New to home heating

If you have recently moved into a new house that uses Heating Oil, this blog will help answer some of the important things you will need to know.


What type of oil is used for domestic heating?

Kerosene is a flammable hydrocarbon liquid used in many different industries worldwide as a robust and reliable fuel source.

While historically kerosene was extracted from different sources such as coal, wood, and oil shale it is now obtained by fractional distillation of crude oil. 

Kerosene has always been an important commodity, before electric lighting became popular, Kerosene was widely used in oil lamps, however today it is primarily used to fuel jet engines and heat domestic homes that are off the main gas grid. 

Why is it called 28-second oil?

Kerosene is known by several different names such as burning oil, heating oil, boiler oil and more commonly 28-second oil. 

 ’28-second oil’ is used as a term to distinguish kerosene’s viscosity, through a specific test of how long it takes 50ml of the oil to drip into a beaker. 

The same test is also used for gas heating oil also known as red diesel or ‘35-second oil’, this is usually used in older boilers, agriculture or commercially. 

What is the shelf-life of heating oil? 

If your storage tank is clean and free from impurities, stored correctly heating oil will generally last between 18 to 24 months in a domestic oil tank. To maintain system health, you should always use high-quality oil with proper additives like Keromax or Agamax. 

How is heating oil delivered to my house?

There are legal controls concerning the selling and delivery of diesel and kerosene across England, Scotland, and Wales. Heating oil must be accurately measured, and a ticket given to the customer showing the quantity delivered. 

Heating oil is delivered by a road tanker that is equipped with a calibrated meter; it is pumped directly from a compartment on the delivery tanker, through a meter that has been tested for accuracy and sealed into a domestic storage tank via a safety sealed hose. 

What is the price of heating oil? 

Heating oil is a trading commodity, which means that pricing is subject to change throughout the day. It is priced pence per litre, plus 5% VAT for domestic usage. 

The price for heating oil is largely affected by the price of crude oil this can change depending on weather, global production, demand, and political unrest. 

Prices can also vary depending on the time of year you buy, local demand and the amount of heating oil you are buying. 

How much heating oil can I order? 

The size of your storage tank will determine how much heating oil you store at your property and therefore how much you can order in one go. There is a minimum order size of 500 litres, this is due to road tankers being metred, which are calibrated and certified by Trading Standard. 

What if I order too much heating oil?

We always recommend that customers check what their tank will hold before placing an order. To do this you will firstly need to know what the capacity of your storage tank is, for a plastic tank, this is normally embossed somewhere on the tank, or for an older metal tank you can calculate this. An example of how to calculate this can be found on our FAQ page. Once you know what your tank will hold, take a reading of the oil that is in your tank this can be checked a few different ways: -   

  • Dipping your tank
  • Sight Gauge
  • Tank Monitor

This should give you a rough estimate of what your tank will take, if you happen to order more than your tank can hold, don’t worry as the extra will be refunded back to you!

Do I have to be home for the delivery? 

Due to COVID-19 to protect our drivers, we have asked that they limit contact with customers where possible. Ideally, no contact is preferable, so making sure they have access to both your property and the oil tank will be very helpful. We can send you a notification of your delivery the day before we are due to attend, via email or SMS, to help you plan for your delivery. We are also asking that tickets are not signed, as an additional precaution.

What happens if I run out of heating oil?

It is important that you place an order with your fuel supplier as soon as you can, when you place your order you should ensure your supplier is aware that you are out of heating oil so they can mark your order as urgent. 

Most suppliers offer a range of delivery window options, everything from 10 working days down to next day delivery, of course, this depends on the season and how busy the fuel supplier is. During the winter months and particularly in the lead up to Christmas, delivery windows will be on the longer side, if this is the case you may want to consider purchasing some 20 litres Kerosene Boxes to restart your heating system whilst you are waiting for your larger fuel delivery.

Choosing a Reliable Heating Oil Supplier Near you

If you are new to heating oil and looking for a supplier, WCF Chandlers have been delivering competitively priced home heating oil across Lincolnshire, South Yorkshire, and East Anglia for over 80 years, so we understand what is important when it comes to choosing a trustworthy fuel supplier.  

Get an instant Heating Oil Quotation via our website or by calling our friendly team on 01476 576200