Is My Heating Oil Tank the Right Size?

Posted: September 13, 2021

A Lot May Have Changed Since Your Current Tank Was Installed

heating oil tanks rhode islandA heating-oil storage tank offers an important advantage: the ability to safely store an adequate supply of heating oil that’s ready for immediate use whenever a need to heat the home arises.

While it’s true that heating-oil storage tanks can last for decades, they need to be replaced eventually. Life spans vary depending on the humidity in the area, the thickness of the steel and more. And when fuel-storage tanks do fail, it’s hard to see it coming, because they often corrode from the inside out.

Most experts agree that if your heating-oil tank is more than 30 years old, it’s a smart decision to replace it. Why wait for it to fail and add all of that extra stress to your life?

What Size Is Right for Your Home?

While you’re researching your options in new tanks, remember to consider the size of your tank and how many gallons it will hold. A lot may have changed since your current tank was installed.

For example, as your family grows, so does your energy consumption; better to plan for this in advance if you can.

Additionally, do you spend long stretches away from home? Do you have elderly people under your roof that prefer a warmer house? All of these factors affect the amount of heating oil you need – and how big a tank your tank should be.

Different Sizes for Different Needs

The most common size for a residential heating oil tank size is 275 gallons. Storage tanks may also come in different sizes depending on whether they’ll be installed above or below ground. Some other common above-ground tanks include 288, 340, 420, 500, 550, 675, and 1,000 gallons.

One thing to keep in mind is that the nameplate capacity of your tank (the number of gallons in its name) doesn’t represent the number of gallons of fuel that it will actually hold. Some allowance must be made for air and debris in the tank. That’s why a 275-gallon tank will typically only hold about 235 gallons of heating oil. This is done for safety reasons and to prevent overfills.

An industry rule-of-thumb is that one or two-bedroom homes most often need a 275-gallon heating oil tank; three- or four-bedroom homes may benefit from larger oil tanks.

Once you’ve thought about these sizing factors, you’ll have a better idea of where to begin your search for a heating oil tank upgrade. To learn more, including how oil storage tanks have vastly improved over the years, please contact your friends at Vaughn Oil.