If you have or are considering oil heating at home, then you need to understand as much as you can about oil tanks. As the homeowner, especially if you are living in the property, you need to ensure that your oil tank is safe, well maintained and not at all toxic. Oil heating can be very cost efficient, and will regular maintenance your oil tank will serve you well. Here’s what you need to know.
What you need to know about oil tanks
It’s a great time to think about your home’s HVAC maintenance considering that the winter cold is still far from going away, and you need a way to keep your home warm. If your home is like one of the millions equipped with a heating oil system, it might be time to learn more about this wonderful equipment and why it matters.
Heating oil systems are more common than you think. In fact, many people probably don’t even know that their home is running on a heating oil system powered by an oil tank at its core. Whether you’re a current owner or are looking to get an oil tank for your home, you’ll want to read through these things you might not know about them first.
Essentials for oil heating at home
What are oil tanks
The International Association of Certain Home Inspectors, oil tanks are usually underground, in basements, or above ground above the house. Inside the container is the oil categorized as Fuel Oil No. 1, which is similar to range oil and jet fuel. This basically means that the oil could be hazardous as well.
Inside the tanks, heating oils are safe and pose no threat. However, when there are spills and undetected leaks, they can be dangerous to your property and health. Most issues with oil tanks are reserved for above-ground tanks, so you should consider having your oil tank buried underground instead.
Most oil tanks don’t leak
It’s not actually hard to maintain an oil tank. You’ll also rarely hear about oil tank leaks because these aren’t very common. Oil tanks are built to be durable because the oil inside is flammable, so leaks are nearly impossible to occur. Even if a leak does happen, it can be easily fixed and sealed by a maintenance crew.
You must still check for leaks if you are moving into a new home with an oil tank. Leaks can turn from bad to worse, especially if the oil tank contents come into contact with a flame source. Make sure that you are safe by having your oil tank inspected by a specialist once you move.
There are regulations per state
There’s not one law that regulates how you should maintain your oil tank. If you have oil heating at home each state has its own standards regarding oil tanks, and you must know what your state’s rules say; the experts from www.simpletankservices.com point out that rules are there for your safety, primarily. After all, these regulations are in place to ensure your safety.
For instance, in New Jersey, grants are available for homeowners with pre-installed oil tanks that are leaking. Some homes that already have oil tanks often face slow leaks, especially if the long standing tank itself is old and outdated. New Jersey residents can have these removed, but they can get reimbursed for it if there are leaks.
Why do states need to put regulations in place? For starters, having an oil tank is a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of the homeowners. There must be regulations in place to ensure that homeowners are safe from uncontrollable fires. If you are considering getting an oil tank, you must learn more about your state’s regulations first.
Oil heating tank maintenance
Don’t be surprised, but heating oil does tend to run out fast. You can use about three gallons of heating oil a day and even up to 100 gallons per month. Your oil gallon tank must be large not to have to get a refill again and again.
When it’s not winter, most people tend to get their tanks refilled at least every other month. If it gets too cold in the winter, you can expect to use at least more gallons of oil, so you’ll have to get a refill more than regular. The good thing is that heating oil is easily accessible, so you don’t have to worry too much about it.
In general, refilling an oil tank ranges from $900 to $1,200 depending on the amount you get refilled and the quality of the oil. You also need to keep in mind that even heating oil prices change regularly, so it’s a must that you stay up-to-date with the prices before you get a refill from your service provider.
Underground oil tanks can be a headache
While oil tanks are usually easy to maintain, there are some that have been giving homeowners a few headaches. Most significantly, we are referring to oil tanks that were built during the mid-1980s. These were made of bare steel that corrodes over time, so these are more prone to leaks than other types of oil tanks.
The problem with underground oil tanks is that they can be harder to maintain. If there are leaks or if you need to replace it, service providers will have to dig it out first. Another problem is that once steel oil tanks corrode, they could collapse and leave a gaping sinkhole in your yard in your basement.
How toxic is heating oil?
Heating oil is bad for your health and home. Moreover, it is also bad for the environment as it is toxic to the soil. That being said, oil tank leaks are bad for your grass and plants in the yard. We can’t stress enough how important oil tank maintenance is.
It’s vital that you have leaks fixed as soon as possible as you don’t want the oil getting elsewhere. If you live near a lake or any body of water, your heating oil shouldn’t reach the waters, no matter what. Oil is toxic to marine life, and could ruin the ecosystem in a body of water. Even if the leakage is minimal there will be irreparable damage. The same goes for oil leaking into the soil, since it poisons any plant life.
Heating oil systems are amazing. This can really matter if you live in an area where it gets cold in the cold winter months. If you have oil heating at home and an oil tank already in place, it’s important that you know how to maintain it properly. If you are planning on getting an oil tank soon, then these essential details might save you time and money as well.