Heating Oil Delivery FAQs

Date: January 29, 2024

Tips to Avoid Heating Oil Runouts and More

heating oil south carolina We’ve provided answers to some of the most common questions heating oil consumers in South Carolina have about heating oil usage, checking your tank level, avoiding run-outs, and more.

How Much Oil Will I Need During Winter?

Many factors affect your fuel use, including the outdoor temperature, the size of your home, the quality of insulation in your home, the efficiency of your furnace or boiler and your family’s own heating preferences.

But here’s one basic rule of thumb that will help to give you a general estimate. If outdoor temperatures average about 40° over a 24-hour period, a typical 2,500 square foot house will burn about three or four gallons per day. If temperatures were to drop below the freezing mark, your consumption would go up by a few gallons more per day.

How Do I Read My Oil Tank Gauge?

On top of the tank is a clear glass or plastic cube that is marked with numbers that resemble the gas gauge of your car: F, ¾, ½, ¼. A red marker or float commonly indicates the amount of fuel left in your tank. If the float is at the bottom of the gauge or not visible at all, your tank is empty or nearly empty.

To make sure the gauge is working, carefully remove the outer case and gently press the float down. If it bobs back up to the original position, the gauge is working. If the gauge is not working, contact your heating oil supplier and let them know. The last thing you want to do is to start guessing how much oil is left in your tank during a cold snap.

How Can I Tell How Many Gallons I Have Left?

The most common size of a heating oil tank is 275 gallons, but the size of the tank doesn’t indicate how much fuel it holds.

When full, a 275-gallon tank holds approximately 235-255 gallons depending on how deep the vent pipe goes into the top of the tank; the rest of the space is left to allow for air or debris at the bottom of your tank.

So, if your gauge reads “½” in a 275-gallon tank, you have about 117 gallons left, not 135 or so as you might first expect.

How Can I Avoid Running Out of Heating Oil?

To make winter deliveries easier and stress-free for you, ask your heating oil company if they offer automatic delivery service. This allows them to be accurate about your fuel needs so they can make a heating oil delivery and you can continue to feel warm and safe using home heating oil, all without checking your tank or calling in your fuel order.

But if you still prefer to call for heating oil, you need to give your supplier extra time when conditions are harsh to avoid running out of fuel. It’s best to call for more fuel when your heating oil tank falls to the one-quarter mark.

Is Heating Oil a Safe Way to Heat My Home?

Absolutely. First, heating oil cannot burn in its liquid state. Before combustion can even occur, heating oil must first be vaporized into a fine mist by your oil burner at temperatures above 140°.

Second, the fuel you have stored in your heating oil tank right now is very safe because it can’t explode. In fact, if you were to drop a lit match into a bucket of heating oil, the flame would go out, just as if you dropped the match into water.

Third, a heating oil system poses a very low risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If an oil burner ever malfunctions, you’ll most likely see smoke and the safety devices will shut the furnace or boiler off.

Fourth, the advent of clean-burning Bioheat® fuel has made home heating oil safer and more efficient.

It’s just one more thing that homeowners who rely on home heating oil to stay warm can feel good about.