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How to Estimate Your Home Heating Oil Usage

Posted - 02/09/2012

Homes in colder climates use approximately 70 million British Thermal Units (BTU) for heating each winter. This amount is true whether you use electricity, gas or home heating oil. Each heating source has its own individual BTU rating. By using the rating and average usage, you can estimate the amount of home heating oil that you will use to heat your home and establish your budget.

Use an online calculator to determine your BTU heating needs. These calculators use your home’s square footage, insulation rating and location to give you an estimate of the BTUs needed to heat your home. Furnaces don’t operate at 100 percent efficiency. Look for the energy rating on your furnace. If you cannot find one, use 50 percent for your calculations.

A gallon of fuel is rated at 140,000 BTUs. Multiply this number by your energy efficiency to arrive at the estimated BTUs available. Take the total number of BTUs that the online calculator determined for your seasonal heating needs and divide that number by the BTUs available to approximate the number of gallons of heating oil that you will need. Contact a professional heating oil company if you need assistance estimating your oil usage.
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