How much heating oil do you use over summer?

When summer is in full swing, staying on top of your heating oil is probably the last job on your mind. But it’s a mistake to neglect your tank. Even if your heating is turned down on lots of days, you’ll still need hot water. And if you have an oil-fired cooker, you’ll need fuel in your tank to keep it running.

Lots of our customers prefer to spread the cost of heating oil by making smaller top-ups through the year rather than single refills. But over summer, when you’re not using as much heating oil, deciding when to top up can be more difficult. Here are some pointers to help you decide the right plan of action for your home.

1. Showers or baths? And how many a day?

For hot water alone, you should expect to get through around 100 litres of heating oil a month – that’s based on a three-person household having showers rather than baths, which use much more hot water.

If you all like to take two showers a day, then you’d use nearly double that amount (though not quite double, because you also need hot water for washing up and hand washing). Likewise, if there are six of you showering every day, you would also use double that amount of water.

2. How many people will be at home?

More people equals more hot showers, more washing up and more laundry to get through. If you’ve got children coming home from university or guests visiting for long weekends, you’ll need more heating oil for their arrival. Keep an eye on the calendar and check you have plenty of heating oil to cover their stay.

3. Is it better to top up regularly or let oil run low?

Generally speaking, it’s best to top up your heating oil regularly through summer. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, oil tanks can have sediment at the bottom and keeping your heating oil topped up prevents this running through your heating system and causing problems. Secondly, if you run out of heating oil, you may need an emergency top up, which can be expensive. Finally, summer oil prices tend to be lower than they are over winter, so it’s worthwhile making the most of them while they last.

4. Keep an eye on oil prices

Although oil prices are generally lower over summer, there can still be large price fluctuations. And when you’re filling a 1,500-litre tank, a few extra pence a litre can really add up.

Keeping an eye on fuel prices regularly will help you gauge when prices are low and allow you to act quickly when you spot the opportunity. Just bear in mind that you’ll need to order a minimum of 500 litres, so make sure there’s room in your tank for a top up.

5. Use this time to check over your tank

We recommend having an OFTEC professional to check your tank for any signs of wear and tear at least once a year. They’ll let you know of any issues so you can get them fixed before they affect your oil, which can result in having to drain your tank.

Summer is a good time to carry out tank maintenance. Poor winter weather can affect tank health, so it’s worth scheduling its annual health check for when the storms, rain and icy nights have passed.

We hope this quick read has prompted you to check your heating oil levels. Remember to check the calendar to make sure you have enough oil for any family and friends reunions on the horizon. If you need a top up, you know where we are.

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