Home Heating Oil Tanks 101: What You Need to Know

If you are planning on switching your home heating system to an oil tank, there are several things you should consider. Most importantly, you will want to decide what kind of home heating oil tank is right for you. It may not be an easy switch, but it could be one that saves your family money, and provide a more environmentally friendly means of staying warm. In the following post, we will discuss the kinds of tanks available, to help you decide when making the big switch.
Why Should You Use Heating Oil?
Cash heating oil is a relatively common source of fuel for furnaces and home heating systems. It’s probably the second most commonly used fuel after natural gas. It’s also a safer type of fuel because it won’t explode like natural gas or propane. Heating oil is generally a clean burning fuel and contains a significant amount of energy that can be converted to heat. Since its uses are generally limited to heating applications, it is usually less expensive than other types of heating fuels. Many older furnaces are oil-burning models. Today, fuel oil furnaces are considered viable options in situations where other types of fuel, such as natural gas, aren’t available from a local utility company. Fuel oil also can be an option if a homeowner doesn’t want to install an electric furnace or a propane-burning system.
There are two important factors to remember when you consider making the switch to home heating oil.

 

  • Home heating oil must be purchased in bulk and kept in one or more oil storage tanks that will be installed inside or near your home. Unlike natural gas, which is provided by a local gas utility company, oil furnaces require regular refills to maintain adequate fuel levels. If the oil is allowed to run out, the furnace won’t produce any heat. For this reason, fuel levels in the tank must be carefully monitored, especially during times of colder weather and heavier usage. New supplies of oil must be ordered from a local supplier in time to prevent supplies from being depleted.

 

  • If your home or storage tank is in a location that could be affected by winter weather, like the top or bottom of a hill for example, the tank must be refilled in time to ensure uninterrupted heating in case snow or ice make it impossible for your supplier to get to the tank. This often adds the extra responsibility of watching the weather and ordering fuel in advance in cases where snowfall or ice accumulation is expected.

What Kind of Tanks are Available for Home Heating Oil?
If you choose to make the switch to oil heating, you have the option of several types and shapes of oil storage tanks.

  • Aboveground Indoor Tanks: Aboveground indoor storage tanks are large oil storage containers typically kept in a basement, or an attached building such as a garage. The most common of these free standing tanks can usually hold 275 gallons of heating oil. There are also smaller models available as well as larger tanks that can store more oil. The size of tank you choose in this case will depend on factors such as your indoor comfort requirements, frequency of furnace usage, and the climate in your geographical area.
  • Aboveground Outdoor Tanks: Aboveground outdoor tanks are usually installed near the home, often at the side or rear of the structure. These large tanks are commonly seen in rural areas and locations where it is difficult to be reached by a utility line. These tanks are quite strong and can withstand extreme weather, including harsh storms, snowfall, and ice. The most widely used outdoor tanks hold 275 gallons of heating oil, but like indoor tanks, there are also smaller and larger models available for those who prefer them.

 

  • Underground Tanks: These heating oil storage tanks are buried underground, and the oil is supplied through a pipe system. The fill pipe, where the tank is refilled, must be placed above ground at a point where it can be easily reached by drivers who deliver new supplies of heating oil. These tanks are usually larger than above-ground models and can typically hold 550 to 1000 gallons of fuel. If you plan on installing an underground tank, be careful as to where the tank has been buried. If tanks are lost or their locations forgotten, they can be difficult to locate by new ┬áproperty owners. An unexpected buried fuel tank could be a considerable problem to construction crews or new homeowners during a construction or renovation project.

 

What are Heating Oil Storage Tanks Made of?
Home heating oil tanks are usually made of either steel, fiberglass, or combination materials. Steel tanks are generally the most inexpensive types of tanks available and are in wide use at homes in all areas of the country. They can be used for both underground and aboveground storage. Steel tanks must conform to strict manufacturing and construction standards. Fiberglass tanks are tough and long-lasting. They eliminate the problems associated with rust, leakage and sediment. Fiberglass oil storage tanks were once found only in underground applications, but recently fiberglass tanks have been used in aboveground storage as well. Combination storage tanks use a double-wall construction to provide the most sturdy and reliable storage option. The inner tank is made of a thick polyethylene composite, while the outer tank is made of galvanized steel. The steel outer tank is strong and damage resistant, while the inner tank is tough, durable and non-rusting. Both tanks must comply with pressure tests and construction standards. These types of tanks are the most expensive option, but they are also the safest, most reliable tanks currently available.
What About the Installation Process?
Oil storage tanks should be installed by qualified professionals to ensure safe operation, reliable storage, and proper delivery of oil to the furnace. For indoor tanks, make sure there is enough room for the tank at the desired location. You should also make sure that the floor where the tank is installed is level and able to hold the weight of a full tank. When it comes to an outdoor tank installation, pick a location that is flat, and preferably out of the way of play areas for children or pets. The installation process is generally quick and easy, lasting maybe several hours. Heating oil prices are usually a concern for families. Not to worry, as we have the best oil at the best prices.

Romeo’s Fuel has been helping families make the switch for years. We have the cheapest heating oil around. If you would like to set up a free consultation, or to discuss further tank options, please call us today!