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Oh no, the temperature is dropping and the heat just went out. A quick check and you realize you are out of heating oil and your regular supplier says they can’t get to you for at least another day. What do you do?
How do you get heating oil deliveries on the same day? Can you run to the gas station and get some? Do they sell it at those big box stores? Is there someone at the hardware store that can help?
Well, don’t panic. You aren’t the first person to need heating oil fast. Take a deep breath and read on to learn how to get same-day heating oil deliveries.
Is Heating Oil the Same as Gasoline?
Technically they are both produced from crude oil but have different characteristics that affect how they are used. Gasoline and other fuel oils like kerosene have lower BTU’s and are less stable. Using fuel oils in your furnace, especially if you’re storing fuel indoors, isn’t recommended.
Heating oil is denser and has higher BTU’s which means it produces more heat when burned. It is also more stable than fuel oil. It’s more refined and has a higher burning temperature.
It’s more difficult to catch fire and the vapors it produces when burned are minimal. Because it’s denser it tends to gel in colder temperatures. This makes heating oil better suited for heating your home, especially if your tank is located indoors.
Why Can’t I Get Same-Day Heating Oil Deliveries?
That’s a good question. Most companies say they offer them, but when it comes time to deliver they don’t have the resources. What that really means is they are stretched too thin and can’t keep up with their customer demand.
Several factors impact demand. First is the weather. Extremely cold weather, especially un-looked for early cold spells, cause everyone to turn up the heat in their homes and businesses.
This affects supply and demand. The supply is drawn from the market through usage. Refineries have limited capacity for producing both gasoline and heating oil so when usage goes up there can be production delays.
Heating oil companies try to do their best at predicting usage and have enough on hand to meet the demand. These quick, early draws on supply can stress out the supply chain and if your heating oil supplier isn’t prepared, the consumer will experience a delay in heating oil deliveries.
Even if your heating oil delivery service has the supply, they still have to deal with the demand. Remember, everyone turned on their heat when the temperature dropped. That means everyone is burning heating oil and will need more.
This creates a massive influx of orders. Your supplier should be able to handle this, but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. If your supplier doesn’t have enough trucks or qualified technicians to deliver the heating oil this can create delays.
Does It Cost More for Same-Day Heating Oil Deliveries?
This depends on your agreement with your heating oil supplier. Usually, there is some type of charge for same-day delivery. This charge is designed to offset the need for overtime and other costs associated with delivery.
The cost per gallon should remain the same no matter what the circumstances are surrounding deliveries. Delivery fees, however, may be added for things like same-day, holidays, and sometimes even weekend or night deliveries. Check your contract to be sure you aren’t being charged for something you shouldn’t be.
How Can I Save Money on Same-Day Deliveries?
The best way to save in this situation is to not need same-day deliveries. Things happen though so one way to save is to prepay for your heating oil. Some companies offer customers the opportunity to buy in advance the oil for the upcoming season or year.
This prepaying locks in your price and it falls upon the supplier to ensure you are always full.
Another way to save would be to go with a flat monthly rate. What this means is your supplier will project your annual usage based on historical data and spread the cost out over 12 months. This will also help you avoid those winter bill spikes because of usage.
How Do I Avoid Needing Same-Day Deliveries?
The general rule of thumb is to order more heating oil when your tank level falls to 1/4-capacity. Let’s be honest though. Who is monitoring their tank levels, especially if you are early in the cold season?
Your tank could be at the 1/4 level when you first turn on your heat since last season. Running it for a few days will put you perilously close to empty and if you haven’t checked your level you could run out before you realize it.
It’s a good idea to check your heating oil supply every week. It’s also recommended to have a service technician come out before the weather turns cold to ensure your equipment is working properly.
Regular service calls can identify any potential problems and fix them before they cause a breakdown. Plus, they will check your tank and recommend you order more heating oil before the weather turns cold and demand rises.
Perhaps the best way to avoid same-day deliveries is to get yourself on an automatic delivery schedule. What this does is put the monitoring of your oil on the shoulders of your heating oil supplier. What they do is look at how much heating oil you use and schedule replenishment accordingly.
This is not a guarantee that you won’t eventually need same-day heating oil deliveries. But it is a good step to take. They will usually deliver before your supply gets to a critically low point.
Contact Sperr’s for Same-Day Deliveries
At Sperr’s Fuel and Heating, we’ve been serving southern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware regions for over 35 years. Our friendly, professional staff is here to help you with all your heating oil deliveries, including same-day delivery.
If your current supplier can’t help you, we can. Call us, or visit us online to schedule your heating oil for immediate delivery.