cheapest way to heat your home
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Heating a home with fuel oil, how do you like it?
My husband and I are looking to rent a home and the heat is fuel oil also called heating fuel, I found a local company that claims it is about 30% cheaper than natural gas, which for some reason I was thinking it was one of the most expensive ways to heat…do you use it? How efficient is it? How often do you fill your tank?
So much depends on the efficiency of the furnace, how well the home is insulated, how warm you keep the house and so forth. If it’s an old house and not well insulated, has old, drafty windows, it’s not going to be cheap regardless of what fuel you use. And it will certainly cost you more if you keep the thermostat set a 75 rather than 68. And does the boiler provide your domestic hot water? That will cost you more also. And are the hot water lines insulated?
We have oil heat in this old house and it’s not terrible. However, we have had a new roof and additional insulation installed there. We’ve caulked and weather stripped all the windows and each heating season put those storm window kits on the windows that are not efficient and need replaced yet. We’ve caulked and installed foam backer rods where needed all along the area where the trim boards and the roof meet on the outside also.
And because of the construction of the home, we can’t have additional insulation blown into the walls. Double plank construction has it’s downfalls and that is one of them. I’m using an insulating paint additive from hytechsales.com as I go through and paint each room. It isn’t expensive and it does help considerably. The first room I did with the additive was an upstairs bath that previously was a cold room; two outside walls. It’s now so warm that we have to keep one of the heat runs shut or it gets too hot in there.
And caulking, insulating and weather stripping along the place where the basement walls meet the house is another prime place for air leaks. That’s another project that’s on the go right now. And yes, I have gone through 2 cases (12 tubes each ) of caulk this spring, summer and fall. Big, OLD house and lots of gaps to fill.
And if the unit provides your hot water for showers, laundry and so forth, there are things you can do to cut that back. I do a lot of laundry in cold water. Installed low flow shower heads and am working on the faucets as I remodel the bathrooms. We insulated the hot water pipes last year and noticed a big difference in how hot the water stays in the lines. You get hot water sooner when you turn the tap on.
We’re on a budget plan with our supplier and the budget is set at $200 per month right now. But I’m going to be watching it and will increase that if need be rather than have a big bill to pay come next June when it’s settle up time. We settled on that figure after a long and very helpful phone call to the customer service department of our oil supplier. I explained what improvements we had made just this summer (roof, caulking all windows, doors, trim, soffit areas) and based on their collective knowledge, they felt that amount was probably pretty reasonable.
And we have the boiler cleaned and serviced each year to keep it operating at it’s peak efficiency.
It’s a multi-part equation with many variables.
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