Understanding what the simple adjustments are that we can make to maximize our oil furnace efficiency is the first step to saving real dollars. And understanding how much oil an optimally operating furnace should use can help us understand when it may be time to call in a HVAC expert.
5 Reasons You’re Using Too Much Heating Oil
If you get the feeling that you may be using too much heating oil, there are several reasons why this may be so.
- Your HVAC system may be old and inefficient
- Your furnace needs maintenance
- You are experiencing unseasonably cold weather
- Cold air is getting in because of drafts or lack of insulation
- Is your thermostat set too warm?
If you said, “I should address this issue” to any of these bullet points – with the exception of the outside temperature – addressing any or all of these issues may just save you some money. This is what is called “low-hanging fruit”. Let’s break it down.
Old, Inefficient HVAC
Inefficient heating systems can burn through heating oil too quickly, increasing your oil consumption and raising your heating costs. These inefficiencies may result from a unit’s age or a lack of routine maintenance.
Your Furnace Needs Maintenance
Proper, annual maintenance is important for any heating system – especially those that burn fossil fuels. Not only can a regular maintenance program keep your furnace running the best it can, but it can also serve to troubleshoot any potential problems or inefficiencies.
Unseasonably Cold Weather
There is not much a homeowner can do about a cold snap when trying to keep down energy costs, but it is good to understand that the colder the temperature outside, the more fuel oil you will use. So making sure that your furnace is in tip-top shape will ensure that it is running the best it can.
Drafts Or Lack Of Insulation
A drafty home means cold air is coming in and your heated air is going outside! It is important to check all windows, electrical outlets and doors for cold air leaks and drafts. It might also be a good idea to head up to your attic spaces and see if you have enough insulation. Hot air rises. Your heating costs may really be going through the roof!
The Thermostat Is Too High
We all like a cozy, warm home after a long day at work. And no one wants to fight the “thermostat” battles with our family members. But by lowering your setting by just a couple of degrees, you can save on fuel consumption.
Even lowering the thermostat at night a couple of degrees can not only save you on fuel consumption but may just help you get a better night’s sleep.
Average Heating Oil Usage Per Month (And Frequently-Asked Questions)
The average home in the US uses 500 gallons of heating oil between October and March. But that is not the complete answer. It is impossible to generalize as some important variables can make a real difference on consumption. We touched on some of those factors above.
The amount of heating oil a household uses in a day depends on several factors. The size of the house, the temperature outside, the temperature in the house and the efficiency of the heating system all influence how much heating oil gets used. Generally, the colder the temperature outdoors, the warmer the temperature indoors and the bigger the house, the more oil will be used.
Typically, the warmer it is outside, the less oil your heating system will need to use to bring your home up to a comfortable temperature. When it’s 50 degrees or so outside, you might use just a couple of gallons of oil in a day. Should the temperature drop to 20 degrees, you might use seven or eight gallons of oil daily. Your furnace or heating system will need to work harder to keep the temperature in your home comfortable when it’s colder outside, leading to an increase in the amount of heating oil you use.
A 2500 square foot house will typically use less fuel oil than a 3500 square foot house. A home that utilizes oil to fuel a hot water heater in addition to a furnace will also require more fuel oil.
How Long Will 100 Gallons Of Heating Oil Last?
The majority of homes in the John Cipillone, Inc service area use under 2 gallons of oil in a day. Most use in the range of 1.5 gallons per day. With the average system running approximately 8 hours per day, your fuel consumption is approximately 12-16 gallons per week. That means that it will take a little over 25 days to consume 100 gallons of heating oil.
How Much Heating Oil Will I Use Per Day?
Knowing how much fuel you use each day will help you figure out how long the oil in your tank will last. The size of your tank, weather conditions, and thermostat setting preferences also affect how long a tank of heating oil will last.
Understanding that these variables will affect your oil burner’s performance you can gauge a rough estimate using the following assumptions. For instance, if you have a 275-gallon oil tank, and you use about 2.00 gallons of oil each day, the fuel in the tank will last you about 100 days give or take.
It is worth noting that a tank of oil might last for a different duration at the start of the cold season compared to at the end. If the temperatures in October and November are considerably warmer than they are in January and February, you are likely to find that it takes you longer to use the fuel in your tank during the late fall compared to the cold months of late winter. It is a good idea to monitor your oil tank or to sign up for automatic delivery so that you do not miscalculate how long the fuel will last and end up running out.
How To Save Heating Oil
- Lower your Thermostat
- Use a Smart Thermostat
- Regular Furnace Maintenance
- Upgrade From An Older System
- Lower Your Thermostat
Use a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat will enable you to vary the temperature of your home allowing you to raise or lower the temperature depending on your required comfort level. Why heat your home to the max comfort level when you are not there? Small adjustments to temperature can save you big money.
Regular Furnace Maintenance
Scheduling regular maintenance calls make a huge difference in the efficiency of your oil combustion source and keep it sediment free and running at optimal levels. Your John Cipillone, Inc oil heat expert can place you on a regular service schedule and fuel delivery schedule keeping your system cleanly running with sediment at a minimum.
Upgrade From An Older System
Sometimes no matter what you do and how well you maintain your oil furnace, it pays to upgrade to a newer more efficient furnace.
The lifespan of an oil furnace is usually 20-25 years as long as it has been well maintained. Plus in a 25 year span, technological advances have improved efficiencies and safety. If your furnace is older than 15 years and is starting to burn more oil or require more maintenance calls, seek out your John Cipillone, Inc technician to get the latest information on the newest technology.
Just as heating technology improves over the years and existing systems age, so does insulation. As we discussed earlier, air leaks and inadequate insulation have you literally heating the outside. Consider an energy audit. There are now many companies offering to complete a home energy efficiency audit and they will highlight areas where you could save money. It is important to ensure the company completing the audit is suitably qualified before engaging them.
Fuel Oil Companies in Wynnewood, PA
If you are lucky enough to live in or near Wynnewood, PA you know that many of the lovely Main Line homes that you see were built to utilize oil heat. And the “go to” oil heat provider is John Cipillone, Inc. They have been providing and servicing oil heat for over 60 years. They are a reliable fixture on the Main Line.
Reach out today!