Heating oil has been a popular home heating choice for decades, particularly in houses built in the Northeast between 1930 and 1980. However, if you live in another region or own a home that was built before or after that period, it’s still possible that your residence uses home heating oil.
If you utilize heating oil to keep your home warm and comfortable, you likely find that your energy costs increase significantly during the winter months. This is especially true in cold regions, where it’s crucial to heat your home effectively – and, if possible, efficiently.
Below, we’re discussing several homeowner tips and house hacks that will help you save money when it comes to heating oil prices. Not only will these tactics keep cash in your pocket, but they’ll also help you reduce your heating oil consumption.
1. Seal Drafty Windows and Doors
It’s always a good idea to check that your doors and windows are sealed as efficiently as possible to keep the elements out – especially if you have an older home, live in a cold climate, or have old windows. Keeping your windows and doors properly sealed ensures that you don’t lose heat through drafts, which means you’ll use your heating oil at a slower rate. Plus, it can help keep cool air inside the home during the summer, lowering your air conditioning bills as well. To seal your home’s doors and windows, use weather stripping, rope caulk, or another method.
2. Take HVAC Tips into Consideration
There are a few ways to lower your heating oil costs that involve your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. First, it’s best to have any equipment serviced and tuned up by professionals regularly. Maintaining your HVAC system can help create a better heat-per-gallon rate and may make a noticeable cost difference. For most equipment, tune-ups should be conducted annually – but if you have ongoing issues, you may need to increase the frequency.
However, if maintenance isn’t making enough of a difference, you may benefit from replacing or upgrading your entire system. Even though this is a big job and a significant investment, it can save you money on repair and energy costs in the future. This is especially true if you plan to live in your home for many more winters.
3. Adjust Your Insulation
Another piece of home-owning advice that can help you save on home heating oil is to add to or improve your property’s insulation. It’s important to note that many homes built before the 1950s were not typically insulated. Again, these older residences are common candidates for heating oil, so this is something to check on if you haven’t yet.
Additionally, existing insulation can become old and get blown around over time, leaving portions of your home unprotected. Older materials (like that infamously itchy cotton-candy material) also don’t measure up to the current types of insulation on the market today. Depending on your home type and budget, you may be able to reduce your heating costs dramatically by simply adjusting your current insulation.
4. Avoid Automatic Delivery
Over the years, many people have opted for automatic heating oil delivery due to its convenience. This service option locks homeowners into a contract with a set oil price that provides deliveries on a subscription basis, meaning they do not have to monitor their oil levels themselves.
However, with the addition of use-estimation calculations and smart oil gauges and thermostats, it’s easier than ever to determine when you need to order more oil. Taking this initiative could save you up to $400 per year, as the average home uses about 800 gallons of oil every winter, and the convenience fee for automatic delivery is about 50 cents per gallon. Plus, you won’t be locked into a price throughout the season, meaning you can take advantage of oil cost fluctuations. A simple search for “oil prices near me” can help you find a rate that fits your budget.
5. Make Your Home Smarter
When you install a smart oil gauge, you won’t have to check your tank levels manually with oil tank charts. Even better, it can help you eliminate the need for automatic delivery and regain control over your heating bills.
Additionally, by adding a smart thermostat to your home, you can run your HVAC system more efficiently to save money. Smart thermostats learn your living habits and heat and cool your home only when needed, often at a slower pace, which can improve energy efficiency. This, in turn, leads to a reduction in oil use and major savings on your utilities.
Get the Home Oil Savings You Deserve
Although home heating oil is an older energy method, combining it with modern strategies can help you maximize your heat and minimize your expenses. The best part? When you follow the tips above, it’s easy to stay warm and stick to your budget.