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How Much Heating Oil Will I Burn This Winter?

Heating oil winter

Although we’ve had a relatively mild fall so far this year, we New Englanders all know what’s coming once we hit the holiday season. The question is, will you have enough heating oil on hand to keep your family comfortable once the temperatures start to drop in the coming weeks?

There are many variables that come into play when estimating home heating oil use – how energy efficient your home is, weather conditions, and the age of your heating equipment, to name just a few. 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, the law of averages can help.

If you own an 2,000-2,500 square-foot home in our Massachusetts service area, you should expect to burn between five and eight gallons or more of heating oil per day during the colder months. Here’s a breakdown of some average temperatures and their impact on heating oil use:

Average temperature (°F) Gallons burned per day
15 7.8
20 7.0
25 6.2
30 5.3
35 4.5
40 3.7
45 2.8
50 2.0

If you have a 275-gallon tank, which as we’ve discussed on this blog actually holds about 230 gallons of fuel (the rest is needed for air), a full tank should about five weeks in a 2,000 square foot home. Overall, for a home this size, you should expect to use somewhere between 700 and 900 gallons during an average heating season in our area.

Please keep in mind that these are only estimates – any of the factors listed above, plus many others, can affect your actual heating oil use.

How to reduce the amount of heating oil you burn

While many factors that affect heating oil use are out of your control, there are some ways to minimize the amount of effort your heating system has to expend to keep you comfortable. Here are three of the most cost-effective ones:

  • Weatherize – Caulking, weather sealing, and door sweeps can greatly reduce drafts, helping to ease the heating burden on your furnace or boiler.
  • Program your thermostat – Drop temperatures in your home when people are at work or school, then again at night when you’re snug under the covers. We recommend setting your temperature back eight degrees in these circumstances, except when temperatures are extreme: doing so can lead to frozen pipes in certain homes.
  • Maintain your equipment – Keep your heating efficiency as high as possible with expert heating maintenance, which will also extend the life of your equipment and prevent potential breakdowns.

Stay warm and safe this winter with reliable home heating oil deliveries in MA from the pros at Scott Williams. Contact us today to schedule heating system maintenance for your oil-fired furnace or boiler, or to order your heating oil supply for the cold months ahead!