Heating Oil Tanks; Which one is best for your home?

Buying a new oil tank is not a regular purchase, it’s more likely to be a once in 20 years occurrence. More often than not, you’ll be in one of two situations; the first being that you’re designing your own custom home and the second being that your old oil tank needs replaced.

It’s not the most glamorous of purchases, it’s also unlikely that you’ll want it to be the feature of the garden; so how do you choose which oil tank is for you?

In this blog we’re going to look at the things you need to consider to help you decide which one is best for your home.

Buying an oil tank ; 3 questions to ask yourself

#1 What capacity of oil tank should I get?

The first consideration that you need to think about is what size of tank to get. Domestic tanks come in sizes from 650 litres to 10000 litres. However, the most common domestic sizes range from 1000 to 2500 litres. The obvious benefit of a larger tank is that you can buy your oil in bulk at a lower price, potentially saving you quite a bit in the long run. The downside is that you have a larger tank to hide in your garden!


How big is your property? A two bedroom cottage will demand far less oil compared to a large estate house. However this will also change depending on how savvy you are with your heating oil consumption and whether you have an aga as well. A good ballpark is to allow for 500 litres per regularly used bedroom


Related content How to keep energy costs down

#2 What is the best position for my oil tank?

A secondary consideration when thinking of size is also where you will locate the tank.

How much room is available?

Do you want something that is small and discreet or do you have the available space for something much larger?


There are all sorts of shapes and sizes to fit within the planned environment perfectly. These range from larger barrel shapes to smaller, slimmer cuboids.

In summary, to select the best location you will need to consider:

  • How safe the location is; the number one priority is ensuring your tank is stored away from a fire or a heat source.
  • Whether you would like it indoors/outdoors or underground?
  • Ease of access for deliveries
  • How easy it is to maintain
  • The impact of weather

For more detailed information on the above sections visit:
Best oil tank location


#3 What type of oil tank should I get?

There are generally three types of domestic oil tanks, bunded, single skin or double skin.

Bunded tanks

Bunded tanks consist of an inner and outer tank, known as “The Bunded” tank. The inner tank holds the fuel and the outer tank houses the inner tank along with fittings and vents. This means that should the inner tank crack, the outer tank will prevent the fuel from leaking out into the surrounding environment. This makes the Bunded tank the safest in terms of leak prevention. However they do tend to be the most costly.

Single skin

Single skin tanks, as the name might suggest, have just the one layer of plastic. These might not be as durable as a bunded or double skinned tanks, but they are ideal for homes lacking space or people looking for something a bit more discreet. Single skin tanks cannot be used in high risk areas, where a leak would contaminate water supply and have a maximum capacity of 2,500 litres. These are generally the cheapest options.

Double tanks

Double tanks are similar to single skin tanks, however they contain a second outer layer surrounding the inner tank. The gap between the inner and outer layers is very narrow and is purely for a bit of extra protection. These are ideal for people looking for something more discreet yet with a bit more protection.


Plastic or Steel?


Modern oil tanks have come a long way since their heavy and rust prone metal days. Most modern oil tanks are made with recyclable polyethylene, a hard wearing plastic that won’t rust or require painting. However steel tanks still have their place and do have their own advantages.

A steel tank can still be very durable and long lasting, they tend to be more secure than plastic. However they are heavier and harder to move, they also require a little bit more maintenance.

Plastic tanks are much lighter, they also come in a much larger variety of sizes and shapes. Plastic tanks are also much less prone to leakage.

In Summary

Buying an oil tank isn’t the most glamorous house purchase you’ll ever make, but it is still important that you make the right choice for your home. Try and take a step back and think about the bigger picture, what is more important to you – having a tank that is discreet and tucked away? Or a larger storage capacity to support your households heavy energy demands?

Check out our tanks here for an idea of what might be best for you. If you have any questions, one of our specialists will be more than happy to talk you through your decision.

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