275 gallon oil tank - how long should it be between fill-ups?

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Consumption varies widely ... some homes are drafty and under-insulated and some folks like 80 degrees.
My 2400 sq. ft. home never used more than 800 gal. per year. It was in SW PA and some of the winters were fairly severe. This home had triple glazed windows and no leaks. I replaced the doors and gaskets to eliminate the drafts. If you can feel cold air drafts, you are wasting energy.
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Hi Charles,
I heat a 2,500 sq. ft. Cape Cod here in Halifax, N.S. and two years ago my consumption totalled 1,973.3 litres (525 US gallons). By comparison, the previous homeowners in the year prior to my purchase used 5,700 litres or just over 1,500 gallons. A new heating system (SlantFin boiler, SuperStor Ultra indirect hot water tank and Tekmar control system), plus various upgrades to my home's thermal envelope have effectively cut my fuel oil consumption by two-thirds.
Last year, I installed a small (14,000 BTU/H) ductless heat pump and further reduced my fuel oil consumption to just 828.3 litres (220 US gallons). If my calculations are correct, approximately 70 per cent of this amount can be attributed to domestic hot water demand. My net savings (after subtracting the cost of electricity) came to roughly $575.00.
With the unusually mild weather we've experienced thus far, I expect our consumption this winter will drop yet again. My last fill-up was September 8th and some four months later my tank gage is reading a little under 7/8ths full.
Cheers, Paul
On Mon, 8 Jan 2007 16:22:52 -0500, "Charles Schuler"

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Hi Paul: That is great performance. Many folks do not appreciate how much they could save by making modest investments.
I added storm windows over the double-glazed windows and replaced the warped wood doors with steel doors and new gaskets. I added 6 inches of insulation in the attic. It really does make a huge difference. Also, there is a psychological advantage ... with no chilly drafts, one is much less likely to travel to the thermostat and kick it up a notch or two.
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Hi Charles,
I agree completely. I'm still working on improving the thermal efficiency of my home and hope to cut its heat loss by a further 10 to 20 per cent. This house was built in 1968 and the original insulation was pretty modest (e.g., just two inches of fibreglass in the attic). And although generally well built, it was uncomfortably drafty (I'm directly exposed to rather high winds coming off the Atlantic). Today, the situation is vastly improved.
With a modest amount of passive solar and various other internal gains, this house will maintain a comfortable indoor temperature down to about 13C (55F). Once average daily temperatures consistently fall below this mark, additional heating is required. As far as I can tell, heating demand is something in the order 330 BTUs per hour, per degree F, as we fall below this demand point. If this number is more or less correct, at 0C (32F), heat loss would be approximately 7,700 BTUs per hour (2.3 kW) and at -10C (14F), it would climb to 13,600 BTUs (4.0 kW). In reality, heat loss is not truly linear across the temperature band and wind speed can have a big impact on this rate, so it's only a rough approximation.
If you are curious, you can view a record of my fuel oil consumption here:
http://server3.pictiger.com/img/783548/other/oil-consumption.jpg
For a summary of my estimated heat pump savings, see:
http://server3.pictiger.com/img/783549/other/heat-pump-%28summary-sheet%29.jpg
(please note the first three years shown are simulations whereas last year and this year are actuals)
The summary sheet pulls data from a daily log that tracks outdoor temperatures hour by hour. For the month of January, see:
http://server3.pictiger.com/img/783550/other/heat-pump-%28january%29.jpg
Clicking on these images allows you to enlarge them.
By way of explanation, the left column of the daily log indicates if the heat pump has been turned on or off (1=on/0=off); the following column lists the outdoor temperature; the third column shows the heat pump's estimated heat output (in kW) based on its published performance curve; the fourth column is the home's estimated heat loss (in kW); the fifth column is the net heat loss or heat gain for that hour; the sixth column is the running balance or accumulative gain or loss; and lastly, the final column is a check flag that confirms the heat pump can actually operate at that temperature (we assume that below -12C, the heat pump, although it may be turned on, can no longer transfer heat and has, in effect, suspended its operation).
I should add that the true performance of this heat pump may be better than what is indicated here. As you probably know, heat pumps produce less heat as the outdoor temperature falls and the spreadsheet accounts for that. However, it's my understanding that power consumption also falls but, unfortunately, I don't know by how much. For our purposes, I've assumed it stays at a constant 1.23 kW across the entire temperature band.
Cheers, Paul
On Mon, 8 Jan 2007 17:25:52 -0500, "Charles Schuler"

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Hi Charles,
Earlier this week, I posted a copy of my fuel oil records here:
http://server3.pictiger.com/img/783548/other/oil-consumption.jpg
Today, Scotia Fuels filled my tank, so I thought I'd bring you up-to-date. Between September 8th and today, I used 193.9 litres of fuel oil (51.6 US gallons). That works out to be 1.55 litres per day (0.4 US gallons/day).
The bulk of this would be related to domestic hot water production, with the balance consumed as backup heat to my ductless heat pump.
To add further context, Halifax, N.S. has 4,367 C heating degree days (7,861 F), whereas Buffalo, NY clocks in at 6,693 HDD F.
Cheers, Paul
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It's a bad idea to let your tank get real low especially where it's so old. A lot of sludge will be drawn into the system. I would not let it get below 100 gallons to be safe. I have a .85 nozzle but the furnace still uses about 1 gallons/hour. I have a timer connected to the furnace so have a good record of my usage. I normally use about 3 gallons a day during December, January and February so in 60 days I would be down about 180 gallons. I plan to get filled up tomorrow (last fill was Nov 1st) and I expect to need 100 gallons. I have a pre-buy at $2.679 so I will pay the cash price instead which is 30 cents less.
---MIKE---

>> (44 15' N - Elevation 1580')
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I drove by a local dealer in MA and his posted price is $2.26 today. Call around and you may do better as one of the guys at work just paid 2.01 but he bought 400 gallons. I'm sure glad I opted not to go with a contract price as it was 2.75 this season.
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Jan 2007 22:41:08 -0500, Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

2.12 in my part of MA today.
--
Seth Goodman

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---MIKE--- wrote:

The nozzles are rated at 100 PSI. A lot of newer two stage burners like Riello operate at 140 PSI at their high fire rate so you have to add a correction factor to find the actual flow rate. Even an older burner may not be operating that the rated 100 PSI. Pressure gauges are cheap and easy to install.
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Our furnace used to go through 275g/month in the winter but now we only go through about 300-400g all year. We didn't do any expensive insulating or window changing either, just installed a wood stove! Life is good.
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jackson wrote:

Good if you have your own forest, otherwise you have to figure the cost of the wood vs. the oil it offsets to find your real savings.
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Just remove the fill cap and shove a broomstick into the tank about once a week.
--
A man who throws dirt loses ground.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
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Take the fill cap off the tank and put your penis in the tank. When it begins to sting, you hit oil........... Oh, wait a minute....... Your penis is way too short.......
Use a broomstick and measure the depth instead.
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