If you’re heating oil storage tank is more than 15 years old, it could be time to think about replacing it – especially if it’s a single-wall steel tank.
The question is, how large a heating oil tank will you need? Let’s take a look.
Heating Oil Storage Tank Sizing Basics
The most common above ground heating oil tank sizes are 275 and 330 gallons, Common underground oil tank sizes are 330, 500 gallon, and 675- gallon (or larger).
The nameplate capacity of your tank (the number of gallons it says on the side of the tank) does NOT represent he number of gallons of fuel that it will actually hold; some allowance must be made for debris in the tank. A 275-gallon tank, for example, will typically only hold about 235 gallons of heating oil.
An industry rule-of-thumb is that one or two-bedroom homes most often need a 275-gallon heating oil tank; larger three- or four-bedroom homes often need a 330-gallon tank.
Other sizing factors to consider when shopping for a heating oil tank replacement include:
Physical space: Some homes can’t fit larger heating oil tanks; be sure to measure your space before you start to shop for your tank. Above ground tanks (ones you’d install in your basement, garage, etc.) are usually five or six feet long, 27 to 29 inches wide, and 44 to 55 inches tall.
Family planning: As your family grows, so will your oil consumption; better to plan for this in advance if you can.
Lifestyle references: Is your family eco-conscious? 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.
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. From there, you can move on to other considerations, including tank construction materials, oil tank brands and their warranties, proper tank placement, and more.