How much heating oil will I use in a day?

If you’re new to home ownership or this amazing (and often very cold) part of the country, “how much heating oil will I use in a day?” is a pretty smart question to ask – and pretty common. Your first winter in New England can be…well, intimidating. But don’t worry – you’ve totally got this, and we’ve got your back with everything you need to know to be prepared (and stay warm) all year long!

Getting to know YOU is the first step in understanding oil usage

If you think about how much gas you use for your car on a regular (i.e. daily, weekly or monthly) basis, you know it all depends on how much you drive, whether you’re taking the highway or back roads, and what kind of car you have. The same is true about heating oil.

In order to figure out how much heating oil you’re likely to use, you need to start by answering a couple of key questions:

  • Is it summer or winter? It’s way colder in winter so expect your heating oil usage to increase during the coldest months.

  • How big is your home? More house = more heating oil.

  • How’s your home insulation? If your home is drafty, you’ll probably need a bit more heating oil to account for the heat that escapes through the gaps in your insulation.

  • How efficient is your heating oil system? This can be affected by the type of system, the age of it, and the maintenance.  If you are curious about how important annual tune ups are (hint: they are critical to the efficiency and effectiveness of your system!) check it out here

  • How warm do you keep your house? If you’re aiming for sauna level warmth in January, it will be awesome, but it will cost you!

  • How much heating oil is used for hot water? If your home uses heating oil for hot water (most do, although some have electric hot water heaters) and you enjoy marathon hot showers all winter, you’re probably going to need a little bit more oil.)

How much heating oil does a house use?

Warning: Eye-chart ahead! But don’t worry – it’s not super technical and you don’t have to memorize it. We found this straightforward chart is actually pretty handy for getting an estimate of how many gallons of heating oil you might use per day based on the temperature outside. This chart uses a 2,000 square foot home as a baseline. Of course, as we saw earlier with all the lifestyle factors that can impact oil usage, this is just a general estimate to gauge how quickly you are going through oil!

 Average Outside Temperature (°F)  Approximate Gallons Used in 1 Day Approximate Days 1/4 of a Tank (60 Gallons) Will Last
15 10 6
20 9 7
25 8 8
30 7 9
35 6 10
40 5 12
45 4 15
50 3 20

If this chart has your mind in all sorts of math rabbit holes, here is our general rule of thumb: If your energy usage is average and your home is around 2,000 square feet, a ¼ of a tank should last you about a week during mid-winter months when the temperature is around 20 degrees.

Knowing this estimate along with your own usage factors can help you generally predict how many gallons of heating oil per year you’ll use, but it really depends on you and your home! Speaking of this, are you interested in upping the ante to boost your home efficiency and save more money? Yeah, we thought so.

Staying warmer, spending less – here’s how to do it!

If you’re shocked at how many gallons of heating oil per month or even how many gallons of heating oil per day you’re using – there are a couple things you can do get control of it.

These are three ways that will help you use less heating oil and save more money this winter:

  1. Address cracks, gaps, and insulation. Before you spend hundreds of dollars on space heaters (or decide to live in a sleeping bag all winter – which can be a slippery walking hazard, by the way), spend $20 on a good caulking gun and some expanding spray foam and start sealing. You may be shocked at how quickly you improve the draftiest areas of your home for such a small investment!

  2. Get thermostat savvy! Surprise: keeping your home’s thermostat set to the same temperature (72°F) all winter actually causes you to lose heat! That’s because the hotter it is inside – and the colder it is outside – the larger the force behind the cold air pushing the hot air out. Instead, switch out your old manual thermostat for a programmable “smart” one and set it up to automatically turn on and off at specific times of the day or night to maximize heating efficiency.

  3. Insulate your basement! The basement may not be the prettiest part of your home, but it’s one of the most important. Basements are often biggest entryway for cold air to enter the home. To reduce the amount of cold air infiltrating your toasty warm house, add insulation directly to the walls and ceiling to reduce the amount of incoming air. Also make sure to seal around the sill plate (the long piece of wood that sits directly on top of the foundation wall) for extra insulation.

Placing an order 101

You have all this great information about how much heating oil you’re likely to use, but you might still be wondering how that translates into gallons.

We'll make this super quick, simplicity in ordering heating oil is how we roll:

  • Not all tanks are the same, but it’s probably a safe bet that your regular home heating oil tank is 275 gallons. A 275-gallon tank can safely hold 240 gallons of oil.

  • The Heatable minimum delivery is 100 gallons.

  • If you order more oil than your tank can hold, no worries! Give yourself a pat on the back for being extra on top of things and rest easy knowing you won’t be charged for overestimating. You only get charged for the oil that fits in your tank – simple as that.

  • Order at a quarter! As winter settles in and “how much heating oil will I use in a year” becomes a more pressing concern, we recommend that you “Order at a Quarter!” so that you never run out of fuel when you need it the most. It will keep you warm all winter long.

OK, I’m up to speed and ready to order! How do I get started?

At Heatable, we’re all about bringing you heating oil in the smartest, fastest, least expensive, and easiest way possible. To get started, simply enter your zip code on our website or app and see if you live in one of our ever-expanding Maine & New Hampshire delivery areas. If you do, we’ll show you the current price of oil – and let you know exactly when we can deliver it (hint: very quickly, we’re kinda known for that). You’ll need to enter a few pieces of information for your first delivery, and then from there on out you can order heating oil anywhere, anytime, and all online with just two taps and a swipe on your smartphone. Just Tap, Tap, Swipe and we bring the heat!

Learn more about Heating Oil

Visit our Ultimate Consumer’s Guide to Heating Oil for everything you need to know about heating your home with #2 heating oil. 

Why Heatable?

Heatable’s the smart way to order oil! Our website and quick order app put you in control of your heating oil purchases. You can order anywhere and at any time. Just enter your zip to see your super-low price and get started.

We provide lower prices for all! Heatable is committed to providing consistently low heating oil prices. Our technology and streamlined process allow us to offer the same low price to everyone – no negotiating necessary.

We’re heating oil superstars! Founded by industry veterans, we’ve been around the block (literally hundreds of thousands of times). We have our own fleet of bright orange trucks, and we make our own deliveries.

Heating oil delivery at your fingertips. Try us today!

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