Do You Have Enough Heating Oil for the Season?

Posted: December 4, 2023

Many Variables Affect the Number of Gallons Used

Throughout the heating season, homeowners in our service area usually need anywhere from 700 to 900 gallons of heating oil during a normal winter. If you have a 1,000-gallon underground tank, in theory, you could possibly make it through the heating season if that tank is full right now. Keep in mind, however, that the capacity of a 1,000-gallon tank is only about 900 gallons. That’s because space needs to be left in the tank to allow for expansion and prevent any spillage upon delivery.

This is but one example. Many of our customers own 275-gallon aboveground heating oil tanks, which typically hold about 230 gallons of fuel when full. A full tank should give you enough heating fuel to last from 4-6 weeks if you own a 2,000 square foot home.

Of course, these are just rough estimates. Many variables affect the amount of fuel you consume. This includes the outdoor temperature, the size of your home, the quality of insulation in your home, the efficiency of your heating system and how well it’s been maintained, and the thermostat setting you choose.

Here’s one way your actual usage can vary. In an average size home, (about 2,400 square feet), if the temperature during a 24-hour period averaged 20 degrees, you probably would burn about seven gallons. On the other hand, if the average temperature was 40 degrees the next day, you would probably use a shade under 4 gallons during that time.

Watch Your Tank Levels

If you call us to order fuel, make sure to check your heating oil tank regularly—especially in the middle of a cold snap. Don’t wait until your fuel level gets too low. We recommend calling when your oil tank is about ¼ full.

Combine Automatic Delivery with a Tank Monitor

Automatic delivery is a free service that takes away the hassle of having to check your tank and order your fuel. It also lowers the risk of running out of heating oil. We can install a device that wirelessly monitors your fuel usage so we will always know the actual amount of fuel in your tank.

Read more about heating oil delivery.

Keep It Clear for Your Delivery Driver

After a snow or ice storm, please clear a path to your oil fill pipe or aboveground tank so your driver can reach it quickly and safely. We also need you to shovel/plow your driveway so it is free of snow and ice. Safety codes prohibit us from trying to navigate slippery driveways. Our trucks need a space wide enough for an ambulance to get through.

Pay Attention to Your Heating System

If you have an oil furnace, change or clean the air filter a few times during the heating season. A dirty filter compromises efficiency and can even result in a shutdown if it gets clogged with dust and other particles.

If you have a steam boiler, check the water gauge periodically. Low water levels are a leading cause for boiler shutdowns. Steam boilers should also be flushed when the water in the gauge looks rusty. Talk with us if you’re not familiar with this procedure.

If you have a hot water boiler, its automatic filling system, controlled by the pressure-reducing valve, should maintain the proper water level at 12 to 15 psi of pressure. If there isn’t a pressure-reducing valve, manually feed the boiler by opening the water feed valve until the boiler pressure reaches 12 psi.

Finally, for safety’s sake, keep the area around your oil boiler or oil furnace as clean and clutter-free as possible. Never store anything flammable anywhere near your system.

Contact Wilson Oil and Propane in PA, NJ and DE

Founded in 1926, Wilson Oil and Propane strives to provide excellent service to our customers every single day. Always feel free to contact us if you have any concerns or questions about staying safe and warm this winter. Remember, we’re The People You Can Trust.