Heating oil

What to Do if You Run out of Heating Oil

If you’re one of the 1 million+ properties in Britain that run on heating oil, you know how important it is to stay topped up. Sadly, life can get in the way sometimes and we may forget to fill up – or there may be an error with the fuel gauge.

As a dedicated heating oil supplier, we’re here to help you if the worst happens. There’s no need to panic – here’s what to do if you run out of heating oil.

What Happens if I Run Out of Heating Oil?

Just like petrol, running out of home heating oil is never ideal. You may not be aware that you’ve run out – which is why it’s always good to check the oil tank gauge. If your oil burner stops in the winter months, one of the first things you’ll notice is your central heating not coming on or a lack of hot water.

This is why it’s so important to keep an eye on your heating oil tank. If you don’t want to head outside to check the gauge in cool weather, you can invest in a digital monitor. These let you check your fuel levels remotely, and can even automate orders through your chosen delivery service.

Other signs to look out for include noise coming from your oil boiler or radiators. These could be rattling or ‘kettling’ (whistling) sounds. It may be time to order heating oil or to call in an engineer for an inspection.

Is it Bad to Run Out of Heating Oil?

Let’s start with the good news. There is no danger to you if your oil tank runs out. Your heating system has safety settings that disable the burners if oil does run dry, so there’s no danger of poisoning or combustion.

The main inconvenience of an empty tank is being without heating fuel – particularly in the middle of winter. You can arrange a fuel delivery to get your tank topped up, but there may be additional maintenance required. This includes:

  • Pressing the reset button on the oil boiler (or resetting manually with the help of an OFTEC-registered engineer)
  • Bleeding of fuel lines to remove build-up
  • Additional inspections of your empty oil tank, particularly if it’s old
  • Fixes to your boiler if sediment has managed to clog oil lines.

If you do find your oil supply has hit zero, don’t panic. You can buy oil online or call our friendly team on 0345 600 4040. Let us know that your fuel oil has run out and we’ll do our best to prioritise your delivery.

It’s always best to do this sooner rather than later. Letting your oil tank run dry risks sediment gathering at the bottom of the tank, which can run into your oil furnace and cause costly damage.

How to Avoid Running Out of Home Heating Oil

Prevention is always better than the cure, so if you’re one of the homeowners relying on heating oil, make sure you stay safe.

Schedule Automatic Top Ups

We can help you stay topped up with our pay monthly direct debit scheme. This also helps you keep on top of oil prices throughout the year.

Invest in An Oil Tank Monitor

The FoxRadar Tank Monitor allows you to monitor your tank levels remotely. No more going outside in cold weather to check your fuel – simply log in to your app. It can even automatically schedule deliveries for you.

Stay Ahead with Our Cold Weather Priority Scheme

If you’re a customer over the age of 75, you can sign up for our Cold Weather Priority Scheme. This helps us to prioritise home deliveries in the winter months, ideal for vulnerable people in remote locations.

Keep All Your Equipment Maintained

Make sure you schedule an oil boiler inspection at least once a year with one of our OFTEC-registered engineers. This will check for damaged components or build-up of sediment, which could be causing your fuel to burn less efficiently. 

The same goes for your oil tank. Look out for leaks and ask us about inspections, particularly if your oil tank is old. Not only will it improve uptime; it could save you money on fuel bills, too!

Stay Prepared with Certas Energy

Our friendly teams are on hand to make sure you never run out of heating oil. But if you do find yourself in an emergency, don’t worry. We may be able to offer a same day service with inspections to give you peace of mind.

Get in touch with us here if you have any questions.


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