When heating your home with oil, your tank running low or dry is a very real possibility. The biggest worry you likely have, besides the dropping temperatures, is if running the oil tank dry will damage your HVAC unit. Most modern systems have safety features that do not let the heating unit continue working when there is no fuel. However, as the oil supply nears empty the sludge at the bottom of the tank can enter the lines. This can cause your HVAC system to clog. Rust can also settle at the bottom of the tank. When this enters the HVAC equipment it can create problems that require extensive heating repairs.

After Runing Out of Oil, an HVAC Technician Can Evaluate Your System

If your oil tank runs completely dry, preventing your HVAC system from turning on and heating the home, there may be problems with your lines as a result. An HVAC technician can bleed the fuel line after filling the oil tank, prior to turning on the furnace. This will ensure that the lines are clear of an oil sludge or rust that can damage your HVAC unit when it is used again.

Monitoring How Much Oil is in Your Home’s Tank

There is a gauge on most home oil tanks that will tell you how much is remaining. Getting into the regular habit of checking this level, particularly during the winter and especially cold weather, will help to let you know when you need an oil delivery. If there is no gauge on the outside of the oil tank, you can insert a six-foot stick into the tank to measure how much is left.

Many oil companies will allow you to sign up for automatic delivery. The heating oil company can remotely monitor how much oil is left in your tank. When the level drops to a certain level, an oil delivery will be dispatched to your home. Other options include installing a fuel tank monitor yourself. The monitor will alert you via an app on your smartphone when the oil levels drop to a designated level.

With diligence, you can prevent your home’s oil tank from running empty during the winter months. If your oil tank does run dry, the HVAC technicians at Joyce Cooling & Heating Inc. can help to assess an damage done to the heating unit’s lines and help to prevent additional damage as a result.

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