Home heating oil comes in handy during those chilly winter months and helps keep your home warm and comfortable. With so many companies providing heating oil delivery services, making the best choice can be difficult.
The first step is deciding between a full service and a discount oil delivery company. A full-service company offers automatic oil delivery along with other services including technical support and insurance protection while discount oil companies usually offer only oil delivery at lower prices. With that said, consider the following factors during your selection process to ensure you get the best home heating oil delivery company.
1. Look at the Payment Plans
Every company has its own prices and preferred payment plans. Before settling on one, compare the prices and choose the one that best suits your needs and financial ability. While you wouldn’t want to overpay for services that you can get at a bargain, be careful as not every discount delivery company offers quality for the low prices. Other than paying for your fuel according to the prevailing market prices, common payment plans include:
- Fixed Prices. Price doesn’t change regardless of market price fluctuations. The downside is that you won’t make any savings when the prices drop.
- Budget Monthly Payment Plans. You pay a fixed amount every month for your fuel, usually for 10 to 12 months. Look at it as covering your fuel costs in installments.
- Capped Plans. Prices have a limit on how high they can fluctuate. If they go lower than the set limit, you pay less. Capped plans are a form of price protection and shield you against escalating prices while allowing you to pay lower when they drop.
Companies that provide a variety of payment plans and price protection give you more options and control of your finances. Whatever payment option you choose, ensure that you can sustain it.
2. Services Offered
When choosing a home heating oil delivery company, look at the services they offer in addition to heating oil delivery. Choose a company that has great customer support to address your concerns, and 24-hour emergency services to cater for unforeseen circumstances.
Also, consider the available delivery options; whether they offer automatic delivery or you need to make an order personally (will-call delivery) or both. A company that provides both options is your best bet. Other services to look out for in full-service companies include equipment installation, maintenance and replacement.
3. Customer Reviews
A company’s track record speaks for itself. Look for customer reviews both on the ground and online to gauge how satisfied customers are with their services. This also gives you the opportunity to find out what to expect when you finally make that order for your oil. A local heating oil delivery company with good reputation and experience is ideal as the proximity to your home makes heating oil deliveries quicker.
4. Oil Supply and Delivery Speed
No one wants to stay cold for a whole week during winter waiting for heating oil to be delivered. Therefore, choose a company with a short delivery time to ensure you get your heating oil as soon as possible. While some companies make deliveries after a whole week, you can also get your oil the same day you order it. Also, ensure that the company has no history of shortages even in peak seasons.
The big question to ask yourself when looking for oil delivery company is ‘what’s the price of heating oil?’ While price seem to be the main concern for most homeowners, it’s essential to consider other factors as well. For example, choosing a reliable heating oil company means that you won’t run out of oil, no matter the circumstances. The best company should have emergency oil services and fair prices.