If you are new to using home heating oil as your source of heat, then it is a good idea to learn a few things about what to prepare when you are anticipating a fuel delivery. This keeps your delivery safe and on time. Below, you will find some of the most basic tasks that you should do before a delivery. However, it must be noted that all companies are different and may have other requirements that they will disclose to you when you place an order.
Allow For Enough Time
In the fall season, there is not too much preparation behind a fuel delivery. However, when it is winter and there is two feet of snow on the ground, then a fuel delivery requires a little more effort. First and foremost, this cold time of year requires that you keep your tank relatively full. Also, this is the busiest time of year for fuel oil delivery companies and so, when you make an order, you need to allow for enough time. You certainly don’t want to run out of fuel oil while waiting for a delivery. The general rule is that you should call for an order when your tank is about 30% full. This way, you will receive your order long before the threat if running out of oil.
Clear Away Any Leaves And Vegetation
When a heating oil delivery takes place in the winter, then working in the snow is difficult enough. The fall leaves are gorgeous but, they become a hindrance to work around when they are left on the ground. Untrimmed vegetation or shrubbery is also difficult to work around. This is especially true when it is located around the drain pipe, the gate, or even the path to access your drain pipe. Therefore, be sure to clear any leaves or trim any vegetation in order to help your oil delivery men. Furthermore, make sure that you make sure that your drainpipe is clear. The heating oil’s vent pipe is a place where bugs and insects like to burrow to form nests during the summer season. Make sure that this is clear for your delivery driver.
Home And Drain Pipe: Make Them Visible & Accessible
As the fall turns into winter, many areas start to experience white, fluffy snowfall. As beautiful as this may be, a heating oil delivery driver has to trudge through snow in order to access your drainpipe. Make sure that your drainpipe is accessible and visible to them so that they don’t have to go in search of it. This is easily done by placing a marker on it. Also, the snowfall can make the homes in a neighborhood look similar. Be sure to make the street number of your home visible. This will make it easier for the delivery driver to find your house.
Also, one aspect that homeowners often forget is that they should shovel the snow when expecting a delivery. Shovel the snow in your driveway if the delivery drivers have to pull in and clear a footpath to your drainpipe so that it is easily accessible. This ensures the safety of your delivery men. The heating oil hose is exceptionally heavy and pulling the hose is challenging enough. No need to add more challenges to a situation that is already physically demanding.
Don’t Forget About The Gate
If your home has a fence or a gate, make sure it is unlocked ahead of your heating oil delivery. If it is not, your delivery driver will not be able to access your pipe. This will save you a headache later and make the whole process go a lot smoother!
Make Yourself Available
Sometimes your heating oil delivery driver will need to get a hold of you. Although rare, there could be an emergency or a situation that requires your attention. Make sure that you have your phone accessible on the day of your delivery. Give the heating oil delivery company the best possible method to get a hold of you. Typically, a cell phone is best. Even if your delivery goes as planned, some delivery drivers like to inform the homeowner of the completion of the job.
By following the above tips, you can make your heating oil delivery a good experience. Furthermore, you can help your delivery driver by making sure they are safe when they are at your home. Too many accidents that happen during a heating oil delivery occur during the winter and, interestingly enough, they usually are preventable. Even simple acts such as shoveling your driveway and sidewalk go a long way in keeping drivers safe.
Some Common Questions
Below we have listed a lot of common questions that homeowners just like you have asked in the past. We bring this information to you because we feel that you as a consumer should be educated so you’re always getting the best prices and services on the market! If you still have more questions after reading this article, you should contact your home heating oil provider right away. These answers are generic and certain circumstances and situations may change the answer to some of these questions.
What Happens if My Tank Runs Out Before Delivery?
If your oil tank runs empty before you get the chance to have some heating oil delivered to your home, there are several steps you must complete to restart your furnace to ensure it’s operating safely. If you’re still unsure about what to do after reading this article, consult your heating delivery technician.
Typically the process is very simple as most modern furnaces have a reset button built in for ease of use. However if simply pressing this button does not work you should follow these steps:
The first step in restarting your furnace in the event that the reset button does not work is turning it off. This ensures that you will be able to safely manipulate components inside the furnace without harming yourself.
Next, you’ll want to ensure you have all the tools required for the job. Luckily, most furnaces do not require any sort of advanced tools, so you should have what you need. First, you’ll need an adjustable wrench or Allen key depending on what your bleeder valve uses. You’ll also need about a foot of 1/4-inch nylon tubing. Most importantly, you’ll need an old bucket to catch the oil that comes out of your system. If you’re concerned about the oil splashing, put a layer of sawdust or cat litter at the bottom of your bucket. If you would like to reuse the fuel you bleed out of your system, you may want to consider using a large bottle of some kind. Make sure this bottle is clean, and don’t put anything else in it. If you bleed the system and sludge comes out, do not put this back in the system. Finally, you’ll probably want to bring an old towel or rag to wipe your hands off.
After you have all your tools gathered, the first thing you need to do is locate the bleeder valve on your furnace. These are typically located on the side of the fuel pump. The fuel pump is easy to identify as it has tubes coming out of it. The bleeder valve is usually either a hex nut or a rubber plug. Whichever your furnace has, you need to loosen it slightly.
Now what you’ll want to do is slide one end of the nylon tubing over the nut and place the other end in your bucket or container. Remember to prepare for the possibility of oil splashes.
Should I Speak To My Oil Deliverer About Scheduling?
In most cases, the oil truck drivers are not responsible for scheduling oil deliveries, but in some cases, speaking to the oil delivery driver may be the quickest way for you to schedule your next home heating oil delivery. There are many other ways you can go about doing this. The easiest of which is becoming an automatic customer for an oil delivery company. This means that as soon as you start running low on oil, your oil provider will come out and refill your tank so you never have to worry about it! Of course, if you don’t use a lot of heating oil through the winter seasons, this may not be the best option for you. In many cases, homeowners choose to remain as what’s known as “on demand” customers. This means they only receive oil when they call an oil provider. The main disadvantage of this option is you’ll always be paying full price for home heating oil whereas automatic customers will sometimes benefit from discounted oil prices. Talk to your home heating oil provider today about your heating oil delivery options to see if you could be saving money today!
Can My Home Heating Oil Delivery Driver Perform Service?
If you’re experiencing problems with your home heating system, you most likely need the help of a professional to diagnose it and help you figure out what’s wrong. Oil delivery drivers are typically very familiar with home heating systems so while they may not have the tools to fix the problem with them, they may be able to diagnose the problem on the spot and recommend an HVAC repair team that will get the job done fast, and for a price you’ll be happy with. Sometimes as an automatic delivery customer you’ll benefit from perks such as discounts on maintenance and repair services from your fuel oil provider. In any case, it can’t hurt to ask your oil delivery driver to take a look at your home heating system.
What’s the Difference Between Heating Oil and Kerosene?
Though both similar, heating oil and kerosene have very different uses and refining processes. Heating oil is a diesel fuel that’s used to heat homes. Though it is diesel (like the stuff used in trucks) it is not legal to be used in vehicles as no road tax was paid on it. Heating oil is distinguished from other diesel fuels by the red dye that’s put in it during manufacturing. Kerosene is similar in composition but is a much more efficient fuel type. This is due to the refining process kerosene goes through.
How Often Should My Tank Be Getting Filled?
If it seems like you’re constantly getting your oil tank refilled, it may be because of a variety of factors. For one, you may have a small heating tank. If you combine this with heavy heat usage in the winter, then you may be running out of fuel very quickly. In addition, if your home is not well insulated, your system may be under a lot of stress and not running efficiently.
If you have a question about how much your heating oil tank is being filled, contact your heating oil provider today. They can most likely provide you detailed information regarding your heating oil consumption and may offer suggestions on how to maximize your energy usage and cut down on your monthly heating bill.
How to Minimize Your Monthly Heating Bill
There is a multitude of ways in which you can minimize the amount you’re spending month to month on heating costs and still remain comfortable all winter long! In this article, we’ll try to explain some of the more common methods that homeowners just like you use to save money on their heating bill.
- Lower Your Thermostat- While this may be the most obvious of the answers, it is still one of the most effective. Lowering your thermostat a couple of degrees can have a big impact on the amount of heating oil you’re using throughout the month. Even if the change in the bill doesn’t seem substantial, when you add up your savings from month to month, it’s easy to see how lowering your thermostat will save you hundreds.
- Other Sources of Heat- One of the other ways you can increase the temperature in your home is by cooking or doing other activities that generate a lot of heat. In this way, you can get things accomplished and heat your home at the same time!
- Heating System Maintenance- If your heating system is not operating at maximum capacity, you may be losing heat through your ducts or other places in your home. By having yearly maintenance performed on your heating system, you can not only increase the efficiency of your system, but also increase the life of your system.
- Purchase a Programmable Thermostat- With this option, there’ll be an initial cost of purchasing the thermostat, but after that, you’ll be able to save month to month. With purchasing a programmable thermostat, you’ll be able to set times when the temperature in your home goes down when you’re not there such as like when you’re at work.