The kids are talking about Halloween, the shops are getting ready for Christmas and there is a distinct coolness in the night air. There’s no getting away from it, summer is a rapidly receding memory, and we need to start preparing for the winter ahead.
If you have oil-fired central heating, there are two things you need to do right now, if you didn’t sort them out during the height of summer. That’s making sure your boiler is serviced and getting the tank topped up with fuel before demand and prices start to creep up.
As far as the first is concerned, chances are you already have an engineer who pays a regular visit and knows the idiosyncrasies of your system. But how about the oil supplier? There are plenty out there, so how do you choose where to shop? Here are some factors to consider.
Fairly obviously, you want to get the best deal, and prices can vary hugely according to the supplier you use. You can spend a day on the phone ringing round, but these days it is easier to simply click a link and get a quick quote online. Check how long your quote is valid, as the price can literally change day by day.
All oils are not the same. Check the grade on offer, the environmental factors and the burning efficiency. For example, many buyers decide to buy their domestic heating oil from Emo Oil because they offer a high performance grade called Home Heat Plus, which has lower emissions and reduces sludge build up, meaning the boiler performs more efficiently and is less likely to run into problems further down the line.
3) Bundled Services
Many suppliers also perform boiler repair and maintenance activities, tank repair and replacement and other related services – or have related and affiliated service providers who do so. Check what bundled services might be available and you could be able to kill two birds with one stone.
4) Payment Plans
One of the disadvantages of shopping around and using a different supplier each time is that you will have to pay cash on the nose every time. Most suppliers reward customer loyalty and provide the option of paying by direct debit.
5) Planned Deliveries
On a similar note, some suppliers provide planned delivery packages. This essentially means they will monitor your usage, calculate when you need a top up and deal with it as necessary. So no risk of running out, no reminders needed and none of that ringing around. The price will be agreed, and you will know you’re getting a good deal without any hassle.
6) A Trusted Supplier
As with any service provider, it is important to work with a supplier you trust, which is another reason why it does not always make sense to chop and change just to save a few pounds. After all, this is someone coming to your home, and you need to be comfortable you are dealing with a professional.
This is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links