Home Heating Oil Price Fluctuations--Time to Buy Low

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SurvivalBlog.com -Home Heating Oil Price Fluctuations--Time to Buy Low

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I keep track of some very obscure blogs, bulletin boards & groups. This site had a great article about home heating oil price fluctuations & the benefits of keeping up on the home heating oil market for homes that use oil heat. Reported surpluses will drive down prices and prior to OPEC lowering the production quotas it might be beneficial for homeowners to explore locking in at a lower rate. Also summer is a great time to get your furnace/boiler serviced, best time to buy an umbrella is in the sunshine rather than a downpour. The letter is from Portland Oregon but applies equally here in New England.

"Some older neighborhood houses [in the Pacific Northwest] have large oil tanks for heating under driveways, in basements, and buried under yards. Last winter, we saw our neighbors run dry during a rare 2-week snow/ice event that even chained fuel trucks couldn't get around in. Portland and Seattle are notoriously under-prepared for ice/snow on roads, and actually have a "intentional neglect policy" of letting it melt without salt/de-icer rather than clearing the roads. Prepare to walk on uncleared pavement and stay around home!

If the predictions of temporary global oil over-supply are correct and fuel oil drops to around $1.50/gal, filling or topping-off a 600 or 1,000 gallon tank at that price would be a prudent thing to do with any extra money in the budget or even savings beyond the 6-month emergency reserve. Over-supply and clearance-pricing will be temporary as OPEC and others throttle back expensive drilling and pumping operations while the supply chain clears and prices return to "normal".

Even if a person is a renter, having a full heating fuel tank is a good thing. Some rental contracts make heating the building and a maintaining a minimum heating fuel level a requirement. The fuel in the tank remains the property of the renter, minus the amount that was there when they moved in (or language in the rental contract), and can be sold to the landlord, next tenant, or sucked up and moved by an oil company truck for a fee.

Filling before heating season allows plenty of time for sediment to settle in the tank before drawing it into the in-line filter ahead of the burner. Anecdotal commentary by furnace service men indicates that furnaces that run on mostly-full tanks have fewer burner problems than those that use "bottom of the tank" fuel. Farm and trucking supply houses have "fuel polishing" additives/fungicides and pump/filter systems that keep tanks and fuel clean that might be safely added to a home storage tank system. Being able to fill a five-gallon can of stored/filtered Home Heating Oil from a valved-spout in the basement might be useful at some point in the future [, since Home Heating Oil can be substituted for diesel fuel, in extremis]. Cheers, - Karl in Portland, Oregon


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