For those who have previously used electricity to power their heating systems, moving into a home equipped with an oil furnace can be a real adjustment. The first thing to know is that you are not alone. In fact, approximately 5.7 million U.S. homes currently use heating oil as their primary source of heat, in addition to a significant number of commercial buildings and institutions.
While heating oil is available nationwide, it is most popular in the Northeast, with New York and Pennsylvania holding the top two spots and three smaller northeastern states rounding out the top five states for heating oil consumption. No matter where you are located, there are some things you should know in order to make your switch from electricity to heating oil as comfortable and convenient as possible.
Understand that usage levels affect tank levels
Scheduling regular deliveries may not be enough to prevent low tank levels during periods of bitterly cold temperatures. When furnaces must work harder than usual to keep the interior of the home warm, it is normal for them use considerably more fuel. To ensure that your heating oil levels do not get dangerously low during periods of heavy usage, take time to check your tank levels frequently and contact your heating oil supplier to move up your delivery date, if necessary.
Help the delivery driver
Another important part of enjoying a successful switch from electricity to heating oil for powering your home's furnace is to make sure that deliveries of heating oil can be done safely and conveniently. Tips for this include making sure that your driveway is clear and accessible, with no low hanging limbs or other obstacles. In addition, if you have a dog, the driver may prefer that you keep it inside during the delivery process.
Contract for regular deliveries
Unlike electricity, which is available as long as the grid is up and your monthly bill has been paid, heating oil must be delivered and physically stored at your home in order to be available to your furnace. If the tank runs dry, your heating system will be unable to provide heat to your home.
A good way to help ensure that you will not run out of heating oil is to contract for regular deliveries with a local heating oil delivery company in your area. Instead of having to remember to watch your tank levels and order more fuel, you will be able to enjoy the security of knowing that your tank will be refilled regularly. Talk to a heating oil company near you to find out more about their oil delivery services.