5 effective ways to reduce your home heating oil bill

The winter season is almost upon us. Don't let the rising price of oil break your bank. Protect your budget by staying a step ahead.

5 effective ways to reduce your home heating oil bill

The winter season is almost upon us. Don't let the rising price of oil break your bank. Protect your budget by staying a step ahead.
  • As a homeowner in New York, I know how steep an oil heating bill is. After months of shopping for the best heating oil company, my husband and I decided on a company who offers an affordable price that fits our budget. Moreover, we decided on locking in a fixed price. Now there are no more surprises in our monthly bills.

  • As many of you may recall, this past winter was a brutal one. It almost felt as if winter never wanted to leave, and summer was nowhere near the horizons. Throughout the freezing temperatures, your heating oil bill may have hit an unexpected high and gave you a run for your money. But this winter try to beat the costly oil bill by taking a few precautions.

  • Here are 5 tips on saving on your heating oil bill.

  • 1. Shop around

  • You may feel comfortable with your current heating oil company and wish to stay where you are. However, there is nothing wrong with shopping around. It's only giving you the opportunity to compare prices and decide what is best for you for the upcoming winter season. In addition, you want a company who provides great service and has your best interest at hand.

  • 2. Lower your thermostat

  • While you are at home, raise the thermostat to 73 degrees or higher. You have elderly or children at home who need shelter from the rising temperatures. Nevertheless, if no one is home, it's preferable to lower the thermostat 10 degrees lower. If it's a hassle to manually remember to increase and decrease the temperature on the thermostat, consider investing in a programmable thermostat. Once you set the programmable thermostat to specific times, the thermostat will automatically increase the temperature at the time of you and your family's arrival and decrease when no one is home.

  • 3. Seal all open spaces

  • If you feel a draft coming through the bottom of any of the doors or there are cracks in any of the windows, make sure to cover those spaces immediately. Remove all air conditioners from your windows or cover them the best way possible. Moreover, keep all closets doors and vents shut. Also, keep your vents clean.

  • 4. Speak to your oil company for a fixed rate

  • Yes, the prices of oil fluctuate. One day the price is at its lowest and the next day at its highest. You are skeptical of locking in to one rate. However, if a certain rate fits your budget, then it is a good idea to lock it in. That way you will avoid unpleasant surprises each month and not be subjected to the market fluctuations.

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  • 5. Schedule for service

  • During this time, a technician will check for the boiler efficiencies. If you have an old boiler, it's beneficial to speak to your company about investing in a modern boiler. Even though a new boiler may not fit your budget at that time, it's something to consider in the near future. It will help limit any hardships an old burner can bring.

  • Following one or all the above tips will get you a step closer to beating your heating oil bill. Your goal is to keep your family warm but without burning a hole in your budget.

Mayra Colón is a freelance writer, former independent author and avid reader. She holds a MBA from the University of Phoenix and completed the Freelance Writing and Selling Online course from Rutgers University of Arts and Sciences.

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