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The best ways to save money on heating oil

Closeup of man filling a bunded oil tank with domestic heating oil

Oil prices skyrocketed towards the end of 2021, sparking a fuel crisis with people panic-buying petrol. It threatened to grind the country to a halt but, fortunately, the worst seems to be behind us. However, the legacy of that crisis is the sustained increase in oil prices which began in September 2021.

Thanks to this price hike, using heating oil sparingly and efficiently has become more necessary than ever. That’s why we have put together this useful guide showcasing the best ways to save money on buying and using heating oil.

How to buy heating oil effectively

Owning a heating oil tank changes your habits and checking the price of oil becomes second nature. You may have noticed that the price of oil follows trends throughout the year.

Generally speaking, the price of oil is at its peak during the winter months as people are using it to heat their homes. In the summer, the price of oil can drop considerably and buying it then for the rest of the year will save you money. You may find its availability limited in the summer, however, but buying your heating oil no later than early autumn will still be cheaper than in the middle of winter.

Also, it’s common for the quantity of oil you buy to affect the price you pay. Buying heating oil in larger quantities typically yields a better per litre price than in smaller volumes. As long as the tank is maintained, heating oil generally lasts between 18 and 24 months so it’s perfectly safe to store it up in advance.

Avoiding direct debit

Direct debits generally save us money but using them for your heating oil can be a bad idea. Heating oil direct debits charge you a monthly fee based on estimated usage figures. This could mean you are paying for substantially more fuel than you are using.

With the price per litre of kerosene reaching over 60 pence in October 2021, adding extra through incorrect direct debit estimates quickly adds up. Paying by direct debit may also lock you into a contract, forcing you to pay the same price for oil when it may be cheaper from another provider.

Regular servicing

To compare your heating system to a car, the longer you leave it without a service, the less efficiently it’s going to run. Ensure to undertake repairs and maintenance of not just your oil tank but your boiler too. Annual boiler services remove sludge deposits that can clog your system, increasing heating costs and reducing heating efficiency.

If your boiler is well past its best, investing in a modern and better model is the way to go. Modern boilers are more energy-efficient and fail less often than old ones. They save you money on bills and reduce the repair costs keeping a rickety old boiler up and running.

You may also consider using premium heating oil, which improves performance and can reduce heating bills by as much as 10%. Premium heating oils are treated with special additives which burn cleaner and more efficiently. Using premium heating oil not only reduces your annual bill but can also prolong the life of your heating system.

Conserving heating oil with your thermostat

It’s possible to reduce your heating bill by 10% just by turning down the thermostat by one degree. Thermostats are a common source of inefficiency in a heating system as they can often be inaccurate.

You may be using more oil than you need if your thermostat is giving you an incorrect measurement. A heating engineer can check the accuracy of your thermostat and keep everything working in sync.

Insulate your home

We need heating systems throughout the winter for warmth and comfort. Unfortunately, inadequate insulation in many people’s homes allows much of the generated heat from radiators to escape.

Heating up your home only to allow that warm air to escape is costly and requires even more energy to keep the temperature up. Simply put, the less energy you need to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home, the less heating oil you have to use.

You can start small by excluding draughts from windows and doors relatively easily. In most cases, it’s a simple DIY project to draught-proof your home.

Insulating walls, floors and ceilings require more time and investment but are where the majority of heat escapes from your home. Adequate wall cavity insulation can retain up to 35% more heat in your home, which is a significant area for saving money on heating oil.

Oil tank installations

Saving money on heating oil begins with installing the right oil tank. Here at SG Tanks, we provide expert oil tank installation and repairs thanks to over 20 years in the industry. We can remove your old oil tank and replace it with high-quality steel and plastic oil tanks. For help with your oil tank enquiries, get in touch today.

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