Record High Heating Fuel Prices for Winter 2021
This week the U.S. Government acknowledged that the average heating bill this winter is estimated to be as much as 54% higher than last year. Record rising inflation this year along with supply chain breakdowns in the oil and natural gas industry are the main culprits of these rising costs.
Approximately half of the households in the United States use natural gas as their heating fuel and they can expect to spend an average of $750 this winter (up 30% from 2020).
Homes using heating oil this winter will shell out an extra 43% more than they did last year to fill up their oil tanks at $1750 per season ($500 more than last season).
This blog post will provide some pointers on how to reduce energy loss during the heating season and ease some of the pain of these large price increases.
- Shop Around: Rather than using your usual heating oil company, call around to 2 or 3 other local suppliers to see if the cost per gallon is cheaper. A standard oil tank is 250 to 300 gallons, so a fill of 200 gallons x $0.40 = $80 back in your pocket.
- Fill Up Early: It might not be too late to get a lower cost because you filled up early. Rates tend to increase as the season gets closer.
- Negotiate: Once you get the cost per gallon, see if the company will deliver for free or at a reduced rate (It doesn't hurt to ask). Many suppliers offer free delivery but build the cost into the gallon price. Teaming up with 2 or 3 neighbors to all get filled at the same time will usually help you save some money on delivery costs.
- Heating System Tune-Up/Maintenance: Make sure your heating equipment is in proper working order. Older systems require more maintenance which can help prolong the equipment's working life as well as make it more efficient.
- Change your Filter: On forced hot air heating systems a dirty/clogged return filter will cause the furnace to run more to make temperature.
- Seal Up Your Windows/Doors: Take some spray foam or caulk and seal up any drafts in your home. Treat these air-flow areas like money flowing out of your home/pocket.
- Open Window Curtains: Allowing more sunlight into the home during the day helps naturally heat the home. Make sure to close the curtains at night.
- Close the fireplace damper: When your fireplace is not in use, make sure the damper is fully closed to prevent heat from escaping.
- Lower the Thermostat a Degree or Two: This pointer should be obvious by now, but the less heat your require the less fuel you will burn. Thermostats with programmable schedules are also huge cost savers.
- Insulate your Heating Pipes! This is the tip we can help you with! Heating pipes that are uninsulated in non-conditioned areas like basements, crawl spaces, or garages are like radiators. They are radiating off heat in cold/drafty spaces and preventing the heat from reaching the areas of your home that you actually want to heat. Pipe Insulation is one of your best investments for saving energy in your home and with rising fuel costs the return on the investment just got that much better!