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

Have you ever wondered how much heating oil your home uses when you turn on the heat for a few hours? Have you ever wondered how it changes when you or your kids work from home? If so, you can easily estimate your heating oil usage by using 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 quick science lesson – starting with energy.

Watts measures energy. The most common measurement is kilowatts (kW), which is equal to 1000 Watts. It takes many Watts to efficiently heat a home.

To break down energy usage, you need to know how long the heating is on in hours. Therefore, we measure total energy use in kilowatt hours or kWh.

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

UK homes that use heating oil usually consume around 26,000 kWh annually for heating purposes.

With our Science lesson out of the way, let's dive into our heating oil calculator.

Heating oil calculator

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

STEP 1: How much heating oil does the average UK house use? 

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.

Let's assume that the average UK household uses heating for six months, six hours a 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. To determine your heating oil usage in the UK this year, consider various factors. These factors will impact the precise amount of oil required.

  • 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. How long a household uses heating depends on preference and the needs of those living there, like children and the elderly.

  • 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 requires more heating during winter.

This is because heat escapes through the walls, floors, doors, windows, and roof. The Energy Savings Trust states that the walls of an uninsulated home lose a third of the heat. Discover more benefits to insulating your home.

  • The size of your property

Bigger houses use more heating oil than smaller ones because they have more rooms and open areas. 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 at home for a long time in winter can increase heating costs. This is because the boiler has to work harder to maintain a constant 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?

If you maintain and store your heating oil correctly, it typically lasts between 18-24 months. . In order to prolong the life of your home heating oil, consider:

  • Oil tank conditions

Regularly checking your oil tank health check can make it last longer, save oil, and improve efficiency. Signs you can look for to help maintain the health of your oil tank, including rust, bulging and cracks.

You also need to make sure you close access points after use and keep the area around your tank 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.

Additives in our premium home heating oil enhance its performance to the highest possible level. . This can maximise boiler performance and slow the ageing of your oil, making it an economical choice. K+ heating oil is also more environmentally-friendly as it produces less harmful CO2 gases.


  • Temperature

Freezing weather can greatly affect the performance of your heating oil by causing it to coagulate and freeze. Additives within our K+ Heating Oil help to prevent this from happening.

To combat temperature effects, you have two options. The first is to insulate your tank and pipes. The second is to use an electric heat sheet during cold weather to prevent freezing.

How long does heating oil last by quantity

Oil boilers burn varying amounts of heating oil based on usage, performance, and size.

Our calculator can determine the duration of heating oil in a well-maintained boiler and tank. This calculation assumes that we service the boiler and tank 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.

Concerned about your oil usage? Give our heating oil calculator a go, and consider the tips we've mentioned.

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.