Winter is the worst time to not have heating oil in the tank and the furnace running. Running out of fuel or heating oil always seems to happen when you least expect it, but you can avoid the problem with a few simple steps. Stay warm this winter, and keep the heat on by taking the time to prepare before the weather gets too cold.
Finding a heating oil supplier
The first and most important step you can take is to find a local heating oil distributor to buy your oil from. The price may vary from one dealer to another, so shop around for a good deal. The fact is, when it comes to heating oil, there are not a lot of differences between any of them, so buying the cheaper one for your home should make a difference. Find a company you are comfortable with, and find out if they offer emergency deliveries just in case you use more than expected one month.
Check the levels often
The quickest and easiest way to ensure that you don't run out of oil in your tank is to check the level often. On most tanks, the level gauge or indicator is on top of the tank and should be easy to ready at a glance. Get to know your consumption rate, and you will instantly know by looking at the tank if you can make it through until your next scheduled delivery.
Setting up automatic deliveries
A lot of heating oil companies will set up automatic delivery service to your home if you request it. Most of the time it is flexible and can be once a month or every other month; you name the interval and they will come fill the tank. In most cases, they will require you to give them a credit card to charge when they deliver or set up some payment arrangement with you to ensure that the delivered oil is paid for.
Prepayment plans—good idea or not?
Some companies offer a prepayment plan where you can pay for the year upfront, and while it may be nice to get that out of the way, there are some faults in this system. If you pay for the year and the price is very low, you can make out better, but if the price is high when you pay for the year, then it drops through the winter, you will likely be paying more than the value of the oil at the time when you are getting it. It is a gamble, so if you are considering prepayment for your oil, understand that you could end up paying more than the market price in the end.
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