admineer, Author at Pioneer Oil and Propane

caring for gas grill massachusettsAs we approach the halfway mark for summer in Massachusetts, it’s probably safe to say that your grill has been working hard all season. In order to keep it working safely and properly, we recommend that you give it a good cleaning and periodically check for gas leaks.

Clean Your Grill Following These Nine Steps.

  1. Using warm, soapy water on a sponge, give your grill a full wipe-down.
  2. Use a rag to dry it off.
  3. Spray some glass cleaner on a terry cloth and use that to clear any grease or stains on the exterior of the grill.
  4. Take the grates and flavorizer bars out of the grill. Clean up any residue you see, which is probably caked on from grease.
  5. Clean the grills and bars, following the direction of the grain, with a stainless steel brush. (We recommend that you replace your grill brush each season.)
  6. When you wipe down the grill, use terry cloth, which is softer than paper towels and won’t scratch.
  7. Remove any stubborn debris using a one-to-one solution of water and vinegar.
  8. Check the holes in your burner tubes for spiders and other crawly creatures. Then clean them out. Use your grill brush, going in the opposite direction of the holes, which may run horizontally or vertically.
  9. Return the flavorizer bars and grates back to the grill. Turn the grill on high to remove any remaining debris.

Now It’s Time To Make Sure You Don’t Have a Gas Leak.

  1. Go back to the soapy water you used a little while ago. Wipe it over the hoses, valves and regulators. Are bubbles forming? If so, you have a leak.
  2. Now turn the grill on. Make a note of whether any additional bubbles form.
  3. If they do, tighten the hoses. If this is not successful for you, then you may need a new propane tank or replacement hoses.
  4. If you’re not sure what to do, let us know!

If you’re in Pioneer’s service area, become a customer today! We can’t wait to work with you on all of your home comfort needs for propane, heating oil, and equipment installation and service.

heating tune-up massachusettsOver the summer, many people ignore their heating systems, but the reality is that now is a great time to pay attention to your furnace or boiler. This way, when the weather gets cold, your system will be in tip-top shape and able to handle the elements—and keep you comfortable—smoothly and efficiently.

Follow these suggestions to keep your furnace or boiler properly cared for during these warmer Massachusetts months.

Schedule a Tune-Up

Annual maintenance should be a given—so much so that it’s even included as part of our service plans. Summer is a great time to set up your appointment, as we are not dealing with no-heat emergencies and it’s a bit easier for us to get one of our reliable technicians to your home. A summer tune-up also gives you time to address any bigger issues that the technician identifies. If you need a major repair or even an upgrade, you’ll have plenty of time to take care of it, and if you don’t, your tune-up will not “wear off” before winter.

Keep Up with Your Air Filters

Air filters need to be cleaned or replaced regularly. Depending on what kind you have and what other air-quality factors you need to consider for your home (pets, allergies, etc.) you may need to clean or replace your air filter monthly or every other month rather than the usual frequency, which is quarterly.

Remove Soot and Scale

Soot and scale are an inevitable part of having a furnace or boiler in your Massachusetts home. Scale is made of flakes of rust and minerals that come out of carbon dioxide combining with water vapor, while soot is a black carbon deposit with a powdery texture and consistency.

Buildup of either or both will cut your system’s efficiency down, which can result in a breakdown. And that’s not all: soot can actually create a fire hazard or carbon monoxide issues if it’s neglected. If you have soot or scale buildup that needs to be removed, please contact us for service as soon as possible.

Fill Up Your Tank

A full tank in the summer means a good start to the winter. Condensation in the heat leads to corrosion and harmful bacteria. Keeping your tank full will prevent corrosion. In addition, prices will likely be better while demand is down. Filling up during the summer months will take care of both of these issues for you!

Sign up for automatic heating oil delivery with Pioneer and enroll in a service plan today! You can contact us anytime and someone from our reliable team will get right back to you!

pet hair hvac massachusettsIn addition to the regular care and maintenance you need to give to your HVAC system, if your family has furry pets, you also need to consider a few additional factors in order to keep your heating and cooling equipment running efficiently—and to keep your Massachusetts home’s indoor air quality (IAQ) where it should be. Here are four potential problem areas for you to be aware of so you can stay on top of maintenance and care of your HVAC system.

1. Your Pet’s Fur

What to do: Make sure you schedule your annual tune-up for all of your heating and cooling equipment. Vacuum and mop your floors weekly. (Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.) Depending on the type of air filter you have, clean or change your air filter regularly. You may need to increase the frequency if your pet sheds. If your pet is five years old or more, consider getting a professional duct cleaning.

Here’s why: Pet fur can create blockages in HVAC filters. If your system is overworked, it will be less efficient. This will cost you more to run and it will be less effective. Blockages of this nature also increase the chances that your system will break down entirely.

2. Pet Dander in Your Home

What to do: Keep your pet brushed and bathed regularly. It is also worth considering having a whole-house air purifier installed.

Here’s why: When pet dander, which is basically dead, dry pet skin (as well as other allergens) makes its way around your home through your forced-air system, your IAQ takes a real dive. (This applies to systems with vents.)

3. Pets that Mark Their Territory

What to do: Consider having a fence installed around your outdoor condenser unit. However, it’s important that there is no disruption to the air flow to the condenser.

Here’s why: Pet urine can degrade the coils on your outdoor condenser unit, and that can cause a refrigerant leak.

4. Drafts Caused by Pet Doors

What to do: Check your pet door (as well as all windows and doors around your home) to see that it is tightly sealed. If it is installed correctly, it should be sealed.

Here’s why: Air might be leaking into your home, which leads to general inefficiencies and ultimately costs you more every month.

Pioneer Oil and Propane is ready to provide you with your annual tune-up, service or to answer any questions you may have. If you would like to become a customer, let us know!

payment options massachusettsThe right combination of pricing and payment plans can make such a difference in your home comfort experience. That’s why we make sure to give you a range of options that offer the flexibility you deserve.

We want to make your experience with Pioneer smooth and easy. When it comes to payments and pricing, your convenience is important to us. Pioneer’s three pricing plans give our propane and heating oil customers a clear sense of what to expect from their bill each month.

Pre-Buy

If you’d like to purchase your fuel before winter, enroll in our Pre-Buy plan. The price of your fuel will be capped, so it can’t go up, regardless of fluctuations in the market. But if the market price drops, your price will drop as well! Often seen as the best way to save, Pre-Buy works well if you’re interested in paying ahead. (A fee for two-way protection applies to Pre-Buy plans.)

Monthly Smart Pay (Budget)

The Monthly Smart Pay, or Budget, Program enables us to spread your annual fuel bill out over the course of a year. You can also incorporate your service plan cost into this payment schedule. You don’t pay for more fuel than you receive. This is helpful to people who would like to avoid a big hike in their expenses every winter. When you stay on schedule, you will not incur a finance charge.
Customers in the Monthly Smart Pay Program will pay for some fuel prior to your first delivery, and then the final payment will happen after the final delivery.

Monthly Smart Pay (Budget) with Price Cap

You can avoid seeing your bill increase as a result of changes in the market or weather by enrolling in the Monthly Smart Pay Plan with Price Cap. You will not be locked in if the price drops, but our suppliers do add a fee for two-way protection.

Convenient Payment Options Save Time and Eliminate Hassle.

Customer Portal

Use MyFuel Portal to keep up with the services you’re getting, keep up with your account balance, request fuel and let us know when you need service. You just need your account number to log in.

Auto Pay

Sign up for Auto Pay and don’t worry about paying your bill again! We’ll deduct the amount you owe each month from your preferred credit card (MasterCard, Visa or Discover) or your checking account (ACH).

E-Bills (Paperless Billing)

Receive your bills via email, and forget the papers and files for all of your records. We keep your records on file as well, so if you ever have a question, we’ll have the answer. In the meantime, you’ll reduce clutter in your home, save paper and help us cut back on fuel consumption for delivery.

Contact us today with any questions! And learn more about service, installation, fuel delivery and more, all from Pioneer!

propane delivery massachusettsThe start of summer is a time for seeing friends and family, taking day trips—or vacations!—and…stocking up on propane. That last one often surprises people, but ensuring you have a full stock of this cost- and energy-efficient fuel in the summer can make a big difference when fall comes around.

Here are four reasons why you should stock up on propane this summer.

  1. You can save money. In the summer, delivery companies are often trying to move their propane supply in order to create a fuel allocation for winter. In order to do this, they may be willing to charge less, which translates to savings for you when you request a summer delivery of propane.
  2. You might already need more propane than you think you need in the summer. If you have a propane grill, pool or spa heater, or other propane-powered appliances we service, you will likely go through a decent amount of propane this summer. Keep that in mind so you don’t have a run-out.
  3. Summer allows for easier deliveries, which affects the price. Winter road conditions can be brutal. As a result, our drivers often work overtime during the months that also align with peak heating season. The extra costs associated with winter deliveries most definitely have an impact on the price of propane. Stocking up in the summer will help you minimize this challenge.
  4. When the summer ends, prices will creep back up. The approach of the heating season leads to an increased demand for propane every fall. This means the prices will go up as the temperatures change, which is another reason to have your propane supply replenished before summer’s out.

To be clear, summer prices for propane are not always lower. Factors including shipping costs, staff training, and general demand also drive prices. Even so, we suggest at least one summer propane delivery.

When it’s time for a propane delivery to your Massachusetts home, please let us know. Contact us today if you have any questions!

storm safety massachusettsAlong with the noise and news coverage of a summer thunderstorm, there’s also actual danger. With that in mind, it’s important to the team at Pioneer Oil and Propane that you have the proper propane equipment and that you’re prepared to take the right steps to keep your Central Massachusetts home and family safe.

Pre-Storm Tips

  1. Be aware of propane leaks. If you have a propane leak—even a small one—before a storm, it can get much worse once that first cloud opens up. If you smell propane, be sure to respond right away. (And make sure your family—and anyone in your household—is aware of what propane smells like so they can respond accordingly in the event of an issue, even if you’re not home.)
  2. Be prepared. You and any adults in your home should know where the gas main is and how to turn it off.
  3. Be proactive. If an approaching storm forces you to evacuate, be sure to shut off the gas main before you leave. In your absence, a damaged tank could lead to flammable leaks.

Once The Storm Hits

  1. Stay away. Once the storm is happening, keep your distance from power lines and any other conductive metal objects. Stay away from your propane tank! Anything that can conduct electricity is a danger. This includes poles, trees and any tall structures in your presence.
  2. Follow instructions. During the storm, local authorities or community leaders may provide information or instructions about possible evacuations or other details you may need. It’s important that you stop to listen carefully so you can take whatever actions are necessary to stay safe.

Suggestions For After The Storm

  1. Take a look around. Once you’re sure the area is safe, take a look around to make a note of any fallen limbs or trees, downed power lines, or other debris. This is for your general safety and also to be aware of anything that might cause damage to your gas line or to your propane tank.
  2. Check your propane-powered appliances. Make sure your appliances are not damaged. Inspect them for both visible damage and malfunctions, which may not always be obvious without running the appliance.
  3. Do not use candles! When you’re inspecting your propane appliances or equipment, use a flashlight or other safe source of light. In the event of a fuel leak, a lit candle could ignite your propane tank.

Reach Out to Us

If you think you may have a problem with your propane tank or appliances, call us right away at 508-753-3223. In emergency situations, do not email—just call. We’ll carefully and thoroughly inspect your equipment, so we can address the issue right away.

Contact us with any questions you have about propane safety or propane equipment installation. We’ll get back to you right away to answer your questions!

gas grill installation massachusettsMay is National Barbecue Month! How are you planning on grilling in your Massachusetts backyard? If you’ve been using briquettes—or anything besides propane—take a look at these five reasons to rethink your approach to grilling. Propane offers the following benefits—and more!

  1. It creates a reduced carbon footprint. Propane burns more cleanly than charcoal. In fact in one grilling session, charcoal releases nearly double the carbon monoxide that propane releases. In addition, when the food you’re grilling drips into the grill, it’s more likely to create a flareup on charcoal, which releases chemicals that lead to smog.
  2. It’s convenient. When you light your propane grill, it’s an instantaneous event—and the grill reaches your desired cooking temperature pretty immediately. You don’t have to worry about any mess or other concerns from lighter fluid, and you don’t have to clean up ashes or briquettes.
  3. Your food will be healthier. The chemicals in charcoal briquettes may help them ignite without issue, but those chemicals can also find their way into the food you’re serving. Avoid this scenario altogether by using propane to fuel your grill—for National Barbecue Month and beyond! Let us know if you need a propane delivery.
  4. Heat control is up to the grill master! When you cook with a propane grill, you can get incredibly precise with your cooking temperature. This explains why most pro chefs prefer to do their outdoor—and often indoor as well—cooking with propane.
  5. Your food will taste better. When you’re cooking with quality ingredients, it’s worth it to take the extra step and cook with a propane grill. While having more control over your cooking temperature is important for making sure the food is cooked properly, it also makes all the difference in terms of taste. That’s right: This easy change can make the difference between a good meal and an amazing meal!

Do you have a bulk propane tank? If so, we can run a line to the grill box and attach the grill directly to it. No more trips for tank refills and no running out in the middle of cooking dinner!

If you need a propane delivery, let us know. And of course, if you have questions about the equipment we service and sell, our reliable team is here for you! Contact us today.

alternative power massachusettsBack in February, people across the United States looked on as a deep freeze in Texas led to unexpected and devastating power outages. It was hard to watch and, we know, much harder to experience. We’re seeing that a few times a year, our power is knocked out by a storm and huge numbers of families are stuck without power for extended periods of time.

Slowing Down The Push To “Electrify Everything”

Even with unfortunate events like this one, we see many state governments moving forward with efforts to “electrify everything.” It is seen as a solution to protecting the environment and often includes plans to eliminate fossil-fuel heating systems, including heating oil, propane and natural gas furnaces and boilers—so they can be replaced with electric heat pumps.

At Pioneer Oil & Propane, we want to see an end to climate change as well! The catch is that heat-pump conversions are very costly and once the temperature drops, they’re not even efficient. In fact, when the temperature dips below 32°F, a home with an electric heat pump will need a backup system to keep warm! This is paired with the fact that electricity production generates the second-largest share of greenhouse gas emissions. (Transportation is first on the list.)

Bioheat® Fuel Makes a Difference

We believe it is important to take aggressive steps in addressing climate change. In fact, we’re already doing that by offering a 5% blend of Bioheat® fuel and energy-efficient propane to all of our customers. Both Bioheat fuel and the propane we sell produce near-zero emissions. This is not something that can be said about electricity.

Currently, the carbon-emissions-reduction strategy being put forth by state and federal government agencies is not covering all necessary bases, and lawmakers are not engaging with the heating oil and propane industries to educate themselves about how we are working toward carbon-emissions reduction already—and how the effort is growing.

We all want to see a solution to climate change. The issue here is that we cannot rely on breakthroughs that have not yet happened to an already unreliable electric grid. We need to be careful not to overload the grid, and implement realistic, effective solutions.

Contact us to find out how we can work together to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change.

Dear Friends,

We’re sure all of you followed the debacle of power outages in Texas and elsewhere in the wake of the deep freeze that hit in February. No one has to explain that to people in our area. It seems as if three or four times per year, a storm knocks out our power, leaving tens of thousands of families without energy for days — or even weeks.

More than anything, this has exposed the fragility of the nation’s electric grid. That’s why it’s troubling that many state governments are rushing ahead on an “electrify everything” path to reduce carbon emissions. We believe that we must take aggressive steps to address climate change — and we’re doing that. Our company has invested in significant infrastructure to support propane, a very clean-burning and environmentally friendly fuel source.

The problem is that however well-intended the “all electric” movement is, it is relying on breakthroughs that do not yet exist, to an electric grid that is already unreliable. Consider what will happen when the electric grid is taxed by huge new demand — caused by conversions of cars, buildings, homes and more.

Alternatively, we, and others in the liquid fuels industry, continue to offer a solution that immediately reduces every customer’s carbon footprint dramatically without regressive taxes, additional equipment cost to consumers or overloading the electric grid. We need thoughtful policy that balances the need to address our climate without putting all our eggs into one fragile energy basket.

And as always, please let us know what we can do to help you, because with Pioneer, you always get Service, Quality and Value — Guaranteed.

Warmly,

Joey Grigarauskas
General Manager

Q: I’m considering a tankless water heater. What should I keep in mind?

A: With a tankless water heater, water is instantly heated, meaning it doesn’t sit in a storage tank losing heat while it waits to be used. The heating element will continue to warm the water until you close the hot water faucet, which also shuts the gas burner. The bottom line is this smart option provides a virtually endless supply of hot water. Plus, it takes up less space.

Q: Are there ways to save I should know about?

A: Yes! Current tankless water heater rebates include $300 from PGANE and a $100 discount from Lochinvar. Additionally, you can get up to $300 in tax credits on eligible Energy Star equipment, through December 31, 2021. Contact us for details.

Cade Clark
Operations Manager

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