OFTEC is offering customers a consultancy service that includes independent on-site inspections and advice.

With budgets tight and fuel prices rising, it can be tempting to stretch maintenance periods for heating installations. However, neglecting your system can mean it's costing more to run and not working efficiently, and increases the risk of an unexpected breakdown. A lack of planned maintenance can also result in dangerous side effects including fuel leaks and the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

OFTEC's consultancy service can provide independent on-site inspections and advice for oil heating customers whose requirements fall outside the range of services normally supplied by heating installation and service companies. Launched a year ago in partnership with Local Authority Building Control, the service has been used by households, landlords and facilities managers in both the public and private sectors.

The service is run by OFTEC's experienced in-house technical team, and because OFTEC oversees standards across the industry, its service is guaranteed to be impartial. An on-site inspection checks compliance with Building Regulations and other industry codes of practice. This can be valuable in a range of situations, such as when reviewing existing installations or helping to resolve disputes between owner and contractor. OFTEC can also help with planning upgrades that are fully compliant with the relevant legislation. Following either an on-site inspection or simple table-top study, all clients receive a detailed, illustrated report, tailored to their needs.

Over the past 12 months OFTEC has helped many clients review their existing installations, often detecting potential problems caused by poor system design or maintenance. It has also investigated after problems have already occurred, advising on the cause and checking the condition of other assets, sometimes across a number of sites. Its advice is geared towards helping clients develop effective strategies for the future.

Both end users and facilities managers find that oil heating continues to provide the high levels of reliability they need. Often, upgrading an existing system can dramatically improve its efficiency and at a much lower cost than making wholesale changes. OFTEC can provide advice and guidance when planning upgrades and assist in evaluating tenders to ensure the work will achieve the desired return on investment.

For more information on OFTEC Consultancy Services visit the website at www.oftec.org or call 0845 65 85 080.