Cold days and nights have arrived here in the North East. For many people, this means the start of expensive oil heat bills. About 5.5 million households in the United States used heating oil (distillate fuel oil) as their main space heating fuel in the winter of 2019–2020, and about 81% of those households were in the North East.
Keep reading for some tips on how you can stay warm without breaking your bank with heating costs.
Get a Heating Tune-up
A well-maintained heating system burns oil more efficiently, saving you money. Oil and electric heating systems should get checked up at least once a year. Properly serviced boilers and furnaces can save you up to 10% in heating costs, and increase the longevity of your system.
Take Advantage of the Sun
On sunny days, make sure any blinds or curtains are wide open to naturally warm your home. Close them when the sun goes down to reduce heat loss through drafty windows.
Insulate Your Home
The cold air can seep into your home from under doors, around windows, and even through electrical outlets. This not only makes it harder for your HVAC system to heat your home but can also lead to significant costs. Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows. You can also use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. You can also consider upgrading your windows to decrease heat loss.
Use a Smart or Programmable Thermostat
Heating your house when you're not there costs you money. With a programmable thermostat, you don't have to worry. A programmable thermostat can help you use energy only when you need it – and that helps us all.
Additionally, you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.
Check what other heating companies in your neighborhood, town, or city are charging per gallon of oil and switch over to a cheaper option. Be sure you know your tank capacity and what you use on average per year so that you don’t over-buy or contract for way more oil than you’ll need.