Buying a New Home: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Heating Oil.

May 5, 2020
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Have you found your dream home, but just discovered it uses oil (kerosene) to fuel the property?

If you’ve never lived in a home that uses heating oil it is not surprising that you are left a little a little lost. Where gas and electricity magically appears in your home through the mains network and you pay automatically month to month; with heating oil it requires you to place a physical order each time you need a top up.

If you are nervous about committing to a new property before fully understanding the impact of oil heating we have tried to help by outlining the advantages and disadvantages of buying a home which uses heating oil (kerosene) below. We hope you find it useful!

The Disadvantages of Heating Oil (Kerosene)

#1 Prices Fluctuate Quickly

This can be both a positive and a negative! Prices can be driven higher when demand for oil is high and supply available from OPEC is low, this can at times mean it is more expensive than alternatives such as natural gas. However, when prices are low such as during the covid19 pandemic or the 2014 oil crash, customers can take advantage and capitalise on the savings to be made.

Rather than being held to a certain price for a contracted period of time as you do with other utilities, you purchase heating oil from a fuel distributor at the price it costs at the time of ordering.

Related Articles – what is the best time to buy oil ?

#2 Remembering to keep the oil tank filled

Ok, so this does happen! However, the wonderful world of technology has made this so much easier for even the most forgetful!

It used to be that you would have to go out to the oil tank and put a dip stick in the oil tank to see how much oil you had left – and a mad panic ensued when you realised you’d left it too long!

Now, we recommend that you install a watchman sensor for your oil tank to make sure you never run out! most popular is The Watchman Sonic which acts as a level sensor for your fuel tank, indicating to you how much oil you have left.
It remotely monitors the level and sends this information to a receiver which can be plugged in a socket inside your home or office. When your oil reaches below ten percent a symbol will appear on the receiver, notifying you that you need to fill up your tank. It also gives the option of an audible setting which will transmit a buzzing tone when your oil levels are running low, helping you monitor your fuel too.
For other sensors visit :

#3 Maintenance of oil heating system

We would recommend that any heating system should get a check-over once a year to ensure safety and efficient operations.

In an oil heating system it is important to get rid of partially burnt fuel deposits as it can result in a build up of residues which restricts the amount of heat that can be transferred to the water system.

#4 An onsite tank is required

Natural gas and electricity come to your home directly from cabling and pipes off the main network. With heating oil, you need to order it in bulk and store it in an onsite oil tank, this is then linked to your home heating system.

The location of your tank needs to be accessible for deliveries, a safe distance from buildings and where possible sheltered from the impacts of weather – this at times can be a little unaesthetic to the eye – but nothing a little strategic gardening can’t help with! For more advice: The best oil tank locations

The Advantages of Heating Oil (Kerosene)

#1 Safety

Heating oil (Kerosene) is not readily combustible in its natural liquid state, this makes it very unlikely for an explosion to happen

Carbon dioxide poisoning is also unlikely if regular maintenance occurs, plus if it does happen it will be accompanied with smoke and a strong smell making you far more likely to be aware of it. Even with that in mind, we would always recommend that you have a carbon dioxide sensor in your home for peace of mind.

#2 Efficiency

Heating oil burns at a higher temperature than natural gas, meaning it is far more powerful at heating water supplies. Delivering a higher BTU (Brittish Thermal Unit) than compared to natural gas your heat stores will recover far quicker, and therefore perform far more efficiently than alternatives.

Modern condensing boilers, which use hot flue gases that are wasted in a standard boiler, can now achieve efficiency ratings of of 90% and more.

#3 Great for remote locations

Oil is a great alternative for properties located ‘off grid’. If you are hoping to live in a rural village, up a Glen or even just on the outskirts of town your energy sources are often limited to Oil and LPG.

Related Link : Scottish Heating Oil Suppliers: 10 Reasons to buy from Carnegie Fuels

#4 Flexible payment options

WIth oil payments you can choose from a variety of different payment options, from paying in a lump sum, installments and direct debit among the most common. With fluctuating costs in oil this means that you can pick a payment plan that best suits your financial needs while also maximising savings where possible.

Related link: Is it your first time ordering oil?

#5 Choice on suppliers – a more personal service

WIth electricity & gas your relationship with your supplier is very distant, it is likely that you are put through to a call centre and never speak to that person ever again. With oil, you can choose to purchase from independent fuel distributors, where their customer numbers are far smaller and more local to their operations. This means that they have the opportunity to build rapport and get to know your needs – (preventing those annoying calls from lost delivery drivers!)

At Carnegie Fuels, we have four in our office team so it is quite likely that you’ll get the same person. We like to chat to our customers and get to know them, for some people it is their only interaction with the outside world that day.

Buying a New Home: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Heating Oil.

Around 1.5 million households use oil heating the UK, many of those are located in rural areas. If your heart is set on a stunning countryside retreat, now is the time to swat up on your oil heating knowledge. As outlined above, there are pros and cons for an oil heating system – the question is are they enough to sway the decision on committing to your dream home?

For more information & support get in touch: Contact us page

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