Horsham

Oil tanks and things to consider

Oil tanks and things to consider

When buying a new Oil tank you need to ensure you are complying with the law, but you also need a tank that suits you and your home’s needs. Hopefully this information will help you inform you on things you should think about and ask when getting a quote.

  • Where should you put your tank?

  • What type of tank do you need?

  • Is there east access for you and your delivery driver?

  • What is the best way to install you tank in order to maintain your tank warranty and reduce fire risk?

  • What is the most efficient way to remove your old tank and pipe work?

Firstly, we recommend you get in touch with competent tank installer, like Abbey Boilers, for advice. An installer can advice you on how to comply with various legislation, and make sure the tank works to suit your needs. They will look for nearby watercourses, loose fitting manhole covers, boreholes, a high water table, wells or sensitive groundwater areas. This is because any of these features can affect your tank and may mean you will need a secondary containment around your tank in order to comply with the law. This can all help you save money and avoid illegal tank installations. The best way to find legitimate oil tank installers is check OFTEC to find your local certified installers.

Big Energy Saving Week: Households given fuel bill saving advice

Households across the United Kingdom are being encouraged to take steps to reduce their energy usage and save money on their fuel bills as part of a nationwide campaign.

Big Energy Saving Week (21st - 27th January), organised each year by Citizens Advice, aims to raise awareness of the simple steps we can all take to lower our energy bills through being more energy efficient.

OFTEC, which represents the oil heating industry, and the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS), the trade association for oil distributers, are official partners of Big Energy Saving Week and are encouraging oil households in the UK to think about their current energy consumption as well as offering money saving advice. 

Despite recent small increases in price, oil heated households in the UK continue to enjoy the cheapest fuel bills of all the main off-grid heating systems and are paying on average nearly £500 less than homes using LPG and over £800 less than those with electric storage heaters.

However, in the cold winter months, there are still ways households can reduce their spending costs even further, without having to turn down the heating.

As part of Big Energy Saving Week, OFTEC and FPS are urging households to consider:

  1. When was the last time I bled my radiator?

    • Bleeding your radiators will help to increase heating efficiency during cold weather.

  2. How old is my thermostat?

    • Many homes have a simple thermostat which sets one temperature for the whole house. Installing a more advanced system will enable you to set different temperatures for each room throughout the day and even control your heating remotely, saving money by only heating those you use.

  3. When was the last time I had my boiler serviced?

    • It is important that you service your boiler at least once a year, in particular during colder months and use an OFTEC (for oil and solid fuel) or GasSafe (for mains gas) registered technician. This will ensure it is working efficiently and help you avoid potential costly breakdowns.

  4. How much oil is left in the tank?

    • Make sure you check the level of oil in your tank on a regular basis as you may be using more in winter. We recommend that you plan in advance and tell your local FPS accredited heating oil supplier when you are running low; this will ensure you are prioritised by your supplier and that your tank is topped up in good time. If you are considering joining an oil buying group the FPS has a pros and cons guide which can be found at www.oilsave.org.uk

  5. Is my boiler the most efficient?

    • One out of three households still rely on an old, less efficient boiler. By purchasing a modern, condensing model you could potentially reduce your fuel bills by over 20%.

Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC commented: "Households in the UK who use heating oil to keep warm have been making huge savings on their fuel bills over the past year due to the low price of oil. Despite recent increases, we expect this trend to continue throughout 2019.

"However, many households, particularly in more rural parts of the UK live in older homes which are often less energy efficient. Whilst not everybody can afford upgrading to the latest boiler technology, we hope that by encouraging consumers to think about their heating efficiency and take a few simple steps, they can enjoy further savings on their heating bills this winter."

FPS Technical Manager Tony Brown adds: "The cost of energy is a worry for many households and this week-long campaign points out all the many positive steps people can take to better manage their energy and reduce costs, as well as receive all the help they’re entitled to when it comes to grants and benefits such as Winter Fuel Allowance.

"Alongside general advice for consumers, such as comparing the prices of various energy suppliers and turning the thermostat down by just one degree to make a big 10 percent saving, there is a wealth of support specifically for the 1.5million UK off-grid energy users."

Households in England and Wales are urged to check on vulnerable neighbours and relatives following cold festive season

Following the cold festive period, households in England and Wales are being reminded to regularly visit vulnerable relatives, neighbours and friends to check they are keeping warm and well.

The warning comes after 50,100 excess winter deaths were recorded in England and Wales  during 2017/18*.

Those living in rural parts of England and Wales are more likely to struggle to keep warm during the winter season because their houses tend to be older and less well insulated, making them harder to heat effectively.

People living within these households are often at greater risk of developing health problems, such as respiratory conditions, which are made worse by cold temperatures. 

In response OFTEC, which represents the oil heating industry, is encouraging people to regularly check on older relatives and friends to ensure they are taking care of themselves over the colder months.

OFTEC has shared five top tips on things to look out for which could potentially save a life, as part of a free 'Keeping warm this winter’ guide. 

  1. Ensure main rooms are heated to at least 21C with other commonly used rooms kept to at least 18C

  2. Make sure the heating comes on at the correct time and radiators are turned off in unused rooms. You may also want to adjust the heating timers to match the weather conditions

  3. Check that nothing is blocking radiators as this reduces effectiveness

  4. If you use heating oil make sure there is plenty of oil in the tank. If it needs topping up, use a firm which is a member of the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers

  5. Check the boiler has recently been serviced by an OFTEC (for oil or solid fuel) or GasSafe (for mains gas) registered technician who has checked it is working correctly and efficiently. If it does breakdown over winter, visit www.oftec.org.uk to find the nearest local registered technician


Malcolm Farrow from OFTEC, commented: "This time of year can be a real struggle for many people, especially following the expensive festive period.  As a result, some households resort to turning down their heating in an effort to save money.

"However, this puts people at greater risk of developing health complications, especially if they are older and more vulnerable. This is reflected in the large number of excess winter deaths seen in England and Wales over recent years.

"With a high number of older and vulnerable people living in rural areas , it is more important than ever that we look out for our relatives, friends and neighbours to check they are keeping warm and their heating system is working correctly. This could be a regular visit or phone call to make sure they are ok."

More information and advice can be found at www.oftec.org and the 'Keeping warm this winter guide can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/KeepingWarmThisWinter. 



*Excess Winter Mortality Data, ONS November 2018

Myths about your central heating

Myths about your central heating

Did you know you could save yourself £250 a year just by switching off your lights and heating when they’re not in use? Oftec have released a list of mysthbusting facts to help you save money this winter.

Safety Advice for Students Heading in to Rented Properties

Safety Advice for Students Heading in to Rented Properties

OFTEC has supplied some basic Gas and Oil safety guidelines to help protect students in their search for a rented property.

Is your heating system ready for round two with the ‘Beast from the East’?

Is your heating system ready for round two with the ‘Beast from the East’?

With what it is meant to be the coldest winter in a decade, OFTEC are issuing advice on how to make sure you and your family stay warm this winter, especially in oil heated homes.

Survey Reveals scary statistics on carbon monoxide poisoning

A Honeywell Carbon Monoxide Alarm. These should be fitted in every room with a fuel burning appliance e.g. boiler, woodburner, open fire etc.

A Honeywell Carbon Monoxide Alarm. These should be fitted in every room with a fuel burning appliance e.g. boiler, woodburner, open fire etc.

Experts are warning homeowners to be more vigilant for carbon monoxide poisoning after a survey shows that 2/3 of homes do not have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted, suggesting people are not taking the threat seriously enough.

Carbon monoxide poisoning kills more than 50 people and hospitalises more 40,000 each year, so as part of Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month, Oftec are promoting the installation of Co alarms in people’s homes.

CO is produced when carbon fuels don't burn properly and any type of heating system where combustion takes place can potentially give off the odourless, colourless gas. CO poisoning can result in severe long-term health problems, or even death, with younger and older people most at risk. Key symptoms to watch out for are tiredness, dizziness and headaches.

In support of the campaign, Abbey Boilers is promoting the simple ABC safety checklist which advises households of the key steps they should take to reduce the risk:

  • Alarm – purchase a CO alarm (usually around £20) for every room which has a fuel burning appliance e.g. boiler, woodburner, open fire etc. It is mandatory for private landlords to provide an alarm in rented properties with a solid fuel appliance

  • Batteries – regularly ensure all the alarms are functional by holding the 'test' button

  • Check – have your boiler serviced at least one a year by an OFTEC (for oil or solid fuel) or GasSafe (for mains gas) registered technician to check it is working correctly. Abbey Boilers has both Gas Safe and OFTEC registered engineers.


If the event of a CO alarm going off, the advice is to open the windows and leave the room immediately. You should then contact OFTEC or GasSafe and, if you experience any symptoms of CO poisoning, call 999.

Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC said: "Carbon monoxide poisoning can have a devastating impact on the lives of the people it affects so the lack of awareness is particularly worrying with many households still oblivious to the dangers. We wouldn't think twice about having smoke alarms installed and we should take the same approach with CO alarms.”


Get in touch with us at Abbey Boilers on 01403 275512 to ensure you and your family are safe and your heating system is running correctly.

Oftec Encourages Youths to Start a Career in the Heating Industry.

Recent studies show there has been a 27% decrease in the number of new apprenticeships started between August and October 2017 in comparison to the same period last year. Only 0.2% were in the heating industry. 

This drop in apprenticeships is in spite of the new government scheme to promote on the job training and a large number of jobs available in the sector for qualified engineers due to the lack of skilled technicians. 

With the rising costs of University and the increasing cost of living, apprenticeships are ever becoming a more viable option for further education and an easier transition into future employment. People are becoming aware of the benefits of hands-on training and experience in their chosen field. 

This year, as part of National Apprenticeship Week, local training centres were highlighting the opportunities an apprenticeship and then a consequent career in the heating industry can bring. The initiative aimed to help young people start various careers through apprenticeships. 

Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC, said: “The heating sector is a fantastic industry to be involved with, offering good career prospects in a variety of different roles. Apprenticeships provide real hands on experience and they are a great starting place for anyone looking to become a heating technician.

“OFTEC approved training centres work with many young people coming into the heating profession who have already completed an apprenticeship and provide additional industry-recognised qualifications for technicians to demonstrate their professionalism and competence.

“Although building standards and technology are always advancing, people will always need heating and hot water. There is no shortage of work out there – just not enough professionals to do it. Trusted and reliable OFTEC registered heating technicians are always in demand.”

If you are a qualified heating engineer and are looking to work for a busy and respectable heating firm them please get in touch with Abbey Boilers. Click here for contact details. 

Households could be missing out on significant fuel bill savings

Households could be missing out on significant fuel bill savings

Apr 4 2018 3:15 PM

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


Malcolm Farrow from OFTEC, said: “During the unusually cold weather many households will have ramped up the use of their heating systems and made significant adjustments to the controls to keep warm, especially if they spent more time at home due to the snow.

“It’s easy to forget about these changes and you might not even notice issues such as your heating coming on whilst you are asleep or out of the house. However, this oversight could be costing you quite a bit of money which is why we are reminding households of the benefits of making a few quick checks as part of a usual spring clean. 

“Boilers should also be serviced annually by a registered GasSafe or OFTEC technician to ensure maximum efficiency and realise cost savings. This is more important than ever following the extreme cold spell we have recently seen, where many of our registered technicians were called out to fix broken down boilers that hadn’t received a recent service. Having your boiler checked by a professional can identify potential issues before they happen and help avoid facing the same difficulties next winter.”

For more information and advice, visit www.oilsave.org.uk.



Malcolm Farrow

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.