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Fuel Oil Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

What Happens When My Oil Tank Is Empty?

Posted: September 30, 2019

There are a handful of no-brainer tasks for maintaining your oil-fired heating equipment.

The first, of course, is to get professional annual maintenance every year – it will save you money on heating bills, prevent wear and tear on your equipment, and even keep heating repairs at bay.

The second, if you own a furnace rather than a boiler (if you have vents rather than baseboards or radiators, you do) is to check your air filter at least once a month, changing (or cleaning) it when needed. A clogged air filter will raise your heating bills, reduce airflow into your living space, and could even cause a furnace breakdown.

But there’s a third task that you may not have considered, even though it can have a big impact on the well-being of your heating system as a whole: Keep your heating oil tank at last half full at all times.

An empty (or mostly empty) heating oil tank will accumulate condensation (water) on its interior walls as temperatures shift between seasons (this is especially true, for obvious reasons, if your heating oil tank lives outdoors).

This condensation creates ideal conditions for bacteria growth, which will eventually turn your heating oil into line-clogging, efficiency-robbing sludge. Condensation will also eventually rot the bottom of your tank, since water is heavier than oil and will sink once it falls from the tank walls.

The takeaway here? Condensation build-up is bad, and inspecting and filling your tank with heating oil is the best way to prevent it. Schedule a heating oil delivery now and it could prevent problems down the road. It could save you money, too, since early fall is a “shoulder season” for heating oil prices; once the cold days and nights arrive later this year, demand for heating oil will rise – and so, usually, will heating oil prices.

Is your heating oil tank less than half full? Contact Black Bear today to schedule a heating oil delivery to your Sullivan County home.