Latest information about our service during the coronavirus outbreak. Click here.

Avoiding Heating Fuel Runouts

thumb image

Running out of heating oil or propane in the dead of winter is no fun – but sudden shift in weather here or an over-busy schedule there and you could easily find yourself in a no heat emergency.

On the plus side, a modern furnace will have emergency features that shut down your equipment before long-term damage can occur.

Then, there’s the minus side.

Besides the discomfort and risks of being in a dangerously cold house, a heating oil runout can clog filters and fuel lines with the sediment that collects at the bottom of your oil tank; that means you will need a service call, a possible system reset, and a new filter. If you have a propane gas furnace, any shut down of your system requires a pressure test and inspection from a licensed professional before your heat can be restored. With any heating interruption, frozen pipes are also a major concern, with potential for thousands of dollars in flood damage.

The bottom line: it’s a good idea to avoid running out of heating fuel. But what happens if you do?

If you run out of heating oil or propane

  • If it is winter, take immediate steps to retain the heat you have in your house: close curtains, block under-door drafts, hang blankets over doorways, etc.
  • If you have other forms of heating such as fireplace or electric heater, use them. NEVER use outdoor equipment (barbecues, outdoor stoves, etc.) indoors – carbon monoxide build up can be extremely dangerous or even deadly.
  • Contact us ASAP for an emergency delivery.

Preventing a heating oil runout

When it comes to fuel runouts, prevention is always best. You can avoid running out of home heating oil or propane if you:

  • Choose automatic delivery – let us worry about managing your heating oil or propane deliveries.
  • Monitor your fuel gauge regularly, especially during a cold snap.
  • Order when your tank is no less than 25 percent full (sooner if it is really cold) – don’t wait until the last minute; instant deliveries are not always possible.
  • Install an electronic tank gauge to monitor your fuel level.
  • If you have an outdoor heating oil tank, secure it to prevent theft.

If you run out of heating oil or propane this fall or winter, don’t panic – contact Hocon. Our experts will refill your tank and take care of any problems to keep your family safe and warm in your Connecticut home.