Oil Heat Question
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    Default Oil Heat Question

    Hi Everyone!

    I am new to this forum/Frugal Village and this is my first time posting.

    My question is about oil heat. My family and I relocated from NJ to Maine this past March. This will be our first winter in New England and also our first winter using oil heat!

    I am trying to figure out how much oil I might expect to use throughout the season and I was wondering if anyone who has oil heat could share their experiences. The house we are renting is about 1800 square feet and the oil tank is 275 gallons. We keep the heat relatively low (about 62 and turn it lower when we go to bed). We also have a fireplace that we will be using quite frequently (we live in a heavily wooded area so wood is not an problem).

    Thank you and I look forward to reading and posting here!

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    Registered User ilovechocolate's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome, MooseMama! I can't answer your question about the oil heat but we have other Maine members here so I hope they can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ilovechocolate View Post
    Hi and welcome, MooseMama! I can't answer your question about the oil heat but we have other Maine members here so I hope they can.
    Aww, thank you!

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    Registered User hikr00's Avatar
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    Hi MooseMama! I'm in Maine. Our house is a little over 2,000 square feet and we use appx 1,000 gallons over the course of the year.

    We Keep it set at 70 degrees around the clock. You can save on the oil by lowering thermostat at night etc but I like my heat steady and refuse to be frugal there. Also you can purchase or make insulated curtains for windows to keep more heat in.

    And welcome to Maine!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hikr00 View Post
    Hi MooseMama! I'm in Maine. Our house is a little over 2,000 square feet and we use appx 1,000 gallons over the course of the year.

    We Keep it set at 70 degrees around the clock. You can save on the oil by lowering thermostat at night etc but I like my heat steady and refuse to be frugal there. Also you can purchase or make insulated curtains for windows to keep more heat in.

    And welcome to Maine!
    That is a great idea about the curtains! We did put plastic on the windows that are drafty. I'm hoping that makes a difference, too!

    And thank you! We absolutely love it here!

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    Plastic will definitely help keep the drafts down and the heat in.

    I'm so glad you're loving it here. I was born here and have never felt the need to move anywhere else because this place just gets into your blood and no other place can come close

    Enjoy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hikr00 View Post
    Plastic will definitely help keep the drafts down and the heat in.

    I'm so glad you're loving it here. I was born here and have never felt the need to move anywhere else because this place just gets into your blood and no other place can come close

    Enjoy!
    I know what you mean. We plan to NEVER leave Maine. It's such a different environment than where we come from. Even though it's been less than a year, it's such a better life than that which we left behind.

    As far as finances and "frugality" go...I still can't believe how cheap certain things are here, like car insurance and electricity. I rarely had an electric bill in NJ that was under $200 and up here I haven't even had a bill that is $100 yet! We have two cars and the insurance here is less than half of what we paid in NJ. We are renting right now, but hope to buy eventually. The property tax here is a fraction of what it is in NJ. It's great!

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    NH here, weighing in as long-time New Englander with oil heat. The answer to your question is- no one really knows, as there are SOOO many factors that go into how much oil will be used. There's the obvious factor of what temp. you set it to, but then there are other factors, like how well the home is insulated, how 'draft proof' the doors and windows are, and if your hot water comes from oil. If possible, you might request a history of oil orders on the property for the last year or two in order to get an educated guess. Keep in mind that last winter was a very brutal one for this area, in terms of both temperatures and snow amounts.

    As for the fireplace- never had one myself, but friends and neighbors who have had them in this area complained about them. Very drafty and the heat from fires just got sucked right out, according to them. I don't know if they just didn't know how to used the properly or what, but I kind of doubt that NONE of them understood how to use one properly. Wood stoves are the way to go instead of fireplaces, if your landlord will switch it out. It is a good idea to have an alternate heat source up this way for power outages, which aren't frequent but can last a while in rural areas.

    Good luck with the move!

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    I live in Mass (not Maine) and have oil heat. I think i used around 600 gallons last year (maybe more) but i had an old furnace (about 50 years old) and it wasn't very efficient. I also keep my thermostat low and use my fireplace (it's a center chimney so i do gain some residual heat from the chimney itself). what i would do is contact the oil supply company the previous owners/renters used and ask for their avg use. that may be the best way to determine approx how much oil you will use.

    On another note, have you ever watched the show North Woods Law? I love to watch that (my niece lives in Maine).

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    We love North Woods Law!! I'm a Mainer born and raised and even being here I had no idea of the broad scope of responsibilities the wardens had on their shoulders till I saw the first episode of North Woods Law. It's fascinating to watch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by khaski View Post
    NH here, weighing in as long-time New Englander with oil heat. The answer to your question is- no one really knows, as there are SOOO many factors that go into how much oil will be used. There's the obvious factor of what temp. you set it to, but then there are other factors, like how well the home is insulated, how 'draft proof' the doors and windows are, and if your hot water comes from oil. If possible, you might request a history of oil orders on the property for the last year or two in order to get an educated guess. Keep in mind that last winter was a very brutal one for this area, in terms of both temperatures and snow amounts.

    As for the fireplace- never had one myself, but friends and neighbors who have had them in this area complained about them. Very drafty and the heat from fires just got sucked right out, according to them. I don't know if they just didn't know how to used the properly or what, but I kind of doubt that NONE of them understood how to use one properly. Wood stoves are the way to go instead of fireplaces, if your landlord will switch it out. It is a good idea to have an alternate heat source up this way for power outages, which aren't frequent but can last a while in rural areas.

    Good luck with the move!
    That is a very good idea about trying to get a history of the oil use in previous years.

    I have heard the same complaints about fireplaces but so far we've been happy with ours. We tend to use it mainly on Saturday and Sunday nights when we are in the living room watching TV. It makes the room so warm that we don't have to run the heat at all! When we are ready to find a house to purchase we definitely want one with a wood stove, though.

    Thank you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltingmommy View Post
    I live in Mass (not Maine) and have oil heat. I think i used around 600 gallons last year (maybe more) but i had an old furnace (about 50 years old) and it wasn't very efficient. I also keep my thermostat low and use my fireplace (it's a center chimney so i do gain some residual heat from the chimney itself). what i would do is contact the oil supply company the previous owners/renters used and ask for their avg use. that may be the best way to determine approx how much oil you will use.

    On another note, have you ever watched the show North Woods Law? I love to watch that (my niece lives in Maine).
    Thank you also for the idea of contacting the oil company about previous years' use!

    I have not watched North Woods Law yet, but I do need to check it out. I did used to watch Downeast Dickering so when I moved here and was able to actually buy the Uncle Henry's publication I was so excited. (And what a great publication that is! So many good deals!)

    Thank you!

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    Oh Uncle Henry's is fascinating! My DH has to get that every week to read. Especially the "free for the taking" section. You never know what you'll find in there. LOL!!

    I don't know what part of Maine you're in so depending on your area this may be too far to drive but one place we really love is the Maine Wildlife Park. It's located in Gray. I guess you'd call it a zoo of some sort where there are animals kept in captivity but they are Maine animals and their ultimate goal is to release them back into the wild. They will take in animals that have been orphaned or injured or raised in captivity etc and attempt to get them to the point where they can be released back to the wild where they belong. Animals that have been raised in captivity can't ever go back into the wild as they have no concept of caring for themselves. For example they had three baby fawns that were rescued this spring when it was determined that their Mom had died or they were abandoned. They were SO cute! Anyway, they got the two rehabbed and raised to be old enough to care for themselves and they have released them. The third fawn they suspect the Mom abandoned because she has some muscular issues with her back legs. She can walk etc but her gait is a little funky and they feel it's a birth defect. She's also a "piebald" fawn so she's mainly white. Between the leg issues making running difficult and her coloring she is a sitting duck for hunters and therefore will not be released. But I love that their goal is to release them all back into the woods but that if they cannot be sent back they will have a nice warm, safe home to live out their years. We get a season pass every year as it's not a long drive for us to go and we usually go every week or two. LOL! We love our animals

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    Hi MooseMama and welcome to Frugal Village!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hikr00 View Post
    Oh Uncle Henry's is fascinating! My DH has to get that every week to read. Especially the "free for the taking" section. You never know what you'll find in there. LOL!!

    I don't know what part of Maine you're in so depending on your area this may be too far to drive but one place we really love is the Maine Wildlife Park. It's located in Gray. I guess you'd call it a zoo of some sort where there are animals kept in captivity but they are Maine animals and their ultimate goal is to release them back into the wild. They will take in animals that have been orphaned or injured or raised in captivity etc and attempt to get them to the point where they can be released back to the wild where they belong. Animals that have been raised in captivity can't ever go back into the wild as they have no concept of caring for themselves. For example they had three baby fawns that were rescued this spring when it was determined that their Mom had died or they were abandoned. They were SO cute! Anyway, they got the two rehabbed and raised to be old enough to care for themselves and they have released them. The third fawn they suspect the Mom abandoned because she has some muscular issues with her back legs. She can walk etc but her gait is a little funky and they feel it's a birth defect. She's also a "piebald" fawn so she's mainly white. Between the leg issues making running difficult and her coloring she is a sitting duck for hunters and therefore will not be released. But I love that their goal is to release them all back into the woods but that if they cannot be sent back they will have a nice warm, safe home to live out their years. We get a season pass every year as it's not a long drive for us to go and we usually go every week or two. LOL! We love our animals
    The Wildlife Park is one of the first places we visited when we moved up here! I love that their goal is to have the animals return to the wild. I was so excited to see the moose (meeses? LOL).

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