Wanting to know how much heating oil you’ll use this winter is understandable. You’re trying to get an idea of how much you’ll be spending, so you can plan your budget for the rest of the winter.
We can help you with that! But know that there is no one-size-fits-all way to estimate your heating oil usage. Homes, and the people who live in them, are different. There are several factors you need to take into account, including:
Now you see why estimating your heating oil usage for your southwestern Connecticut home is an inexact science. Your best friend’s home may be close to the same size and style as yours, but your heating oil usage will likely not be the same.
What variables can affect this? Your friend’s family may be very frugal and set the thermostat lower to save money. They may program their thermostat to use less heating oil when they’re away from home. Or they may have an elderly parent living with them so they need to keep the house warmer so the parent is comfortable. You may have installed a new energy-efficient furnace last year while theirs is 10 years old.
So you’re not going to get a precise figure. But you can still get an estimate that can help you get a better idea of your winter heating oil costs. Here’s how you do it:
Look for the manufacturer’s plate on the burner or burner nozzle. There should be a number on it. That number is the approximate capacity specifications for your burner per hour.
Track the burner’s usage. Most burners use between .8 and 1.7 gallons of heating oil an hour. Keep track of how often the burner turns on and how much oil is being used. Remember, some models of burners may not be in this range so that’s why you have to track.
Check your heating oil history. Get out your heating oil bills from recent winters. Use five or six years’ worth if you can. What was your usage then? See how many gallons of heating oil you used, add them up, then divide that total by the number of years of bills you used. That will give you a close estimate of how much heating oil you use on average.
There are a few other ways you can get better control of your heating oil costs:
First is our FREE EZ Pay budget program. With EZ Pay, we spread your heating oil costs out evenly over 12 monthly payments. That helps you plan your monthly budget and means you won’t be nailed with higher heating oil bills right after the holidays.
The Rural Fuels FREE Price Cap option can reduce the amount you’ll pay for your heating oil. You agree to buy a set amount of gallons of heating oil for the winter and we set a maximum price — a price cap — on your heating oil. You will never have to pay more than that price. But you could end up paying LESS if there’s a market dip. Read more about how you can take advantage of this in 2020!
You can keep your heating oil costs down with annual maintenance of your oil-fired furnace or boiler. A regular tune-up by Rural Fuels’ trained and experienced service technicians can keep your heating system running at peak efficiency so you won’t use as much oil to keep your home warm and comfortable. We can also help you upgrade to more energy-efficient heating equipment.