Interesting Facts and Information About Oil Heat and Energy Saving Tips

Conservation Tips for Cold Weather

  • Sunshine! Windows on the south side of the house get the most sunlight. Eastern windows get sunlight in the morning. West facing windows receive sunlight in the afternoon. Open shades and drapes during the daytime to let the sun’s warmth enter your home, and close when the sun goes down.
  • Close your kitchen vent, fireplace damper and closet doors when not in use.
  • Remove air conditioning window units, or cover them well.
  • Keep radiators free of dust for top efficiency.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners can save as much as 10% a year on their heating and cooling bills by simply turning the thermostat back by 10 to 15 degrees.
  • Wrap your pipes, to guard against heat loss and prevent them from freezing.
  • Avoid using space heaters. They're expensive to operate, and can be dangerous, too.
  • Check your threshold for any gaps between it and the door. Use a bottom seal that can be attached to the bottom of the door -- it should brush up against the floor to seal up the threshold. It virtually stops drafts.
  • Get a heating system tune-up — it’ll ensure you get maximum performance from every drop of heating oil burned.
  • Make sure you have good insulation on exterior walls, ceilings with cold spaces above, and floors with cold spaces below.
  • Change the windows. Consider new low-emissivity glass, which will decrease radiant heat loss without lowering visibility.
  • Upgrade your oil burner — a modern burner can cut costs by 15%.

Year-Round Conservation Tips

  • Use compact fluorescent lights. They last up to 10 - 13 times longer than standard bulbs and use 75% less energy.
  • Install dimmer switches. In addition to enhancing the mood, they'll extend the life of your bulbs and help you save up to 60% on your lighting costs.
  • Lower the temperature of your water heater from 140° to 120°. You'll save 3% -5% in water heating costs for each 10° reduction. Or consider a timer to turn your water heater off when not in use.
  • Don't keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 37° to 40°F for the refrigerator and 5°F for the freezer.
  • Don't leave the fridge door open! Every time you do, up to 30% of the air inside can escape. The same can be said for your oven.
  • Use a covered kettle or pan to boil water; it's faster and it uses less energy.
  • Air-dry dishes. Also, avoid using the heat-dry, rinse-hold and pre-rinse features.
  • Choose a high-efficiency clothes washer and dryer. High-efficiency washers use half the water of standard models. High-efficiency dryers can save up to 30% in energy over standard models.
  • Defrost food before cooking — you could save 30% to 50% on cooking costs. And pre-heat your oven only for baking.
  • Install water-conserving fixtures, such as showerheads, faucets and toilets.
  • Fix leaky faucets, especially hot water faucets. One drop per second can add up to 165 gallons per month — more than a person uses in two weeks.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. When properly used, it could save as much as $100 or more off your annual heating bills.

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History of Oil Heat

Who would have thought that the petroleum, or "rock oil" the Native Americans used for medicinal purposes could become the vital fuel that it is today!
The production of oil is responsible for a significant percentage of the world economy, and its industrial usage is so vast that it affects all of us. Ensuring the comfort of American homes, there are an estimated 9,193 retail heating oil businesses in the United States, employing 99,811 people, with sales exceeding $16 billion.1 Most importantly, millions of families depend on fuel oil every day of the year to keep their homes and families as comfortable as possible. Oilheat technology is constantly striving to deliver this comfort in an economical and earth-friendly way.

Oilheat History

For eons, people have understood the benefits of petroleum-based products. Whether used for building, preserving, heat, light or medicine, petroleum has played a significant role in furthering civilization and industry. It is said that as early as 3000 BC, Mesopotamians used petroleum — literally, “rock oil” — in architectural adhesives, ship caulks, medicines, and roads.
The earliest oil wells were drilled in China circa the 4th century. The Chinese burned oil to evaporate brine and produce salt. They no doubt used this extracted oil for lamps and probably, to a certain extent, to heat themselves and their dwellings. By the 10th century, extensive bamboo pipelines connected oil wells with salt springs.
In early 17th-century America, Native Americans routinely collected oil from pools that had formed on the surface. Using crude oil for fuel and medicinal purposes, the Native Americans may have also dug underground to reach fuel deposits.
During the excavation of salt mines in the 18th century, miners often found oil. Although it wasn’t what they were looking for, a few creative individuals realized the fuel’s value. In addition to being used as a lubricant and to cure ailments, crude oil led to a major breakthrough in the 1840s, when Canadian geologist Abraham Gesner discovered that kerosene could be distilled from coal or oil and used for lamp lighting.
Did you know …
In 1883, the most prolific oil field in Pennsylvania, the Bradford Oil Field, produced an incredible 83% of the U.S.A.’s total oil output. Today, Pennsylvania still produces oil. According to the Department of Energy, in 2001, Pennsylvania produced 1.6 million barrels of oil, and its proved reserves were 10 million barrels, ranking Pennsylvania 23rd in the nation in this category, and accounting for less than 1% of U.S. crude oil reserves.
The oil industry was now taking shape. In 1859, a retired railroad conductor named Edwin Drake drilled a well near Titusville, Pennsylvania. The well proved a success, and other prospectors drilled wells in the area. The industry was thriving by the 1860s, and soon river barges and railroads were transporting oil throughout the region. The first successful oil pipeline was constructed in 1865, and went from Pithole, Pennsylvania to Miller Farm on Oil Creek about five miles away. Just ten years later a 60-mile pipeline from the oil region to Pittsburgh was in operation.
By the 1880s, oil exploration had traveled to Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana. America finally struck its first "gusher" in 1901, at the Spindletop field in eastern Texas. At the turn of the century, Texas, California and Oklahoma were the top oil-producing states in the nation. To find out which are the top ten oil producing states today, click here.

The Oil Industry Travels the Globe

Following America's oil boom, countries all over the world began production. In 1860, Italy became a producer, followed by Canada, Poland, Russia, Venezuela, India, Mexico and many others. Oil was discovered in Iran in 1908. Over the next thirty years it was determined that the Persian Gulf territories held a significant amount of oil. For more information on international oil, visit these links production and supply for more information.

Oilheat and Home Heating

Before Oilheat made the lives of millions warm and cozy, homes were heated with coal that was shoveled into a steam boiler. When the oil burner arrived in the 1920s, it was welcomed with open (and shovel-less) arms.
Along with being cheaper than coal there were other benefits of heating oil. The large and unsightly coal bin was no longer needed, so homeowners could reclaim their space in the basement. Oilheat provided a more even heat with fewer drafts, which meant fewer health risks. Oil burners were clean — there was no soot seeping through the house to ruin clothes and furniture, and no ashes to haul away. In addition, the homeowner could control the temperature simply by touching the thermostat in the living room. Oilheat was dependable, too — the family could leave the house for weeks and return to find reliable, warm comfort.
As the decades passed, great technological strides made Oilheat more efficient, comfortable and dependable, as well as cleaner, quieter and safer. In addition, Oilheat dealers today offer a “menu” of full-service features — from convenient budget plans to comprehensive service contracts — that add more value to every drop of heating oil delivered.
1 Source: National Oilheat Research Alliance
Information in this section is quoted from