How to Choose a Heating Oil Provider

Many use heating oil to keep them warm during cold and stormy weather. If you are a heating oil user, you may be tempted to get a discount or bargain oil. However, there are hidden costs that you might not be aware of when you choose bargain oil.

You need something more reliable to keep your home warm and comfortable during winter. Bargain oil, at first glance, may appear best for your budget. However, the better option is to get oil from a full-service heating oil provider. You can also find the best price for heating oil by visiting websites that compare price in the market.

Here are some reasons why a trusted heating oil supplier is better:

  • A full-service provider offers 24/7 services, in terms of delivery and other heating-related issues. On the other hand, discount oil companies usually aren’t available on weekends and after-hours.
  • The payment plans and pricing of heating oil suppliers are more flexible, and hence budget-friendly. There is only a fixed pricing plan offered by bargain oil companies.
  • Full-service oil suppliers have a sufficient heating oil supply, so you can rely on them anytime you need oil. Bargain oil companies’ oil supply is limited, as they depend on the demand.
  • Full-service providers have technicians who are better trained to fix boilers, thermostats and other heating equipment.

In choosing a heating oil provider, here are some things that you should need to consider and weigh in before deciding:

Heating oil pricing

Discount oil companies, as the name suggests, often advertise “bargain prices” to potential customers. The offer may seem catchy and cost-friendly, at first glance. However, you should look at “pricing” together with other factors, such as availability for deliveries, availability of after-hour tech service, and other heating-related problems.

In most cases, bargain oil companies do not do after-hour deliveries. They also don’t deliver on weekends and holidays. Their technicians are also usually limited and are not available on a 24/7 basis. If you come to think of it, it is not really that cost-efficient if you cannot depend on them when equipment trouble arises. It is vital that your heating oil provider is available in times of emergency, anytime, any day.

Service agreement plans

It is also important to look into the service agreement plans offered by the heating oil provider before choosing your provider. Most service agreement plans are on an annual contract, so better check everything before deciding.

A good full-service heating oil provider offers “guaranteed oil deliveries” in their service agreements. This means that they can deliver on an automatic basis whenever needed. The agreement should also include a 24/7 availability of qualified and trained technicians for parts replacement, repairs, and other emergency issues.

In sum, a good service agreement plan should feature the following:

  • 24/7 availability for deliveries, repairs, and other heating-related issues
  • Various types of heating systems offered on an “as needed basis.”
  • Qualified, well-trained technicians
  • Preventive maintenance like annual tune-up and cleaning of the heating system
  • Boiler or furnace maintenance that includes cleaning, adjustment, and replacement (for extra charges)
  • Coverage of burner controls and accessories, such as adjustments and replacements
  • Agreement and identification of “heating zones” for better flexibility in temperature and oil use

Take note that normally, these items are not covered by service agreements: damage from water, flood, fire, hurricane, and power failures.

Additionally, here are other things that you should consider in your decision-making:

  • Variable plan is a type of agreement plan that offers no minimum duration. However, it does not offer much protection as it tends to fluctuate with the market conditions.
  • Ceiling plan generally requires a time commitment but offers price protection. It establishes a cap of the oil price
  • Budget plans allow customers to pay on an installment basis or equal monthly payments over a period of time. The price is usually based on the oil used. Most full-service heating oil providers offer such budget plans.

To wrap everything up, remember that when choosing a heating oil provider, the price is only one of the many things that you should consider. If you don’t want to lock yourself into lengthy contract and want to have the freedom and the reassurance to always have the best price on heating oil go check

In short, not because something is “cheap” does not mean it’s the best and the most cost-effective. Always consider the other factors before making a decision. The safest way is to choose a trusted and proven full-service heating oil company.

If you have any questions, please ask below!