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If you are considering moving home and are looking in a rural area, you may find that your new central heating system uses heating oil instead of gas. This can be quite daunting if you've never lived in a home that uses heating oil before so we've put together some frequently asked questions about heating oil and some tips and questions to consider before you buy or rent a home.
What type of heating oil do I need?
You should have oil boilers serviced annually by an OFTEC approved engineer. If you have an Aga that is used all year round, you may need this servicing more regularly and you should check with the manufacturer.
Is heating oil expensive?
Well it’s a lot more expensive than it used to be but, over recent years, the price hasn’t risen as much as gas and electricity prices. In fact, OFTEC announced on 17th February 2014 that an independent source of comparative UK domestic heating costs has found that heating oil is the only primary heating fuel that has dropped in price over the last three years. Their press release also stated that heating a three bedroom home with a condensing oil boiler averages £1275 per annum compared with gas at £1136. LPG, the other major off-grid fuel, is more expensive at £1923.
Heating oil prices do vary throughout the year with the winter season from October through to March generally being the most expensive time to buy. During the summer when demand is low, prices are usually lower.
What is a bunded oil tank?
A bunded tank is simply one that has a secondary containment system so that, in the event your tank is damaged, the leaking oil is contained. Often this takes the form of a second skin around the tank but it could also be a masonry or concrete enclosure. A bunded tank is not essential for all installations but it’s always a good idea to have one as the cost of cleaning up oil spills can be phenomenal.
Is there a minimum order quantity for heating oil?
Yes, in UK the minimum order quantity is 500 litres. So, you need to make sure you have enough space in your tank before you order. However, don't let your tank run dry as this can result in blocked filters and problems restarting your boiler if tank sludge gets into the system.