Apparently Oil is Expensive and Burns Fast

Our heating adventure continues. When we moved we knew we had ~1,000 gallon oil tank, but when the oil company came and told us it was just short of full, we were happy to only put in 27 gallons. Then our heat went out after a few days in the warehouse.

Four days later, the oil company came and essentially said “our bad, the tank was really empty last time we came” and put in 850 gallons. The bill for that fill up ran us just over $3k, but we figured it would last a while.

Apparently not. We checked the tank today – which consists of sticking a large stick down a pipe – and roughly 1/5th of the 850 gallons was gone. Ummm ~$2,500/month on heat during the winter is not going to fly.

So we lowered the thermostat on the warehouse floor from 60 degrees to 50 degrees. We have a little 200 sq-ft office that Mike and Greg spent a weekend renovating (pics on Mike’s site) and we keep that at 70 degrees and right now are pretty much doing all computer work in there.

We’ll check the stick again a week from now and see how it goes. If not, I think we’ll need to get an energy expert to come in and analyze the situation and recommend things we can do beyond the obvious ones like energy efficient thermostats and adding a bit of insulation.

3 comments on Apparently Oil is Expensive and Burns Fast

  1. Adam Holland says:

    I had a feeling when we were talking about your warehouse layout last week that this was going to happen…
    Is there any way to just put up a temporary barrier around the products?
    In my crappy apartment I actually used an 8′ wide blind to separate my living room from the rest of the house.. (8′ is the gap of the walkway between the rooms..) It’s not exactly insulation, but damn does it work..
    Not to mention your ceilings are TALL in the warehouse = lost heat…
    Even if you spend $2K on a cob-job, as long as you can trap the heat it’ll be worth it. Brainstorm w/ the guys – you’re all smart as hell, I’m sure you’ll come up w/ some ideas. :o)

  2. Adam McFarland says:

    Yea we were a bit naive about the whole thing. Live and learn right 🙂

    We purchased energy saving thermostats and installed them yesterday, so we’re going to measure that impact and see where it gets us. We have the warehouse cycling down to 45 at night and on weekends (the lowest we think our products can handle) and 50 during the day. The little office is at 50 on nights/weekends and 70 from 9-5 M-F.

    If it isn’t enough, we’ll definitely have to start brainstorming ideas like you’re referring to. Like you said – $2k in this case to save $750 a month is a no brainer.

  3. Adam McFarland says:

    Update – the maintenance guys definitely misread the stick. We just checked and it was higher than our “reading” last week. All is well for now it seems….

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