3 Tips For At-Home Workers To Save Money On Heating Oil This Winter

Posted on: 29 December 2014

One of the easiest ways to save money on heat in the winter is to turn the thermostat down or off while you're away at work – that's eight to ten hours a day that you don't need heat, which can make a big difference in your bill, right? But that commonly given piece of advice doesn't take into account the growing number of at-home workers that aren't leaving their homes for half the day, and who need to stay warm and comfortable in order to be productive. If you're one of those at-home workers, you need to go to this site or find another way to keep your heating oil costs reasonable during the winter season. Here are a few tips that can help you out.

Choose Your Heating Plan With Care

If at all possible, it's really best to choose your heating plan early – like in the middle of the summer, when the oil providers are first rolling out their plans for the year. However, if you didn't sign up early, understanding the four different types of payment plans can still help you choose the one that will save you the most money on your heating bill over the winter. The most common oil payment plans are fixed, capped, budget, and pre-paid plans.

A fixed plan can be a gamble, but at least you'll know what your bill will be throughout the winter, so you'll be able to figure the cost into your budget accurately. With the fixed option, you pay whatever the oil provider expects the market price to be over the winter. Your cost per gallon won't go up or down unexpectedly. This may also be referred to as a market price plan.

A capped plan may result in oil costs that fluctuate over the course of the winter, but it could also help you see a significant savings. For the capped option, you'll be guaranteed that your oil will never go above a specific fixed cost per gallon, even if the market price rises above that cap. However, if the market price is lower than the cap, you'll pay the lower amount.

Budget plans can be either fixed or capped, but instead of paying only during the winter, the provider will spread your payments over all or most of the year. This can be a good choice if you're on a tight budget, but remember that you'll be paying for heat even after you stop using it. A pre-paid plan allows you to pay one flat price for all your oil for the whole winter. This may allow for the largest savings of all the plans, but it means writing a big check up front, which isn't feasible for everyone.

The right payment plan for you depends on your individual financial situation. Choose carefully, though, because choosing the wrong plan can cost you more than you want to pay.

Get a Tune-Up

A heating system that's operating at peak efficiency will use less oil and cost you less money. If you spend most of your time at home and will be running the heat more or less constantly, it's in your best interest to ensure that your heating system is performing at the highest possible level.

One good way to do this is by having a tune-up done in the late fall or early winter. Paying your heating service technician for a check-up can save you a lot of money over the course of the winter. By replacing any worn parts and ensuring that your system is operating properly, your heating service company can help you ensure that your system burns fuel as efficiently as possible.

Turn the Heat Down at Night

You may not be able to turn your heat off for hours a day, but you definitely can turn the heat down at night. The seven or eight hours that you spend each night sleeping are seven or eight hours that you don't need to spend as much money on heating oil.

As a matter of fact, turning down the heat at night may even help you sleep better. Scientists believe that the optimal sleep temperature is between 60 and 68 degrees. So, turning down your thermostat at night will save you money, and help you get more restful sleep so that you can be more productive the next day.

Don't forget to take into account that, while you may still spend more on heating as an at-home worker than the average office worker does, you're still saving all kinds of money in transportation and fuel costs, as well as other work-related expenses. You may be coming out ahead and not even realize it.