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If this is your first experience utilizing oil heat, there are a few factors to consider in terms of how much it will cost you. Every individual will have a different rate of consumption based on the needs and preferences of the person along with the way the house is constructed. The main factor affecting the cost of your oil bill is the size of your home. Therefore, no two people’s bill is going to be the same. However, you can make a ballpark prediction to help you prepare for paying, and you can make some adjustments to your lifestyle to lower this bill.

What Size Tank Do You Need?

The biggest factor in how high your oil bill will be is the size of your tank. After taking this into account, you can make calculations based on your house size and individual lifestyle. Average oil tanks come in 288, 340, 420, 500, 550, 675, and 1,000 gallons. While you don’t have to fill the whole tank in one go, you should base decisions on managing your bill by the cost to fill the entire tank to make planning easier. Most smaller homes consisting of only one or two bedrooms generally use a smaller 300-gallon tank while larger homes of three and four bedrooms usually need a 500-gallon tank.

How Much Oil Will You Use?

When in operation, an oil-burning furnace will use between 0.8 and 1.7 gallons per hour. If you want to fill up only once per month and own a 300-gallon tank, you would only get four to nine hours of running time per day. To properly manage this bill, you will have to ensure you are taking steps to use this fuel efficiently. To find out how much you will spend this year, you can use information from the previous year. Take the total amount spent on oil for the whole year and divide by twelve to give you a monthly cost. Even if you don’t use oil heating during warmer months, you can set this money aside to prepare.

Other Factors to Consider

Changes in outside temperature will affect the rate of consumption drastically. Turning down the thermostat at night allows for less usage of the furnace. Single-story homes that are smaller in size will use considerably less heating oil than a larger two-story home. Combat this style and design issue by properly insulating ceilings and replacing bad shingles. Caulk and repair any seals and weather stripping around windows and doors. Older furnaces will also not run as efficiently, so consider replacing yours if it is not fairing well. If you can’t afford a full replacement, consider replacing the oil-burner nozzle as larger ones consume more fuel.