If you’ve never lived in a home with an oil central heating system, then there are a number of questions you might not know to ask. Whilst heating oil is a popular method of heating homes that are not on the main gas grid, it’s very different to mains gas. We’ve put together some useful questions for you to consider when looking at a new home. For those of you who are already familiar with oil heating, we hope this list will be a handy reminder of what to look for when buying a new home.
How Much Does Heating Cost?
If you’re buying a property, it’s worth asking the seller how frequently they top up their tank, and how often they have their heating switched on. This will help you to understand your potential heating costs. All homes now must be sold with an energy property certificate (EPC) so this will also give you a good indication of how energy efficient the home is.
Is the Boiler in Good Condition?
A well-maintained boiler can help you get the most out of your heating. It can also save you money by preventing costly repair bills. Don’t forget to ask about the boiler maintenance history – it’s not unreasonable to want to know that it’s been serviced regularly and whether, or not it is in good condition.
Is the Oil Tank Well Maintained?
Oil tanks are often located out of sight so may not be the first thing you think about when viewing a house. A visual inspection of the tank checking for signs of rust, damages or damp patches around the floor (indicating a leak) will help you spot potential problems. OFTEC have a handy guide on domestic oil tanks and storage so that you know what the regulations and standards are.
What Heating Controls Are in Place?
When looking to purchase a new home, it’s worth finding out what heating controls it has. Particularly if the property is older as this could potentially cost you more if you’re unable to control the temperature effectively.
What Security Measures Have Been Installed?
If you’re buying a home with an oil central heating system then it’s worth asking the seller, or estate agent what security measures have been installed. Simple things such as effective lighting and good quality locks can be a great deterrent for potential thieves. Well placed shrubs can also be useful as not only do they make it more difficult for thieves to access it, they can also help disguise an unsightly oil tank.
How Much Oil is in the Tank?
It’s important to find out if the seller is leaving any oil in the tank when they leave. If not, then you could move in to a home with no heating. Emergency deliveries can be more expensive and not always available. This could be particularly harsh if you move during the cold winter months. It may be that you could buy the remaining oil from the seller, or arrange a fuel delivery in advance of moving in. Communicating with the seller will help you to avoid being left in the cold.
Last but Certainly Not Least… What Insurance Cover is Needed?
This is particularly crucial if you are buying a home and have never had an oil central heating system. Having adequate insurance cover in place is essential. Oil spills and leaks can be extremely expensive to clean up, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re covered. You need to consider things such as accidental damage, damage to neighbouring properties and the clean up cost if the oil makes its way into a water way – this will all be your responsibility. Before buying a home, you can get a quote for cover so that you’re aware of how much it is likely going to cost.
Should you have any questions about purchasing heating oil please contact us and our friendly team will be happy to help.