Several factors affect how much heating fuel you’ll need this winter.
As winter gets closer on the South Shore, it’s hard to take anything for granted with your home’s heating budget. Afternoons that are mild and pleasant right now could turn frosty in a week. A few unexpectedly icy days will seriously impact your heating oil consumption — and how much you need to spend.
At Frank Lamparelli, we study the weather to accurately determine when our automatic heating oil delivery customers will need a refill.
Let’s discuss how quickly you can expect your home’s heating oil to run out.
Calculate your heating oil usage.
Using a general calculation that your boiler or furnace will use about 1.7 gallons of heating oil an hour in cold weather — and assuming the heating system runs for roughly 10 hours a day — then 100 gallons of heating oil would last about six days in the winter.
Of course, every house is unique, and various factors can affect how quickly your home uses fuel, including:
- the house’s square footage.
- the age and condition of your heating equipment.
- how warm you set your thermostat. (Infants and older adults often require consistently warmer homes.)
Finally, the frequency of your fuel deliveries will also depend on how large your oil tank is. The most common heating oil tank size is 275 gallons, which would accommodate an average-sized home in the winter for several weeks before needing to be refilled.
Track your heating oil usage.
Reading an oil tank gauge is fairly straightforward. On top of the tank is a clear glass or plastic vial with markings of F, ¾, ½, ¼. Like a vehicle’s gas gauge, these marks tell you how full the tank is. A red float rests in the vial and drops as your oil level goes down. If the float rests at the bottom of the vial (or you can’t see it at all), your tank is empty or close to it.
The best way to avoid the sinking feeling of realizing you’ve run out of heating oil is to enroll in our automatic delivery program. It’s completely free and removes the possibility of an unexpected runout. The Frank Lamparelli team will track your usage and deliver heating oil right when you need it!
H3> Get the most from your heating oil.
Here are easy ways to maximize your heating efficiency.
- Keep heat inside by plugging leaks with weatherstripping and insulation. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says you need three to four inches of insulation in your attic, and the insulation should be between an R38 and an R49 value.
- Use a programmable thermostat to lower temperatures when you’re out of the house or asleep. The DOE advises that turning your thermostat back 7 to 10 degrees from its standard setting for 8 hours daily can lower annual heating and cooling costs by 10 percent.
- Arrange annual heating equipment maintenance. A yearly tune-up will vastly improve your system’s fuel efficiency, lower the chance of a breakdown and extend its life expectancy.
Contact Frank Lamparelli for more information about heating oil delivery in your area.