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​​How to Prevent Heating Oil Sludge

Heating your home with oil is extremely efficient and cost-effective, however, it does come with some maintenance. If you own a home that uses heating oil, you already know about heating oil sludge. This thick, black gunk builds up on the bottom of the tank and can eventually clog your filter, decreasing the efficiency of your system. How can you prevent heating oil sludge? What can you do to keep your oil tank clean?

Schedule Annual Maintenance

An accumulation of sludge is inevitable. It’s going to happen. But you can prevent it from building up and actually becoming a problem. How? Preventative maintenance. Hire a professional to change filters, carefully inspect your heating equipment, and more. The best thing you can do for preventing heating oil sludge is to get on a maintenance schedule. Many heating oil providers offer annual tune-up plans so you don’t have to think about it. Their trained technicians will know what to look for, how to handle it, and when your next maintenance visit needs to be.

Only Use High-Quality Heating Oil

Don’t purchase heating oil from companies with a bad reputation. Look for a heating oil company with grade 2  heating oil, good reviews, and great customer service. Remember: you’ll be in continual communication with your heating oil provider. So make sure you’re working with a company that is enjoyable to communicate with and willing to answer questions. A good oil provider knows what high-quality oil is, and that’s what they’re going to give you. Buying only high-quality heating oil means putting fewer contaminants in your tank, and less sludge over time.

Don’t Let Your Tank Run Dry

An empty fuel tank creates lots of condensation on its inner walls, and that condensation leads to more bacteria growth. The more that bacteria grows, the faster sludge is going to settle in the bottom of your tank. By not letting your tank get completely empty (or practically empty) you leave less room for condensation, and ultimately a cleaner tank. In COVID times like we’re experiencing now, there’s a good chance you’re working from home and using more oil than you have in years past. This is when it’s especially easy to lose track and let your tank run dry. Don’t let yourself get caught off guard, contact your local heating oil provider once your tank gauge hits 25%.

Consider Draining the Tank

As was stated, sludge is going to build up. If you have an older tank or one that was not well maintained, it might be time to drain it. While it might mean throwing away some oil, your system is wasting energy to begin with if there’s a build-up clogging your fuel line. By taking this step to give your fuel tank a fresh start, you’re investing in your tank’s long-term performance and removing potentially 20-years of gunk. A licensed oil professional can take care of this in just one day.

Oil Tank Maintenance in Pennsylvania

Bucks County Fuel can help you keep your tank full and your equipment maintained. We’re a full-service company offering everything from tune-ups to full installations. Call our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our HVAC service professionals.