December 2, 2022
When the Cape Cod winter hits and your home starts relying heavily on its oil supply to keep you and your family safe and warm, it’s important to know how much oil you’re going to go through and when you should be thinking about refills. Running out of oil at a bad time can be unpleasant at best, to say nothing of the possibility of paying higher prices due to high demand or facing the cold without heat for an indeterminate amount of time.
For this blog post, The Oil Peddler will cover what you need to know to determine just how much heating oil you’re likely to go through this winter on Cape Cod, starting with the key factors which shape the answer to this question. Keep reading to learn more about how to answer the question, “How much heating oil will I use this winter?”
Why Each Winter Is Different for Oil Use
Your system can consume dramatically different amounts of oil from day to day or week to week, even compared to others on Cape Cod. That’s because there’s more to the final assessment than just the temperature outside. Here are some of the factors to keep in mind to determine how much heating oil you will use, and how often you will need to order heating oil delivery, at your own home on the Cape:
Your Heating System’s Efficiency
Heating system efficiency will be a big factor in your oil consumption; you can look to AFUE ratings for an idea of how well your particular heating system converts heating oil into useful heat without waste. A system with an 80% rating according to AFUE system wastes the remaining 20% that it burns. And that’s before getting into questions of how well-maintained your system is, parts that aren’t quite working as advertised, etc. As a rule of thumb, an older system will be less efficient than new units, even if they have the same ratings, because wear-and-tear take their toll even with routine tune-ups. By contrast, a new heating system model will be more efficient.
Cape Cod, MA Weather
Of course, the temperature, humidity, wind, and other climate conditions on Cape Cod will have a major impact on your heating fuel consumption. How much each affects your home will be a factor of your insulation and weatherproofing, of course, but even a well-protected Cape Cod, Massachusetts home will feel the difference of a cold day with still winds and a cold day that constantly saps heat with a damp, blustery wind.
Related Post: Why Now is the Best Time to Buy Heating Oil
Your Home’s Structure and Size
It takes more energy to heat more space, of course, and insulation and weatherproofing matter, but even the structure of your home can shape energy use—questions like the number of windows and doors your home have, how rooms are connected, your garage, etc. Simply put, the bigger your home is, the more energy you will need to consume to keep it heated. On the other hand, if you live in a smaller Cape Cod area cottage, your home is going to require less heat and thus you will use less heating oil.
How Much You’re at Home
If you spend a lot of the day at home and need your home at a comfortable and cozy temperature rather than being able to leave it a bit lower when you aren’t around, you’ll consume more heating oil as a result. The growth of work-from-home has caused some changes for many people, so keep it in mind when considering your oil needs. For example, if you’re gone during the day for work, and you keep the heat at a low temperature during that time, you will use less heat than the person who works from home all day. Or, if you travel frequently, and while your gone, you aren’t cranking the heat, you will see less heating oil being used.
When To Top Off Your Oil Tank on the Cape
Once you know the factors that shape your winter oil use habits, it’s time to get hard numbers you can work with. Your oil heater will have a recommended flow rate which will tell you how much fuel it should be using per hour. If you pay attention to how much time your system spends running, you can get a concrete idea of your fuel consumption on that day, then extrapolate from there.
You can also check your oil delivery records and see when you’ve needed oil in the past, to get a grasp of your usage and buying habits, adjusting for any changes related to the factors we discussed before. This includes if you know you’re going to be at home more or less this year. Or, if your home is more weatherproofed or your system more efficient. Finally, if the weather is warmer or colder consistently, you will know that you’re using more or less oil. For example, you use more oil during a cold snap where the temperatures are below freezing for a few days in a row.
Make sure you keep on top of your oil tank levels. If you don’t know how to check your oil tank gauge, you can refer to a previous blog post from Oil Peddler about that topic. You need to make sure you are monitoring how much fuel you have left, so that you can place your heating oil delivery order with plenty of time to spare. As a rule, you should order your next batch of heating oil delivery when your tank is no lower than ¼ of a tank full.
Related Post: What is the Cost to Fill Your Heating Oil Tank?
Fill Your Heating Oil Tank with The Oil Peddler—Cape Cod’s #1 Fuel Delivery Company!
Whether you’re looking at months until your next refill or days, make sure you get your fuel from The Oil Peddler for competitive oil prices, reliable delivery service, and a consistent local oil supply. There’s no better way to keep your home warm this winter season on Cape Cod.