With summer rapidly disappearing, thoughts turn to the colder months ahead, and to ensuring our homes are ready for whatever winter decides to throw at us this year. We usually all start with the same steps. Tidying away the patio furniture and barbecue, having a last weed of the beds and getting ready for the leaves that will start falling from the trees over the coming weeks all spring to mind.
This year we will also be thinking about the heating system. Last year our heater decided to pack up the week before Christmas and we had three days with no heating or hot water. Well, I only lasted one day as I packed the boys up and moved back to my mum and dads until the problem was sorted. Have you had yours serviced yet? If not it may be worth getting it booked in quickly, as the engineers will be getting booked up. The average household fires up their central heating for the first time in mid October (although I think a few may have been turned on the last week as it has suddenly gone a bit chilly) and that is not so far away.
And then there is the heating oil. What is the level like in your tank? If you have been super efficient and you ordered a top up in the middle of summer, then well done, you. If not, it makes sense to do it now with a delivery of cheap heating oil from supersaveroil. One thing that often gets forgotten in the overall process is the tank itself. The driver will, as a matter of course, take a look to make sure it is safe when he comes to make his delivery, but if there is a problem, you really need to know before then.
It goes without saying that a leaky tank can be a complete nightmare, resulting in costs, pollution and a cold house. But a pre-emptive strike can identify a problem before it has a chance to become a disaster.
How to check your tank
It might look like a simple matter of a plastic container on a pile of bricks, but there is a methodical way of effectively checking that your oil tank is fit and healthy. Follow this seven step plan:
- Do some weeding. The area around the tank should be free from vegetation, but it usually finds a way to creep in during the summer months.
- The secondary containment area around the tank invariably becomes a magnet for crisp packets, twigs and all sorts of other debris. Give it a thorough clear out.
- Now, you can see what you are doing. Closely examine the ground all around the tank for any drips or stains that might indicate an oil leak.
- Check the pipework from the tank, along with valves and filters, looking for damage or leaks, particularly around the joints.
- Check the sides of the tank for cracks and for any unusual bulging or deformation.
- If you have a metal tank, check for rust and blistered paintwork.
- Inspect the brick supports, looking for damage or signs of subsidence.
Forewarned is forearmed
If any of the above checks indicate a problem, get expert help immediately. Chances are, you can get it fixed before the drama becomes a crisis and enjoy a cosy, warm home this winter.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.