As we all know, keeping our tanks full of oil is essential for our home comfort, especially in the dead of winter. During these cold months it is crucial to order oil when you are between 1/4-1/2 tank. We deliver to Fitchburg, Leominster, and Lunenburg no later than 2 business days after the order is placed (oftentimes sooner). However, as we experienced a huge increase in demand in the past weeks with the recent record cold, it may take the full two days. As our customer's homes greatly vary in size and heating efficiency, a general rule of thumb is every 4-6 weeks you will need a delivery. Remember these tips and you will be staying warm this winter!
A yearly cleaning is essential for having an efficient, reliable heating system. Having your system cleaned and tuned before the real cold weather is always recommended to avoid an expensive emergency call and worst of all, no heat.
When the certified technician comes to service your heating system here is what you expect him to do:
Clean out the combustion chamber. This is where your oil mixes with air and is ignited, generating your home's heat. In this chamber you will also find soot, water vapor, and carbon dioxide. A soot build up can cause corrosion and shorten the life of your oil burner. The technician will typically clean this with a wire brush and a shop vacuum.
Change the oil filter. Located on your oil tank, this filter should be replaced. A clogged oil filter not doing its job can lead to a clogged nozzle in the oil burner leading to misfires and your heating system shutting down.
Testing your efficiency and making any necessary adjustments.
With special equipment your technician can test in your flue to see what ratio of fuel to air your burner is producing, adjusting the air gates to get the highest efficiency.
When it comes to regular maintenance for your heating system it is best to be proactive. Save money, produce minimal pollution, extend the life of your burner, and most importantly, have peace of mind knowing your heating system is cleaned and ready to keep you warm this winter.
I know if you were to step outside right now you wouldn't suspect warmer days are in our near future, but they are. The days are longer, the sun is stronger and it won't be long before you receive your last oil delivery of this heating season. If you are a will call customer and you have under a half tank of oil, you may wonder whether it's a good idea to fill up before summer or wait until next fall. Historically, oil prices dropped in the summer and then rose again once the cold weather came around. That isn't necessarily what happens nowadays. There are many outside factors that affect oil prices, many more than years ago. Therefore, waiting until mid summer to save on oil isn't always a guaranteed strategy. When summer does eventually come around so will the humidity. The one place in our homes most affected by humidity is our basements. Home of our oil tanks! I have touched upon inspecting your oil tank in a pervious blog, but you can't always see where the steel is breaking down. Often times, the inside of the tank begins to corrode first, having a near empty tank during the summer will certainly speed up this process. Having exposed steel inside your tank, above your oil level will hold a lot of condensation. This condensation will begin to eat away at the steel. How do you combat this? Fill your tank. The less exposed steel inside the tank during the summer, the less condensation it will collect. To be fair, if you have more than 5/8 of a tank, I would not worry about condensation as much as if you only had 1/4 tank. Remember, Fitchburg, Leominster and Lunenburg we make deliveries as low as 100 gallons. Gardner, Ashby, Ashburnham, Townsend, Lancaster, Sterling we have a minimum order of 135 gallons.
Can you visit your oil company's website and view the price of oil or do they not advertise it? Have you ever wondered why all the smoke and mirrors? There are several oil companies that give certain customers a discount while others are left paying a premium price for the same product, even when delivered on the same day! At Fitchburg Economy Oil our oil price is the first thing seen on our homepage. If you order oil online with that price being advertised, that is the price for everyone! Our philosophy is to be as honest and upfront as possible. We pride ourselves on having a very competitive price, and are happy to be extending the "discount" to everyone.
It's not too often homeowners think about the condition of their oil tanks. With so many things around the house to keep tabs on, that oil tank down in the basement is often times forgotten. It's recommended to inspect your oil tank at least once per year. There is a law that Massachusetts has in place to address oil leaks from home heating systems (Chapter 453 of the Acts of 2008, as most recently amended in 2010). This law has two major provisions that require:
Most insurance policies do not currently include such coverage, leaving many homeowners responsible to foot the hefty cleanup bill themselves. Although it is mandatory that insurance companies make this coverage available by July 1, 2010 to homeowners whose systems are upgraded, the insurance is an optional purchase. Paying now to upgrade from a leaking tank and installing the proper valve/sleeve can possibly save you LOTS of money in the future. Clean up costs for a small leak CAN cost up to $15,000 and more extensive leaks, ones that have contaminated groundwater can cost upwards of $250,000.
A checklist to follow when inspecting your tank is provided below: