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Is an Empty Heating Oil Tank Okay in the Summer?

Three Key Reasons to Get a Spring Fill-up

prevent oil sludge new hampshireAs the days get longer, and the weather gets warmer, you’re probably not planning on giving much thought to your oil tank. Getting through the weeks of the winter season and starting your spring chores are probably top of mind. In fact, it might seem nuts to make sure you have a tank of fuel for the long, hot summer, but it’s actually one of the smartest things you can do.

We’ve got three good reasons you should schedule a heating oil delivery in the spring.

1. Protect Your Fuel Tank

While modern fuel tanks are built to last, like everything, they’ll last longer if you take care of them. Keeping your fuel tank full over the summer will extend its life.

When your heating oil tank sits empty, condensation can form—and that can result in all kinds of problems. For starters, when condensation forms on the interior walls of an empty tank, that water drips down and sinks to the bottom of the tank. That occurs because water is denser than heating oil. That water then becomes an ideal environment for bacteria and other microorganisms. Over time, it turns into sediment or sludge that can get into your fuel lines and clog them up. This will cause your heating system to shut down, likely during the next winter, when we’re in the middle of a deep freeze. Sludge can also corrode your tank from the inside out—a big problem that could be difficult to see coming and costly to remediate.

In the winter, your tank doesn’t stay empty long, so these issues don’t come up. Condensation is less likely to form in colder temperatures. But in summer, especially if your tank is outside, condensation will form quickly. Of course, if you’re signed up for automatic deliveries, we’ll make sure you’re topped off for the summer.

2. Hot Water

If your water heater runs on heating oil, you’ll need to have some oil in your tank to make sure you have hot water. The largest use of hot water in the summer months is for showers, but your dishwasher needs hot water to get your dishes clean too. If you wash your dishes by hand, you will certainly want some hot water—cold water doesn’t do the job on greasy, dirty pots and pans. You may also want hot water for doing at least some of your laundry.

3. One Less Hassle in the Fall Months

When your tank is full in the fall, you won’t have to fight for a convenient heating oil delivery appointment at the same time everyone else is trying to get a delivery. You’ll also be ready for an early cold snap. While you’re at it, if you have a service plan with us, why not get your heating system tune-up in the spring? Not only will you have your choice of appointments, but the benefits won’t wear off over the summer!

One last thought. While fuel costs are up right now, filling up your tank to protect it from failing is a much better investment than paying for cleaning up an oil spill and a new tank—and the oil to fill it. If you’re an existing will-call customer and need a fill-up, please contact us today.

Are you looking to become a Pemi River Fuels customer? We’d love to help you. Give us a call today for local, reliable deliveries of propane or heating oil, as well as heating system services and repairs.

Pemi River Fuels has been meeting the fuel needs of homes and businesses in portions of Grafton and Belknap Counties here in New Hampshire for more than 50 years. We understand New England values and the importance of personal, courteous customer service!