How to prep your oil-heated home for winter

Hot Coffee

How to get your oil-heated home ready for Scottish winters

Off-grid living in Scotland can leave your home more susceptible to the harsh winter conditions. Whether you’re up in the Highlands or down by the borders, you’re likely to experience negative temperatures and at least some snow for several weeks of the year. 

If this is your first winter in an off-grid oil-heated home, or you’re looking for some general advice for preparing for the Scottish winter, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve gathered our top tips to form this helpful winter guide for households using heating oil in Scotland. By following our advice, you can experience the consistency of on-grid heating while living off-grid. Get your home ready for winter with help from our experts.

Heating oil orders for winter in Scotland

The key to reliable off-grid oil heating in Scotland is preparation. Follow our advice below to avoid getting caught out when the cold weather hits

When should I order my heating oil for winter in Scotland?

Make sure you plan your oil delivery in late summer or early autumn. Scotland has a relatively large number of oil-heated homes, so orders start to pile up in winter. As winter months are peak season for oil deliveries, it’s a good idea to place your order by October.

Ordering your fuel ahead of winter can also lead to cheaper heating oil prices too. If you place your order in December/January when demand is high, you may end up paying more for your oil. Order early to find the best deal and fastest delivery.

It’s also worth noting that bad weather and snowstorms can affect delivery times. Our vehicles may have limited access to certain locations due to fallen trees or excess snow. 

Don’t wait until the first cold spell hits before you order winter fuel. Avoid battling increased demand and longer waiting times by ordering winter fuel in advance – especially if you live in more rural parts of Scotland.

Order heating oil direct from Scottish Fuels online

How much heating oil do I need for winter in Scotland?

Estimating your heating oil usage for Scottish winters depends on a few factors. Generally speaking you need to consider:

  • the size of your home 
  • the number of people living in your household
  • any guests you may be expecting (particularly around the festive period)
  • upcoming weather warnings

Oil tanks tend to hold around 1,000 litres of oil or more, so consider stocking up to avoid any uncertainty.

Take a look at our heating oil estimate calculation guide to help predict your usage this winter.

Should I monitor my oil level?

Keeping an eye on your oil level is vital during the winter months. Your estimate might be a little off due if the Scottish snow sets in early. What’s more, small cracks in your tank may be vulnerable to cold temperatures, causing your tank to leak. It’s important to catch any issues early to avoid running out of fuel during winter.

Our FoxRadar oil tank level indicator makes monitoring easy. Get low-level alerts straight to your phone wherever you are.

Speak to our local team, wherever you are, to find out more about the FoxRadar rollout plan across Scotland.

Oil boiler tips for off grid living in Scotland

Home heating oil boilers are put to work almost constantly between October and March. To get your home reader for winter in Scotland, you’ll need a boiler you can rely on. 

To ensure that your boiler will last all winter, arrange your annual service by an approved local engineer. Servicing your oil boiler every year will catch any minor issues early and prevent breakdowns.

Aim to schedule your engineer visit outside of peak times. Heating engineers tend to be busy with emergency work during the winter.

To get an idea of the cost of annual maintenance and boiler cover, take a look at our oil boiler servicing prices and packages.

Oil boiler settings

Ahead of cold Scottish winters, you may want to check the settings on your oil boiler. If you’re not sure what settings to use, get in touch with our engineers near you.

If you plan to leave your home empty for any period during the winter months, you may want to shut off the water supply completely. This can help to avoid burst pipes and water damage, as well as saving you money on heating oil. Alternatively, set your boiler to heat your home at least once a day whilst you’re away. 

Call us on 03457 620 620 to book your boiler service or discuss your needs.

Oil tank advice for Scottish winters

Outdoor oil tanks are strong but not immune to impact from bad weather. To make sure that you can stay warm this winter season, take preventative measures to protect your outdoor oil tank from cold winters and storms. 

How to prepare your domestic oil tank for the winter months in Scotland

Check your tank regularly for any potential issues and continue this routine all year round to avoid a winter crisis when engineers are the busiest. Checking your tank helps to prevent leaks and other costly problems. 

Our engineers will always take a look at your tank during your oil delivery. But it’s important for you to keep an eye out for cracks, splits or anything unusual between visits as well.

Beyond inspecting the tank itself, take a look at the concrete supports and surface of the ground under it as well. When a heating oil tank is full, it weighs a lot, so its stand could become damaged over time without any obvious faults or incidents. Temperature changes can also affect the ground underneath the tank. 

If you notice any cracking or caving, you should replace or repair the supports ahead of winter to avoid any damage to your tank. Bear in mind that the lifespan of an outdoor oil tank is roughly 15 years. Replace your tank before the 15 years is up to avoid any age-related issues.

Browse our range of long-lasting heating oil tanks to prepare for a risk-free winter.

Domestic oil tank care during the winter in Scotland

Check the area near your oil tank to spot anything that might damage the tank during a storm. If there are any trees likely to fall or low-hanging branches nearby, it’s best to remove these potential risks where possible. Large icicles can also be a threat to your tank so break them off safely.

If you have any oil tank related queries or wish to replace your tank, contact one of our dedicated tank team on 0345 600 3423.

What to do if you run out of heating oil in winter in Scotland

The advice listed above will greatly reduce your chance of running out of heating oil during a cold spell. Ending up without heating in winter isn’t something that anybody should experience. If your oil supply does run out, contact our team straight away. 

We have engineers located across Scotland, so we should never be far away. Get in touch to discuss the quickest possible delivery times.

How to prepare your Scottish off-grid home for winter – step-by-step guide:

  • Early winter months: If anyone in your household is over the age of 75, sign up to our Cold Weather Priority list. We’ll prioritise your home in the event of extreme weather or fuel shortages.
  • May – August: Arrange a professional boiler service and oil tank inspection. Try to book an appointment during the summer months, to beat the peak season rush. 
  • August – September: Order heating oil direct to your home, to fill your tank before the seasons change. 
  • Weekly throughout the year but especially in winter: Monitor the oil level in your tank and consider installing a smart monitoring system.
  • Monthly throughout the year: Inspect your tank for any signs of wear and tear or weather stripping.

Get a quote today online or call us on 0345 600 4040

Sign up to our newsletter