How much heating oil will I need this heating season?
“How much heating oil will I need” is a question that enters the minds of many homeowners this time of year, especially once temperatures in northern New Jersey start to take their annual dive some time around the holidays.
The truth is, answering that question is difficult because there are so variables to the equation that have to be considered. Some factors that influence how much heating oil you will use include:
- How efficient your home is (that is, how well insulated and air leak-proof it is);
- The weather;
- How you maintain your heating equipment (a furnace or boiler will lose about five percent efficiency every year that it’s not professionally maintained); and
- Your heating preferences (the warmer you like it, the more heating oil you will use).
Of course one of the most important factors when attempting to estimate your future heating oil use is he efficiency of your heating system: a newer, more efficient furnace or boiler will burn less oil per hour than an old one (all other things being equal), so if you find yourself using what you think is too much oil, you may want to consider a heating equipment upgrade. A new heating system can run as much as 30 percent more efficiently than an older one – enough to cover the cost of replacement in just a few years.
Still, if you want to get at least some idea of how much heating oil you’re likely to use during the course of a heating season, there are ways to get in the ballpark.
For a 2,500 to 3,000 square-foot home in our service area, you should expect to burn about five to seven gallons or more of heating oil per day – a little more than one gallon per hour with the heating system running intermittently throughout the day. If you have a 275-gallon tank – which typically holds about 230 gallons of fuel (the rest is needed for air) – a full tank should about five to six weeks.
Of course, as you can see from the list above, that number is just an estimate: every home is different and uses different amounts of heating oil every day during the cold months. To get a more accurate estimate of how much heating oil your home is using, try this:
- The next time you get a heating oil delivery, make note of your heating oil tank gauge and how many gallons of oil are delivered; the number of gallons is noted on your delivery ticket.
- Keep track of the day-to-day temperatures between that day and the day of your next heating oil delivery.
- Keep track of how many days it took to return to your original tank gauge reading, then divide the number of gallons delivered by that number of days. For example, if you had 200 gallons of oil delivered and it took 40 days to reach the same level on your tank gauge, you used about five gallons per day.
- Compare your fuel consumption to the temperatures you recorded to get a sense of how much temperature affected your oil use.
Stay warm and safe this winter with reliable home heating oil deliveries from the pros at Bolkema Fuel Company. Contact us today to schedule heating system maintenance for your oil-fired furnace or boiler, or to top off your heating oil supply for the cold months ahead!