Over 5.5 million households in the United States use heating oil as their main source of heat for their homes. A few others use heating oil to heat their water. Does your home use heating oil to stay warm during the winter months?
If your answer is yes, you might already know heating oil is more expensive than natural gas. This leads many homeowners to wonder “how much heating oil will I use a day?”
This is a good question to ask as most homes are not cheap to heat. Many households must find ways to reduce their oil-based heating bills and budgets during the winter months. Knowing how much heating oil you use in a day will make budgeting and planning for the winters much easier.
Do you know how much heating oil you use per day? Check out this complete guide to find out!
How Long Can Your Heating Oil Last?
Heating oil can last 18-24 months without going bad. That’s almost 2 full years!
This number of months depends on several factors such as the size of your oil tank, the health of your heating system, and the quality of oil you use. High-quality heating oil, for example, will last longer as it contains the proper additives for longevity.
You’ll likely have a partially filled oil tank when you turn your heating system off during the summer months. As long as your heating system is clean and uses quality oil, the heating oil will be fine when you turn your heat back on in the cooler months.
The other factor affecting the lifespan of your oil is your daily consumption. The average home can use anywhere from 2-8 gallons of oil per day. Colder temperatures around 15° or colder might cause you to use 7 or 8 gallons of oil every 24 hours.
The average furnace will burn between 0.8-1.7 gallons of oil per hour when running. A homeowner running their heat for 10 hours per day using 1.7 gallons per hour will go through 300 gallons of heating oil in about 17 days!
Some households may use more or less depending on their size, insulation, and several other factors.
How Much Heating Oil Will I Use a Day?
When you’re trying to answer this question you should be aware there are many factors influencing it. Your heating oil use will also vary by depending on many of the following factors as well. Here’s a closer look at exactly what affects the amount of heating oil you’ll use in a day.
1. Condition of Your Oil Furnace
The age and quality of your heating oil furnace influence the amount of heating oil you use in a day. Older heating furnaces or ones of lower quality will run with less efficiency. This often means your furnace will use more heating oil.
You want to regularly maintain your furnace to ensure it’s functioning at its best. If you’re unsure your furnace is working properly, you should have a specialist check it for you. They may also recommend replacing an old furnace before it starts causing any significant problems.
2. The Outside Temperature
One of the greatest factors affecting your heating oil usage is the outside temperature. Colder outside temperatures will result in using more oil in a day. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do unless you’re okay keeping your home just above freezing!
The good news is the daily temperature changes. Some winter days may be warmer than others resulting in using less heating oil.
3. The Size of Your Home
The other significant factor is the size of your home. A large 2-story house is going to require more heating oil compared to a small single-story 2 bedroom house. Even when both homes experience the same winter temperatures, the smaller home will save more as there’s less space to heat.
4. The Design & Layout of Your Home
The design and layout of your home will affect airflow. The more airflow you have in a house, the less heating oil you’ll need to keep your home warm and comfortable.
The design and building integrity will also affect your daily oil heating bill. Does your house have thick walls, high-quality insulation, and new windows that seal well? You’ll be using less heating oil in the winters!
Do you have an older house with drafty windows, poor insulation, and empty cavities in the wall or attic? More heat will escape and the cold air will creep in. Without proper insulation and repairs, you’ll be using more heating oil per day.
The types of doors and windows you have also affect heating costs. Larger windows and large window sliding doors also offer less insulation.
5. A Comfortable Temperature
Do you prefer feeling a little warm or a little cold? The comfort level of you and your family will affect your heating oil use. You’ll use more heating oil per day if you want to keep the temperature of your home warmer.
Are you someone who prefers a cooler home? You’re in luck! Keeping your home cooler will save you money as you’ll be using less heating oil each day.
The average temperature of a home is around 68° F during the day. You can save your heating oil and sleep better by turning the temperature down to around 60° F at night. You should, however, keep your heat at a temperature that makes you and your family comfortable.
6. When You’re Home
If you’re not home during the day, do you need to keep it at the same temperature all day? Most people prefer to turn their heat down when they’re not home. Since many people work out of the house for 6-10 hours a day, you can save heating oil by turning the temperature down during that time.
If you’re working from home, this might not be an easy option. Instead, you can turn the temperature down when you leave to run errands, visit a friend or family member, or leave for the weekend.
7. Heating Oil Tank Size
While this doesn’t affect your daily use of heating oil, your tank size will affect how often you’ll need to refill it. Oil tanks come in a number of sizes ranging from 288 gallons to 1,000 gallons.
The tank size depends on the size of the house. Smaller homes will have smaller tanks as larger homes will have larger tanks. Be conscious about how you heat your home to save your oil and your money.
The Math to Heat Your Home
How much heating oil will I use a day? That answer depends on a lot of different factors but you can get an average.
To find this average, refer to your old heating bills from the year before. Find the number of gallons it took to refill your oil tank and divide that number by the number of days between refills.
Let’s say you bought 250 gallons of heating oil. After 50 days, you needed to refill your oil tank again. Divide 250 gallons by 50 days and you’ll find you used about 5 gallons per day.
While rare, you might run out of heating oil during the winter months! Check out this post to learn what you can do if you run out of oil.
How to Reduce Your Heating Oil Bill
The average cost for heating oil is around $2.45 per gallon this year in the United States. Oil prices will fluctuate based on the time of year and demand for heating oil.
Despite this hefty heating price, there are many actions you can take to lower your heating oil consumption!
Poor insulation is one of the main reasons homeowners have higher heating bills. Improving the insulation in your ceilings and attic can save you valuable heating oil throughout the winter.
Drafty windows are another problem. Replacing windows is a big expenditure that doesn’t fit everyone’s budget. Try sealing your windows with window plastic to keep your heating bill low this winter.
Use Only What You Need
Do you need your furnace running 24/7? The answer is a general no. There are times during the day where you can turn your heat off. Turning your furnace down during the nights will also use less heating oil.
Wear Layers and Blankets
Another option is to layer up! Plus this is a great opportunity for you to get cozy this winter.
Wear extra layers, like long-sleeves and sweaters when you’re at home. Add extra blankets to your bed to stay warm in a cooler home. It’s not a perfect solution but you will save on your heating bill!
Order Oil During the Warmer Months
Refill your oil tank between April and September. Since the demand is less, the average cost per gallon for heating oil will also be less.
Stay Warm and Save Money This Winter!
How much oil will I use a day? Finding the answer to this question will give you valuable insight into your heating oil consumption. From there you can make smart decisions to insulate your home and save money this upcoming winter!
Check out our latest House articles to learn more great ways to improve your home and help your budget!