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Showing posts from 2015

Price of Oil

How low can the price of Oil go?For many home heating oil customers the price of oil is a major factor when it comes to picking a company to use.  As the price of oil here in New England continues to trend downward as the global market receives more and more supply, now is a perfect time lessen the weight price contributes to picking a heating company.
Think back to 2012-2013 when the price of home heating oil was about $2.00 more per gallon then what you can find today. Now think about what the average home burns per year, which varies around the region but usually is about 800 gallons. That means that two years ago could have spent 1,600 more than what you would pay now. That's a vacation or a couple of payments on a car, or a service plan for several years or another seasons worth of heating fuel.  
With the price of heating oil as low as it is compared to past year the difference between a full service company and cod company is as vast as it always has been. Full service compan…

How to make sure you get deliveries this winter

Can your Oil Company Make Their DeliveryAs we get closer to Winter and snow begins to fall there are a couple of things your home heating company would like you to know.  

We will work as hard as we possibly can to make your delivery regardless of the weather, but there are some conditions that make it nearly impossible for a delivery to be made. In the event of snow we would greatly appreciate a path to be shoveled or plowed to the fill pipe. The hose that is used to make delivery weighs around 50lbs and is around 150ft long, walking through snow with the hose can make deliveries impossible or could lead to inquiry.  You also need to make sure that your fill pipe is clear of snow and ice, if the driver can't see or doesn't know where the pipe is they can't make a delivery.

Another thing is that the delivery truck is wider than most vehicles. If the driver usually makes the delivery from the driveway, it would greatly help to have the driveway cleared all the way to edges. I…

Service Calls

What do you expect when you need service on your heating system?It's the middle of the night in the middle of winter and you wake up to a freezing house, your first thought maybe "why isn't the heat on". So you check the thermostat, it reads that the temperature is much below what you set it at. Your next step is head downstairs and check the heating system. Come to find out it isn't running, what do you do?
First check a few things. Does your tank have oil it? When the temperature drops you may begin to burn more fuel than you anticipated and a run out may be the culprit. Many full service companies will be able to deliver an emergency amount of fuel to get you through the night until a more substantial amount of fuel can be delivered. Has your emergency on/off switch been flipped for some reason? This can usually be found heading down to your basement or around the heating system itself. You can also hit the burner reset button once and only once. If any of thes…

The Cold Weather is Here!

Are you ready for the cold weather?This past weekend we saw and felt the first glimpse of winter or at least the cold weather that is associated with it. A lot of people may have turned on their heat for the first time, if they hadn't already.  That begs the question, were or are you ready for the cold weather?
When it comes to oil heated homes there are a few things to think about when you get ready for the heating season. First think back to last year, were you happy with the amount you ended up paying during the heating season. If you weren't happy there are a few things that you could do now to prepare.  Think back to when your heating system was last serviced or tuned-up. If it's been more than a year, this could be negatively effecting your heating system's performance.  If your system was serviced but you weren't happy, maybe it's time to look into a new heating system. A new heating may not save you money a first but over time you will burn less fuel, sa…

Automatic Deliveries

How do you get your Home Heating Oil and/or Propane
For many homeowners life seems to get busier and busier without there ever being anymore time in the day. While at the same token some of us have a large amount of time and enjoy convenience. Other like to manage all aspects of their life. There are two types of home heating oil delivery that cater to these types of people.

Will Call, this is for those who like to be in control of everything or just simply like to know exactly when they will be getting an oil delivery.  Many people who use will call for delivery try to plan out when to order oil in relationship with the market. While this can certainly work sometimes, for the most part trying to predict the market is unreliable. Take a look at the market over the last two years, you'll see prices ranging from $4+ to $2+ to below $2.  From November of 2014 to February of 2015 to March of 2015 there were steep price decreases, then a sudden price increase due the cold weather freezin…

Getting What you Pay for

Price vs ValueOne of the most tried and true statements ever made is, you get what you paid for. In my past job in the tire industry this was always true for 90k mile tires vs 40k mile tires for high the price. The same can be applied to your fuel provider. 

Their are two types of oil providers that you can find out in the market, cash on delivery or COD and full service. COD companies take payment at the time of delivery of your oil and for the most part do not provide credit or payment terms. COD companies traditionally do not have a service department. So in the event that your heating system breaks down in the middle of the winter or your pipes freeze it may be difficult to find a company that will come out in the middle of the night.  COD companies, because they have less staff and therefore less overhead have much lower prices for oil deliveries.

Now a full service company, is a company that offers payment/credit terms, 24 emergency service, automatic deliveries, and usually equip…

Winter 2015-2016

What is in Store for us this Winter?After this past winter where it started off very mild and finished with record setting snow and cold, we all want to know what the winter of 2015-2016 will be like. We've had about two to years now of fairly cold winters with decent amount of snow. If you look over the past decade you'll see patterns of very cold winters then followed by mild winters. 
Depending on who you ask or where you get your information from, you could see that we'll be getting a mild winter because of a very strong El Nino, starting the mild winter pattern. While the Farmers Almanac is calling for us to get another nasty snowy cold winter, continuing the cold pattern.

So who do we believe? In some cases you can believe both, to some extent.  While historically Strong El Nino's like the one that we are suppose to be getting have made the Northeast more mild, go back and remind yourself what 1997-1998 was like.  From all accounts this El Nino will be as strong or…

Left in the Cold

One for the Record Books
This is past winter was one that was talked about at lengths, the mild start, the massive blizzards, frigged temperatures, and extreme market swings. What did that mean for you as a oil, propane, electric, and natural gas heating customer. Depending on where you fall, it meant a lot.
Here in the Northeast we have one of highest percentage of home owners that heat primarily with oil heat, about 40%. This number has been dropping over the years as natural gas has been reaching more and more city and town streets. The price of oil had also been at unfriendly levels and climbing for years, without an help in sight. Until the floor dropped out of the oil market around November or so of 2014. Thanks to the increase price of the barrel the American Shale drillers were able to flood the market while OPEC stayed at their level of producing oil.  After years of the barrel being at, around, and above $100, it steadily dropped to $50-60 in the span of six months.

In the Fall…

Summer Energy Tips

Summer is here and that means BBQ's, Beach trips, vacations, and Air Conditioning bills.It seems that New Englander's can never fully escape extreme weather conditions, except for a couple of weeks in the spring and full where the weather is just perfect. The rest of year is either freezing, snowy, or a thousand degrees and you can eat the air.  It might not be that bad but we do put a lot of effort and money into staying comfortable.  Now that it is officially summer we thought it would be perfect to outline some helpful energy tips.

While we've had a couple of days in the mid 80's, we have been lucky that we haven't seen any days in the 90's yet.  This has made so I haven't needed to put in my windowed ac units yet. Were there some nights that I could have used them, yes, but they weren't needed. I know that people have already put there's in and this brings me to our first tip.  Size is important when choosing any type of AC. Modern window units h…

Air Conditioning

It's Air Conditioning Season!Who would have ever thought after the horrible February and March that we experienced that the time to think about air conditioning would come.  Looking at the 10 day forecast on May 4th shows only one day below 70 for Worcester and 3 days below 70 for Providence.
It finally feels that warmer weather is going to stick around, even April felt as if winter didn't want to let go of it's grip on New England completely. With high temps in the 70's and 80's this week it seems that we have finally hit the turning point away from winter.  With temperatures this high central air conditioning and mini-split air conditioners can be properly installed and calibrated.

Now I'm sure that no one is digging out the windowed air conditioners yet, the warmth is welcomed since the cold of this past winter is still fresh in our minds.  Soon enough we'll be complaining about the humidity and heat, searching for relief.  Most of us will go down to the b…

Mass Save Rebates

Who worked hard this winter, shoveling, scraping, and brushing the snow?
As the end of January came the real winter weather entered, which as we all know and can't wait to forget brought record snow fall after record snow fall.  The months of February and March were one the snowiest and coldest months that we've seen in awhile. The Blizzard of 2015 dumped a whopping 36 inches in Auburn, MA, 34.5 inches in Worcester and 19 inches in Providence. For Auburn and Worcester these were record setting totals and for Providence it was one of the top 4 snow storms the city has ever seen.  We also a lot of single digit and sub zero day and nights during the February and March thanks to some strong winds.  During this snowy and cold snap our heating systems were working harder to keep us warmer and comfortable.

Your heating system had to burn a lot of fuel while doing all that work and if you have an older heating system than it worked harder and burned even more fuel.  After this cold wint…

Annual Maintenance

For a long lasting, energy efficient heating system, annual maintenance is a must.Every year you get an inspection for your vehicle to make sure that everything is running as it should so small issues don't become big problems.  Every so many miles you get a oil change, tire rotation, and have the air pressure checked in your tires. This is to ensure that your car stays at a peck level of operation, the same goes for a long lasting, energy efficient heating system.

Annual maintenance, annual tune-up, or any of the other names that all mean having your heating system looked at is the easiest way to ensure that your heating system is running properly and will continue to run.  These type of service allows for a trained technician to thoroughly look over all of the components in your heating system, especially the burner.

The burner is where the fuel that is used to heat your home is compressed into a fine mist that is then burned and transferred into heat for your home. The nozzle tha…

Home Show Season

It's show season, from boats to homes to cars and everything in between.After the frozen snowy winter that the Northeast is just barely get out of. Show season has started up and is here to get us out of our warm homes that we've bunker'd down in for the past month.
Today, March 5th is the RIBA Home Show at the RI Convention Center and tomorrow starts the Worcester Home Show at the DCU Center.  Both of these show last through the weekend and are great opportunities to escape from the winter cabin fever many New Englander's are experiencing this winter.
Historically home shows are great way to find companies that can help with Spring and Summer spruces up. Whether it's new floors, a new room, an entire new home, or new home comfort equipment.
From modern heating boilers and furnaces to energy efficient Central and Ductless air conditioners all will be on hand at the Home Shows. This is a great time to talk trained knowledgeable men and women in the industry and ask the…

Spring Outlook

Looks like we have some nice weather to look forward to.
Raise your hand if your tired of the snow...okay everyone's hands are up.  From January 26th to February 21 everyone here in the Northeast got a weekly blast of snow with February 23 being the first Monday without snow in three weeks. With foot plus snow storm after foot plus snow storm and continuous sub freezing temperatures, we've had little time or help from mother nature to dig ourselves out from a record setting winter.

Currently the weather channel is predicting that everyone here in New England will see an above average March, April, and May for temperature.  This is very welcomed after a solid three-four weeks of freezing temperatures and several days and nights of sub-zero temps.  

With an average spring temperature of 42 degrees for Worcester and 46 for Providence, we should see even warmer temperatures than that if we'll have an above average spring.  That doesn't mean that…

Winter of 2015

Winter took awhile to arrive but it's here in full swing.
Over the past three weeks here in New England we have seen three major storms and there is more in the forecast for later this week.  Yes the snowy winter that everyone was predicting is finally here.

Winter started off slow, similar to last year with relatively no snow in December or January well at least until the end of January.  Then it all came barreling with one storm bringing 34.5 inches to Worcester and 19.1 inches to Providence. A second storm six days later brought another foot plus to both Worcester and Providence. We're now in the middle of a storm that could bring will over a foot and a half to New England.

While all this snow maybe pretty and fun for kids without school and adults who got to skip out on work due to travel bans, it raises some issues when it comes to delivery fuel to homes.  With all the snow that has been dropped onto New England the roads have become more narrow, reducing some street to sing…

What not to do when it gets cold outside

This cold snap may lead some to take drastic and potentially dangerous measures to stay warm.It is cold here in New England and not that oh it's January it's suppose to be cold, cold. With the wind chill last night, January 7-8th it was a balmy -29 outside. This may lead many who can't afford to heat there homes through traditional means like heating oil, natural gas, or propane to use unconventional or unsafe measures to stay warm.
You should never ever ever, did I say ever use a cooking appliance such as an oven, stove, or cook top as a source of heat. This refers to opening up an oven door and turning the heat to 100, 200, 300, 400+ degrees.  When it comes to an electric unit, this is a waste of electricity and with electric prices the way they are right now will cost you more in the long run.  If you have a gas fired oven, using it as a heating source is dangerous as carbon monoxide can leak into your home. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas th…