Some Facts About Heating Oil Use In The UK

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While everyone is getting switched on to the idea of being greener and smarter in our daily lives, there is one area that we seem to have glossed over a little bit – heating oil. 

Now, this isn’t on the top of the list for many of us, because typically one would only be using heating oil when one isn’t connected to a gas mainline, but we’re going to delve into a few facts that you probably didn’t know about heating oil, nevertheless.

For many of us, we may have never heard of heating oil before, so we’ll start by discussing what it is. Heating oil is a fuel that is burnt in oil-fired boilers or furnaces, and as it is similar to kerosene it is at times used as an alternative. The major difference is that heating oil condenses at a higher temperature during its production, but otherwise the two are quite similar.

So, why would you need to use heating oil?

The vast majority of users live in areas or work in areas that have no connection to national gas lines, so these users would be using heating oil as a fuel for heating in their boilers. For industrial purposes, heating oil is known as industrial heating oil or ‘IHO’, and it is used to heat large open spaces like factories, warehouses, schools, or colleges.

How commonplace is heating oil in The United Kingdom?

Currently, around 1.5 million homes in the UK make use of heating oil to fuel furnaces and boilers and if we assume an average of four persons in a home, that makes the total number of people that use this oil, at around six million.

Is it OK to use heating oil, instead of ‘gas oil’?

This depends entirely on the type of boiler that you use. You might be able to use heating oil instead of your current fuel and this could even save you money. It is strongly advised that you check the manufacturers’ guidelines and instructions before making any substitutes.

Heating oil is cheaper to buy in the summer

As a general rule, heating oil is pretty cheap to start with however it does cost more during peak use periods – like the winter, and if you’ve not ordered enough and need to make an emergency order, that could amount to a decent sum. So ordering your stock in the summer when demand is lower, could save you quite a bit of money later on.

Is heating oil safe to store?

With the correct measures in place and knowing as much as you can about any local laws and regulations in your area, you can store heating oil responsibly and safely. Bunded oil tanks are one way of ensuring safe storage and disposal, and you should take care not to store oil close to heat or flame sources.

Tanks must always be kept at least ten metres away from inland or coastal waters and 50 metres away from a spring. 

Heating oil can be a safe and relatively inexpensive way to ensure heating during the long cold winter months of Britain, and as always it pays to get the right advice from people in the know.

We’re very proud to bring you this feature in association with Tuffa Tanks. For more inspiration for your home, please pay a visit to our interiors page.

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