Rural homes urged to prepare for winter

As winter weather sets in, the 52,000 rural households across Scotland that depend on oil for heating are being urged to make sure their central heating systems are ready to take the extra strain.

With most of Scotland’s rural homes running on oil, OFTEC, the trade body for the oil-fired heating industry, says householders should check their boilers are in good running order and the tank is sufficiently full to provide heating over Christmas and New Year, when deliveries may be in short supply.

Malcolm Farrow, of OFTEC, said: “It’s important no-one gets caught out. According to Age UK, a much higher proportion of elderly people live in the countryside but, at the same time, they can often be forgotten and overlooked over the Christmas period. So we are urging people to check on their older neighbours and friends and to lend a hand if they need help to stay warm and well this winter.”

OFTEC is reminding people to check the level of their oil tanks and where necessary buy now while costs are lower.

OFTEC recommend the following five actions:

Ensure your boiler is serviced by an OFTEC-registered technician.

Bleed your radiators to make sure you are getting maximum heat.

Check the level of oil in your tank regularly and order refills in time.

Check for a community oil buying group in your area who will often be able to save you money.

If your boiler is more than 10 years old, consider upgrading to a modern high efficiency boiler.

More information is available from OFTEC’s website at www.oilsave.org.uk.