KIDS ASK the Best Questions

Learning How to Save Money and Stay Comfortable

We love kids! They have a lot of wisdom and they’re not shy about asking questions. Follow along as Ava and Jarrett quiz us about what we do. What they learn could make a difference in your own comfort—and save you money too!

How do you know that thing is going to work right?

Well, if this were a refrigerator, we would just bring it to your house, plug it in and we would be done. But a heating system is not that easy. First, we had to figure out what size system works best for your home and family.

Do systems come in small, medium and large?

Not exactly. When we talk about size, we’re talking about how much power the system has, sort of like a car’s engine. A system that has more power than your house needs will waste money.

But if there isn’t enough power, your home will not feel comfortable. And it will cost more money because a system that’s too small will keep running and running.

What size fits just right?

There are tests that help us figure out how much heat your home loses in the winter. This is one way we know how much power your home’s heating system needs. Once we pick out the right equipment, we make sure we put it in the right way. Some companies take shortcuts, but then the heater won’t work right. Your family will spend more money and your house won’t feel comfortable enough. We don’t take shortcuts. We always do things the right way because you’re important to us. We want you to feel comfortable and save money.

We’re trying to save for college. What else can we do to save money?

Replace old equipment.
Because we’re putting in a new heating system, your family is probably going to save hundreds of dollars every year on energy. You’ll also save money on repairs, because old machines break a lot.

Take care of your equipment.
Proper maintenance is essential to keeping equipment running efficiently and saving money. Your parents can talk to us about a service plan or maintenance program.

Change the temperature in your home.
You can probably help your parents with this. There are programmable thermostats that let you set the temperature you want at different times of the day and night. You don’t need to keep your home as warm when you’re sleeping or away from home, so this saves you money. There are also “smart” programmable thermostats that let you change the temperature with your smartphone or computer at any time, no matter where you are. If you use a programmable thermostat right, you may be able to help your parents save about $100 a year.

Do some window dressing.
Here’s another one you can help out with. In the morning, open the window blinds and let sunlight heat up your home naturally during the day. At night, close drapes to hold in the heat and keep out the cold. You can also stop cold air from getting inside by taping clear plastic film to the inside of the window frames.

I’ve Always Wondered How Oil Keeps Our House Warm. Can You Explain That to Me?

You’ve seen us pump oil into your oil tank before; it’s similar to your parents putting gasoline in their car to make it run. Oil is the fuel that makes your heater run.

How does it get inside our house?

When your house gets chilly, the thermostat will send a signal to tell the oil burner in the heater to turn on. A fuel pump then starts to draw the oil from the tank and through fuel lines to reach the oil burner.

So all of that oil goes from the tank to the heater and keeps burning?

Not all of it at once. During the winter, you may need to use four or five gallons of oil per day. Once the oil gets inside, it reaches an important piece on the burner called the nozzle. The nozzle turns the oil into a very fine spray. This oil mist will then mix with air and ignite in the combustion chamber, which gets very hot. The heat gets transferred to an exchanger. From there, the heat gets sent around your home.

Are we being green?

You certainly are! Many products are Energy Star rated, including oil heating systems. A blue Energy Star label means a product will use less energy and cause less pollution.

In just one year, Energy Star products helped Americans avoid the same amount of pollution as comes from 23 million cars! And together, these people saved $12 billion on their energy bills in one year.

In addition, the oil heat industry continues to focus on combining clean-burning technologies with greener fuels that feature a biofuel blend and low sulfur content.