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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am so angry, mainly at myself. I hate, hate, hate our oil furnace. :angry:

This is only our second winter in this house, and I'm trying to figure out how much oil we need. Last winter was not a normal winter so it's hard to judge from that, and the people before averaged 5 fill-ups of a 350 gallon tank, which is way more than we need since we winterized the house and leave the thermostat set at 65 F.

I completely forgot about ordering oil so now there is no heat and temps are in the single digits. I'm waiting until they open in an hour to call to avoid the after hours fee, but I'll still have to pay a $20 surcharge for them to bleed the furnace since I let it run out. And of course, there is the chance they won't be open today since it's NYE.

I don't even have the cash on hand for a full fill-up right now, so will have to do 100 gallons. I'd been having dreams that the furnace ran out the past few days, I wish I had ordered then so I wouldn't have to pay the stupid extra fee.
:shake:
With just this 100 gallon fillup we will have officially paid more for oil this winter than it would have cost for a gas furnace to run, according to the electric company cost estimator. We definitely paid more already than we did to heat our old house.

Each time I get a bit in savings, something, usually my own fault, rears it's ugly head.
 

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Oh I do hope they are open today it would be hard to wait until Monday. and it would be hard to start of the new year so cold.
 

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Good luck! I am sure they will be open for at least a few hours. Our old home had an oil furnace and we too would run out constantly. We found out that the gauge outside wasn't reading properly. So we never knew when we were actually out until the furnace would stop running. It is a pain. That house was only 480 square feet and cost us an average of $2100 a year! This house is 1100 square feet and with the propane we now average $900 a year. I hope you get some oil today. If it is really cold in your house, keep a tap dripping to avoid freeze up. :hugz:
 

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We ran out of oil this month and my husband bled the furnace. Can you do this yourself also and save the $20?
 

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Hey Joshin,

Sorry that happened to you, stay warm. For older houses, try window quilts, insulated curtains, taking out the window frames if there is a draft and putting Styrofoam in the frames and putting back together , you will never feel a draft from them again. Put draft dodgers or towels in drafting doors if you have any, and finally use heat efficient electric heaters ( like Vornados) to bring the room you are in temps up to 70-75 rather then heat the whole house. Good luck hon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the good thoughts! Right now it's hovering above 60 F, so it isn't cold in here yet. It's just so frustrating. Our gauge doesn't work either, once it gets to half full it reads empty, even if there is still 175 gallons in the tank.


I do feel slightly better. Our last fill-up was also just 100 gallons. I did the math and we used an average of 2.8 gallons a day. Did some Googling and found that the average for an oil furnace is 5 to 8 gallons a day. One of those times it's good to be below average!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yay! They are open today and will be out with the fuel.

I have no idea how to bleed the line, and handyman stuff isn't DH's forte, lol. I'm going to watch the guy do it today, though, that way I know what to do in the future, if need be.
 

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One of my son's uses fuel oil as his main heat. I know he has a hard time keeping fuel in it. But his has some kind of filter in the line somewhere, so even if it runs out, the gunk at the bottom of the tank does not clog his line. He just got some money freed up, so will be buying a full tank sometime soon. He also has a pellet stove in his kitchen. My other son had some awful fuel oil bills. He went to a outside wood furnace a couple of years ago, after we bragged about ours.

Hubby's parents used to go through 5 tanks of fuel oil a year :(
Dad got smart and bought his outdoor wood boiler a few months after we bought ours. We were using 500 gallons of propane a year for heating. If we stayed with propane only, we would be looking at almost $ 2000 a year. Big tank is now gone. Now we use between $ 7 to $ 10 a month for propane for cooking only and have our own tanks.

Not sure where your tank is located. If it is outside, you may need to do something else when it gets cold. Kerosene maybe.
Hubby's uncle just got a new fuel oil furnace. But they found out the tank could not go in the cellar and because it is outside, they have to burn kerosene at $ 3.99 a gallon versues 2.99 a gallon for fuel oil. Minimum 150 gallons to get a truck delivery. And around here, most demand payment on delivery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the info on wood furnaces, Ladytoysdream! We only use oil for heat, everything else is electric. We've been considering a pellet stove. We have a fireplace we can't use currently because it needs some work on it. I hadn't even considered a wood furnace. One of our neighbors uses one, I'll talk to him about how he likes it in our climate. We won't be able to change over the heating for at least one more year though.

I did the math, now that I have hard numbers of our oil usage. A full tank should last 4 months. Probably more, since my numbers are from our coldest month of the year so we likely use less oil the rest of the winter. We run our furnace around the clock for two months a year (December and January), and just as needed for about three months a year (November, February and March). By April we have it turned off unless we get a short cold snap. So we probably use a tank each winter.

Last winter was warmer than average and dry, and we only used about 250 gallons, which has made it hard to figure until now. So maybe running out does have a silver lining after all! To be safe, I'm going to figure we need 500 gallons. Figuring oil costs at the highest we have paid thus far, that's about $2,000 needed a winter. I'm going to spend spring and summer saving that up in an "oil fund." If there is extra money left at the end of each winter, I can put that into a new furnace fund!

(can you tell I'm a type A personality that needs numbers and planning to cope? :toothy:)
 

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Don't worry about being a type A personality. What you are planning to do to have the funds for heat next year is what many of us do here at FV. It helps to be able to plan.

Glad to hear you are getting heat today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
UPDATE: The heat's back on. The oil guy waved the $20 fee and showed me how to bleed the line and fire the furnace back up. It's so simple I think even DH could handle it!
 
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if your gauge is broken, you can do what we did (until we bought a new gauge)
go to the hardware store and get a yardstick or dowel (3ft) whichever is cheapest.

When you get your 100 gallon fill up - Unscrew the guage and pull it out so that you can put the stick in (have a rag or two handy)and dip in the stick until it touches the bottom of the tank. pull it out, and wipe clean. Take a sharpie marker and mark the stick at the oil line. This is the 100 gallon mark. When your gauge stops working, do the dip test. at the 100 gallon mark, order oil.
Hope that helps. By the way, you can buy a new gauge and install it yourself, it's not hard. it's just a float and a gauge that are one. you can usually find them through a plumbers supply. I think King is the main manufacturer of the gauges.
 

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Glad to know you now have heat, and you learned something useful, and you saved $20. That's a pretty good day in my book.:thumb:

Cat
 
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