Which is Better: Automatic Delivery or Will Call Delivery?

One of the first things you should do when you’re new to home heating oil is, to figure out if you want to sign up for automatic delivery or not. Automatic delivery is a contract that you sign up for with your oil distributor for at least a year. The agreement is usually pretty simple. It normally states that you will only buy heating oil from them, and they deliver to you without ordering. On the surface, this sounds like a great idea, but this could become a major financial liability. We’ll touch on that more below.

If you don’t choose automatic delivery, your other option is “will-call”. This is also referred to as call by deliveries. This is when you order oil only when you need it. There are many pros and cons to each and in this post, we’ll break those down for you!

Automatic delivery forces you to order oil from one supplier. This means that if their prices go up, then you’re unable to do anything about it. You’re locked into their premium pricing which could be a frustrating financial liability.

The Basics of Heating Oil

You will have to have heating oil delivered periodically, unlike natural gas or electric heating. But before you order your first delivery of heating oil, you’ll want to be familiar with these terms in particular:

Automatic Delivery: This is an arrangement that you make with your oil company that tends to last around a year. Your oil company will deliver you heating oil consistently by their schedule. There is a program that dealers will often use called “Degree Days” to estimate when you will need your next delivery as well as your tank’s level. You will often have to pay a premium price for these deliveries in particular.

Will-Call: The alternative to automatic delivery is will-call. By being a will-call customer, you can take advantage of the best heating oil prices. That means that you will get access to prices that are lower than what your oil dealer is offering you with the automatic delivery. However, the only downside to this is that you will have to keep track of your own oil level. Whenever you need oil, check out our FuelSnap website to get the best deals on heating oil!

Service Contract: This is a form of maintenance plan that provides you with 24/7 support. This is very useful if your heating system were to suddenly fail during the winter. Sometimes this can be included for “free” with your automatic delivery service, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes dealers will say it’s free, but you’re actually paying an addition dollar or two per gallon of oil. That could add up to $800-$1200 extra per year! There are dozens of local service providers that are willing to service your tank in an emergency. You can also periodically inspect your own tank, to ensure that it doesn’t get to the point where you need someone to take a look at it.

Budget Payment Plan: This is a budget friendly option that spreads out your spending on heating oil over the course of a few months. This can help get rid of huge heating oil bills during the peak season by evenly distributing them across multiple smaller bills. These types of customers are typically the most profitable for oil companies. This is because they can charge very high prices for heating oil without the consumer even knowing.

Fixed-Price Agreement: This is an agreement when you sign up for automatic delivery with your heating oil company. A major benefit to this is that it locks in your pricing if major increases in price occur. Unfortunately, this does come with a price. Sometimes you will tend to pay an additional 20 cents extra per gallon for estimated usage. On top of that, if oil prices were to go down, you will still be paying your fixed price. So while yes, it does have it’s benefits, it tends to be a double edged sword.

Price-Cap: A price-cap is a plan that you make with your oil distributor for when prices fluctuate, your payments wont exceed a certain amount. This is an agreement that many homeowners fall for. A lot of homeowners believe that there is no downside to this, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. There’s a saying, “If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is!”. When oil prices on the market drop, dealers are not obligated to lower their prices for their consumers. While you’re protected incase prices shoot through the roof, you’ll be paying extra if the price drops. This is a situation that’s similar to the Fixed-Price Agreement.

Choosing Between Automatic Delivery and Will-Call

In the past, those were the only two options to go with, when it comes to ordering heating oil. You could either pay the premium price of automatic delivery, or order your oil every so often as a “will-call” customer. Even in today’s day and age, dealers are still charging up to 50 cents more per gallon of oil with automatic delivery. Some even charging up to an extra dollar per gallon! Keep a close eye out for this so that you don’t get roped into buying the premium prices for oil with automatic delivery. Even if they promise you a cheap first fill, the price will continue to go up afterwards!

With the will-call option, you’ll avoid over-paying for heating oil. You’ll be able to price shop before settling down on one price. Additionally, make sure your oil gauge is working properly! The last thing you want is for your gauge to be reading incorrectly! If you need to replace your gauge, make sure to read our detailed guide on how to replace your oil tank gauge.

As a will-call customer, having a working tank gauge is crucial to be able to know what your oil level is and when it’s time to buy more oil

There is some good news. There are no longer only two options. A third option has been added which combines the cheap oil prices and ease of having automatic delivery. That third option is the Smart Oil Gauge. The Smart Oil Gauge is a gauge that you install onto your tank that connects to your WIFI. It will keep track of how much oil is currently in your tank and will alert you if the oil is low and remind you to order! The app also gives you the ability to order directly from it! That makes ordering oil incredibly convenient!

With the smart oil gauge, you’ll receive some peace of mind when it comes to ordering oil. You’ll get the best prices in your area! Ordering oil and the your tank’s status will be at the tip of your fingers! You can monitor your tank and order oil from anywhere!

What is the Best Heating Oil Delivery Option for You?

So what’s the best option? We’ve compiled the three options together and have rated them against each other for your convenience.

While automatic delivery is more convenient than the others, it comes with a lot of restrictions compared to Will-Call with and without the smart oil gauge. You’ll more often than not pay 40-50 cents per gallon more with automatic delivery compared to will-call.

3rd Place: Automatic Delivery

If you don’t want to think about your heating oil, then this form of delivery is for you! You can sign up for automatic delivery at the beginning of the season and you will get billed at the beginning of every month. This is definitely the more expensive choice, but if money isn’t an issue for you then we recommend it! Alternatively, you will be able to choose a budget option if you prefer, which can spread out your payments more throughout the season! However, it’s only possible with automatic delivery. Just keep in mind that you will begin to slowly pay more as time goes on.

Despite the convenience of automatic delivery, there is still risk of a runout. So you can ask your heating oil company to install some kind of tank monitor, or you can buy one of your own to keep an eye on your oil level!

2nd Place: Will-Call

Will-call delivery is a great way to save money when it comes to ordering. It will save you hundred of dollars per year and thousands of dollars over a long period of time. However, all of those savings will be for nothing if you run out of oil while you aren’t home. Frozen pipes are a real issue and can cost several thousands of dollars to fix the damages.

If your tank is located in a convenient position, will-call is the easiest way to go! You’ll also have complete flexibility when it comes to choosing who you want to order oil from. You’ll be able to shop around and get the best prices available to you! Just be sure that you check your tank regularly to ensure that you don’t run out of oil!

1st Place: Will-Call with The Smart Oil Gauge

The best way to save money with a delivery of oil is by using The Smart Oil Gauge alongside will call. For the low price of $150 the Smart Oil Gauge will give you the peace of mind that you get with automatic delivery. It will tell you how much oil is currently in your tank and will notify you when it’s time to order more!

With the inclusion of the app, you’ll be able to check oil prices for local dealers in your area. The app allows you to order oil from it by connecting to our FuelSnap website. With just the press of a button, you can pay online with a Credit or Debit card and have oil delivered to your home through the use of the app!

Is a Service Contract Worth It?

A handful of oil dealers will tell you that a service contract is a MUST and that automatic delivery is a requirement for a service contract. If your dealer says something along those lines, we recommend finding a new dealer. There are a lot of dealers that will provide you with a service contract without requiring you to buy an automatic delivery plan. DollarWise Oil is one of the few companies that offer a multitude of maintenance options. Ryan Anthony’s Heating Service Inc is another company that offers maintenance plans for your oil tanks! In the future, if your oil dealer is telling you that you are required to buy an automatic delivery plan to get maintenance, take a look elsewhere!


With all the technology that we have at our disposal, you’re bound to be able to take advantage of the best oil prices. By implementing the Smart Oil Gauge, you’ll be able to keep an eye on your tank’s oil level wherever you go! You’ll be able to have the peace of mind of automatic delivery, with the flexibility of will-call delivery. You can set your alerts to be able to send you notifications when it’s time to fill and when you get a delivery. You’ll also be able to order oil through the app to make sure you’re on top of your tank’s oil level.

Happy Heating,


How Does Home Heating Work?

The Northeast United States sees a large variety of temperatures and different types of weather throughout the course of a few months. Even during some winters, we sometimes see temperatures close to or below zero! If you’re thinking of moving to the northeast or already have a home in the northeast, it’s important to understand how home heating works. In this article, we discuss why it’s so important and why you should use it.

Steps to the Heating Process

To heat your home, your system of choice go through the process of heat conversion. All forms of heating must go through this process. Regardless of if you’re using heating oil in a furnace, or wood for a wood-burning stove.

First and foremost, your heat source of choice, must be delivered to your home. Second, your fuel source has to go through the conversion process to turn into heat. The conversion process varies depending on what form of heating your using. For fuel oil it goes through your furnace. While a wood-burning stove does it through the stove itself by starting the fire and adding in wood to keep it going. Finally, the heat must then distribute itself throughout your home. This spreads out via warm air that circulates throughout your home.

This is the basic premise of how the conversion of heat takes place. Each form of home heating goes through this process in one form or another.

Types of Home Heating Fuel

In the northeast united states, there are a multitude of different types of heating fuel. Each of them, have their own different pros and cons. Each of these types of fuel, require an at home delivery. However, they each have different ways of delivery:

Heating Oil: This is the most popular form of heating choices in the northeastern united states. Heating Oil delivery normally happens through the use of a delivery truck. Storage for heating oil is in a tank that’s located in your basement, garage or outdoors. The good thing about heating oil, is that it burns VERY hot. It will burn significantly hotter compared to natural gas or propane.

It is very cost-effective, especially when oil prices are low. In 2020, due to COVID-19 we saw some of the lowest prices for heating oil in a long time! Another good thing about heating oil, is that you own your tank. Which means you have complete control of who and where you can order oil from. Be sure to keep an eye on your oil level as well! Last thing you want is to run out of oil! If you run out of oil, check out our article on How to Fill a Home Heating Oil Tank.

Natural Gas: Another great choice for home heating is natural gas – that is, if you can find availability for it where you live. It gets pumps into your house from an underground array of pipes that connect directly to your home through the street. Natural gas is also a form of utility. Which means that you don’t have to worry about ordering your next natural gas delivery. It will simply come up to you automatically and all you have to do is simply pay the bill. Unfortunately, you are unable to choose multiple suppliers for natural gas.

Propane: Like heating oil, propane delivery takes place via a delivery truck. Propane also has a storage tank found outside your home. Sometimes, there are multiple tanks that store the propane. However, it tends to be more expensive than heating oil or natural gas. But the good thing is, propane has usage other than heating. Some of these include, gas stoves, fire places and even generators! For more information on Propane, check out our article on Heating Oil Vs Propane.

Electric Heat: Electricity sometimes sees usage for heating as well, most often in places where winter isn’t very cold. However, electric heat can be good as a backup source of heating. But it tends to be too expensive for larger homes or areas that have very cold winters.

Both propane and heating oil need to be delivered to your home. However, natural gas is simply pumped directly into your home from a network of pipes beneath the street of your neighborhood .Electricity is also supplied from the power lines on the street as well.

The Conversion Process

This is the part of the home heating process that involves converting your fuel of choice into heat. For propane and natural gas, a burner ignites these gasses that release from the system’s gas lines. The burner is usually apart of the boiler system, which heats water which then gets house wide distribution. On occasion, propane and natural gas can typically use a furnace that heats the air and then distributes it throughout the house.

However, heating oil tends to be a little bit different. Heating Oil is NOT FLAMMABLE at room temperature. For heating oil to ignite, it must first be heated up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It then goes through the process of atomization. This is the conversion process that heating oil goes through to become gas. After heating oil goes through the atomization process, it’s goes to the burner and ignites there. After it ignites, it turns into heat for your home.

Heating Oil is considered to be the safest form of fuel oil. This is because it needs to be heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and become atomized before it can be ignited. The left side of the burner is where the filter is located. The oil travels through the filter to arrive at the burner.

Transferring Heat Through Your Home

A very common method of heat distribution throughout the home is by a boiler. In a boiler system, water heats up and then travels through your home. Afterwards it is then pushed through the radiators that are spread throughout your home. On occasion, the boiler will send the hot water to a heat exchanger. The hot water is then pumps out through a blower that will heat other parts of the home.

There are also electric radiators if you use electric heating. With electric radiators, they’ll simply turn on and begin to heat up when the thermostat requests heat and will shut off when it becomes warm enough. A major benefit to having electric radiators is that there isn’t a need to have a complex heating system installed into your home. However, we only recommend it for areas with mild winters or small buildings.

Baseboard radiators are very common. They are often apart of a boiler system that transfers heat throughout your home to heat up your home. While not as common as boiler radiators, there are still electric radiators that can be turned on and off to heat the desired rooms.

Another common form of home heating in today’s day and age is “forced hot air”. For this process, a furnace heats air in the basement before the blower sends the hot air through your home. The air pushes out from ducts in the floors of your home. It is a great way to quickly change the temperature in your home. Forced hot air is preferred because during the summertime, you can use those very same ducts as a way to cool down your house.

This is what your average air duct for forced hot air looks like. Any home that uses forced hot air has a furnace in the basement that heats up the air exchanger. The blower then forces the air out of the vents and into your home.


If you’re in the northeast and in the market for a new home, its crucial to understand how home heating works. The basics of it come from understanding what fuel source you are using for heating. However, some are more restricting compared to the others. If you use natural gas or electricity to heat your home, you don’t have much of a say in who you’re ordering from. While for propane, you have one provider that will provide you will all your propane for the year. But with heating oil, you have complete control of where you can order from because you own your tank.

While we don’t recommend it because of how costly it can be, you will also be able to sign up for automatic delivery so that you don’t have to worry about when your next delivery will be. However, using FuelSnap will not only get you the cheapest prices, it will give you multiple dealers in your local area to help you shop around a little bit before placing an order!

Understanding what type of heating system you have is very important. It’ll help you understand if you need to order fuel soon, or if you don’t need to order anything at all! If your home has forced air, then it’ll be very easy to add air conditioning or another form of central cooling to your home in the future.

Happy Heating,


What Gauge Should You Buy for Your Tank?

The most important part about having an oil tank, is knowing how many gallons of oil you have left in your tank. Most oil tanks usually come equipped with a float gauge. But, it’ll eventually be time to replace your oil tank gauge. In this article, we will discuss the most common fuel gauges: dip sticks, float gauges and the Smart Oil Gauge.


The simplest way to measure your oil level is with the dipstick. They measure how many inches of oil are in the tank. After you’ve gotten the inch amount, you will need to convert the level to gallons . This can be done by using either a tank calculator or a heating oil tank chart. While they are more often than not used on underground tanks, sometimes people like to use them for their standard oil tanks.

This is an example of an extendable yard stick that is often used to measure oil level within a tank. These are most commonly seen with underground tanks.

Fuel Tank Float Gauge

Another common gauge is the float gauge. Each oil tank comes equipped with a float gauge. They have a little bobber that will tell you what the oil level in the tank is like. However, the reading is only an estimate and is not the exact reading of what is actually within the tank.

Float gauges are a favorite amongst many. They have been around for several decades and have proven to be quite useful. However, over time these gauges in particular tend to have their bobber coated in sludge and oil over time. This can affect the readings which can possibly cause these gauges to be less accurate in the future. Due to this, these gauges need to be frequently taken out of the tank to be cleaned.

These gauges are both very common and very popular. Although it will only give you and approximate level. But they are still worthwhile tools.

The Smart Oil Gauge – WIFI Oil Sensor

The most modernized form of a heating oil gauge is the Smart Oil Gauge. This gauge in particular uses an ultra sonic sensor to accurately read the level of oil within your oil tank. The gauge’s sensor itself is very accurate.

However, one thing to note is that the sensor has an 8″ blind spot on the top of the tank. The blind spot itself only occurs after your tank has received an oil delivery and it normally clears up within 1-2 weeks of oil consumption. We have a bit more of an in-depth write up here.

The Smart Oil Gauge also has an app that corresponds with it! From the app, you can monitor your tank’s level and even order oil from it! The app also keeps track of your tank history! You can view your tank’s readings from the past year, month and week! The app will also send you alerts as to when you will need a delivery and when your tank is running low!

The Smart Oil Gauge is one of the most versatile gauges available. You’re able to access it remotely via the app and order oil when you need it! You’ll also receive email and text notifications when you’re low on oil and need to order!

Conclusion: What is the Best Oil Tank Gauge?

Whilst comparing multiple tank gauges, we took the liberty of looking at four important factors. Those being Value, Accuracy, Remote Access and Ease of Use. The dip stick is the simplest to use and is the cheapest. We gave the float gauge a “2” for remote access. We did this because some people install WIFI cameras to keep an eye on their float gauge when they are away from home.

The Smart Oil Gauge has the most versatility and best combination of our desired four factors. We marked the float gauge second and the dip stick third.

Overall, the Smart Oil Gauge is the best heating oil tank monitor on the market. With an app that gives you up to date readings that also allows you to order oil whenever you need it is fantastic! You’re able to keep using your float alongside it which will make you more confident in how many gallons of oil are in your tank! You’re also always welcome to dip the stick into the tank to be sure!

Happy Heating,


Smart Oil Gauge 101 : What You Need to Know

So you’ve got your Smart Oil Gauge and are not sure where to start, well you’re in luck! In this post, I will go over everything that you need to know about it! Everything that you need will be available here for your convenience. So feel free to bookmark this post so that you have everything you need to know in one place! Now there’s going to be a lot of information here, so I recommend reading through this post multiple times to absorb all of it!

Setting Up the Smart Oil Gauge

The first thing you’ll want to do for the Smart Oil Gauge is set it up. We recommend that you do this process off the tank. This can be done after the gauge has been installed into the tank. However, we find it to be a bit easier to do this process if the gauge isn’t installed onto the tank.

There are two ways to set up the smart oil gauge. The first way is with “Smart Config”. You can do this through the Smart Oil Gauge app. Start by downloading the app. You can download it from both Android and IOS app stores. Once you have downloaded the app, open it up and it will prompt you to a login screen. If you do not already have an account, then you will have to make one. Follow the steps it gives you to create one, then we can go through the setup process.

Smart Config Process

This is the process that you will need to go through if you are doing the in-app setup process. To start this process, go to the screen that says “My Tanks” on the top left. On Android devices, you will need to click the wrench on the top right and select “Connect Sensor”. For IOS users, there is a plus sign that you can press on the “My Tanks” screen.

The first screen you will see is the screen asking for your WIFI network password. Make sure your phone is connected to the WIFI network that you want to connect the gauge to. Once you have verified that you’re on the correct network, type in your WIFI password (hit the eyeball to make sure everything is correct) and hit continue. Follow the Mickey Mouse hand icon and press the tall thin black button twice. The gauge should start blinking twice a second. Select continue and your Smart Oil Gauge will begin it’s configuration process! If all goes well, the gauge will connect you will get a message that says “Configuration Successful”.

If you get a message that says “Configuration Failed” try again and if it still doesn’t work, try doing the Alternate Setup Process, that’s shown below.

This is a step by step guide to the Smart Config process. Simply follow the steps shown during the setup process.

Alternate Update Process

The Alternate Update Process is my preferred way to connect the gauge to your internet. Simply because it is a bit more versatile and can be done on any device! Unlike the smart config, this method can be done on a device that doesn’t have the app installed.

The first thing that you will need to is go to your WIFI settings on your phone. After you’ve done that, make sure that you unscrew the white cap and turn the smart oil gauge on. While the board is booting up, go to your phone’s WIFI settings. Then, press and hold the tall thin black button once for two seconds (try counting one-one thousand, two-one thousand) before letting go. The gauge should start blinking once a second, then if you take a look at your cell phone’s WIFI settings you should see a network that says CCF****** show up. That is your Smart Oil Gauge.

Select that network and it will ask you for a password. The password is smartoil. After using that password it will take you to a login screen (If you’re on IOS). If you’re on Android, after connecting to the CCF network, you will need to go to your web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc) and type in the IP address for the gauge. It’s, and once you’ve typed that into your web browser, it should take you to the login screen.

Once you are in the login screen, tap on your wireless network on the top left that is highlighted in blue. Your network will autofill the SSID box and you will be defaulted to type in your network password. After typing in your password, type in your email address and hit save. If everything goes well, you will receive a setup email from us to finish setting up your smart oil gauge. Follow those steps and the gauge should link to your account. If you do not receive the email, try going through this process again.

Follow these steps to go through the alternate setup process. Doing so will connect your gauge to your network and allow you to keep track of it.

Tank Style and Upload Interval

After you’ve successfully connected your smart oil gauge to your account, it’s time to choose a tank style and set an upload interval. If you went through the alternate setup process, you’ll likely have seen these when setting up the gauge.

To change these you must first be on the tank detail screen. For IOS users, you will see a gear icon on the bottom left. While for Android users, on the top right, you’ll see three dots that will say configure when you tap on it. Both these buttons will take you to a screen that says tools. There’s a lot to take in here, but to start out, select “My Tank” under sensors.

After selecting your tank, you are brought to your sensor’s general settings. Here you can change your upload interval and tank style. The upload interval is how often the gauge will upload the readings to our servers. The gauge will take a reading every hour and store those readings until it’s next scheduled upload.

The gauge can upload every 1-24 hours, depending on what you set it to. The default for this is 4 hours. While this is not a bad default, we typically recommend setting the gauge to upload every 12 hours. This is the most efficient because it will give the gauge a consistent upload schedule, allowing it to upload twice a day, and will help the gauge preserve the battery life for longer.

This is what the screens to change your tank orientation and upload interval will look like. You can also reconnect the gauge to the WIFI from here and get our contact information as well.

Tank orientation is a very important thing to know as well. It’s very important to know your oil tank’s orientation so that you can effectively read what’s in your oil tank. Using the incorrect tank orientation will cause many issues for your gauge. The sensor could tell you that the tank is full when it isn’t, or that you have a couple hundred gallons but you’re actually full. So it’s important to know the exact measurements of your heating oil tank so that your gauge provides you with accurate readings.

Sensor Offset and Custom Tank ID

If you take a look in the above photo, you’ll notice two tabs in the advanced tank settings. These are the Sensor Offset and Custom tank ID. These are features that will often help with tanks that aren’t a standard size or don’t have a big enough fitting.

You will only use the custom tank ID when your tank doesn’t show up as one of the main few that appear on the tank screen. Simply just email us or give us a call with your tank size and dimensions and we will happily program that into our system for you!

By looking at the above graph, we can see which adapter you will need for your tank.

The sensor offset is another tool that you can use for your tank, but it’s a bit more situational. You should only use the offset when you’re using an adapter. Adapters will not be necessary on most tanks, unless you have a tank fitting that will not fit the smart oil gauge. For example, we have several fittings that you can use for various tank and fitting sizes. For Roth tanks, the adapter is a requirement. This is because without the adapter, the gauge will always read full. The other two adapters we have are for 1.25″ NPT and 1.5 NPT fittings. They are used for smaller fittings sizes than the gauge’s 2″ NPT fitting.

Setting Up Tank Alerts

You probably noticed the tab that says alerts in the chart above. That is how you can set alerts for your smart oil gauge. There are a variety of different alerts that you can set for your gauge. You can set them to send you push notifications, emails, texts or all three!

There are many types of alerts that you can set on your smart oil gauge. Here are just a few of them:

  • Receiving a Fill
  • Reaching Below 1/2 tank
  • Reaching Below 1/4 tank
  • Abnormally High Usage
  • Non-reporting sensor

Those are just a few of the alerts the gauge offers. To get to the alerts page, simply follow the same steps provided above that would get you to the tools section, and select “Alerts” instead of “My Tanks” under sensors. Once in the alerts section, you can choose which notifications you would like to receive via push notifications as well as setting up other forms ways to receive alerts such as email and text.

Your alerts screen will often look like this, and you will be given a variety of choices to choose from! You can even turn some of these alerts off if you don’t want to receive specific ones.

The Batteries

It’s important to make sure that the Smart Oil has the correct batteries installed. The gauge CANNOT use standard Duracell or Energizer batteries. They are simply not strong enough to power the gauge. These batteries can power the LED lights in the gauge, but cannot power the device itself.

The gauge must use the SAFT LS14500 batteries. Any other batteries that are not the SAFT brand of batteries will not work effectively. We have had the most success with the SAFT batteries and we recommend that you use those. If you need to install the new batteries, watch this video tutorial here.

These are the correct batteries for the Smart Oil Gauge. Any other batteries that you use for the gauge are not guaranteed to work.


The Smart Oil Gauge Install is relatively simple. All it takes is some pipe dope and a pipe wrench! The install can even by done by yourself! First, put a thin layer of pipe dope on the bottom threads and hand-tighten it into the tank. Then once the gauge is tight, you will need to tighten it down as far as it can go with a pipe wrench.

BE SURE TO DO THIS AFTER YOU SET UP YOUR GAUGE. While doing this process before you set up the gauge is fine, doing it after it’s been setup will make this a lot easier for you. If you need help going through the installation process please take a look at this installation guide right here.

This is the example of a successful smart oil gauge installation. It will be able to perfectly sit atop the tank, looking directly into the tank.

Ordering Oil Through the App

One of the most useful features that the Smart Oil Gauge has is being able to order oil through the app. In the “Tank Detail Screen” you will see a big button that says “Check Oil Prices – FuelSnap”. If you click on this, you will be able to order oil through the app.

If you put in the address of your tank into your app, then you will be able to see all the local dealers in your area, based on the address you put into your smart oil gauge. Then, based on your current level in your tank, you will be able to order an amount of oil that would fill up your tank. If you haven’t put your tank’s address into the app yet, simply follow the steps listed to change your upload interval and setup alerts and choose “Tank Settings” instead.

In the above photo, you’ll see the various different oil dealers available to one of our tanks. We’ll be able to order from one of the dealers shown above at the click of a button.

It is good to note that ordering oil through the app is completely optional! If you have a reputable oil dealer that you have been working with for years, then by all means stick with them! However, if you ever find yourself out of oil or low and need some in a pinch, you have access to it right from the app!

The Tank Detail Screen

Consider this screen to be your home screen. This screen is where you will be able to see your tank’s current level, battery reading, order oil and much more. You will find yourself using this page on the app most often, as it has the most information accessible to you. On the top, you will see a graph and a little droplet with a dollar sign in it. The droplet will take you to the screen that lets you order oil, while the graph gives you a graph of your usage and oil level. Here, you’ll be able to review yearly, monthly, weekly and daily usage data. You will be able to get averages of gallons per day, gallons per hour and a total amount of gallons used during that period of time.

When you log into your Smart Oil Gauge account on a computer, this is what the interface looks like. It’s very similar to the app interface except the graph isn’t a separate button.

On the tank detail screen, you will see three bubbles. Each bubble is marked with different data points. They are labeled “Gallons per day”, “Days until 1/4″ and Days until 1/8”. These bits of data will populate once you’ve had a full weeks worth of data. They will then give you an average based on your past week’s data. This data changes when you get your next full weeks worth of data. So each week you’ll have different data!

The Smart Oil Gauge’s Blind Spot

A very important note that you should know about the Smart Oil Gauge is the blind spot/dead zone on the top 8″ of the tank. This is very noticeable after a fill and is often mistaken for dealers not giving you your full amount. But don’t worry, if you received oil and your gauge isn’t reading full, it’s likely the blind spot.

But you might be asking, how does the blind spot work? Well it’s pretty simple, when the gauge sends the ultrasonic sensor down to the oil level, it bounces back up to the sensor. But when it arrives back up to the top of the tank, the sensor is still in a sending mode, so the signal bounces off of the top of the tank and back down to the oil where it then goes back up to the sensor and then the gauge will receive that information. So the gauge is basically seeing double than what it should be.

As shown in the above photo, a fill was received prior to installation. The oil level declined and suddenly shot back up a few days later. That is the oil level leaving the gauge’s blind spot.

When you receive a fill of oil, the oil gauge will only read the amount that it can physically see. However, the oil level will slowly decline and will eventually clear the blind spot on it’s own. When this happens, you will see a steady decline in oil level on the app as you burn oil. But the gauge will then suddenly spike back up once you clear that blind spot. So until you clear the blind spot on your tank, assume that you have more oil in your tank. If you want to learn more about the blind spot, we have a very in depth write up here that you can refer to.


Now that you’ve read through this article, you now know everything that you need to know about the gauge! You’ve learned everything from how to set it up on the app, to installing on your oil tank! The smart oil gauge will be a handy tool that you can use to monitor your oil level and ensure that you’re burning your oil!

Please feel free to bookmark this post and read it over a few times! There was definitely a lot of information in this article and it makes sense to save it for later and take another look at it! The more you know, the more you’ll be able to understand the gauge a little bit better!

If you ever have any other questions or other issues with the gauge, feel free to reach out to our support line! We are available Monday through Friday EST 8:30am-5pm or at contact@smartoilgauge.com!

Happy Heating,


Preparing Yourself For This Fall’s Heating Season

School’s back in session! Which also means that heating season is just around the corner! With fall and winter fast approaching, it’s important to start preparing for the winter ahead. Weather that be ordering oil now or stocking up on firewood, be sure that you’re starting to get ready! In this article, we discuss everything you should do to be prepare yourself for this upcoming heating oil season!

Outside temperatures start to rapidly decline come Mid September. It’s best to be prepared so that you are not scrambling to get yourself ready for fall.

Change Your Air Filters

If you use forced air as your main source of heating, this is the perfect time to change your air filters. Usually, you should change your filters every three months or so. It’s good to be on top of changing out the filters especially if you’re using an air filter during the summer months. Overtime, these filters will tend to collect allergens, dust particles, dander and even pet hair if you have pets! You should definitely be changing out the filters every so often. If you have pets, its important to replace them often.

How do you change your Air Filters? With the following steps below, we’ll guide you through swapping out your filters.

  1. Turn off your furnace by flipping the nearby switch. You must do this so that your furnace doesn’t start up when you’re working on replacing the filters.
  2. Remove the furnace’s side door to gain access to your air filters. Make sure to take a picture of them in their current placement so that you make sure that they’re put back in the same way that they were originally.
  3. Be sure to read what size the filters are on their sides. They’ll usually be labeled by length, width and thickness. Typically, most filters on average are 25x20x1. Then after taking them out, if you don’t have replacements handy, head to the hardware store to pick some up. If you already know the measurements of your filters, then you can pick up replacements beforehand for an easier transition.
  4. It’s now time to replace the old filters with the new ones. Simply follow the arrows on the filters to indicate which way the air flow goes.
  5. Close up your furnace door and turn everything back on! You’re now all set!
This is what an old and dirty air filter looks like. It can build up over time and prevent proper airflow. You should replace these filters as soon as possible before the winter months roll around.

Stock Up On Firewood

If you have a wood burning stove or a fireplace, you’ll know how important stocking up on firewood is. In my family, we’ve always stock up on firewood during the summer to get ahead of the game. But you can start stocking up whenever you’d like! Regardless of if you buy the wood precut or cut your own wood, it’s good to have an excess supply!

Some places such as Home Depot, Lowes and even Tractor Supply tend to carry firewood. I’ve even seen some gas stations carry firewood come heating season! However, if you have a log splitter and have the capacity to get your own firewood, I recommend it! Just be careful, as firewood tends to not burn if it’s too wet. It’s good to get the wood ahead of time and let it sit in the sun for a while to dry out before it’s ready to burn.

If you’ll be splitting your own wood, you can use any type of wood you’d like. However, for long term burning, oak is the best. Additionally, Oak wood is not as messy as other types of wood such as pine. Pine is very sappy and will usually take longer to dry out. Oak wood also tends to be much easier to split compared to pine and elm wood. Birch wood is a good type of wood to use as a fire starter because of how quickly it burns.

It’s good to have a decent stockpile of wood so that you don’t run out of any during the cold winter months. If you run out, you will likely have to buy wood at an increased price.

Inspect Your Oil Tank

Over time, heating oil tanks can go bad. Because of this, it’s important to make sure to inspect them annually. The process itself doesn’t take very long and is very important. It’s a good idea to replace your heating oil tank before the fall season starts. That’s if you need it. However, it’s good to know that it only takes about a day or two to replace a heating oil tank. So you won’t be without heat for very long.

Although we briefly touch on how to properly inspect your tank, we go more in depth in our article on Tank Inspection. Below is the shortened version of what you need to know.

  1. Inspect your tank’s base and make sure the footing is steady.
  2. Make sure your tank’s seams are rust-free
  3. Check the bottom of the tank for any leaks
  4. Check to see if there are any leaks on the oil line
  5. Make sure that the oil filter doesn’t have any leaks
  6. Inspect the top of the tank for any leaks
Regularly inspecting your tank is very important to ensure that your tank is functioning at peak efficiency. It also helps prevent sudden leaks in the future that could prove to be problematic.

Tune Up Your Heating System

Another important thing to do to prepare yourself for heating season is to make sure your system is functioning efficiently. The best way that you can ensure that it’s working properly is to schedule a routine maintenance. You can hire your local HVAC technician or service company to perform the tune up. But be aware that these tune ups will usually cost anywhere around $250-$400 per single zone system and possibly even more for multi-zone systems.

When you decide to schedule your tune up, ask if they offer contracts for regular tune ups. Service contracts can help you stay on top of your system and will help ensure that the systems are up and running at peak performance. Some companies might even give you a discount if you decide to set up a contract with them. If they’re service and repair only, then that means that you can still get the best oil deals we offer on our FuelSnap Website!

That is what your typical furnace system will look like. Having it tuned up annually helps it operate in tip-top shape to ensure your home gets the necessary heat that it needs.

Order Heating Oil

One of the most important things to remember for heating season is to fill up your heating oil tank. If your tank is less then half full, it’s time to fill up. Now’s a great time to order heating oil because dealers aren’t busy with orders currently. So now’s a good of a time as any to find the best price and place your order. You can search on our FuelSnap website to get the best deals in your local area! Order soon though, prices change every day depending on how much oil your dealers get at the pump.

Another thing to consider is your tank’s gauge. If it’s not working correctly, you might want to invest in getting a new gauge. The Smart Oil Gauge is the perfect way to monitor your oil. All you need is the smart oil gauge installed onto the tank and the app installed onto your phone! You’ll be able to monitor your tank’s oil level from anywhere so long as you have WIFI!

With the Smart Oil Gauge’s simple install and user-friendly app, it’s easy to use and understand when you’ll need a fill up of oil!


There are many things you can do to prepare yourself for the upcoming fall and winter months. While we outlined the most important ones, feel free to do whatever you do to prepare! You can even implement some of these tips into your current process! Temperatures will start to slowly decrease over the next couple of weeks! So make sure you’re prepared for the next few months!

Happy Heating,


Should You Buy Heating Oil With Cash or Credit?

The use of heating oil dates back all the way to the 1840s. There hasn’t been a huge change in the heating oil scene for quiet some time, until recently. With the implementation of the Smart Oil Gauge and our FuelSnap website, ordering oil has been as easy as it has been in a long time! But what does that mean when it comes to payment?

Sometimes it can be a little bit tricky. Especially since nowadays, most people don’t carry cash on them. I am guilty of this myself. Although I do like to keep cash on me, sometimes I don’t have time to stop at the bank and can go days without having cash on me!

In this article, we break down what you should use to buy heating oil, as well as what the future will hold for ordering oil with cash.

Heating Oil Discount with Cash

Most small businesses charge a processing fee when it comes to credit card purchases. Depending on the business, there tends to be a $0.30 surcharge, with an additional 2.9% processing fee. This cost makes up for itself by more people coming in and purchasing a product. Some businesses don’t even accept credit or debit cards. For example, The Candlelight Inn, located in Scarsdale NY, is a fantastic restaurant. They have some of the best wings I’ve ever had. Unfortunately, they have a strict CASH ONLY policy. Usually whenever I’m over in that direction, I make sure I have cash on me to get some wings. On the other hand, some businesses opt to have card only purchases. Although, that is very uncommon.

Interestingly enough, oil dealers typically do not have a 2.9% processing fee for card transactions. This is because credit card companies typically treat heating oil as a “Utility”. Utilities are often considered to be either gas or electric. Because home heating is a necessity (especially in the colder months), credit card companies need to be a bit more flexible with their payments and charges. Luckily, sometimes with some persuading, credit card processors will charge a much lower fee. On average, all of the fees come into around 1%. Due to this, there isn’t a massive difference between the cost of using either cash or card.

When you order heating oil, you will often see it delivered in a truck similar to this one. These trucks are designed to fill based upon how much oil was ordered or until the driver hears the whistle stop.

Some dealers do actually have discounts on oil depending on if you’re ordering it using cash. However, if you don’t carry cash you will have to run to the bank and withdraw some. Which can actually be more expensive. With the time and gas that it takes to get to the bank, you might actually be spending more money. But, if you already carry cash with you, then you can enjoy lower prices for oil!

The Pros and Cons

The biggest pro of ordering oil with a credit card, is that as the consumer you are always more protected. The good things is that some dealers will also only accept credit card orders which ensures a little bit more safety. You also don’t have to wait at home to pay the driver. If you have things to do away from home, the driver will still come and fill your tank!

However, there is one major issue with purchasing oil using a card. If you needed to get a refund for ordering oil, then it might take several days to get the full amount. This might not be a problem for most people, but sometimes when you’re in a pinch and need the money, it’s nice to have it.

While ordering with card is ultimately safer, ordering with cash still has some benefits. Although, there are more cons than pros when ordering oil with cash. The first is that some dealers (although not many), will often give you a cheaper price per gallon if you order cash. However, the biggest downside is that you must be at home when the dealer comes to deliver. Additionally, there is no electronic record of cash being given to the driver, which can often prove to be problematic.

Here is a more in depth chart of the pros and cons of using cash and card for your order of oil.

What is the Verdict?

Overall, paying cash and card both have their benefits. However, paying card is the best overall choice. Paying with card has many more pros than cons compared to cash. It’s ultimately more convenient when comparing it to paying with cash. Some dealers are even starting to phase out of cash all together! Additionally, with no digital paper trail to track weather or not your cash was received could prove to be problematic. The money can get lost or stolen which could be a problem, not only for you, but the dealer as well.

Paying credit card is overall safer and more reliable which is why we recommend paying with card instead of cash. It’ll save you the hassle and stress of possibly losing the money that you paid the driver with. When you pay with card, your payment is protected so it will not get lost or stolen.

Happy Heating,


Heating Oil Vs Kerosene: What’s the Difference?

In this day and age, we rely on petroleum-based fossil fuels to heat our homes. They also heat our various automobiles that keep the world moving. Even our at home appliances such as our stoves and furnaces. However, this begs the question. What is the difference between heating oil and kerosene? In this article, we will go over the differences and even compare the two!

What is Kerosene?

Kerosene is a type of hydrocarbon oil that has a variety of uses. It’s most common uses include cooking, heating and fuel jet engine fuel. Additionally in 1859 it was used primarily for lighting lamps, which became what it’s known for.

Like heating oil, kerosene has a pungent odor to it. It is normally either colorless or has a pale yellow coloring. It also typically tends to burn more efficiently and cleaner compared to heating oil. However, because of this it must be used in a heating oil system specifically designed for Kerosene.

This is what a standard Kerosene lamp looks like. This is what kerosene is mostly known for. It can also be used for jet fuel and different forms of cooking.

What’s the Difference Between Heating Oil and Kerosene?

Heating Oil is a form of diesel fuel that is more than often used for home heating. This is primarily because it’s the safest form of home heating there is. If we where to get into the specifics, heating oil doesn’t get to a point where it’s hot enough to start a fire. This is because, the Flashpoint of heating oil is 140 degrees Fahrenheit. While in liquid form, heating oil will not burn. This brings the risk of having a fire or explosion caused by heating oil down to zero!

Kerosene however, is not a safe alternative to heating oil. For starters, it has a lower flashpoint. This makes it more susceptible to a fire or explosion. Additionally, when you burn kerosene it produces a significantly higher amount of carbon monoxide. This makes proper ventilation a requirement. Without it, you will have a very dangerous safety issue on your hands. Additionally, Kerosene tanks should only be outdoors.

Comparing Heating Costs between Heating Oil and Kerosene

Oil Prices are constantly fluctuating. This is dependent on many things, but more often than not its due to global price changes. Heating Oil sees trade globally, meaning price and availability can change depending on global events. The biggest example of this in recent years is during the COVID-19 pandemic. During lockdown, oil prices where at an all time low! The prices of oil were as low as $1 a gallon! However, heating oil prices fluctuate constantly depending on outside temperatures as well as standard supply and demand. During the colder winter months, oil prices can tend to be a little bit higher because of high demand. While during the summer, prices are lower because demand is lower.

Heating Oil also has significantly more competition compared to kerosene. This is because, the more oil dealers you have in your area, the lower prices will be. Dealers will often try to give you the lowest possible so that they can get your business. This also means that you’ll always have a dealer in your local area willing to deliver to your home.

Unfortunately, unlike heating oil, kerosene prices are reliant on a variety of different factors. This can include prices for crude oil. Kerosene is also very hard to find and more expensive then heating oil. Not all oil dealers offer kerosene as a heating option. Kerosene is also very restrictive. If you eventually find a distributor for kerosene, you will likely need to stick with them for the foreseeable future due to how hard it is to find in today’s heating market.

This is an example of an outdoor heating oil tank. You will often see them in 275 gallon tanks. They can be installed in either a vertical style, or the shown above horizontal position. Kerosene cannot be used in place of heating oil for these tanks.

Which is Better? Kerosene or Heating Oil?

Ultimately, when it comes down to it, heating oil is the better option. It is more reliable and the safest option to choose from. It is more easily accessible with a larger flashpoint that makes it less likely to cause fires or even explosions. With an easy accessibility compared to Kerosene, you’ll always have an oil dealer ready to deliver! Plus, you’ll be able to get the lowest possible price on heating oil using our FuelSnap website!

While kerosene does have it’s benefits, it is not without it’s flaws. Regardless, the flaws are quite large. I personally, wouldn’t feel safe knowing that the fuel I am using to heat my home could possibly set fire or explode. I don’t think I would have an easy time sleeping at night. With that and the added effect of carbon monoxide emission and being hard to find, it’s simply just easier to stick with heating oil.

Happy Heating,


Why Do We Use Heating Oil?

flammable sign

Heating oil is one of the most popular forms of home heating, especially so in the northeast. However, what makes heating oil so popular? There are a lot of varying reasons for why you should use heating oil. It is not only very efficient, it is very safe to use and easy to come by! Today, we will discuss how home heating oil originated and why it’s still as popular as it is!

Heating Oil vs Forced Hot Air

You can find some of the oldest homes in the country in the Northeast United States! Many of these homes even date back to the 1800s! Some even earlier than that! Most homes in the early 1900s where heated by a coal-fired furnace that was located in the basement. Similar to fuel oil, the coal was delivered to homes via a truck and was shoveled into the furnace to keep the house warm. However, slowly and surely these coal systems ended up becoming replaced over time with wood burning systems. Heating Oil was more convenient than using a coal or wood based furnace and slowly began to become more popular as the years went on.

Compared to Coal and Wood, heating oil produced more heat and was easier to operate and maintain. It was also easier to store. Storing coal and wood was a hassle. However, oil has a form of easy storage in the form of the oil tank! The tank draws oil from your tank and sends it directly to the burner. With Coal and wood, you would have have to manually add them into your basement’s burner. This become obsolete with the implementation of oil heating.

While completely phased out at one point, coal heating is slowly making a comeback and becoming more popular in modern homes.

The Transition of Coal to Heating Oil

As home heating oil became more popular in the mid-1900s, coal delivery trucks slowly became both coal and fuel oil delivery, until being completely phased out into just heating oil. It then slowly became the the norm, as it was more cost effective while producing a better heat output compared to coal and wood based heating.

Heating Oil Benefits

Compared to other types of heating such as propane, natural gas, electricity or kerosene, Heating Oil has many benefits. Take Radiant Heating for example, which uses a constant flow of heat across your flooring. However, there a large list of benefits and they are listed below:

Heating Oil Is Very Safe: Heating Oil Itself is very safe. It can’t be ignited in it’s liquid state. If you were to put a lit match into a bucket of fuel oil, it would simply burn out. Although, we don’t recommend trying it at home (because heating oil stinks). For the oil to burn, it must be heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and atomized before the burner ignites it.

Very Efficient: A single gallon of heating oil can produce 138,000 BTUs. When comparing it to propane that only produces 91,500 BTUs per gallon. However, oil furnaces cannot use 100% of those BTUs, it will still produce 117,725 effective BTUs. That equates to about 85% of the total BTUs. Additionally, propane tanks are also less efficient. Propane tanks are only 95% effective. While that might seem like a lot, when it comes to effective BTUs per gallon, you’re only getting 86,925 effective BTUs out of propane. We go more in depth about this topic in this article.

Cost Effective: Oil Prices in today’s day and age are fluctuating. However, they are still cheaper when comparing to propane prices. Right now propane prices are averaging around $4 a gallon. However, heating oil has seen prices as low as $2.75 a gallon as of recently! That’s a drastic difference! Additionally you’ll need 1.35 gallons of propane to create the same amount of heat as a a gallon of heating oil! With propane you’re effectively paying more for less heat!

No Buying Restrictions: Your fuel oil tank belongs to YOU. That means you have complete control over where you can buy oil from. You are not restricted to a plan given to you by your local dealer. You can order oil from wherever you’d like! With fuel such as propane, you DON’T own you tank and are forced to order through the dealer that sold you the tank. Not having any restrictions on where you can order from will save you hundreds of dollars a year.

If You Run Out You Can Add Diesel: Diesel is practically the same as fuel oil. If you run out, diesel can keep you warm in a pinch. Simply run to the gas station and pick up around 5 or so gallons of diesel to keep you warm until your delivery of oil comes. It will normally keep warm enough for the night. Although, we don’t recommend using it for long term usage. We have an entire article discussing this topic here.

While oil prices fluctuate frequently, they will still usually be cheaper than propane heating.

Heating Oil is Very Easy to Monitor

Most people typically sign up for automatic delivery, have a float gauge or Smart Oil Gauge setup to monitor their tank. They do this to ensure that they don’t run out of oil and wake up with a cold house.

The Smart Oil Gauge is used most commonly now. It can send you alerts of when you get a fill or when you’re running low. It gives up to date readings and usage for day, week, month and year! You will know how much oil you have at all times using one. You’ll also be able to order oil off of our FuelSnap website! It gives the lowest prices guaranteed and is easy to use!

Adjusting your thermostat will also help you to save money on oil. By turning down your thermostat, you’ll control how much you’re burning. This will help you ensure that you are getting the most usage out of your oil as possible!

Heating Oil Is the Best Way to Heat!

Home Heating Oil is a fantastic and reliable form of heating, especially in the Northeast. You will not only feel comfortable with this form of heating, but you will also save more money in the long run. It is cheaper and more efficient than other forms of heating such as propane and radiant heating. It’ll also produce more effective BTUs that will ultimately take less time to heat your home.

Having access to a heating oil tank on your property means that you can purchase heating oil a website like FuelSnap, or through your local dealers! You will also have complete control of where you can order oil from and when you get it. Unlike propane or natural gas that forces you to order through them on their schedule, you’ll be able to order when you need it!

Happy Heating,


Should You Remove Your Underground Oil Tank?

Do you use a buried oil tank for your home heating tank? If you do, we recommend that you remove your underground oil tank and replace it with an above ground tank. There are quite a few reasons as to why you should remove it. When they eventually start to leak, then you will have a serious environmental hazard on your hands that could be problematic in the future. In this article, we will discuss the reasons you should remove it and when it’s time to do so.

Identifying an Underground Oil Tank

If you are new to using heating oil, it’s important to know the fundamentals. If your home uses heating oil, then you’ll like have a tank located somewhere on your property. This could be anyway from in your basement or garage. Sometimes, your tank will be located outdoors. To keep your home warm, you’ll need to fill up your tank every so often. You’ll likely have to order heating oil on a regular basis to sustain your supply of oil.

Most oil tanks are commonly above ground. However, underground tanks are often use pretty rarely. Back in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s they where very popular. They grew popularity because the idea of having a massive oil tank out of sight was very appealing. However, as the years went on, some of them started to leak. They became environmental hazards and by the 90s, had begun removing these tanks.

It’s very rare to see any home built since the 1980s to still have underground tanks. If you’re curious, check to see if you have two pipes sticking out from underground. If you see those two pipes, you likely have a buried tank.

These are the fill and vent pipe for the underground tank. The fill pipe on the right allows the driver to pump oil in the tank. While the left pipe allows air to come out of the tank as it gets filled

Why You Should Remove your Underground Oil Tank

You should replace your underground oil tank as soon as possible. This is because, even if it hasn’t start leaking, it will eventually. An underground oil tank that begins leaking is an environmental hazard. If the tank leaks into the soil, it will contaminate the soil. It can cost up to several thousands of dollars to remedy the leak.

  1. Your Tank is 30 Years Old or Older: If your home was built in the 1990’s or older, your oil tank is likely 30+ years old. After about 30 years or so, the interior walls of the oil tank will begin to corrode. Once the corrosion process begins, sections of the tank will begin to break and once the walls become too thin and weak, they will begin to leak. You can have the soil around the tank inspected, it is not easy. If your tank is this old, you should consider replacing it, removing it or relinquish the tank. You can begin the replacement process by deciding what tank you would like to get. We discuss Roth vs Granby style tanks in this article here.
  2. The Tank has Begun to Leak: It’s close to impossible to properly inspect an underground oil tank. Which makes it hard to spot a leak. However, you can keep a close eye on the amount of oil that you are using to determine if you have a leak or not. By keeping track of what your daily usage and gallons are, you can determine how much you’re burning and how much is leaking. You can use a Tank Chart to determine how many gallons are in your tank based on how many gallons it takes and the recorded level. Refer to this article to determine how many gallons you should have without a leak. If water starts to infiltrate your boiler, then it’s very possible that your tank is taking in water which means that oil is escaping the tank as well which can lead to an environmental disaster.
  3. You Have Plans to Sell Your Home: Sometimes an underground tanks can be a real deal breaker for potential customers. Few banks will even mortgage a home if it has a buried oil tank due to the potential for being a liability. Removing the tank and remedying the soil are often expensive and take up a lot of time. However, removing the tank will be overall a good idea to prevent potential property damage in the future that could end up being a lot more stressful than it’s worth.
Removing an oil tank if it is thirty years old or over is very important. Even if it’s not that old, it will become a problem in the future. If the tank is leaking, old or you plan on selling, remove it as soon as possible.

The Verdict

You should remove your underground tank as soon as possible if it thirty years or older. After being buried underneath your yard for several decades, it’s hard to know what your tank’s condition is like. To get it removed, hire a well known tank removal company to remove the tank and dispose of it. Additionally, they will also test the soil around the tank itself to make sure no oil contaminants have damaged the soil around it.

Getting a new above ground oil tank installed is the next task that should be done almost immediately after removing your underground tank. Once the tank itself has been removed, you can stop at your local Home Depot or Lowes and scout out some new tanks.

Alternatively, you can go online to the manufacturers themselves to purchase a new tank. Getting an above ground tank will not only last you longer, but you’ll be able to more accurately keep track of your oil consumption! Above ground tanks are also easier to maintain! You will be able to monitor the tank itself and make sure it’s not leaking.

Happy Heating,


How Safe is Heating Oil?

Heating Oil is among the most popular sources of heating in the Northeast. It’s also known to be one of the safest. But how safe is heating oil? Well there are quite a few benefits to heating oil that makes it the best source for heating on the market. In today’s article, we will be discussing the benefits of heating oil and what makes it as popular as it is.

How does Heating Oil Work?

While sometimes referred to as Fuel Oil, Heating Oil is contained in an oil tank in your home that is directly connected to your heating system. Your heating oil tank is usually always located in your basement or garage. However, you will sometimes even have it outside! Very rarely nowadays, you tank may be located underground. To be able to get occasional oil deliveries, a heating oil truck must deliver oil every so often.

If you’re running low and you haven’t gotten a fill recently, it is imperative that you get a delivery as soon as possible. Running out of oil can not only damage your tank, but in the cold winter months will cause your pipes to freeze!

This is what the average fuel oil tank looks like. Its standard size is usually 275 gallons. These sized tanks, as well as 330 gallon tanks are usually the most common tanks you will see.

Heating Oil is drawn from the the tank and gets pumped into your burner. Sometimes this process is naturally done through gravity to the burner itself. Although that isn’t very common. Once oil has reached your burner, it goes through the following process:

  1. Heating Oil is first drawn into the oil filter from the tank. The filter will then filter out any debris or contaminants that could be floating around in the oil.
  2. The burner itself will then begin to preheat itself. It will activate a fan that will mix air into it and help to start burning the fuel.
  3. The heating oil then goes through a process of atomization (converting the oil into a mist), where it then heats up and ignites into a flame
  4. A sensor within the system then confirms that the ignition of the oil has occurred. The system then burns the heating oil until the thermostat tells the unit to stop.

Is it Safe?

It is a requirement for heating oil to become atomized and heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit before you ignite it. Heating oil itself is extremely safe! Additionally, while in liquid form it is non flammable! Which means if you where to drop a match into a bucket of heating oil, it would simply go out. However, we do not recommend doing this at home because heating oil tends to smell!

Unlike gas heating, you do not have to fear fumes entering your home when heating oil is heating the home. If your home smells like heating oil then it could be possible that you might have a leak of some kind. To ensure that you don’t have a leak, be sure to check out our article on tank inspections. We go over the process a bit more in depth there.

Where can I Buy Heating Oil?

There are plenty of different places where you can buy heating oil. If you have a reoccurring plan with your oil dealer then you will likely be purchasing through them. However, you can also order oil on our FuelSnap website and through the Smart Oil Gauge App!

We offer the cheapest prices on heating oil in local areas that are from dealers in your local area! Simply just go to the website and type in your zip code and you will be able to start looking at pricings from your local dealers.

How Hot is Heating Oil?

Heating Oil burns HOT. However, because it burns so hot, you will actually get more heat per gallon when comparing it to other forms of heating. Out of a single gallon of heating oil, you will get an average of 138,500 BTUs. BTU means British Thermal Unit and it is used to keep track of measurements on heating. When comparing Heating Oil to propane for example, heating oil is generally 85% more efficient. Propane will only produce 91,500 BTUs. If you’d like to look at this topic in more depth, we cover all of the nitty gritty details of Heating Oil vs Propane in this article.

Should I Use Heating Oil?

Heating Oil is both extremely safe and efficient. If you have it properly stored in an oil tank in either your basement, garage or outdoors, you will often see up to thirty years of usage! You will need to order oil every so often, but it is incredibly reliable when it comes to heating your home!

If you have an underground heating oil tank, we recommend replacing it with an above ground. This is simply just because the tank will run into less long term issues. An above ground tank is also easier to manage. If you need some advice on replacing your oil tank, check out this article.

Happy Heating,