2019 Fall Archives | Pioneer Oil and Propane

Joey Grigarauskas

Dear Friends,

Have you ever thought about converting your old electric appliances to propane but never gotten around to it? We would love to show you how easy it is, and the many ways you will benefit from the power of propane.

For starters, we can replace your inefficient electric water heater with a propane-powered unit so that you’ll enjoy virtually unlimited hot water — for a lower cost.

The same power that makes propane ideal for water heaters also makes it a great choice for many other appliances, including clothes dryers, ovens and cooktops, patio heaters, pool heaters, outdoor grills, and indoor and outdoor fireplaces.

And when a storm knocks out your power, a propane-powered backup generator will keep your lights and everything else running until the utility company can make repairs. There are no blackouts with a propane generator!

Expanding your use of propane can mean longer showers; cleaner, longer-lasting clothes; protection against power outages; an extended outdoor season; extra money in your pocket; a healthier planet; and a warmer, more comfortable home.

Give us a call or reach out to us through our website to get started.

Warmly,

Joey Grigarauskas
General Manager

Smart security kit

Enter our new prize drawing to win a Yale Assure touchscreen deadbolt + Amazon Cloud Cam. Enjoy keyless access for yourself and your family members and easily monitor and control your front door from anywhere by connecting with the Cloud Cam.

Read this newsletter to find answers to the questions on our contest page. Submit the correct answers online by 1/17/20 to be entered into a drawing. Three winners will be selected!

No purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase chance of winning. Visit our contest page for details.


Congratulations to Michael Corridori! He won the robot lawn mower from our last contest.

Michael Corridori

Wizard

The journey to seek out better comfort can bring you much wisdom. We hope you will find more peace after reading these answers from our home comfort wizard.

Is it ever possible to fix a heating problem on my own?

While many types of malfunctions can cause your system to operate poorly (or not operate at all), the problems outlined below are not only quite common, but relatively easy and inexpensive to fix.

Power switches turned off

If your heat stops working, these are among the first things you should check. First, it often happens that the power switches for the heating system have been turned off by mistake. Simply turn the electrical switches back to the “on” position and your problem may be solved.

Unchecked air filters or water level

If you have a furnace, change or clean the filters about once a month; a dirty filter compromises efficiency and can even result in a shutdown. If you have a steam boiler, check the water gauge periodically. Low water levels are a leading cause of boiler shutdowns. Steam boilers should also be “flushed” when the water in the sight glass looks rusty.

Tripped circuit breaker

Going to the circuit breaker box and flipping the proper switch may be all you need to get running again. However, a circuit breaker rarely ever trips for no reason. If this happens once and never happens again, consider it a fluke. But if this happens more often, arrange for service, as this could be a sign of a serious problem.

Faulty thermostat

Many instances of heating systems not working can be traced to the thermostat, which sends a signal to your boiler or furnace to generate heat. If the wiring is deteriorating, these signals may get erratic. A buildup of dust inside your thermostat is another common culprit. You may also need to change the batteries in your thermostat.

Would I be wise to turn my thermostat way up to get warm fast?

Your heating system doesn’t work like a car — there is no gas pedal to step on to make it go faster. Your furnace or boiler will produce heat at the same rate regardless of whether your thermostat is set to 68 degrees or 85 degrees. (Setting the thermostat higher just makes your system work longer.)

Hot Tip #1: For better temperature control, trade in your old manual thermostat for a digital, programmable one. This allows you to automate your home temperature settings and can help you reduce your energy use and save as much as 10%.

Hot Tip #2: Never program your thermostat below 60 degrees, even if you’ll be away from home for a period of time. When your thermostat setting is too low, you risk frozen pipes. Water pipes near outside walls or in unheated spaces are especially prone to freeze-ups. The risk increases if cracks in your foundation allow cold air to seep into your home.

Would it be prudent to turn off the heat in some rooms?

Sure, you wants to save money on heating your home, but you don’t want to cause problems while you’re at it. One common mistake we see is when people drastically reduce or completely shut off the heat in different zones of their home.

While you might think you’ll save a little on heating costs, shutting off radiators or closing vents creates the possibility that pipes will freeze — especially in rooms that tend to be colder anyway. That’s a really costly problem.

If you have a furnace, closing some vents disrupts normal air flow, causing an imbalance that will just make your furnace work harder and strain your ductwork.

It’s best to keep heat flowing to all the rooms in your home.

A better idea is to keep the temperature at a comfortable level throughout your home and program your system to energy-saving settings when the house is empty or everyone is asleep.

If you have a zoned system, you can vary the temperature in different rooms, eliminating the temptation of shutting the heat off completely in some parts of your home.

Can you enlighten me about improving my heating efficiency?

A study of over 1,000 homes across the country showed that consumers are getting short-changed on energy efficiency because of a combination of poor equipment installation and lax maintenance.*

After adjustments were made to correct problems, however, efficiency improved, on average, by a phenomenal 36%! This was accomplished through the following methods:

As you can see, a few fixes could save you a lot of money on heat and keep you more comfortable.

*Source: National Comfort Institute

Rebate

Take advantage of current Massachusetts rebates that can save you a lot of money on each purchase. Here is how much you can save with current rebates:

*Rebates available through the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC).
**Rebates available through Mass Save.

Joe Germain

Q: Why do you recommend getting automatic deliveries?

A: Our automatic delivery service eliminates the worry about monitoring your tank levels. We use a proven method based on the weather and your past usage to calculate when you’ll need a fill-up. We can also factor in things like weather forecasts and expected road conditions to stay on top of our customers’ needs.

Q: What if I prefer to call for my fuel?

A: That’s fine, but it’s important to give us enough time to schedule your delivery — especially if bad weather is expected. Keep an eye on your tank gauge — it’s best to call us when the fuel level in your oil tank reaches the one-quarter mark, or 30% for your propane tank. This will give us enough notice to schedule a delivery for you.

Joe Germain
Energy Advisor

Cade Clark

Administrative Service Manager Cade Clark discusses modern gas appliances.

If you have older propane gas appliances — furnace, stove, water heater, gas log set, etc. — it most likely has a pilot light. Unfortunately, pilot lights can be extinguished at times, and your appliance won’t deliver gas until you get the pilot light working again.

Since the pilot light needs to remain active, your gas appliances are always consuming some gas. It’s not a lot, but it obviously adds up over time. Pilot lights can also develop problems that cause them to burn inefficiently. When this happens, a small amount of carbon monoxide can be released into your home.

Most gas appliances today rely on electronic ignition instead of inefficient pilot lights. Electronic ignitions use an electric current to quickly generate enough heat to light your burners, and then shut off. A variation of this is an intermittent pilot light, which only stays lit as long as you are using the appliance. When you’re done, the pilot light goes off, saving you money on gas.

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