While it’s true that home heating oil isn’t the greenest heating option out there, not everyone has the time, space or money to install sustainable heating options like air source heat pumps or solar heating.
In addition, if you live off the mains gas supply, your options are further limited to electric heating, which burns coal, or you can cut out the middleman and burn coal in your own home in the United Kingdom.
If you have oil-fired heating and you’re looking for ways to make it more environmentally sound, there are quite a few things you can do to help the environment. Here are some ideas.
Use a supplier with a strong environmental policy
Only buy your home heating oil from a supplier that cares about the environment. OK, oil is a tricky one, but there are many ways in which your suppliers can make it better – they may use biodiesel in their delivery trucks, for example. Review the green policies of any supplier before you decide to buy from them so you know you’re supporting the goodies.
Insulate your home really well
As you’ll lose up to 60% of the heat you generate through un-insulated walls and roofs, as well as windows and cracks in doors, anything you can do to prevent this loss is a bonus. Lay down thick insulation in the roof, use thick curtains, draught excluders and seal off unused rooms. If you don’t have double glazing, look into using a clingfilm alternative – it actually works!
Turn down the thermostat a degree or two
If you typically have your heating set to 21C or 22C, try going to 20C or 21C. You probably won’t notice the difference and this measure will save anything up to 10% of your fuel use over the winter. If you use less fuel, you’re saving money and the environment, right? You can also fiddle with the timer so the heating goes off 30 minutes before you turn in for the night – the radiators will still emit heat for a while.
Club together with friends and neighbours to share deliveries
If you order your oil together with neighbours, your supplier will have to make far fewer journeys to top you all up, thus saving on its own fuel. Most oil suppliers already recommend that you do this and will help you to sort this out. An added bonus is that you will all pay a far smaller delivery charge, so everyone wins in this scenario.
Don’t just rely on your oil to heat your home
Use other ways of getting a bit of warmth into the place! On sunny days, open the curtains and let the sun stream through the windows to warm the air, for example. You can also leave the oven door open once you’ve finished cooking, as this gives a welcome boost on cold days. If you have a slow cooker, use it as often as possible, as this will give out a small but steady amount of heat into your kitchen as it makes that amazing stew.