You’re going in the right direction by using heating oil to keep warm. But sometimes, you can lose your way as you try to remain comfortable while controlling costs.
Here are some tips to help you stay on the right path.
1. You’ve already found the best fuel
Did you know that oil generates more Btu’s of heat and warms a home more evenly than any other fuel? That’s why oil heat is the ultimate comfort fuel — and new technology has made it better.
Today’s oil heating systems are more reliable, more efficient and cleaner burning. Oil heat makes you feel safe too, because you don’t have to fear explosions or carbon monoxide leaks.
And don’t forget about service! You can expect to get fast service if you should ever lose your heat.
Contrast that with a neighbor’s home that uses gas heat. When your neighbor loses heat, he usually has to navigate through a phone maze, trying to find an outside contractor (like a plumber) who can do the repair. Getting a busy contractor to make a service call doesn’t take hours — it could take days.
2. Know the rules of the game
Some fuel companies play rigged games that trick unsuspecting customers. They lure you in with a really good price — but never tell you that it won’t last very long.
Once you’ve signed on the dotted line with them, they start stepping up your price until you are paying much more than you would with us.
If you want to call them on their game, ask that “low price company” to tell you their posted price for existing customers for a few seasons. You can bet that the posted price is much higher than the “teaser rate” they’re offering you.
If you don’t want to waste your money on this game, stick with us. Our superior service (and integrity) saves you money, reduces your aggravation and gives you real peace of mind.
3. When to call it quits
If your boiler or furnace is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it soon; the performance and reliability of heating equipment typically deteriorates after 15 years (sooner if maintenance has been neglected).
At a minimum, a new system should help you save up to 20% on your annual heating costs. (If you significantly improve system efficiency, savings can be 40% or even more!) You’ll feel the difference in comfort too. And you’ll also save on repairs, because you’ll minimize the potential of a system breakdown, a common problem with old systems.
A family that spends $2,000 per year to heat its home and reduces its annual cost by just 20% saves $400. If the new system costs $2,800, the payback time on a system investment would be only seven years.*
*For illustrative purposes only; energy savings and equipment costs vary.
4. We know when to deliver
We do everything possible to ensure that you never run out of oil! When we hear about a winter storm coming, we usually speed up our delivery schedule to ensure you’re covered.
For automatic delivery customers, we can predict when you need oil. We usually schedule a delivery when you have about one quarter of a tank. If you have a 275-gallon tank, one quarter of a tank means you have about 70 gallons of fuel left. Depending on your household usage, that can last a week or more because the average winter fuel usage is 5-7 gallons per day.
Please remember: If you call for fuel, we need advance notice so we can put you on our delivery route in the following few days.
5. Avoid these mistakes
Many people have added insulation
in their home and followed other energy-conserving strategies. That’s good! But in some cases, these changes seal up a home so tightly that the heating system can’t get enough air to operate efficiently. Poor air flow can also be caused by these conditions:
- A fireplace or exhaust fan may be operating at the same time as the burner. This can result in a smoky odor because a backdraft is pulling flue gases through the exhaust system and into the home.
- A clothes dryer, workshop or pet living quarters may be near the oil burner. Lint, sawdust or animal hair can all be drawn into the air openings of the burner and clog it, leading to a breakdown.
6. Get “smart”
Beyond replacing your old system or maintaining it properly, there are many other ways to make your home more energy efficient, reduce oil usage and save money on your heating bills.
A programmable thermostat is a great example. When used properly, it can save you about 10% on your annual energy bills. As you may know, you now have the ability to access a “smart” programmable thermostat remotely through the internet.
If you’re away from home, you can use your phone to adjust the temperature setting. The thermostat can also send you an email or a text alert about a drastic temperature change — and possible equipment failure. Some models even let you know when it’s time to schedule maintenance for your heating system. Now, that’s smart!