First Time Heating Oil or Propane User – What to Consider

Being responsible for heating your home with heating oil or propane for the first time can be daunting. There is a lot to consider not only when choosing a heating oil or propane supplier, but also after you’ve chosen the supplier. Here are some things to consider as a first time heating oil or propane user:

The Right Supplier

Choosing the right heating oil or propane supplier is important to your home comfort. You want a reliable, efficient and friendly provider to heat your home and to be there when you need them the most. And, you want a heating oil or propane provider to give you a wide range of options, anything from price protection plans to service. Be sure to consider these important questions when choosing the right supplier:

  • Are they reputable and have they been in business a long time?
  • Do they have flexible payment options?
  • Do they offer a price protection or cap program?
  • Do they offer expert heating equipment installation, service and service plans?
  • Do they have 24/7 emergency repair?
  • Do they have enough people to ensure that your covered no matter what your need?
  • What’s their price per gallon?

If you haven’t yet decided on a heating provider, check out our blog on selecting a heating provider or questions to ask your potential heating provider.

Automatic Delivery

Some homeowners choose to be on an automatic delivery plan. This means your heating company calculates how much heating oil or propane you need based on the outside temperature and previous usage. Using this method, the heating provider is able to get a good idea of when you need to be filled up again. Automatic delivery is the hands off approach to heating oil or propane deliveries.

The alternative to automatic delivery is “will call”. With this option, you have to monitor your heating oil or propane levels and call your heating company to schedule a delivery when you need more heating fuel. This approach is good for people who want to control their deliveries. If you choose will call, be careful not to run yourself out of fuel. There are additional costs to get you running again.

CAP Plans and Price Protection Plans

In the U.S. and Canada, many heating providers offer plans that allow you to fix or cap your heating oil or propane price for the entire heating season. With these plans, you’ll need to sign a contract with your heating provider for a specific amount of heating oil or propane. CAP plans and price protection plans are good for homeowners who want to know exactly what they’ll pay or the maximum they’ll pay for their heating costs throughout the heating season. Knowing your costs will allow you to budget your heating expenses.

There are differences between the plans offered in Canada and the U.S. It’s important to do your homework on what might be best for you.

Service Plans and Maintenance

A service plan is like insurance for your heating equipment. If something breaks down or needs replacing, it could cost you hundreds of dollars if you’re not covered by a service plan. Irving offers multiple service plans, and each provides a different amount of coverage. A service plan covers your equipment for a year, and it can be paid in monthly payments. Be sure to take a minute to reviewIrving’s heating oil and propane service plans.

If you think a service plan might not be for you, keep in mind that your heating equipment needs routine maintenance to keep it running smoothly and reliably. Having your system break down in the middle of winter could literally leave you out in the cold.

The rule of thumb is you should have your system cleaned and inspected every year. During your system’s annual maintenance, your heating technician will let you know if there is any issues with your system. Remember, an annual cleaning and inspection is covered under most service plans.

Safety Information

You should familiarize yourself with proper usage and precautions to take with your home heating. Don’t hesitate to contact your heating provider if you have any questions. And, be sure to check out more information on heating oil safety or propane safety.



If you have any questions regarding becoming a heating oil or propane customer, then be sure to contact an Irving heating expert online, or call us at 1.888.310.1924 – we’re here to