Replacing My Home’s Old Oil Tank with a Heat Pump and Backup

charlottes house

It’s Insurance Broker Charlotte here! Yes, I’m a real person and a real insurance broker, who just also happens to be on the TV ads for Harbord – The Home Insurance People. Older oil tanks are an issue for insurers, for multiple reasons. Read our intro post for more background, and info on the risks of old oil tanks.

My house is a 1959 home in Victoria, BC. We purchased the home back in 2008, and I really wasn’t too excited to have purchased a home with oil heating—probably because of all those calls I was having to make at work! But the home fit all the other elements that we were looking for, and the tank was only a few years old. The furnace was older than the tank, so I knew we were going to HAVE to replace the furnace sooner than we were going to HAVE to replace the oil tank. Just a note that our oil tank is an above-ground indoor tank, often outdoor and underground tanks are difficult to insure.

replacing an old oil tank

The actual oil tank in question. (Yes, it’s ugly)

We did replace our furnace about 8 years ago but decided to keep the oil heat. That decision was made was due to multiple factors, but, ultimately, there were no grants available to switch to other heat sources that year and it was out of our budget to replace our entire heating system. The cost to replace the oil furnace was around $3,500.

Fast forward a few years and now we need to do something about our oil tank within the next year. I really don’t want to be answering the phone to one of my colleagues at Harbord who is be making the same type of call I used to make. So, after a lot of back and forth, we’ve decided to replace our entire furnace with a heat pump with an electric backup.

Why did we choose a Heat Pump with an Electric Backup?

  • The heat pump is one of the most efficient ways of heating a home.
  • We’re in Victoria, so our heat pump won’t have to rely on the backup of electricity too often (fingers crossed we don’t hit -16 degrees too often.
  • Our street doesn’t have Natural Gas.
  • A heat pump with a Natural Gas backup would have been my preference (we did look into bringing the Natural Gas service down to our home, but the cost wasn’t worth it).
  • The heat pump is outdoors, freeing up some storage space in our home.
  • Throughout the process, we will be eligible for a few government rebates to reduce our costs.
  • You can find the various rebates at https://betterhomesbc.ca/

Of course, each home and homeowner is different, so you definitely would want to contact some heating experts about the best option for your home.

So, now what?

Read Part 2: Upgrading a Home’s Electrical to Replace Oil Tank with Heat Pump

Well, we’ve started the wheels in motion to get this process going. My next update to you all will be a rundown on the steps that we need to take before we can get the heating switched. I’ll also include a bit of a checklist of who we contacted to get the process started.

Read Part 2

If you have any questions about your own heating situation, feel free to contact our home insurance team. If you call, they can also confirm I’m a real insurance broker!

Contact Us