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How Long Does Heating Oil Typically Last?

Will heating oil go bad if I fill my tank in the summer?

life span of heating oil maineWe’re used to things spoiling or going bad, from eggs, to milk, to those cold cuts we forgot were in the fridge’s deli drawer. So, it makes sense that we’d wonder about the oil left in our heating oil tank after winter; is it still OK to use this fall? Is it safe to keep it in your tank for months on end without use?

The answer is yes on both counts.

First, the average “shelf life” of heating oil ranges between 18-24 months. 

Second, keeping heating oil in your tank over the summer is totally fine. In fact, you should schedule a heating oil delivery now to keep your heating oil tank full in the summer. Surprised by that? We’ll explain why this makes sense:

Protect your heating oil tank

Empty space can be big trouble for heating oil tanks. It’s always best to keep your tank at least half-full (and preferably more) during the warmer months.

Why? Condensation: the enemy of heating oil tanks. It forms in the empty space in your tank when the levels run low. Condensation is more common during these warm weather months of spring and summer. Hot days and cool nights create the right atmosphere for condensation buildup to accelerate inside your tank. Aboveground tanks that are outdoors, or in un-shaded areas are most vulnerable to condensation.

As you know, oil and water don’t mix. Condensation happens when water forms on the bare walls on the empty part of the tank. Because the water is more dense than the fuel oil, it will drip down and sinks to the bottom of the. Once at the bottom, it creates an ideal environment for the growth bacteria and other microorganisms that eventually become sediment that can create problems with your heating oil tank and fuel lines.

That sediment can enter your fuel lines and clog them up, causing your heating system to shut down. Another problem is that sediment can lead to corrosion of your heating oil tank itself. That corrosion can lead to holes, rusting, and ultimately tank failure. Needless to say, the expense of cleaning up the leaked oil and replacing your tank is not something you want to be faced with.

More benefits of a full heating oil tank

Another reason now is the time to fill your heating oil tank is that it’s easy for us both. Our heating oil delivery schedule is much more flexible than in the fall, when typically, we’re slammed with emergency deliveries on the first ‘rush’ after a cool Maine evening. We’ll be able to get to you promptly when it’s convenient for you.

If your oil tank is full now, you’ll be ready if Mother Nature surprises us with an early cold snap. You won’t be one of those calling us for an emergency delivery; you’ll be snug and warm whenever you need to turn on the heat. Plus – heating oil prices have hit the lowest pricing we’ve seen in nearly five years. (Take a look for yourself at today’s listed prices! Taking advantage of low prices now, or looking into one of our convenient payment plans such as our Budget Plan or Locked Price Program can save you big.

If you’re looking for the best prices on heating oil in Cumberland County or York County, you’re in luck! We offer delivery of heating oil, kerosene and propane, as well as installation, service and repairs of home heating and home comfort equipment. Check our searchable ZIP Code database to see if we serve your community! Become a PitStop Fuels customer today – we’d love to have you join us.