Why is my heating oil going down so quickly?

(58 Posts)

We have oil central heating in our newly completed 4 bed barn conversion.
We have the heating on around 3-4 hours a day whilst it has been cold. The water is on for 45 mins a day whilst the heating is on in the mornings.
I have our woodburner on all day to keep costs down and avoid using the heating.
Yet despite this we have used nearly 1000 litres of oil in the last two months and I can't understand how. Our neighbours use around 1000 a year! What's going on....I must be doing something wrong.
Help piglet john!!

I should say our neighbours have their heating on all the time and the thermostat set to 21 but our plumber said only use the heating when you need it.

MoreBeta Sat 12-Jan-13 21:51:45

Has someone stolen it?

This happens a lot in rural areas.

MousyMouse Sat 12-Jan-13 21:56:45

yep. where is the tank? easily accessible?
maybe call a heating engineer to check there is nothing faulty, sounds like a lot of oil (and money!)

No it is padlocked. Every time I go out and check the gauge it's gone down a few inches. £700 oil gone in just over two months on a brand new super insulated house..how?!

Tank is outside beside the garage. Plus my dad lives next door and we have dogs outside all the time so nobody gets near

GentleOtter Sat 12-Jan-13 21:59:51

Could there a be leak in the pipe which feeds the oil to the house?

<Waves to MoreBeta>

Are there certain settings that would keep the consumption rate down? Should I have radiators on half etc, turn the boiler down?

I'm not sure wouldnt a leak affect the pressure and stop the system working?

MaryPoppinsBag Sat 12-Jan-13 22:02:22

It might be leaking.
I would try to find out whether it is pretty soon as you will have to claim on insurance or pay to have the contamination cleaned up.

SizzleSazz Sat 12-Jan-13 22:06:16

We use 1000 litres in 3-4 months and 1000 litres for the rest of the year. We have relatively crap insulation, and only on a few hours a day, so it could be feasible.
I suspect your neighbours might be lying. Ours use 1000 litres twice a year (we fill tanks up at same time) and they have a woodburner and solar panels.

Eek. Ive left a message with our plumber to phone me next week.
I almost hope it is leaking and I am not using £300 a month in oil to be cold!
How much do most people use?

IamtheZombie Sat 12-Jan-13 22:07:08

No, a leak wouldn't affect the pressure but it could account for a lot of oil going missing. Bitter voice of experience.

Thanks sizzle. I suppose it could be right then.
Their house is smaller but ours is super insulated with kingspan in walls/ceilings/floors.
Also The thermostat has been installed in our small porch so upstairs and the hall is always freezing and yet the heating clicks off when the porch warms up after 20 mins or so!

FloweryDrawers Sat 12-Jan-13 22:11:25

Yup - when that happened to us there was a leak in the pipe under our yard. We had to get someone to dig up the tarmac to repair it. We use 800 litres in a normal-temperature 3-month winter, so your usage does seem a bit high. Your house is bigger than ours but you say it's super-insulated, so that shouldn't account for all of it.

mejon Sat 12-Jan-13 22:15:34

We have ours on for longer in the evening - probably 5-6 hours and the water is on all day (combi boiler). 10 year old bungalow with pretty good insulation and we use around 700-800 litres a year. Leak sounds plausible - though I'd have thought you'd probably be able to smell it. Do you know exactly where the pipe is laid to check?

SizzleSazz Sat 12-Jan-13 22:16:10

Our thermostat is in a cold hallway, so has to be set at 15 otherwise the house boils!
We spend £1200 pa on oil, so £100 a month is ok in my book (albeit the majority spent in 3-4 months.

I guess you could 'test' if any is escaping/stolen when it warms up a bit and you can switch off and monitor?

Gah our pipe goes under our newly tarmaced drive!!
How big is your house melon? Ours is 4 double bedrooms, 4 bath, hall and open plan high ceiling lounge/kitchen. But as I say I use the woodburner most days to keep oil usage down as we are skint from building the house!
Should I turn the radiators down, does that use less oil or does it not matter how high they are, if the boiler is on it's on right? Or does it use more oil if the radiators are set on high? Total novice here sorry

Flowery how did you know there was a leak if it was under your Tarmac?

The boiler is outside the back door and it is quite smelly when it's on but maybe thats just typical of oil boilers is it?

OhIWishThereWasABook Sat 12-Jan-13 22:34:39

I just want to say that 1000 litres lasts us 6 weeks in our 400 yr old uninsulated house. Our boiler is 40 years old though...... First priority come summer. Our boiler is outside and pipe comes in to house under path which doesn't help. This probably didn't matter when it was 5p a litre!

OhIWishThereWasABook Sat 12-Jan-13 22:35:14

Every six weeks in winter only!! Not that that is any better

Thanks book. I guess I could understand it if we had the heating on all the time but we just don't.
It's a fairly big house to heat so I know it won't be cheap but surely it only uses oil when I've got the damn thing on!

Virgil Sat 12-Jan-13 22:44:04

Sounds about right to me at this time of the year. Our house is a bit bigger than yours I think but we generally use just under two tanks a year and our tanks take 2000 litres. It always seems to go down very quickly at this time of the year even with the woodburner on.

OhIWishThereWasABook Sat 12-Jan-13 22:48:29

Mines only ever on in morning and evening too. I miss gas sad

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