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Scott Williams Newsletter

Buckling down for Another Cold Winter

Ken Williams
Dear Friends,

While this summer’s heat and humidity made us long for cooler weather, be careful what you wish for! Last January’s extreme cold brought some of the lowest prolonged temperatures in decades. We didn’t fail you then, and we’re well prepared to take care of you this year, no matter how cold it gets.

We offer a host of services that make it easier for you to stay cozy this winter, while keeping heating costs down. Our service plans, which include tune-ups, are essential for getting through the season with a minimum of hassles. We also offer automatic deliveries, so you never have to worry about running out of fuel.

If you have an aboveground tank that’s exposed to the elements, please talk with us about protecting your fuel from thickening in the extreme cold. Additionally, customers who take winter getaways should consider getting a freeze alarm.

I recommend not setting back your thermostat too low during the coldest part of the winter. It’s best to keep room temperatures around 70° during this time. The slightly higher expense in fuel use is a much better option than risking frozen pipes.

Read on for more great tips and information on how we can make this winter easier — and remember, we’re always on call whenever you need us.


Ken Williams

Save Money on Heating Oil

Older Couple
While heating oil prices have remained fairly stable over the past few years, there are any number of unforeseen factors that can cause prices to fluctuate. They include seasonal demand, unrest in oil-exporting countries and speculation in the stock market about what could happen in the future. This is often referred to as the fear factor.

Such situations are beyond our control, but we do have ways to help you control heating costs.

First, it’s not too late to sign up for price protection, which caps the price you pay for your fuel. You can also improve efficiency by getting a tune-up or, for the biggest savings, replacing your old heating equipment.

Right now, we can help you take advantage of big rebates from Mass Save — as much as $1,900 when you upgrade to highefficiency equipment. You may also qualify for 0% financing. Replacing your heating system can lower your annual energy costs by 20% or more.

Call us for details!

Comfort and Savings: Finding Your Balance

Stay with Heating Oil

In just the past few years, we have seen significant improvements in oil heat’s efficiency and cleanliness, thanks in large part to vast reductions in the sulfur content of heating oil.

Moving forward, heating oil will burn even more cleanly, and with lower emissions, than natural gas. You will also experience better heating efficiency and easier maintenance since today’s high quality heating oil creates fewer deposits inside your boiler or furnace.

Heating oil also includes biofuel — a blend of clean-burning heating oil and renewable materials, like vegetable oils. Because it integrates seamlessly with all heating oil systems, no changes to your heating system are necessary!

Research continues on developing oil heat equipment and biofuel blends. The mission: To transition to even higher levels of biofuel that can be matched to highly efficient, groundbreaking equipment. Don’t miss out!

Put Your Comfort on Automatic

Do you get automatic deliveries? When you’re on our automatic delivery schedule, we’ll know when you need fuel and we can adjust your schedule with the weather forecast. If you call in your order, you run the risk of running out, especially during super-cold temperatures, when you burn through much more fuel than usual, and everyone is calling in at once.

Get the Most from Your Heating System

cat on heater
To get the most out of your oil heat system, check out these tips on how to keep it running safely and efficiently.

  • Keep the area around your system as clean and clutter free as possible. Never store anything flammable near your system!
  • Keep registers, baseboards and radiators clean and unobstructed to ensure maximum airflow.
  • If you have a steam boiler, check the water gauge periodically. Low water levels are a leading cause for shutdowns. Steam boilers should also be “flushed” when the water in the gauge looks rusty.
  • If you have an oil furnace, change or clean the filter on a regular basis during the heating season. Dust, dirt, pet hair and other debris all get trapped by your filter. A dirty filter compromises efficiency and can even result in a shutdown.
  • Never set your thermostat below 60 degrees. 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.

Raising Smart to a Higher Degree

Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat is a great addition for an oil-heated home. A Wi-Fi enabled thermostat allows you to view and change temperature settings, check local weather conditions and more, all from your smartphone, computer or tablet.

Once the smart thermostat gets installed, you register it online. This enables access from any location. If you’re away from home, you can use your phone or tablet to adjust the temperature setting so your home is at the perfect temperature when you return.

Some thermostat models even allow you to adjust temperatures to your comfort and over the next few days your thermostat will “remember” the temperatures you like and build a schedule based on your patterns. This is a smart way to save on energy costs year round.

Safety Corner

Carbon Monoxide
You probably already know that oil heat poses a very low risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If an oil burner malfunctions (most often due to a lack of maintenance), the safety devices in the unit will typically shut the furnace or boiler off.

Plus, you will usually see smoke coming from your boiler or furnace to indicate that something is wrong. A gas heating system, on the other hand, usually does not issue a visual warning sign if there is a carbon monoxide problem.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that oil heat consumers shouldn’t have working carbon monoxide detectors inside their homes, especially near all bedrooms. There are many sources for carbon monoxide leaks, including the following:

  • back drafts, caused by pressure imbalances near the heating system
  • an idling vehicle that’s been left in an attached garage
  • a blocked flue

We’ve Got Your Number—or Do We?

We love that a lot of our customers have been with us for years. But many customers have recently given up their landlines and not remembered to give us their cell phone number. This means we don’t have a current phone number that will reach them. Or, they may have switched jobs and their daytime contact number is no longer valid.

It’s important that we can contact you during weather emergencies to let you know we’re on our way or to confirm appointments. Please give us a call to make sure our records are up to date so we can get ahold of you.

You can also send us your updated contact information by filling out the “Contact Us” form on our website.

What’s Your Plan?

If you’ll be away from home for an extended time this winter, let us know so that we can put a plan in place to handle any heating emergencies while you’re gone.

Having a temperature monitor like a freeze alarm is a good idea. But we also encourage you to leave your house key not just with a friend or a neighbor, but with us. This allows us access to your home if your monitor detects a problem.

You should also be enrolled in our automatic delivery program, which goes a long way to preventing a run-out. If we know when you’re away, we can adjust your delivery timing to account for reduced use.

We also recommend being on a service plan, which covers the cost of your annual tune-up. Maintaining your equipment properly reduces the chance of a breakdown during the cold months.

Ask the Expert

Chris Sands
Service Manager Chris Sands explains how you can prevent a common problem during winter.

Q: How can I keep my pipes from freezing when I’m away from home this winter?

A: I recommend installing a freeze alarm, a low-cost temperature monitor that you can purchase online. It acts as an early alert and helps prevent frozen pipes and costly damage.

Q: How does the freeze alarm work?

A: You simply attach it to your home phone. If your heat stops working while you’re away, the device will automatically call you at the numbers (up to three) that you have programmed into it. Then you can contact us to fix the problem before it leads to serious damage, such as frozen pipes. Some models also provide a power-outage alert and a water detector, which senses problems like leaky pipes or water in the basement.