Spring is finally here, which means you’ll be using your central heating less and less as summer approaches. Some people turn off their boiler entirely during the summer months, especially if they have an immersion heater to warm their water up.
Giving your oil-fired central heating system a break over the summer can be a good thing if it’s done right – it’s not just a case of turning the whole thing off and then heading to the nearest beach, you should take the time to offer it some TLC.
Measure how much oil you have left
Check how much room you have in your tank – if there’s enough for a summer top up, then try supersaveroil (based in Belfast), as they always have great summer prices. Don’t overfill though, as the oil will still need some room to expand in the hot weather.
Think about how much you’ll need in autumn and winter
You should buy as much as you can during the summer, even if it is just a top-up, as the prices of heating oil almost always drop in the warmer months.
Think about joining or setting up a neighbourhood oil-buying group
If you club together with neighbours then you can all get your oil deliveries on the same day, which means you’ll save money on the delivery charges. You may also be able to get a bulk deal if there’s enough of you.
Look into ways of paying in instalments
Many people find the upfront payment for their big oil order a bit too big for comfort, so if you can talk to your supplier about spreading the cost, then do so. You might be tempted to order a few smaller deliveries, but then you’ll have to pay several delivery charges, so if you can pay for some of your order early, it won’t be quite so painful to pay the balance when autumn comes.
Make sure your oil tank is secure
Summer’s as good a time as any to check over and improve your tank’s security measures. It’s warm, you’re out in the garden doing a bit of work anyway and you’ll be able to face autumn and winter feeling snug and smug! Think about a tank lock, an alarm that sounds if your oil levels drop suddenly, CCTV (if you’re in a really theft-prone area) and motion-sensitive security lights.
Check up on your insurance policy
Summer is also a good time to renew your home insurance policy and to make sure it covers your oil tank and its contents. Most home cover policies don’t include tanks so you can buy an add-on policy to cover you in the case of oil theft, damage to your tank and leaks, which can cost a small fortune to clean up.
Book your engineer service
The end of spring is the time for one of your (ideally) twice-annual services and inspections. Your boiler and tank have been through a winter, so they both need a once-over to look for any signs of stress or damage that can be dealt with while you don’t need your heating so much. You should also book another service for autumn, just before your boiler gears up for the cold once more.