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How to Order Home Heating Oil | Buy Heating Oil with FuelSnap in CT

Ordering oil online.

Ordering home heating oil was once a truly daunting task. The fact that there are hundreds of home heating oil delivery companies to choose from is great. But choosing between them can be challenging to say the least. Ever try to Google “best oil company”? There are dozens of websites to choose from, making the choice quite difficult. You also need to consider how much heating oil to order and how to buy oil. If this is you, check out our blog post here on how much is in your tank.

When it comes to filling up, there are a variety of ways to order heating oil:

  • Automatic home heating oil delivery: old-fashioned, and expensive
  • Ordering fuel oil via phone: old-fashioned, and time consuming
  • Ordering heating oil online: quick, transparent, and secure

Automatic Home Heating Oil Delivery

This is the old way of ensuring you always had heating oil throughout winter. Automatic delivery means you sign a contract with a local oil delivery company. You give them ALL your business for the year, and they take care of scheduling deliveries at their convenience. So, in exchange for ALL your business, what do you get in return? You get to pay extra! How much are automatic delivery oil prices? Oil prices are, on average, $0.40 to $0.80 per gallon higher for automatic delivery customers. This adds up to hundreds of dollars extra every year, since most homes use 800 to 1000 gallons per season.

Before the internet, local oil companies convinced homeowners that there was tremendous value in automatic delivery. You would not have to run down to the tank to check the level periodically. Today, however, times have changed. With devices like the Smart Oil Gauge, you no longer need to remember to check the gauge. The Smart Oil Gauge gives you an app on your phone to tell you the level, and even alerts you when your home oil tank is low. This way you know exactly when the time is right to order heating oil.

With a Smart Oil Gauge, you can cut the cord, and start saving hundreds of dollars a year by discontinuing automatic delivery. When it’s time to fill up, you can choose from any heating oil company you’d like. Find a reputable dealer with a great price, and fill up on your own terms.

Worried about your heating oil service contract? If your oil company says you have to be on automatic delivery to receive a service contract, that should be a red flag. Check out this blog post on the truth about service contracts. You do not need to be on automatic delivery to receive a service contract.

Ordering Via Phone

Many home heating oil companies are a bit slow to evolve to the changing times. One of my favorite, long-standing local oil companies has no website. You have to call their phone number, press 1 to hear today’s oil price, then listen to a recording to find out the price. Then, if you want to actually order oil, you have to hang up, call back, and dial a different extension to place the order. Oh, and you don’t even get to talk to a human at this point. You have to leave a message on the answering machine and HOPE that someone received it and has scheduled your delivery.

At other home heating oil companies, you can call to order, and you end up on the phone with someone in the office. If this is the case, you’ll have to discuss payment options. Many companies will take a credit card over the phone. This is certainly more convenient than paying with cash or check. It also allows the final amount to be adjusted based on the amount delivered. With cash or a check, you’ll need to know the correct amount and meet the driver to pay for the delivery. In some cases, you may be able to mail a check in after the fact. This too, takes considerably more time than paying by credit card. You’ll want to know your options up front though, before placing the order.

Ordering heating oil by phone is cumbersome and requires calling multiple local oil dealers to compare prices. Be prepared to provide a credit card over the phone, or meet the driver with a check or cash when the delivery is made.

Ordering Heating Oil Online

By far the most convenient way to buy heating oil is online. Many modern home heating oil companies in CT have their own website, where you can create an account, and securely order heating oil online with a credit card. This is much more convenient than ordering by phone, but still does not allow you to price compare. If you Google “Connecticut heating oil prices”, a myriad of different websites will pop up. From anonymous sites that will not tell you what oil company you are ordering from, to every unique heating oil dealer’s website on its own.

Navigating through home heating oil companies online is cumbersome to say the least. With sites like FuelSnap, however, searching is easy. Find the cheapest home heating oil, and buy heating oil in seconds. Choose from real companies, with real-life user reviews before ordering. Choose the number of gallons and your delivery date to know when oil’s coming. Pay securely with a credit card, and know there will be no surprises when the truck comes. With a Smart Oil Gauge installed, you can order only what your tank will hold. You no longer have to estimate how much to order.

Using a heating oil site like FuelSnap, you can compare multiple heating oil dealers. You’ll know you’re getting the best price for heating oil, and are ordering from a trustworthy dealer.

What is the Best Way to Order Heating Oil?

Considering the options, the first question to answer is should I sign up for automatic delivery? Ten or twenty years ago we would have said yes. But today, with technology like the Smart Oil Gauge, you will save hundreds of dollars per year by NOT signing up for automatic delivery. You should always buy oil as needed, as this will ensure you are getting the best home heating oil price available at that time.

When your tank is low, it’s time to order heating oil. If your preferred oil company has a website, that may be a good place to start. However, you should always spot check other sites, or go to a marketplace site like FuelSnap, to make sure you are getting a good deal. The dealer with a great price at the beginning of the season may end up being much more expensive toward the end of the season.

Whatever you do, you’ll want to pay securely with a credit card online. Giving credit cards over the phone means the final charge is at the dealer’s discretion. When your card is charged up front, the dealer can refund you money for oil that was unable to fit in your tank, but the dealer cannot charge you more. This means you know the maximum you will spend – before the delivery.

Before placing an order for heating oil online, be sure to read reviews. Buy from only a trusted, local oil company, and never trust your delivery to an anonymous company online.

Happy heating,

Steve

How Much Heating Oil Is In My Tank?

Home Heating Oil Gauge

When it comes to ordering heating oil, it is important to know how many gallons you can reasonably expect to fit in your tank. This allows you to maximize the delivery size, and take advantage of any price per gallon discount that you heating oil dealer provides for a larger delivery size. For a breakdown of everything you should take into account when shopping for heating oil, see our blog post here.

Before ordering heating oil, you’ll want to make sure that your heating oil tank has room for at least 100 gallons to be delivered. 100 gallons is most often the minimum delivery amount most dealers require. If you order 100 gallons and your tank will not take the full amount, you may be stuck paying a significantly higher price per gallon on your order. To determine whether your tank can take at least 100 gallons, you’ll need to know a few things about your home heating oil tank:

  • What style heating oil tank you have
  • Your heating oil tank’s max capacity
  • Your current level

The amount you can have delivered is equal to your tank’s max capacity, minus the current level.

Max Delivery Amount = Max Tank Capacity – Current Level

What Style Heating Oil Tank Do I Have?

There are a variety of heating oil tank styles these days, ranging from in-ground tanks, to a long list of above ground tanks. We’ll highlight the most common tank styles here, and give you a few tips for figuring out which style and size tank you have.

Steel Tanks

Traditional Granby Steel Heating Oil Tank

These are by far the most common style heating oil tank, especially in the Northeast US. They are most often 275 gallon tanks, but can also be 330 gallon.

Tip: A 275 gallon tank measures 5’ long; a 330 measures 6’. They are otherwise identical.

For a full list of steel tanks, refer to Granby’s website here.

Roth DWT (Double-Wall Tanks)

Roth Double-Wall Heating Oil Tanks

If you have a newer home, live near the water (i.e. the ocean), or have had your tank replaced in recent years, you may have a double-walled tank like the one shown above. These tanks feature an internal plastic tank enclosed in an outer metal shell. The most common variant of the Roth tank is the 1000L (275 gallons), which has a capacity of approximately 250 gallons.

Heating Oil Tank Capacity

Once you’ve identified which style home heating oil tank you have, the next step is to determine the overall capacity of the tank.

Tip: A 275 gallon oil tank DOES NOT hold 275 gallons – it actually holds between 240 and 250 gallons when full. A table of common tank capacities is shown at the bottom of this post.

The reason a tank does not hold the full amount has to do with two things: the vent alarm “whistle”, and the air space required at the top of the tank.

The Vent Alarm is a roughly 6” device that hangs down in the tank, positioned right under the vent pipe. As oil enters the tank, air is forced out of the tank through the vent pipe, causing the vent alarm to audibly whistle. The driver can hear this whistling sound from outside the house where the oil is pumped in. As the oil in the tank rises, it eventually touches this vent alarm whistle, causing it to stop making noise. At this point, the driver knows to stop pumping oil into the tank, as it is full. The whistle is designed to stop making noise when there’s approximately 6” of air remaining in the top of the tank. This way, it gives the driver a few seconds to shut the pump off without over filling the tank. It also allows the oil to expand as it warms up once it’s inside the house.

Heating Oil Vent Alarm “Whistle”

Your Current Level

Now that you know your heating oil tank’s max capacity, you’ll need to figure out your current level. The easiest way to tell is to use a Smart Oil Gauge, which not only tells you to the nearest tenth of a gallon what’s in your heating oil tank, but will also show you how much oil you can have delivered at any given time. If you don’t have a Smart Oil Gauge, then you’ll need to refer to the float gauge on your tank. This will give you a ballpark reading of ¼, ½, ¾, etc. At the bottom of this post are approximate levels based on your tank style, and what the float gauge is reading. With this, you can see the maximum amount of oil you can fit in the tank. If you don’t have a float gauge or a Smart Oil Gauge, you will need to use a measuring stick and an oil tank chart – a time consuming and messy process!

A Float Gauge at 1/4 Full

If your float gauge does not work, you should definitely consider installing a Smart Oil Gauge. Since it does not have any moving parts, it will not be subject to sludge buildup over time that typically causes the float gauges to fail. It will tell you from an app on your phone exactly how much oil is in the tank, helping you plan for your next delivery.

A Smart Oil Gauge Tells You Current Level and Days to Next Fill

With all this in mind, we’ve put together the guide below to determine how much oil can be delivered based on the current level in your particular tank.

Happy Heating,

Steve