At the end of the day, even though we come out and fill your heating oil tank for you, as the owner of an oil tank, it is your responsibility to inspect and properly maintain your oil tank, lines, and associated piping. Now, we realize that many of you may have absolutely no idea what heating oil tank maintenance entails, so we wanted to give you a little guidance in maintaining your heating oil tank.
Seasonally Unoccupied Homes
Maintaining your heat to a safe level throughout the heating season is critical. Freeze-ups in an occupied/empty or unoccupied dwelling or home can cause expensive losses. Water from broken pipes can flood a house in a matter of hours causing structural damage to the house and loss of personal property. As it is your responsibility to protect against frozen pipes and water damage from a drop in or loss of heat, please arrange for supervision of your home if you plan to be away from the premises for any length of time.
Fuel Delivery Lines
Unprotected fuel delivery lines are made of copper and may deteriorate if in contact with concrete or below ground, resulting in a line leak. In the event of such a leak, oil could be released, causing environmental damage that would require a costly cleanup. To avoid this exposure, both financially and personally, we suggest that you have your fuel delivery lines inspected and replaced with a sleeved line if necessary. Contact us to assist you with this inexpensive upgrade.
Tips for Maintaining Your Home Heating System
Whether it is your car, home, or heating system, regular maintenance is the key to preventing problems. Cleaning up oil leaks from home heating systems can cost between $20,000 and $50,000, with some cleanups costing significantly more. See below for ways to save money, help prevent leaks and spills, and protect the environment.
For the homeowner:
• Visually inspect tank, piping, and fuel delivery line. If a leak is detected, please notify us.
For the homeowner to enlist help from a licensed technician:
• Clean the furnace and repair or replace damaged parts. A well maintained furnace means lower fuel bills and cleaner emissions.
• Each fall, inspect the vent pipe to ensure that it is free of obstructions and that an audible signal (whistle) is on the vent to help avoid overfills.
• Remove abandoned fill and vent pipes immediately (when appropriate).
• Clearly mark the location of the tank’s fill pipe (when appropriate).
• Install an oil safety valve or replace the fuel delivery line with one encased in a protective sleeve (when appropriate). The older your heating system is, the more susceptible it is to failure. Consider upgrading to a modern, fuel-efficient system.
Storage tanks containing home heating oil – whether they’re located underground, above ground or in the basement – can rust and leak over time, posing a number of environmental and health risks. In the event of a storage tank discharge – where heating oil comes into contact with soil or ground water – New Jersey requires homeowners to take prompt action to minimize those risks. Medford Heating encourages homeowners to secure tank warranties for tank replacement in the event of a leak.
The following could be signs of a leak in your home heating oil tank:
- Any unexpected/unexplained fuel oil consumption increase that doesn’t appear to be caused by additional use of your heating system (such as during prolonged periods of cold weather).
- Water in your underground storage tank.
- Consistent problems with your oil burner.
- Changes in or loss of vegetation in the area over and around the tank.
- Oil odors in areas other than around the oil burner (typically located in a basement or utility room).
- Tastes, odors or other problems with your drinking water (if obtained from a well).
- Staining on basement walls or floors adjacent to the tank.
- Presence of oil or a sheen in the basement sump or French drain.
- Oil or sheen in any nearby culverts, drainage ditches, storm drains, streams, or ponds.
The guidelines for what to do in the case of an oil leak are outlined in THIS DOCUMENT.
We’ve tried to summarize this for you as much as possible, but for even more detailed information, please see this Robson Forensic’s article.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns about heating oil tank maintenance, or about ANYTHING, give us a call!
And have a Happy Thanksgiving!
– Your Friends at Medford Heating & Air Conditioning 🙂
Medford Heating & Air Conditioning Recognized as One of the Leading Companies in Risk Management
Medford Heating & Air Conditioning has received Energi’s 2015 Excellence in Risk Management Award for being a leader in the implementation of Energi safety and risk management programs. This is the third year that Medford Heating & Air Conditioning has received this award of excellence. Energi, a leading provider of Insurance and Risk Management Programs to the energy industry, recognized Medford Heating & Air Conditioning as being the “Best of the Best” within the Energy industry at the annual Energi Risk Management & Insurance Summit in Washington, D.C. on October 14, 2015.
Medford Heating & Air Conditioning’s focused commitment to safety, implementation of risk management best practices, and willingness to learn and apply new safety techniques have enabled them to set a future standard of excellence amongst industry peers.
Just like changing the oil in your car – you should have a furnace tune up annually. By scheduling a furnace cleaning ahead of time, we are able to diagnose furnace problems before they become expensive headaches.
What do we do at an Annual Furnace Cleaning?
|-Test and regulate all burner and safety controls||-Clean or replace fuel oil strainers|
|-Replace nozzle||-Check and adjust ignition system|
|-Vacuum furnace and smoke pipe to chimney||-Check and lubricate motors|
|-Replace oil filter cartridge||-Inspect combustion chamber|
|-Adjust heating unit to maximum efficiency||-Perform an efficiency combustion test|
So, why does it really matter? Is annual furnace maintenance that important?
Here’s why the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
5 Reasons to Schedule a Furnace Cleaning Today!
1. Money Back in Your Pocket
A clean and efficient furnace will run more smoothly and require you to burn less oil. The less oil you burn, the more money you save!
2. Save Time & Avoid Hassle
There are few things worse than spending the holidays sitting in a cold home, waiting for a technician to come fix your heater. No one wants to deal with the hassle of needing a heating repair in the middle of winter! Regular furnace maintenance gives you the peace of mind of not worrying about furnace problems during the cold. Take care of your heating repairs now!
3. Provide a Safer Home
The combustion process that uses fuel to create heat for your home requires careful and precise maintenance to ensure that everything is operating correctly. Even issues that may seem minor could prove devastating if not properly addressed. Keep your family & home safe by getting a furnace cleaning this fall.
4. Expand Lifespan of your Furnace
Like a car, there are many variables that factor into how long your furnace will last. The way you take care of your furnace will be a big factor in it’s longevity. With proper and regular furnace maintenance, you eliminate the extra strain that can be put on your equipment if you ignore these crucial tune-ups.
5. It’s Already Included in Your Service Policy
If you are already enrolled in one of our Home Comfort Service Plans, an annual furnace cleaning is included! If you haven’t taken advantage of one these great policies yet, now is the time to do so!
Are you ready for a “no-brainer”?
Our basic Oil Heat Comfort Plan costs only $318 per year! This includes an annual system tune up, 15% off all parts and labor of repairs, and 24/7 emergency service. To put that in perspective: Just ONE annual system tune up will currently cost you around $300. AND, if you are an automatic delivery budget customer, you have the option of paying for this policy monthly. Avoid the large, lump sum and pay only $26.50/month!
Call us to schedule your furnace cleaning today!
We also offer different service policies to meet your needs and your specific equipment. Check out our Heating Premier Plan, Hot Water Heater Plan, and Air Conditioning Cool Coverage Plan. Want more than one policy? Take advantage of our multiple policy discount & receive 5% off each policy!
*Images courtesy of Hin255 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net