The recent sub-zero temperatures that hit the UK (aka. that time we had snow in Devon, twice) have left quite a few people with much lower oil reserves than usual; ourselves included. Some (myself, embarrassingly, included in this) may have run out of oil completely due to the unusually high demands that the cold has placed on our homes. If you’re among the households that have run out of heating oil then there’s no need to panic; I’ve got some tips from Super Saver Oil for you. Starting with placing a next-day order with supersaveroil.ie, then taking these vital steps…
Go to local petrol stations to see if they have any kerosene
This is, litre for litre, much more expensive than a bulk order, but needs must when you’re dying for a shower or you have little ones to keep warm! You’ll be able to buy enough to keep you going for a few days – most oil suppliers have a big backlog when there’s bad weather and high demand so that next-day order might be more like a two or-three day order instead
Turn your boiler off if you know your tank is dry
If you suspect that you’re about to run out of oil then disable the boiler immediately so that there’s no risk of air being drawn into the inlet pipes. If, like me, you turned on your heating without knowing you were running on empty before proceeding to wonder exactly why the house wasn’t warming up, then shut off the system as soon as you realise. You’ll most likely need to have your boiler and your entire system bled if any air has got into it, because air pockets prevent the heated water from circulating around your radiators.
Your supplier can probably do this for you when they deliver and while they may charge for this, it’ll be cheaper than calling out a plumber. You shouldn’t try to turn your boiler on at all until the tank is filled up and the system has been bled. In addition to the risk of air entering the system, running out of oil can also lead to sludge getting into or blocking the fuel lines and filters. Ideally, you should never let your oil run down to less than 25% of your tank’s capacity to prevent the intake of sludge, but if you’re reading this, it may be too late this time!
Look for other ways to keep warm
The good news is that it’s spring and it’s getting warmer and we (hopefully) don’t need to worry about waking up to temperatures of -10C for another few months! It could still feel a bit chilly in your house though, so while you’re waiting for your fuel to arrive, there are a few other ways to keep warm. Think about minimising the number of rooms that you spend time in; you naturally create a warmer room when you’re in it just from your body heat so by shutting yourselves in the lounge or the kitchen for the majority of the time, you’ll find it becomes a little more bearable. Think about using your oven a bit more – no-one really needs an excuse to get baking, but here’s one anyway! Think of things you can bake, slow-cook or roast so that your oven is working more than it usually is. Batch-cook stews, cookies and even bread for the following week and leave your oven door open once finished so that some of the heat escapes. Cooking things on the hob will also help you warm up a space… even blow-drying your hair will!
Keep out draughts
There’s always one window or door that lets the cold in; usually your boiler is keeping you too toasty to worry about it. Now’s the time to sort it out, either with a draught excluder or some emergency masking tape over cracks. Shutting all of your doors and windows both internally and externally will help to retain any heat, plus doing a bit of DIY will help get your temperature up!!