For information about our service during the coronavirus outbreak, click here.
Banner

What our
customers say

As a new homeowner and in need of your service, I want to let you know I have been thankful for your services.

— Kathy J, Weymouth

Scott Williams Newsletter – Late Winter 2020

Value Means More Than Price

Ken Williams

Dear Friends,

As you know, we always take emergency phone calls at night and on weekends in the winter. But a lot of these calls don’t come from our customers — they come from folks who are stuck because they can’t get fuel or service from their current vendor, which is usually a heating oil discounter with barebones service who has left them, quite literally, in the cold.

I feel bad for these people. But I have to tell them that our first priority remains our customers, who made the decision to go with a full-service fuel company instead of a discounter in order to avoid just such problems. The real issue is not that they may have run out of fuel, but that they chose a company that doesn’t really care about its customers.

As a Scott-Williams customer, you never have to worry that we won’t be there for you. We will always go out of our way to see that you are safe and comfortable. You chose a full-service company like us because we offer you peace of mind and a range of benefits, such as service agreements, automatic delivery, 24-hour emergency service, fully trained technicians and much more.

I hope you feel good about your decision to choose and stay with Scott‑Williams. Thank you for your loyalty, and best wishes in 2020.

Warmly,

Ken Williams, President

Congratulations to James Helly, Robert Stanley and Eva Howard, who each won a smart security kit in our fall newsletter contest.


Plenty of Oil to Keep You Warm

Plenty of oil to keep you warm

Oil heat remains a smart choice for your home and it’s getting better all the time. Your heating oil is a domestically produced Bioheat® blend, which is better for the environment and helps your equipment perform more efficiently. And with easy access to nearby fuel terminals, we always have plenty of oil to keep you warm.

By contrast, homeowners who heat their homes with natural gas have to worry about the aging infrastructure of natural gas pipelines, which are being strained to capacity, especially during extreme cold spells. Many of these pipelines are also leaking methane — a destructive greenhouse gas — into the atmosphere.

As awareness grows about the risks associated with natural gas, some localities have even banned its use for new construction — including areas of California and, closer to home, in Brookline.


The More You Know, the Better You’ll Feel

House in snow

We want you to feel good knowing that we always have your best interests at heart. With that in mind, here are some tips for staying safe and keeping comfortable. We hope this information gives you more time to relax — and less time to worry!

Preparing for a power outage

If a big storm is on the horizon, there’s always the chance that you may lose power (hopefully for not too long)! Here are a few tips to help you prepare.

  1. Charge all communications equipment – cell phones, laptops, tablets, etc.
  2. Stock up on bags of ice to preserve perishable food.
  3. Withdraw cash and gas up your car; power outages could leave you unable to access these essentials.
  4. Clear your storm drains of any debris that could clog and back up rainwater (or melted snow).
  5. If you have a generator, review manufacturer’s instructions on how to use it safely. Make sure you have enough fuel!

The more you know, the better you'll feel

Tips for dealing with extended power outages

If your home is without power for an extended period of time, unplug appliances and turn off circuit breakers. This will prevent surges when the electricity returns.

Once you have power back, make sure there is no standing water in your basement. If your system requires service to get it started again, for safety reasons it cannot be worked on if water is pooling around it.

If floodwater reached your heating system, get an inspection done before trying to restart. The valves and controls are vulnerable to water damage — even if it cannot be seen. Corrosion begins inside the valves, and damage may not be apparent, even if the outside is clean and dry.

If the area around your heating system has remained dry, check that the system’s power switch and circuit breakers are back on before you try restarting.

Listen for clues

The next time your heat turns on, listen for the various sounds your system makes and observe how long it generally stays on. By doing this, you’ll be more aware if something unusual starts to happen — like strange noises and short cycling (when your system only runs for a short time and then turns off).

This allows you to relay critical information to your service technician if you need a repair. Based on the details you provide, your technician will have a good understanding about what’s wrong by the time he starts working on your system. This can help him solve the problem faster.

It’s also helpful to know which circuit breaker controls your system, where the system’s power switches are, and if applicable, where the air filter is located. If you’re unsure about any of this, speak with your service technician and he’ll be glad to help.

Leave repairs to a pro

Over the years, we’ve seen some costly and even dangerous consequences when untrained individuals have fiddled around with a complicated heating system.

These types of repairs present unique challenges that often require extensive training and expensive diagnostic equipment to assess and fix.

The bottom line: If you need a heating system repair, don’t attempt to do it yourself. Arrange for service. Certified technicians have the training, experience and tools to find and fix your problem quickly, correctly and safely so you can focus on the things that matter in your life — like spending time with your family.

Why lose sleep?

The last thing you want right now is to lose sleep over concerns that your old heating system sounds like it will conk out at any minute and leave you in the cold.

When you purchase a new high-efficiency heating system, you’ll immediately eliminate those worries. And you’ll save a lot of money too. At a minimum, a new system should help you save up to 20% on your annual energy costs. If you significantly improve system efficiency by upgrading from a really old system to a high-efficiency unit, your savings could be even higher.

You’ll feel the difference in comfort too. And you’ll save on repairs, because you’ll minimize the potential of a breakdown, which is a common problem with older systems.

The more you know, the better you'll feel

Safety corner

Keep your heating system operating safely and efficiently this season. Here are a few tips to make it happen.

  1. Keep the area around your heating system as clean and clutter free as possible. Never store anything flammable near your heating unit.
  2. Check the furnace filter about once a month: a dirty filter compromises efficiency and can even result in a shutdown.
  3. Regularly inspect outside air vents for any heating appliances to ensure there is no blockage. If you find a buildup of snow, ice or other obstruction that needs to be cleared, use a broom (not a shovel) so you don’t cause any damage.
  4. Get your heating system checked and serviced regularly.
  5. Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors are working properly.

Thinking Ahead About Your Comfort

Thinking ahead about your comfort

If your car started making grinding noises or leaking fuel, you wouldn’t keep driving it, would you? Well, it’s the same for your heating equipment, including boilers, furnaces, water heaters and oil tanks. You don’t want to wait until they break!

If your equipment is more than 20 years old, ask us to inspect it for you. If we see warning signs, this is a great time to consider upgrading, especially with rebates of up to $800 on new heating equipment through the Mass Save program. You may also be eligible for up to $25,000 in financing that can go toward qualified energy-efficient home improvements, with terms as long as seven years at 0% interest!

In regard to your fuel oil storage tank, please ask us about our TankGuard® insurance program, which protects your tank and includes a $2,000 warranty for tank replacement.

Contact us today for more details.


Ask the Expert

Chris Sands

Q: Is my tank eligible for tank insurance?

A: Yes, if it is not actively leaking, your tank is eligible for up to $2,000 toward the cost of a replacement, regardless of its age.

Q: How can I prevent frozen pipes?

A: When temperatures get extremely low, turn the thermostat up a few degrees, rather than down. Turn OFF any secondary heat source you may have (gas logs, a fireplace, a wood pellet stove, etc.). If you plan on being away, you should get a freeze alarm, which will call your cell phone if the temperature in your home falls below a preset level. Please contact us for more information.


Keep It Clear

Keep it clear

Thank you for keeping a clear path to your oil tank’s fill pipe by removing snow, ice and debris. This helps our drivers deliver your fuel more quickly and efficiently.


Air Conditioning in Winter?

Air conditioning in winter?

It’s never too early to think about summer comfort, but this year it’s especially important. As of January 1, 2020, the EPA has mandated that the production and import of R-22 refrigerant will be illegal in the United States.

After this, your old R-22 A/C system can no longer be repaired if your service company can’t get the refrigerant. And because R-22 is becoming scarce, it’s very expensive to replace when your system leaks.

So even though it’s cold outside, it’s also a good time to think about replacing your old A/C system with a more efficient system that uses environmentally friendly refrigerant. Please call us today for a system evaluation and to learn about the latest energy-efficient cooling solutions. Be proactive, especially if your cooling unit is around 20 years old. Don’t wait until the first hot day to learn that you have an expensive problem.