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Why You Should Always Keep Some Heating Oil in Your Tank

Hands over radiator

You probably haven’t thought much about your heating oil tank this summer – but there’s at least two things you should do sooner than later to make sure it doesn’t create a problem for you in the months ahead.

The first and most obvious of these things is to have your tank inspected before heating season begins (you can do it as part of your annual heating system preventive maintenance); the second is to keep your heating oil tank at least half full.

Why is it important to keep heating oil in your tank? The simple answer is that heating oil tanks and water don’t mix – and a tank that contains more air than fuel will accumulate condensation (water) on its interior walls quickly as temperatures change from season to season.

This condensation creates two big problems for your heating oil tank: first, it creates a perfect environment for growing bacteria in your fuel, which will eventually transform your heating oil into a thick sludge that will jam your fuel lines and rob your system of efficiency. Second, accumulated moisture will eventually sink to the bottom of your tank (since water is heavier than oil) and corrode it from the inside out – a problem you won’t see coming until it’s too late.

The bottom line: Condensation is the natural enemy of your heating oil tank – and keeping your tank at least half full can help prevent it. Top off your tank now and it could prevent problems down the road. It could save you money, too, since pre-season heating oil prices are often lower than in-season prices, when heating oil demand and market prices are highest.

Need an offseason heating oil delivery to top off your tank, or a heating oil tank inspection to start off the heating season on the right foot? We can help! Contact Needham Oil & Air today for more information, or to schedule your delivery or service.