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What Happens When You Run Out of Heating Oil?

How to get your home heating back online after a heating oil run-out.

hating oil No one likes to have a boiler or furnace that won’t come on when there’s an unexpectedly cold night. At Needham Oil Complete Heating & Cooling, one of the first things we ask when a customer calls about an oil-fired heating system that won’t start is, “How much heating oil do you have?”

Simple as it may seem, an empty heating oil tank is often the cause of these issues. Here’s how you can check your heating fuel levels and what to do if your tank is dry.

How to check your heating oil tank level

Look at the top of your oil tank, and you will see a glass or plastic vial. That’s your tank gauge. It has markings similar to a car’s gas meter — F, ¾, ½ and ¼. Inside this vial is a colored float. Its position in the gauge will tell you how full your oil tank is. If the float is at or near the bottom of the vial (or you can’t see it at all), your tank is nearly or completely empty.

To minimize the risk of a run-out, please get in touch with us when your tank gauge is around the ¼ mark.

How should you respond to a heating oil run-out?

First and foremost, call the Needham Oil team for an emergency heating oil delivery. We’ll do everything we can to get someone to your house as quickly as possible.
When there’s a full oil run-out, we don’t just add fuel to your tank and leave. We also need to restart the oil burner on your furnace or boiler (and possibly your water heater, too). This process involves priming your burner, which bleeds the air out of the oil line and clears any sediment from the filter, nozzle and oil pump.

The good news is that, while it’s inconvenient for all concerned to arrange this emergency heating oil delivery and equipment service, a run-out is unlikely to cause significant lasting damage to your equipment.

How can you avoid a heating oil run-out?

As we’re entering a period of warmer weather in Wellesley Hills and throughout Eastern Massachusetts, the Needham Oil team strongly recommends refilling your heating oil tank now. This will prevent condensation from forming inside your tank in the spring and summer. Condensation can speed up internal corrosion and shorten your oil tank’s lifespan.

Filling your tank now also ensures you have ample fuel when outdoor temperatures drop again.

Of course, you can avoid run-out risks entirely by enrolling in our free automatic delivery schedule.

Automatic Heating Oil Delivery from Needham Oil

Our automatic heating oil delivery customers enjoy stress-free fuel service year-round. Our computerized system tracks your fuel consumption based on your customer profile and current weather patterns. Then, we arrange a heating oil delivery when we estimate you’ll need more fuel. This service is totally free and makes checking tank gauges, calling for deliveries and running out of fuel a thing of the past.

Get the heating oil delivery service your household deserves. Become a Needham Oil Complete Heating & Cooling customer today.