How Much Heating Oil Will I Use A Day?

image of how much and calculator depicting heating oil consumption in winter

Many people use heating oil to warm their homes. It is important that the heating oil tank has enough fuel so you don’t unexpectedly run out in the middle of a cold snap. Some homeowners budget their heating oil costs by determining how much heating oil they require for the entire winter season. To calculate properly, you will need to know a few factors. A frequent question we receive is, “How much heating oil will I use a day?”. This article provides the answer to that question.

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Factors That Determine Heating Oil Usage

1. The Size and Style of Your House

house that is heating by heating oil

How much heating oil you use daily depends on the size and style of your home. As such, the bigger the house, the more heat is required. Even if a smaller home has the same ambient temperature as a larger home, the property with high square footage will require more heating oil.

How the house is designed also determines the amount of heating oil that will be consumed. This is because heating needs are not only based on square footage; the entire volume of the interior space is a determining factor. Fuel consumption is also affected by factors such as the quality of insulation and how thick the walls are.

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2. Ambient Temperature

Ambient temperature also has an effect on the amount of fuel you use. So the colder it is on a particular day, the more fuel you will consume. For example, if you experience a 15-degree Fahrenheit drop in temperatures, this may even double your oil usage.

3. Oil Furnace Condition

image of an oil furnace

For your oil furnace to always function at optimal levels, you must ensure that it is always clean and well-maintained. It must be serviced at least once every year, preferably just before fall. A furnace that works efficiently uses less oil.

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Heating Oil Usage – Based On Temperature


The average capacity of oil tanks is 275 gallons. When you are experiencing temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, an average home uses roughly 2 gallons of oil each day. Therefore, based on the average capacity of an oil tank, a full tank can last up to 137.5 days, or an estimated four and a half months. So a full tank should be sufficient for the whole cold season.

But because temperatures fluctuate in winter, when the temperature drops, more heating oil will be used. For instance, a 40-degree day will require about 3.7 gallons of heating oil. If the temperatures stay at 40 degrees, a full tank will last for about 74 days only; this is about two and a half months.

Similarly, if the temperature drops to as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit, a typical house needs around 7 gallons of oil a day. This means a full tank will last 39 days,  only in the event that temperatures remain consistent.

During the peak of winter, temperatures generally range between the 20s and 40s, or average 30 degrees. Therefore, a typical home requires roughly 5.3 gallons of heating oil on a daily basis. This means a full tank should last around 52 days or about one month and three weeks.

With a 275-gallon tank, a typical home’s heating needs should be adequately met. But for those with smaller tanks, it is necessary to estimate your fuel usage requirements so that you can figure out when to schedule your next heating oil delivery.

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Assess Your Heating Oil Needs Using Historical Statistics

image of a heating oil delivery at a home

Estimating your heating oil requirements using historical statistics is possible if you have been staying in your current home for a number of years. By using past heating bills, you can easily calculate the average daily, monthly, and yearly heating oil usage.

If you have recently moved into your home, look for any homes that are similar in size in your neighborhood. Find out from neighbors what their average heating oil usage is. A local heating oil delivery company can also give you the estimates that you need.

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Typical Heating Oil Consumption Based on Square Footage

As mentioned above, the size of your home has an effect on how many gallons of oil you use per day. The average house is 2,687 square feet in the US. Your home may be bigger or smaller than the average.

For every 1,000 square feet of space, your home requires the estimates below :

  • 10 degrees Fahrenheit – 3.27 gallons
  • 20 degrees Fahrenheit – 2.67 gallons
  • 30 degrees Fahrenheit – 2.07 gallons
  • 40 degrees Fahrenheit – 1.47 gallons
  • 50 degrees Fahrenheit – 0.87 gallons

If your house is 3,500 square feet, you will require 3.5 times the typical requirements above. For instance, on an average 40-degree day, you need at least 5.15 gallons of oil.

Oil-Fired Water Heater

image of an oil-fired water heater and boiler room

Water heaters normally use electricity, propane, heating oil, and natural gas. For homeowners who use heating oil for warmth and domestic hot water, it is necessary to adjust their calculations.

A water heater needs about 0.5 to 1.0 gallons of heating oil each day. How much is consumed generally depends on the size of the home and how many times the shower is used daily.


Bottom Line

It is possible to estimate how much heating oil you require daily based on factors such as the size of your home, historical statistics, and temperature. But if you have just moved into your house, you can simply contact your local heating oil supplier for estimates.

Call Miller Oil Company For All Of Your Home Comfort Requirements

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Miller Oil Company provides the best cooling and heating services in Hartford County, Connecticut. We employ top HVAC technicians who are certified and offer superior HVAC installations, repairs, tune-ups, and replacements. Every one of our knowledgeable technicians has the experience to correctly service your HVAC.

By working with Miller Oil Company, you will receive the best service costs for cooling and heating in the region. With our repair and maintenance services, you will find that your comfort and energy efficiency are improved and your home cooling and heating costs are reduced. If you require a replacement HVAC unit, we can suggest the most appropriate model for your house that is within your budget. We include a satisfaction guarantee for all of our work.

We also offer superior heating oil deliveries. You can choose from one of our oil delivery plans or financing options. This way, you can customize your oil deliveries to meet your needs. We use high-quality oil and all of our deliveries are fast and reliable. Give Miller Oil Company a call today to learn more.

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