Preventing Heating Oil Sludge
Written on: May 22, 2023
If you forgo the maintenance on your heating system for too long, you could end up with some unexpected problems. One of the things that can happen is a build-up of thick black gunk in the fuel filter. That gunk is commonly referred to as heating oil sludge. It’s created when bacteria oxidize the fuel in your tank.
Where do the bacteria come from? They live in the fuel and grow wherever there’s water present. When your tank isn’t full, water condenses on the walls of your tank if there’s a temperature change outside. It’s a common occurrence when a cooler night is followed by a hotter day.
Why is heating oil sludge a problem? Heating oil sludge limits the efficiency of your heating system. And, if left untreated, it could even cause the breakdown of your oil-fired heating system.
If the sludge in your tank gets into the fuel mix and then into the supply line, it will clog your filters and cause problems for your heating system.
Preventing Tank Sludge
Fortunately, you don’t have to live with heating oil sludge. There are ways to prevent it. Here are five ways to prevent heating oil sludge:
- Keep enough heating oil in your tank. Having an empty or near empty heating oil tank promotes condensation build-up on its walls. An increase in the presence of condensation accelerates the growth of sludge-forming bacteria. As a rule of thumb, schedule a heating oil delivery whenever you tank is less than half full.
- Get professional heating maintenance every year. Lombari Energy Services offers a heating oil service plan that includes annual preventative maintenance. That maintenance can save you up to 10% on your heating bills and increase the life expectancy of your heating system. Plus, a heating tune-up includes a filter change, something your heating oil system needs. An annual tune-up also gives our technicians an opportunity to spot a sludge problem early and before too much damage is done.
- Drain your tank. Sludge builds up over time. If you have an older heating oil tank, consider having it drained by a waste oil contractor. Removing sludge this way can save you money on repairs and help your heating system to perform better.
- Use a reputable heating oil supplier. The heating oil Lombardi Energy Services delivers is premium Bioheat® fuel. Discount fuel companies, on the other hand, commonly offer fuel that is less refined and contains more contaminants.
- Use sludge emulsifiers. Emulsifiers can be added to your fuel to speed the decomposition of heating oil sludge.
Don’t Let Your Tank Sit Empty!
Now that things are finally warming up, you may be tempted to stop thinking about your heating oil tank or to let it run down to less than you would in the winter. As we already discussed, that’s not a good idea. Especially since condensation is more likely to happen as the temperatures rise. Keep your tank at least half full all year long to help prevent an excessive buildup of heating oil sludge.
Keep a Full Tank & Save Money
At Lombardi Oil & Gas, we offer our customers several ways to manage their bills so that keeping a fuller tank year-round isn’t a financial burden. Here are some of the payment plans, pricing plans and discounts we offer our customers:
- Budget Plan: Regardless of how much or how frequently you order heating oil, your yearly heating costs are split into 12 easy (and predictable) payments. Your heating oil bill is the same each month—even high usage months when you might need more than one delivery.
- Fixed Pricing Plan: Lock in a predetermined per gallon price that you’ll pay for the duration of the time you’re enrolled. You won’t have to worry about price fluctuations, because your per gallon price will be set.
- Cap Pricing Plan: For a small fee, we purchase a predetermined amount of heating oil for you at a capped price. You’ll never pay more than the capped price for your heating oil, and if the price of oil drops, you’ll pay the lower price.
- Prompt Pay Discount: Save money on your bill by simply paying for your heating oil within 10 days of delivery.
- Auto Payment: Never miss another payment and take something off your to do list by signing up for our Auto Payment program. Just sign up once and your bills will be taken care of.
So avoid the problems (and additional costs) that can arise when you allow your heating oil tank’s level to get too low. With so many ways to save on and manage your heating oil bills, it’s a good idea to keep your tank full all year long.
Let Lombardi Oil & Gas Deliver for You!
Lombardi Oil & Gas delivers comfort and peace of mind to our customers in Massachusetts or New Hampshire in Amesbury, Byfield, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Salisbury, Seabrook, West Newbury, and surrounding areas.
Contact Lombardi Energy Services today to sign up Heating Oil Plan, to enroll in one of our payment plans, or to learn more.