Have you ever wondered how much heating oil your house uses when turning your heating on for a few hours at a time? Or how your heating oil consumption changes when you’re working from home or when your kids are home from university? To work out approximately how much heating oil your household uses, just follow along with our heating oil usage calculator below.
Before we dive into our heating oil usage calculator, we need a science lesson - starting with energy.
Energy is measured in Watts (named after Scottish scientist and engineer James Watt). However, the measurement more commonly seen is kilowatts (kW) – the equivalent to 1000 Watts – as it takes many Watts to heat a home.
To break down energy usage, you need to know how long the heating is on in hours. Therefore, total energy use is measured in kilowatt hours or kWh.
From our records, we know the average UK household using heating oil as their primary source of energy expends around 26,000 kWh each year on heating.
Following it so far? Excellent, we’ll move on!
Firstly, we need identify how many kwh are in a litre of heating oil. We know that kerosene contains circa 10.35 kWh of energy per litre.
To calculate the volume of heating oil, an average UK home uses in a year, we simply:
Divide the total energy expenditure (in this example 26,000 kWh), by the amount of energy in one litre of kerosene; 10.35 kWh
2,512 litres of heating oil, or 2 – 3 tanks
This is about what we would expect to deliver to an average-sized property in a year.
Next, we need to consider seasonality, because even the coldest person doesn’t have their heating on all year round.
So, let’s say for argument’s sake the average UK household has their heating on for six months of the year, six hours each day. Six months is roughly the equivalent of 180 days, so for ease of calculation, we’ll go with that:
Dividing 26,000 by 180 gives us the amount of energy used by your home every day it is on
144.44 kWh each day
To get a figure for daily usage, we simply:
Divide 144.44 kWh by 10.35 kWh (the energy value of kerosene)
Just under 14 litres
Working out how much you use per hour then becomes easy. You just need to:
Divide 14 (litres used per day) by 6 (hours the heating is on per day)
From here, you can calculate how much heating oil you use every time you turn the heating on.
If, for example, you put the heating on for four hours on a chilly night, you’ll use approximately: (2.33 x 4) = 9.32 litres of heating oil
And if you’re stuck inside all day?
Well, if we consider all day to be 15 hours: (2.33 x 15) = 34.95 litres of heating oil
Although our heating oil consumption calculator is a great tool, do remember it is a rough guide only. If you are wondering how much heating oil you will use in the UK this year, consider that the precise volume will be affected by a number of factors, including:
When the temperature drops during the colder seasons, the average household may put their heating on for around 8 to 15 hours per day. However, how long a household puts their heating on is mainly determined by preference as well as the needs of those who live in the property, such as children and older people.
The age of your property will affect the efficiency of your home heating and may increase your energy usage. Homes built before 1900 that have an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) of G are considered the least energy efficient.
The amount and quality of the insulation used within a home will affect the efficiency of heating. A poorly insulated home may need heating for longer during the colder months, while much of it may be escaping through the poorly insulated walls, floors, doors, windows and ceiling or roof. According to the Energy Savings Trust, a third of the heat in an uninsulated home is lost through the walls.
Larger homes will invariably consume more heating oil than smaller properties due to a greater number of rooms and open spaces. It can be more economical just to heat the rooms you are using and when you are using them.
To make sure your oil boiler is working as efficiently as possible, we recommend regular oil boiler services by our OFTEC engineers in order to identify and rectify any issues that will affect its performance. A regularly serviced oil boiler will increase the performance of your boiler and help reduce your heating oil usage while maintaining the same amount of heat produced.
Having someone in the property for long periods of time during the colder months can increase heating costs as the boiler has to work hard to maintain a steady temperature.
Having more people within a property can increase energy usage due to an increased need for heating in more areas of the home and for varying times of the day.
The lifespan of your heating oil, on average, is between 18-24 months if it is maintained and stored correctly. In order to prolong the life of your home heating oil, consider:
Maintaining and caring for your oil tank with an annual oil tank health check can increase its efficiency by prolonging the life of your oil and reduce oil wastage. There are signs you can look for to help maintain the health of your oil tank, including rust, bulging and cracks. You also need to ensure that access points are closed after use, and the area around your tank is free from plants and rainwater. If your tank is older and less efficient, you may need to order more heating oil to compensate for this.
Our premium home heating oil is enhanced with additives that ensure the highest possible performance. This can maximise boiler performance and slow the aging of your oil, making it an economical choice. K+ heating oil is also more environmentally-friendly as it produces less harmful CO2 gases.
The performance of your heating oil can be affected during very cold weather as it can coagulate and freeze. Additives within our K+ Heating Oil help to prevent this from happening. There are other things you can do to combat the impact of temperature, such as insulting your tank and pipes or installing an electric heat sheet during cold weather to prevent freezing.
Each oil boiler will burn different quantities of heating oil depending on the frequency of use, boiler performance and the size of your oil boiler.
Using our heating oil usage calculator, we can determine how long, on average, certain quantities of heating oil will last in an oil boiler and tank that are well maintained and serviced annually.
Having an understanding of how much heating oil you need will help determine the cost of heating your home throughout the year. Our heating oil price guide looks at the best time to buy your heating oil, fluctuations in heating oil prices in UK, and possible factors that contribute to these changes.
Our guide to saving money on heating oil looks at a range of simple things that can be done to reduce your heating expenditure. Rix offers a range of payment plan options to suit your needs and affordability to ensure you can continue to heat your home throughout the changing seasons.
So, if you’re concerned about how much oil you’re consuming, have a go at using our heating oil usage calculator and think about the variable factors we’ve shared.
If you need more help with understanding how much heating oil you use, please get in touch with our expert team who would be happy to help.