Heating Oil Usage Calculator: How Much Heating Oil Am I Actually Using?

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.

What is heating oil usage measured in?

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.

How much energy does the average home using heating oil use per year?

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!

Heating oil usage calculator: A step-by-step guide

STEP 1: Average heating oil usage per year UK

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

This equals:

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.

STEP 2: Average heating oil usage based on seasonality

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

This equals:

144.44 kWh each day

STEP 3: How much heating oil does an average home use per day

To get a figure for daily usage, we simply:

Divide 144.44 kWh by 10.35 kWh (the energy value of kerosene)

This equals:

Just under 14 litres

STEP 4: How much heating oil does an average home use per hour

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)

This equals:

2.33 litres

STEP 5: How much heating oil is used when the heating is on?

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

Variables to consider when using an oil usage calculator

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:

  • External temperature

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

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.

  • How well your property is insulated

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.

  • The size of your property

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.

  • How efficient your heating system is

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.

  • How often you’re at your property during the cold months

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.

  • How many people are living in your property

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.

How long will my heating oil last?

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:

  • Oil tank conditions

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.

  • Temperature

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.

How long does heating oil last by quantity

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.

  • How long will 20 litres of heating oil last?
    Typically, 20 litres of heating oil will last on average 8 hours.
  • How long should 500 litres of heating oil last?
    500 litres of heating oil will last approximately 214 hours
  • How long will 1000 litres of heating oil last?
    1000 litres of heating oil will last approximately 429 hours.

Finding the best heating oil price for you

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.