For people choosing to heat their home with oil, running low on oil is the worst thing that could ever happen, except, maybe, not having oil at all. It will get pretty expensive to fill up on oil during the winter months, even if you’re not completely dry.
The cost of heating oil is everchanging, far from static, and predictable. There are some factors that will influence its cost, like time of year for example, and some of them aren’t under your control. So let’s go over the heating oil cost and what determines it.
How Much Does 100 Gallons of Heating Oil Cost?
100 gallons of heating oil cost around $480. This number is based on the average US heating oil cost reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration for last winter, between October 2022 and March 2023, which was $4.80 per gallon. On top of this, you will also be required to pay taxes and the extra charges for fast delivery, which are set by each state.
Cold weather areas like the Midwest and the Northeast will have higher costs for healing your home. The price of oil for home heating will also reach its peak between October and March of each year. This is why having your oil delivered during the summer when demand reaches its lowest, will be a great way to save money on fuel prices per gallon.
The factors that can affect the cost include:
- Supply and demand
- Crude oil prices
- Competition in local markets
- Regional operating costs
Details on factors affecting the heating oil price
According to HVAC.com, heating oil prices shift with marketplace demand, just like in the case of other consumer goods. Prices will stay somewhat stable when there isn’t a high demand for the fuel.
Supply and demand
Between October and March, homeowners use the most heating oil, which causes the prices to increase. The average homeowner will usually need between 800 and 1,200 gallons of heating oil in the northeast over the winter months. Other months will require a lot less heating oil, obviously.
Crude oil prices
A major factor in setting the price of heating oil is the cost of crude oil, according to The U.S. Energy Information Administration. Crude oil is ultimately determined by the global marketplace demand.
This demand is influenced by other factors, like the weather and the global economy, as well as each country’s individual economy. The supply of fuel oil is also affected by weather and the amount of oil produced by members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
You’ll know you’re in the best position as a buyer and a homeowner if you notice several options when you’re looking for “heating oil prices near me.” The number of local suppliers will cause oil prices to vary by region.
You’ll likely find lower-than-average home heating oil prices in areas where there are a lot of competing supplier companies, while regions with not so many options will have suppliers jack up the price, making it more expensive for homeowners to stay warm.
Is It Expensive to Heat With Oil Fuel?
Regardless of the heating fuel you use, it can get really expensive if your furnace is no longer energy efficient or your home isn’t well insulated. If you manage to control these factors, you will be able to reduce your overall heating expenses quite a lot.
There are some basic insulating steps you shouldn’t ignore when you want to keep your home warm, and these include checking for air leaks around the windows and doors. As these are areas where you commonly lose heat, this can lead to an increase in the cost of keeping your home warm.
How Long Will 50 Gallons of Heating Oil Last?
You might be able to keep your whole house heated with around 50 gallons of oil if you live in an area with mild temperatures and you only have a small house of under 1,000 square feet. If you’re on the opposite side, however, living in very cold weather, in a big home with high square footage and poor insulation, then you might go through those 50 gallons in under a month. Some people need more oil each week.
Several factors will influence how much oil you will use:
- Average temperatures
- Size of the home
- The age of the furnace
How Much Does It Cost to Fill a 275-Gallon Oil Tank?
You should expect to spend about $1,000 to fill up a 275-gallon oil tank, even though the actual expense will vary based on the factors we talked about above. It’s always a good idea to look around for the best prices and purchase as much as possible in bulk, to keep these costs as low as possible. Doing this off-season is also a good idea. When possible, depending on the average costs in your area, consider either switching from oil to propane or the other way around, depending on what’s cheaper. In most cases, the cost of propane will be lower than oil.
Tips to Lower Your Current Costs of Heating Oil
One of the best ways of saving money, aside from purchasing fuel during the off-season, is replacing your old furnace with a new one, as you see it starts to lag behind when it comes to features. The average saving on heating oil should pay for the cost of a new HVAC system over just a few years, even though getting it is a big expense in one go. Furthermore, the extra comfort and warmth you get from a new heating system are a free additional bonus.