Archive for the ‘Oil’ Category.

Monday 06 November, 2023

How Many Gallons of Heating Oil Will it Take to Last a Winter?

Heating your home this winter in Central Virginia

The answer to the question in the title of this article is dependent on several factors. Seeing how it gets colder in some areas of the country than others, location is the largest determining factor of how fast you will consume eating oil to heat your home. But, there are some other factors to consider as well.

Age and Efficiency of Your Heating Unit

Despite what some folks who are not in the know may believe, heating oil is still a prominent way to stay warm in cold winter months. In fact, over 5 million homes use this method to heat their homes in the United States alone. Therefore, heating units are continuing to be built and installed every day.

Newer heating units are unbelievably efficient. In fact, according to one authority on the matter, newer units have an astounding 98% efficiency rating. Compare this to older units that routinely come in at 65% or less. This means saving ⅓ more money and energy in the long run.

How Hot Do You Like It?

The setting of your home temperature can also have a big effect on how much oil you use this winter. Are you a person who likes it warm? Then you will naturally consume more oil. Or do you like it a little bit chilly and prefer to stay decked out in your favorite pajamas? Good! You will spend less money heating your home. 

The general rule of thumb recommended by government experts is that people should keep their homes at 78 degrees in the summer and under 70 degrees in the winter. That seems like a pretty wide variant especially for those of us who are very temperature sensitive. Still, I’ve known people who keep their homes at 67 degrees in the winter and think nothing of it. We are all different.

Can you sleep in colder temperatures and stay warm in your blanket? Not having to run the heat as much at night, which is the coldest part of the day, can really save $. 

Bottom Line

The common sized heating oil tank is 275 gallons. It holds roughly 225 gallons and the rest of the space stays empty and allows the flow of air. The average house uses a little over one gallon of heating oil per hour when running. They can end up using between 400-500 gallons of heating oil for the winter in cold to moderate climates. If heating oil is about $4.25 per gallon, a person can expect to spend up to $2000 to heat their home for the winter. This number can be way lower depending on the size of the home and heating habits of its residents. 



Tuesday 24 October, 2023

Inflation and How it Affects Energy Pricing

The global pandemic from a few years ago threw the world economy into turmoil. Not only did many businesses shut down both temporarily (and some permanently), but the supply chain was log-jammed. This affected each and every market globally. It was the equivalent to someone grabbing and pulling the emergency brake on a high-speed train. Basically, it has repercussions which we still feel today.

The way in which leaders from around the world, and more specifically our own government, handled the crisis seemed to add fuel to the fire. They injected economies with money created out of thin air, trillions of dollars in fact. More money in a closed system where less work is being done is the perfect recipe for inflation. And we saw plenty of it.

At one point the year-over-year inflation was in the mid-double digits. It has since crept back down to mid single digits. But, we are not out of the woods yet. Fuel and heating oil, like every commodity, was hit hard by inflation. The prices crept upwards for some time. People looking to fill their home oil tanks dreaded receiving the bill.

World Wide Conflict and How it Affects Pricing

The western world depends on oil imports from other countries. Unfortunately, some of those countries are at odds with the western world. Countries like Russia, Venezuela & some in the middle-east have a love/hate relationship with the United States. They hate the U.S. but love selling us oil.

It can be pondered as to what prices would be if the United States were on better terms with some or all of these countries. Would the price be affected? Would the price per barrel remain the same or would it be cheaper?

Current Pricing of Heating Oil in the Virginia Region

current heating oil price in virginia

As you can see from the chart provided by, the price hit an all-time high last year. It has eased some but many speculate if it will ease further or spike again. We are anticipating a return to 2012-13 prices and have hopes that it either levels off there or even drops significantly.

Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at Oil Price Information Service, recently had this to say: “I think we might find ourselves at the end of November with the wolf at the door”. These are not exactly encouraging words but nothing is written in stone. Our advice is to purchase your oil now in case Mr. Kloza is correct.


Monday 25 April, 2022

Oil Heaters & Boilers

If you have never had an oil heater or boiler in your life the entire system may seem very foreign to you. Many people grow up with electric heating and don’t give much thought to oil heat until they buy a house with an existing system or if they are considering what type of heating system to install.

Recently we produced an article describing the benefits of heating oil based systems. There really are good reasons to consider installing heating oil systems. An efficient system can last you 25+ years.

Modern heating oil heating systems are actually very technologically advanced and efficient. Not to mention, the system is safe. For instance, there are many spots in the system which automatically shut down if there is a problem. There are actually valves which automatically close if fire or extreme heat is detected. These valves are not dependent on electricity and do so mechanically.

If you want to get a really good idea of what you are getting with a modern heating system look no further than this wonderfully produced video we fund on YouTube.


It really is a fascinating system and once you get into the world of oil heating you may never choose another alternative.

Do you live in Lynchburg or surrounding areas and need heating oil? Please call us to get a price quote. We are here to work with you.


Friday 22 April, 2022

What are the Benefits of Heating Oil?

Benefits of using heating oil

Many people in Virginia heat their homes with heating oil. All ways of heating involve burning fossil fuels. That fuel is burned and then transformed into energy. These fuel sources are natural gas, coal and oil.

In this article we want to dive into the benefits of heating your home with heating oil. There are three major benefits to be exact.

I. Safety

Heating oil is safe. Heating oil won’t burn in its liquid state. So there is no risk of it spontaneously combusting or exploding in any other fashion. This is because the oil must be heated and then sprayed onto a burner for it to produce heat energy. Its a process than only your heating unit is able to accomplish.

II. Efficiency

Heating oil is efficient. Heating oil produces 35% more energy than a gallon of natural gas. Just in case you didn’t know, natural gas is stored in a liquid state. It is then vaporized and burned. Heating oil also produces the hottest flame of all heating liquids, allowing it to heat your home faster.

III. Heating Oil Heating Systems are Reliable and Durable

A good system can last you 25+ years. With regular maintenance and supervision the return on investment in very good. A customer wants to know that they are getting the best and most reliable system when it comes to keeping their family warm.


Have you thought about installing a heating oil unit in your home? Have you considered the safety associated with heating systems? If you are looking for the safest and most reliable heating source then look no further than heating oil.


Speak to your local Lynchburg heating oil dealer to find the best deals on heating units. Many of our customers are life long and we love the relationship we have with the community.



Friday 02 October, 2020

Fuel Oil vs Heating Oil

Heating Oil vs Fuel Oil

A barrel of oil in converted into many different types of fuels and oils.

Unless you are in the industry or have had both of these different types of heating systems, chances are that you do not know the difference between heating oil and fuel oil. This article aims to clear up any confusion that you may have on the subject.

The difference between fuel oil and heating oil is minimal. Heating oil typically produces a little more heat that fuel oil. The main difference between the two from a customer standpoint is that heating oil is more suited to be stored in an indoor tank whereas fuel oil should be stored in an outdoor tank.

Heating oil is heavier than fuel oil. It contains 139,000 BTUs whereas fuel oil contains 135,000 BTUs. Note: BTU is an acronym. It stands for British Thermal Unit. It’s a form of measurement that measures energy.

When a distillery processes a barrel of oil, it ends up being used for a myriad of fueling and lubricating means. It ends up as everything from jet fuel to petroleum jelly. As far as fuel is concerned, it is broken up into six categories that you can find below:

Name Alias Alias Type Chain length
Fuel Oil No. 1 Distillate No. 1 Diesel Fuel No.1 Distillate 9-16
Fuel Oil No. 2 Distillate No. 2 Diesel Fuel No. 2 Distillate 10-20
Fuel Oil No. 3 Distillate No. 3 Diesel Fuel No. 3 Distillate
Fuel Oil No. 4 Distillate No. 4 Diesel Fuel No. 4 Distillate/Residual 12-70
Fuel Oil No. 5 Residual Fuel Oil No. 5 Heavy fuel oil Residual 12-70
Fuel Oil No. 6 Residual Fuel Oil No. 1 Heavy fuel oil Residual 12-70

table source

Fuel Oil No. 1 – This is usually referred to as coal oil, stove oil and range oil.

Fuel Oil No. 2 – This is referred to as heating oil or bunker A.

Fuel Oil No. 3 – This fuel is for low-viscosity burning, but it is less frequently used since the mid-20th century.

Fuel Oil No. 4 – This is a commercial heating oil used for boilers/burners where pre-heaters are not installed.

Fuel Oil No. 5 – This is an industrial heating oil which needs preheating to 77-104°C. This fuel is referred to as bunker B.

Fuel Oil No. 6 – This is a residual oil which also needs preheating, however to 104-127 °C. This fuel is known as bunker C.

As you can see there are many levels to fuel oil. Your heating oil supplier can tell you exactly what you need. If you live in the Lynchburg, Madison Heights, or Appomattox area of Central Virginia, we can deliver your fuel oil. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 434-845-0971


Wednesday 23 September, 2020

Heating with Kerosene

kerosene heat

When it comes to surviving cold winters, a reliable source of heat is imperative. Many people use electric heating for their home, which typically generates high electricity bills. Others use wood furnaces, which take a lot of man hours to keep stoked. But a large portion of the country use petroleum based heating. Many times this can be less expensive than electric heat and much less exhausting than fire wood heat. In this blog, we will go over kerosene specifically and what makes it an excellent choice for heating one’s home.

Kerosene is a petroleum product known as a combustible hydrocarbon liquid. It is used in many facets of every day human life. It is used for heating, lighting as well as jet and rocket fuel. For many years kerosene was simply referred to as “lamp oil”. It is a very stable flammable liquid in that only the fumes burn and not the actually liquid itself.

Kerosene is more stable than gasoline and can be stored much longer. It should be noted that if a person uses a kerosene heater indoors there should be proper ventilation. The byproduct of any petroleum product being burned is carbon monoxide.

If you are replacing your home’s heating system and are trying to choose between kerosene and heating oil here is some advice: If you plan for your tank to be inside the home, then you should use heating oil. If the tank is going outside the home or business then kerosene is a great option.

Regardless of whether you choose heating oil or kerosene, Sterling Oil can deliver it to your home or business. You can call us today for a free quote and we can have it out to your place in a jiff.


Friday 03 April, 2020

Now May Be the Best Time to Buy Heating Oil

With the U.S. and most of the world’s economy at almost a standstill, the use of petroleum has naturally decreased. And it has decreased by quite a lot. Since the oil market is “supply and demand” based, the slow down has affected prices. The lack of demand has stifled the supply and now oil companies need to move the product.

petroleum price April 2020

Crude oil by the barrel

Take a look at this graph below. You can see what I’m talking about.

The point of this blog post is that now may be the best time to buy your heating oil. It seems counter-intuitive to buy heating oil when things are getting warm and we have a full summer ahead of us. But, we may never see these prices again. And the prices are sure to rise as demand returns once the economy starts flowing again.

Heating oil doesn’t evaporate. So, if you fill up your tank now, it will be the same when it is time to use it again in the fall. In fact, heating oil is good for ten years. It is a very stable liquid.

Call the staff at Sterling Oil to get prices to fill your tank now and save some money, They will be happy to serve you in the greater Lynchburg Area and Surrounding Counties.  We can also take payment over the phone so you there is no need to come by the office.




Thursday 21 November, 2019

Interesting Facts About Heating Oil

oil refinery

Oil refinery

Heating and cooling are our specialty. We serve Lynchburg Virginia and surrounding areas. A major part of our business is providing heating oil for those households that require this type of fuel source. In this article we would like to share some facts about heating oil which the reader may not already know.


Heating oil comes from the same petroleum used for automobile oil and to make gasoline. The raw (or crude) oil is heated from between 250 to 350 degrees Celsius. The oil that condenses at this temperature is then used as heating oil.

By Any Other Name

Heating oil can be called by any other name but it is always heating oil. Some of these names are:

  • Gas Oil
  • Paraffin
  • Fuel Oil
  • Kersosene
  • 28 second heating oil

These nomenclatures aren’t always 100% accurate but they get the message across.

Best Time to Buy

Just like with any commodity, the best time to buy heating oil is when the use or demand is low. So, buying heating oil in the summer is when you are most likely to receive the best price and the service will be fast as well. Usually the price tends to be lower in summer months too.

Safety of Heating Oil

We have gone over the safety of heating oil in other articles. But, let us do so again because we cannot stress how safe heating oil actually is.

Heating oil only burns when done so in a special heating oil burning unit. Therefore, having a tank of heating oil in or around your house is very safe.

Supply and Demand

When refining a barrel of oil, a good portion of it results in heating oil. Every drop of each barrel of oil is used for a purpose. About 20% is used for gasoline and the rest is divided up between petrochemical and oil uses. There is plenty of supply to meet the demand of customers.


Friday 15 November, 2019

Tips to Help You Save Money Heating Your Home

Tips to save money during winter

Save money while heating your home this winter.

The coldest part of winter is right around the corner. The days are shorter and the heat from the sun is overtaken by the cold of empty outer space.

Our coldest days can be brutal. All people want to do (can do) is stay in doors during the extreme cold snaps. We need our indoor temperature to be comfortable. And to accomplish this we run our heating system. The heating system pushes warm air into the room or, in the case of radiators, super heats air molecules already in the room.

Heating your home during December through March can get very expensive. This is why we put together this list of tips to save money on electricity, heating oil, or fire generated heat.

  1. The first tip is the most obvious and we probably all already do it automatically. Set you thermostats to lower temp and wear more clothing.
  2. Seal your chimney when not in use – Close the flue inside the chimney to keep heat from escaping.
  3. Keep vents and radiators clear – This little step can save money over the long haul. Your pump can get air into the room more easily and has to work less hard to do so.
  4. Windows – This is where most of your heat is lost. Up to 30% in fact. Make sure you have properly sealed the windows. Open the curtains during the day and allow the sun to heat your rooms. It works like a greenhouse.
  5. Use ceiling fans – By setting your ceiling fan on low and having it blow toward the ceiling, the heat is circulated properly and this saves money.
  6. Shut doors and close vents – Do this for rooms you are not using often. The spare room, the 2nd bathroom, the storage room; keep all of these doors closed and close the vents.

We hope these tips will help you save some bucks during the coldest months of the year.


Tuesday 22 October, 2019

Five Things You Should Know About Heating Oil

heating oil is safeIn this article we want to share five things you may not know about heating oil. We feel these are important facts regarding heating oil.

1. Heating Oil  is Safe – You have seen all the news stories about explosions caused by a natural gas leak. This is not possible with heating oil. Heating oil doesn’t have a flash point like natural gas. In fact, you could put out a lit match in it.

Secondly, the chances carbon monoxide entering your home undetected from a heating malfunctioning oil burner are extremely low.

2. Environmentally Friendly – Strides have been made in heating oil production over the last 20 years or so. The sulfur content has been reduced by 93% to around 0.5%. This basically means that air pollution caused by heating oil is super low.

3. The Supply of Oil Can Meet Demand – Heating oil is plentiful. Heating oil does not have to be uber-refined like gasoline or kerosene. There is plenty of heating quality petroleum on the planet. By all estimates, our grandchildren and great grandchildren won’t have to deal with heating oil shortages in their lifetime.

4. Heating Oil is Clean – Heating oil does not leave behind the dirty soot that it used to decades ago. Your system will stay very clean with modern heating oil. It is estimated that today’s heating oil is 95% cleaner than it was in the year 1970.

5. Efficient – Heating oil is about 16% more efficient than natural gas. And heating efficiency ratings for newer heating oil appliances range from 83%-95%. These new appliances have an estimated life-span of 30 years. A natural gas furnace has only a 14 year estimated life-span.

So, we hope this article has helped enlighten you on the benefits of using heating oil for heating. Call us today if you have any questions: 434-845-0971

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