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How to Conserve Heating Oil in Older Homes

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

A few tips to help conserve your heating oil in older homes.

If you live in an older home, you probably dread the heating bills that come every winter. Since older homes tend to have older windows and less insulation than newer homes, they tend to require more heating oil to maintain a comfortable temperature inside. See below for a few tips and tricks to help conserve your oil.

Tip #1 - Identify any areas of heat loss

Windows, walls, doors and air ducts are your main areas that you can address to conserve heat and prevent air loss.

In older homes, the windows tend to be a single pane glass. In more modern homes, there are double panes with a pocket in between. This pocket acts as insulation for your home. If your home has single pane windows, you should consider applying plastic film to seal them. This film is easy to come by, and not too difficult to install. Just cut the film to size and use double-sided tape to adhere it. Once secure, use a hairdryer to shrink it in place. If done properly, you will not even notice it! But it will undoubtedly feel more comfortable in the house once done.

Doors are one of the most used aspects of our homes. The constant opening and closing of doors can wear away their ability to maintain a good seal. As a result, these are areas that drafts can develop over time especially at the base. On a cold day, place your hand at the base of your door and see if you feel any drafts. If you do, you could consider a draft blocker or a door sweep to help prevent heat loss.

Walls can also be a major source of heat loss. If at any time you are considering renovating your home, look into updating your insulation. Blown in insulation tends to be quite cost-effective and can often be subsidized through an energy audit that your state offers. This could considerably decrease your heating oil usage.

Depending on where your duct work is located, the outside temperature could have a huge effect on the heating of your home. Ducts that leak heated air into unheated spaces can add hundreds of dollars a year to your heating and cooling bills, but you can reduce that loss by sealing and insulating your ducts

Tip #2 -Keep your furnace clean and tuned up!!

To keep your fuel "engine" running and efficient, you need to maintain the unit and we suggest having a tune up professionally done each season. A professional heating oil furnace or boiler tune-up and cleaning eliminates the grime and ensures all components are in good working order so when it's time to turn up the thermostat on the first chilly morning of fall, you have heat. This will ensure that it functions at its highest efficiency. An efficient heating unit utilizes less heating oil.

Tip #3 - Install a digital thermostat

Lowering energy consumption can be challenging with a manual thermostat, since it requires frequent adjustments and doesn’t automatically respond to environmental changes. If you haven’t already upgraded to a programmable or smart model, consider making the investment before winter temperatures set in.

With a programmable thermostat, you can ensure that the settings are always optimized for the lowest heating oil consumption possible. Take advantage of the device’s programming powers, and plug your family’s schedule into the thermostat

Follow these simple tips and see how you can save on heating oil next season!!!

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