How Much Heating Oil Will I Use A Day?

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If you rely on heating oil to warm your home, make sure you have enough fuel supply in the heating oil tank, particularly during the cold season. Understanding your daily heating oil consumption will help you gauge whether you have sufficient supply that will sustain you throughout the winter season. Homeowners often ask, “How much heating oil will I use a day?” This guide delves into addressing this frequently asked question.

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Factors That Affect Heating Oil Usage

image of a home covered in snow that uses home heating oil
  • The Size Of Your Home: The amount of heating oil necessary for your home depends on its size and architectural design. Larger homes need more heat compared to smaller ones. Even when exposed to the same surrounding temperature, homes with greater square footage will use more heating oil.
  • The Design Of Your Home: Home design is also important. Heating needs are influenced not just by square footage alone. The total interior volume matters as well. Wall thickness and insulation quality also impact fuel consumption.
  • Local Weather and Temperature: The local temperature conditions affect fuel usage. Lower temperatures result in higher daily heating oil consumption. A mere 15℉ decrease can potentially lead to a doubling of your oil consumption.
  • Heating System Condition: Maintaining cleanliness and condition for your oil home heating system is vital for its efficient operation. Schedule an annual maintenance service before autumn. A well-functioning heating system reduces oil consumption.
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Heating Oil Consumption Based On Temperature

Oil tanks generally hold around 275 gallons on average. When the local temperature rests at 50℉, an average household consumes approximately 2 gallons of oil per day. This means that a completely filled tank will provide about 137.5 days of supply, equating to roughly four and a half months. Essentially, a full tank can last for the entire cold season.

However, the temperature fluctuates during winter. A decline in temperature results in increased consumption of heating oil. For instance, a typical day at 40° requires approximately 3.7 gallons of heating oil. A full tank can last two and a half months when the temperature is consistent.

When the temperature drops to 20℉, the average household can consume approximately 7 gallons of heating oil each day. With consistent temperatures, a full tank can last up to 39 days. 

During the cold season, temperatures vary from 20s to 40s, averaging around 30℉. An average home’s heating requirement hovers at roughly 5.3 gallons per day. A completely filled tank can last an average of 52 days, equivalent to one month and three weeks during the coldest period.

Typically, a 275-gallon tank offers adequate support for an average household. If you have a smaller tank, assess and estimate your fuel needs to help you determine your next refill.

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Estimating Heating Oil Requirements Based On Historical Statistics

If you’ve lived in your home for a number of years, you can easily estimate your typical consumption based on your previous heating bills. Maintain a log of annual fuel usage to serve as a reference. Historical data can be used to determine annual, monthly, and daily estimates.

If you are new to the area, check neighboring homes of comparable sizes. Ask your neighbors about their oil consumption to get valuable insight into your potential oil requirements. Reach out to heating oil suppliers to get an estimate.

Related Article: How Often Should You Replace a Heating Oil Tank?

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Average Heating Oil Usage Based On Square Footage

The dimensions of a home play a role in determining its typical heating oil consumption. The mean size of a US home is 2,687 square feet. 

For every 1,000 square feet of space, the following approximations apply:

  • At 10℉: 3.27 gallons 
  • At 20℉: 2.67 gallons 
  • At 30℉: 2.07 gallons 
  • At 40℉: 1.47 gallons 
  • At 50℉: 087 gallons

If your home is around 3,500 square feet, your fuel requirements will be approximately 3.5 times the averages mentioned above. As an illustration, on a standard 40°-day, you will require about 5.15 gallons of heating oil.

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Heating Oil For Water Heaters

Water heating systems commonly rely on propane, electricity, natural gas, or heating oil. You need to recalibrate your calculations if you use heating oil for your heating and water supply. 

Water heaters typically use an average of 0.5 to 1.0 gallons of heating oil each day. The exact consumption depends on your home’s size and the number of individuals using the shower daily. 

Related Article: How Much Heating Oil Is In My Storage Tank?


Determining your daily heating oil requirements is easy if you factor in the ambient temperature, home size, and historical data. If you are in the area, you can always reach out to your neighbors and heating oil suppliers for an informed estimation.

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Call Columbus Energies For Superior Heating Oil Services

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For all your HVAC and oil delivery needs in Southeastern Massachusetts and the Rhode Island region, contact Columbus Energies. We are family-owned and operated that has been in business for over 60 years. Our company has withstood the test of time by delivering honest, high-quality services that locals can trust. We treat our customers like family. You can always count on our experienced technicians to provide you with service that goes above and beyond your expectations.

For those that use oil-heat, you can select from one of our various oil delivery plans and financing options. This way, you can customize your fuel deliveries to meet your needs. Not only that, but we employ the best professionally certified HVAC contractors who can perform exceptional HVAC services. Some of these services include oil tank replacements, air conditioning maintenance, boiler installations, and more. All of our home comfort services are affordable and are done accurately and promptly at all times.

Schedule a service appointment with Columbus Energies call today. Call now and receive a free, in-home estimate.

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