank's contents in order to avoid spillages. 

Checking your tank:

OFTEC (the Oil Firing Technical Association) recommend you look over your tank weekly, for any cracks, bulges or rust, which may allow fuel to leak and damage the surrounding environment. 

Nonetheless, it is also important to get a qualified oil engineer to inspect your tank annually. Abbey Boilers inspects your oil tank as part of your annual service for just £72.  It is also recommended to do this if you have recently moved into a new property with an oil tank. 

Furthermore, steel tanks have an oil-resistant coating. this coating needs maintaining in order to prolong the life of the tank. It is best to check with the manufacturers to find out what kind of maintenance your tank needs besides its annual service.  

Buying your oil tank:

It is essential for your safety and the safety of the wildlife and the environment that you get an oil tank that is OFTEC approved and fitted by an OFTEC registered engineer. 

Abbey Boilers both supplies and fits oil tanks. Click here to contact us for more information about the type of tank you should have and where it should be placed in order to meet oil tank regulations. 

Tanks vary in size depending on your requirements. They can hold between 1,000 to over 3,500 litres (although the larger tanks tend to be for commercial use). The prices of the tanks generally vary between £500 to £2000.