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Heating Oil: How Much Could It Cost This Winter?

Heating oil costs don't go down very often, and it's beginning to look like the winter of 2010-2011 isn't going to be an exception. The government is projecting that heating oil costs could rise this year, and to make matters worse several long range weather forecasters are already calling for colder than average temperatures in some parts of the country this winter. This could be a double whammy for homes with outdated or inefficient oil-fueled furnaces, and a bad economy can make it even tougher.

Projected Heating Oil Costs this Winter

The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that consumers can expect to pay about $2.90 per gallon for heating oil this winter. This is a 14.9 percent increase from the $2.52 per gallon that consumers paid in 2009, and the organization is already projecting that the fuel could rise to $3.06 for 2011. Of course projections can only be made with the data at hand and don't take into account any unexpected events such as hurricanes interrupting supply from the Gulf or turmoil in the Middle East.

The last time heating oil prices dropped when averaged out over a year's time was in 2008, but this year's costs are projected to rise in all parts of the country with the West and Midwest being hit the hardest. The projected regional heating oil costs and the differences from their 2009 averages are:

  • Northeast: $2.908, an increase of $0.37
  • South: $2.86, an increase of $0.39
  • Midwest: $2.695, an increase of $0.47
  • West: $2.98, an increase of $0.43

Heating oil costs can also be affected by demand, and some areas of the country may find their demand going up this winter if projected long range weather forecasts come true.

Heating News Not So Good for the Northwest

It is somewhat unusual for long range weather forecasters to arrive at the same conclusions, but the forecasters at AccuWeather and the National Weather Service seem to agree that most of the country should experience a colder than average late November and early December. They also agree that the northwest could have a winter that is much colder than normal and the cold temperatures could be accompanied by heavier snowfall. This may not be very good heating news for an area of the country already projected to have some of the highest heating oil costs in the nation this year.

The Midwest is projected to have winter temperatures that are about normal, but areas that normally receive a lot of snow such as Green Bay, Milwaukee and Detroit are expected to get more snow than average this winter which can also cause heating oil demand to rise.

Heating and Cooling Service In All Fifty States

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Home Heating Systems

Home Heating Systems
It usually isn’t until we receive our energy bill that we remember how our home is heated. Heat is often taken for granted because for the most part our heating systems are controlled by a simple turn of the thermostat and magically we have heat! In recent times, homeowners are becoming more conscious of how much heat is used because energy costs are taking a bigger bite out of our household budgets.

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Common Air Conditioning Problems

Common A/C Problems
Most air conditioning problems are a result of flawed installation, poor service, and insufficient maintenance. However, there are several ways to check for and resolve problems associated with your central air conditioning. Common problems include the compressor failing to turn on, the air not coming out cool enough, low airflow, and water leaks.

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Energy Efficient Air Conditioning

Energy Efficient Air Conditioning
In order to get the most out of your air conditioning system, it is important to understand the different designs, components, and operating principles. Paying close attention to the proper sizing, selection, installation, maintenance, and correct use are keys to lowing your overall costs.

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