So it's the middle of the night and all of the sudden, things are really cold in your house? Could it be possible? Could you be out of oil? Maybe someone just turned off the furnace? Can you call your mom? Well, maybe. 

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What do you do when you run out of heating oil?

Photo by Sergei Solo on Unsplash
Photo by Sergei Solo on Unsplash
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Ok, it happened. You ran out of heating oil in the middle of the night. Take a deep breath. You do have options. Go ahead, turn your furnace off, and if you have another way to heat your home, do so. If you have auto-delivery and something has happened, call your oil company then. If you can wait until daylight, you might be able to save yourself some money.

Will people deliver oil in the middle of the night?

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
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Yes, some will. You can expect them to deliver you an emergency 10-gallons of heating oil, which depending on how warm you keep the house, you will be able to go back to sleep, and then deal with getting oil over the course of the next day or two.

Is there anything special you will need to do to your furnace?

Photo by Mandell Smock on Unsplash
Photo by Mandell Smock on Unsplash
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If you know you are out of oil, go ahead and just turn it off and wait until you can get a delivery to turn it back on again.

Will you need to clean your furnace before you can restart it?

Photo by Claudio Carrozzo on Unsplash
Photo by Claudio Carrozzo on Unsplash
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Well, maybe. If you have gotten to the sludge at the bottom of your oil tank, then depending on how much your furnace has sucked up, you may need to have the oil filter cleaned and maybe even need the lines bleed to remove air from the system.

How can you avoid running out of heating oil in the future?

If you make it a habit to check the gauge on your oil tank at the same time every month, and if you are on pay-as-you-go, when you see that it is at 1/4 of a tank you will need to order an oil delivery. If you are on auto-delivery, you will need to call the oil company (your supplier) and let them know exactly how much oil you have left. It is especially important to check your oil gauge before an expected cold snap or snowstorm.

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