How Much Heating Oil Will I Use A Day?

image of how much and calculator depicting heating oil consumption in winter

Homes that depend on heating oil must see to it that there is enough fuel in their oil tanks to last. Start by figuring out the household’s daily fuel oil consumption rate. Use this to check whether a full tank can last throughout the winter. A lot of clients inquire “How much heating oil will I use a day?”. The answer varies in every situation. Read on to learn how to determine heating oil consumption requirements.

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What Influences Heating Oil Consumption?

1. House Size & Design

house in winter that uses heating oil

The amount of fuel oil needed is directly proportional to the size of a house. The bigger the home, the greater the fuel necessary to keep it warm. Houses in a neighborhood will experience the same ambient temperature but the bigger ones will consume more oil than the smaller homes.

Aside from the square footage, it is also important to consider the height of the ceilings since the overall interior volume matters more than just the floor area. Other design factors to consider are the thickness of the walls and the kinds of insulating materials used.

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2. Ambient Temperature

It will be harder to keep the house warm if the ambient temperature is extremely cold. The lower the thermometer reading, the higher the fuel consumption for the day. It is estimated that fuel consumption doubles with every 15-degree Fahrenheit drop in temperature.

3. Oil Heating System Condition

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An oil furnace or boiler is a machine that can only perform at its best if it is in peak condition. That means regular cleaning and maintenance work is essential for high fuel efficiency. A professional tune-up should be performed at least once a year. Get this done before winter comes so that the system is ready to deal with the cold weather.

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Heating Oil Usage & Temperature

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Oil tanks vary in size with the average capacity being 275 gallons. In areas that register 50 degrees Fahrenheit, most homes will need 2 gallons a day of heating oil to stay warm. That means a full tank can serve homes for about 4.5 months before running out. This should be enough for a full winter.

Just remember that the temperature will not always remain at a single level. In fact, massive fluctuations are common. If it drops lower than 50 degrees, then expect to consume more than 2 gallons in a day. For example, 40-degree days will often require 3.7 gallons of heating oil. If the average temperature is closer to this, then the full tank will be empty in just 2.5 months.

It gets progressively worse as the temperature continues to drop. In 20-degree days, an average home will need 7 gallons of oil. This means the full tank won’t make it past 39 days.

Homeowners may want to study the average annual winter temperature in their areas. If they expect to hover around the 30-degree mark, then their furnace is likely to consume 5.3 gallons of oil daily. This translates to a 52-day lifespan for a full tank.

All of these should give you a good idea of what to expect this winter if you have an average tank and an average home. Those who have smaller tanks can make estimates to project the dates when oil deliveries will be necessary.

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Compute Heating Oil Requirements from Historical Data

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Families that have been living in the same house for many years have probably developed a sense of what their heating oil needs are. For detailed estimates, they can refer to their past heating bills and fuel consumption records. Using these, they can extrapolate how much oil they need daily, monthly, and annually.

Those who have just moved in won’t have the same data but they may be able to make good estimates by relying on their neighbors. They can check if there are homes of a similar size and design then ask about their heating oil consumption patterns. Lastly, it is possible to simply contact local heating oil delivery companies to ask for estimates.

Average Consumption Based on Floor Area

It is time to delve deeper into the relationship between home size and fuel consumption. In the US, the typical home has a floor area of 2,687 square feet. Your home could be bigger or smaller than this.

Below is an estimate of the heating oil requirements per 1,000 square feet at various temperatures:

  • 10°F: 3.27 gallons
  • 20°F: 2.67 gallons
  • 30°F: 2.07 gallons
  • 40°F: 1.47 gallons
  • 50°F: 0.87 gallons

To compute your home’s fuel needs, you should first divide your floor area by 1,000. For example, a house with 3,500 square feet will have a quotient of 3.5. On a day when it’s 30°F outside, the fuel consumption will be 7.245 gallons based on the list.

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Heating Oil Use of Water Heaters

Water heaters use a variety of energy sources to increase liquid temperature. If yours consumes heating oil, then the calculation will need adjustments.

Most of these units will need between half a gallon to a gallon of heating oil each day. It all depends on household consumption and home size.


Final Words

No one wants to run out of fuel in the middle of winter. By studying factors like home size, regional temperatures, and historical statistics, you can get a rough estimate of your daily heating oil needs. You can also go directly to local heating oil companies to get their professional estimates.

For Superior Heating Oil Deliveries, Call Townsend Energy

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Townsend Energy is proud to be a trusted, affordable heating oil supplier in the area. We offer different delivery plans and financing options. This way, you can customize your oil deliveries by choosing which option works best for you. By working with us, you can expect affordable oil prices and fast and reliable fuel deliveries.

Also, when you need maintenance service or repair for your heating system, our professionally certified technicians can help you. Our home heating services aim to improve efficiency, comfort while reducing your energy costs. Call Townsend Energy today to schedule your appointment.

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