Who doesn't like to save a little money now and then?Look here for valuable tips on Oilheat efficiency, energy conservation, upgrading and/or replacing your heating system, and more.
Thinking Of Converting To Gas? Don't.
"In 95 out of 100 cases, it makes economic sense to stick with oil, and if an energy-related investment is desired, to invest in conservation."Let's state the facts right now: Oilheat has a better record on price than gas heat ... is safer than gas heat ... and is more efficient than gas heat ... among other benefits. Save money and gain peace of mind - stick with Oilheat.
- Consumer Energy Council of America
Oilheat costs less than gas heat.Oilheat has been a better deal than natural gas in New York State, on a BTU-for-BTU basis for the majority of the past 20 years. In the future, Oilheat may remain a better value than gas heat. According to industry analysts, a combination of economic recovery, increased liquefied natural gas exports and more gas used in power production could raise natural gas prices by 25% to 50%.
Oilheat is better for our environment than gas heat.The utilities don't want you to know about a controversial gas drilling practice known as hydrofracturing ("fracking" for short), which is causing plenty of protests around the country as well as in New York State. Fracking is a process by which millions of gallons of chemical-laced water are injected underground at very high pressure to free the gas. Fracking is widely believed to have contaminated many water wells and caused flammable methane to enter homes through faucets and showerheads. It also generates more air pollution than traditional methods of drilling do.
Utility gas leaking from aging underground pipes has been linked to killing trees. The reason is methane - which makes up of 95% of the gas -contaminating the soil. Methane is also up to 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in producing global warming.
Oilheat rates are easier to understand than gas heat rates.National Grid actually has a section on its website where you can view a gas bill "demo" - all five pages of it - including delivery adjustments and surcharges. With Oilheat rates, what you see is what you get.
Oilheat upgrades cost less than gas conversions ... and save you more money.A conversion of your oil-heating system to gas can cost as much as $10,000 - including installation, a new chimney liner, water heater and tank removal - and if there's little or no savings on the fuel you use, then there's no payback from this substantial investment. But by upgrading to a new technologically advanced Oilheat system - with a greater combustion efficiency than a gas heat system - you would spend only about half that amount and cut your fuel bills by upwards of 30%!
Oilheat is safer than gas heat.Unlike natural gas, fuel oil is not explosive. What's more, if you have a system malfunction, an oil-heating system will give you tell-tale signs such as smoke, odors or even soot before releasing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, (CO). Gas heating systems give you no warning of CO production or release.
With Oilheat, you get warm, personal service.With Oilheat, you receive personalized, "I'll-be-right-over" service from a local distributor who knows you and your heating system. One call is all it takes. Contrast that with trying to get service from your local gas utility. In fact, customer satisfaction surveys indicate that the utilities generally tend to be bureaucratic and unresponsive toward their customers. To them, you're just an account number. To us, you're a valued customer.
Modern Oilheat TechnologyLong Islanders are constantly upgrading their homes - dormering, re-siding, enhancing the landscaping ... you name it! But what Long Islanders may be overlooking is an investment in modern Oilheat technology. It'll simply amaze you!
NEW, SUPER-EFFICIENT HEATING EQUIPMENT
Recent innovations in Oilheating equipment include two-stage burners, self-diagnostic and monitoring equipment, electronic ignition and low-mass boilers. New equipment boasts efficiencies as high as 95% (compare that with the 60%-average efficiencies of Oilheat equipment back in the '70s). And the next generation of burners promises to increase efficiency by another 5%!
It is estimated that Oilheat's sophisticated technology has already saved consumers millions of dollars in fuel costs and conserved billions of gallons of oil. And it will continue to improve upon Oilheat's incredible reliability, efficiency, cleanliness and safety well into the future.
7 Advantages of New Oilheat Equipment:
- Better fuel efficiency. In fact, the peak performance of an upgraded system can save you up to 25% in heating and hot water costs!
- Improved comfort. Your home is heated faster, and more evenly.
- More hot water. Oilheat's high BTU content makes more hot water, faster.
- A more compact design. Today's units are often one-third the size of their ancestors - that means more room for you!
- Fewer service calls. Middle-of-the-night breakdowns are virtually eliminated.
- Cleaner burning, so it's better for the environment. Plus, soot deposits around your system become a thing of the past.
- Whisper-quiet operation. No more "rock concert" going on in your basement.
BETTER TRAINED TECHNICIANSToday, the technician who services and tunes up your Oilheat equipment is technologically sophisticated, that is better trained and equipped to ensure that your heating system is operating at its optimum efficiency. He or she is not just a person with some tools, but rather an "energy expert," your partner in energy conservation. In working toward this goal, OHILI offers technicians a wide range of technical courses to ensure outstanding customer satisfaction.
BIOHEAT® FUELOilheat is turning green! Bioheat® fuel - heating oil blended with biodegradable substances such as soybean oil - is one of the "hottest" things happening in home comfort. Renewable and non-toxic, Bioheat® fuel is not only kind to Mother Earth it's kind to heating systems, too. Domestically produced, soy-based Bioheat® fuel can literally be grown at home - helping to support our nation's farmers. Bioheat® fuel is also extremely clean burning, with no sulfur and no particulate emissions, for fewer service calls. And with the highest BTU content of any fuel, Bioheat® fuel burns extremely efficiently.
ULTRA-LOW SULFUR HEATING OILYour home heating oil is now better than ever - thanks to ultra-clean, ultra-efficient, and ultra-environmentally friendly ultra-low sulfur heating oil - ULSHO for short.
In 2010, New York State approved a switch to ultra-low sulfur heating oil, which reduces sulfur content in the fuel by 99%. The law went into effect on July 1, 2012.
Modern Oilheat has always been a clean fuel - so clean it boasts near-zero emissions. ULSHO is the cleanest Oilheat you can buy. While sulfur levels found in the "old Oilheat" averaged 2,000 parts per million, ULSHO has a sulfur content of 15 parts per million.
ULSHO: Good for heating systemsHeating equipment that runs on ULSHO requires less maintenance. Using ULSHO could also help your heating system operate more efficiently.
ULSHO: Good for the environmentWhen combined with the reduced global warming potential produced by biofuel blends known as Bioheat® fuel, ultra-low sulfur heating oil can be shown to be the environmental fuel of choice for home heating. It's easy being green with ULSHO!
ULSHO: Good for you!With innovations like ULSHO, you can rest assured that Oilheat is the fuel of the future - good for your heating system, the environment ... and you!
52 Ways to Save Energy and CashTuning up your equipment. Turning down the heat. Training yourself to turn off lights. There are so many things you can do to save energy around your home. Many of them are fast and FREE and ALL are effective in ensuring maximum comfort, energy savings and peace of mind all year long.
In recent interviews on NBC and WABC-TV News, industry spokesman, Kevin Rooney, stated, "Conservation is always in the best interest of the consumer ... If you spend a hundred to a hundred and fifty dollars to have a programmable thermostat fully installed, it will pay for itself in the very first year." Mr. Rooney added, "Failing to tune up a heating system will drop the efficiency and a homeowner will use about ten percent more fuel."
So where do you begin?
Start with your Oilheat delivery:1. Make it automatic. Arrange for automatic delivery to ensure your home always has heating oil.
2. Get on a budget plan. You can stretch your fuel payments out over 10-12 months (depending on your company), so they won't bunch up when it's least convenient, such as when you've got all those holiday bills to pay off.
Reach for the ENERGY STAR®:3. Upgrade to ENERGY STAR® energy efficient heating equipment, which can save 10-40% on heating and cooling bills and may also improve the comfort level in your home. Last year alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR®, saved about $50 billion on their energy bills.
Test your heating system before it gets cold:4. Check that your emergency switch is "on." Then raise the thermostat at least 10 degrees higher than room temperature.
5. Listen to your heating system - it should "hum" into action.
6. If the equipment doesn't start up, press the reset button on your oil burner's relay. (Only press it once.)
7. If your heating system still won't start, or if it creates an odor or strange sound, don't hesitate to call your local OHILI member dealer. They'll check your heating system right away!
Keep your heating system properly maintained:8. Call your local OHILI member dealer for your heating system's annual tune-up and cleaning.
9. Take advantage of your Oilheat dealer's service plans, offering you prompt emergency service, and coverage of valuable system parts and labor.
10. Schedule a heating system efficiency test.
Conserve heat around your home during colder months:11. Let the sun shine. Windows on the south side of the house get the most sunlight. Eastern windows get sunlight in the morning. West facing windows receive sunlight in the afternoon. Open shades and drapes during the daytime and close when the sun goes out.
12. Close your kitchen vent, fireplace damper and closet doors when not in use.
13. Install glass doors on the fireplace for added insulation and reduced heat loss.
14. Have your fireplace chimney cleaned and inspected regularly, and burn only fully dried hardwoods for the most heat output.
15. Remove or cover air conditioning window units, or cover them well.
16. Correct air leaks around windows, doors and electrical outlets.
17. Repair weather stripping and caulking.
18. Check your threshold for any gaps between it and the door. Use a bottom seal that can be attached to the bottom of the door - it should brush up against the floor to seal up the threshold. It virtually stops drafts.
19. Keep radiators free of dust for top efficiency.
20. Turn your thermostat back when not at home. By turning your thermostat back 10° to 15° for 8 hours, you can save about 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill.
21. Get an automatic setback or programmable thermostat, which, when used properly, can shave $100 off your annual energy bills.
22. Make sure rugs and furniture don't block the air circulation from baseboard outlets.
23. Replace any cracked glass in your windows.
24. Seal off your attic circulating fan with polyethylene and tape.
25. Make sure your ceiling has at least six inches of good thermal insulation.
26. Install a water heater blanket for greater heating efficiency.
27. Wrap your pipes, to guard against heat loss and prevent them from freezing.
28. Keep ductwork in good repair with duct tape or duct insulation. Your home could be losing up to 25% of its hot air before it reaches the vents!
29. Re-glaze window glass (glazing is the putty that seals the glass to the frame). You can use a putty knife or glazing gun. Re-glazing stops air infiltration on the sash (window frame) itself. You can then install a V-strip to stop any leaking that would go around the sash. This also makes the window easier to operate up and down.
30. Avoid using space heaters. They're expensive to operate, and can be dangerous, too.
Conserve energy during warmer months:31. Keep drapes, blinds and shades closed during the day to block out the sun.
32. Clear furniture away from air conditioning vents, and close unused rooms and their vents.
33. Install an attic fan - it can cool your attic by nearly 30°!
34. Keep cool air in by installing insulation and weather-stripping.
35. Install reflective window coatings to reflect heat away from your home.
36. Cook on the grill to keep cooking heat outside.
37. When cooking inside, use a microwave instead of a conventional oven - it uses less than half the power and cooks food in about one-fourth the time.
38. Turn the air conditioner thermostat up to at least 78° or higher, or use a programmable thermostat. Turn air conditioners off when no one is home.
39. Plant shade trees due west of west windows - it could reduce your air conditioning bills by up to 25%.
Conserve energy around your home all year long:40. Close off rooms you don't use - and remember to shut the vents inside.
41. Turn off the lights if you leave a room for more than a few seconds.
42. Use compact fluorescent lights. They last up to 10-13 times longer than standard bulbs and use 75% less energy.
43. Install dimmer switches. In addition to making for more romantic dinners, they'll extend the life of your bulbs and help you save up to 60% on your lighting costs.
44. Install motion activated switches that automatically turn lights on and off.
45. Lower the temperature of your water heater from 140° (medium) to 120° (low). You'll save 3-5% in water heating costs for each 10° reduction. Or consider a timer to turn your water heater off when not in use.
46. Install water-conserving fixtures, such as showerheads, faucets and toilets.
47. Fix leaky faucets, especially hot water faucets. One drop per second can add up to 165 gallons per month - more than a person uses in two weeks.
48. Take showers instead of baths. A five-minute shower will use about 7.5 gallons of hot water; filling a bathtub can use up to 20 gallons.
49. Install ceiling fans. They could cut your energy bill by 40%. And reversing fans for upward airflow will move warm air down in winter!
50. Don't keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 37° to 40°F for the refrigerator and 5°F for the freezer. Also, cover food in the fridge; uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
51. Don't leave the fridge door open! Every time you do, up to 30% of the cooled air can escape. The same can be said for your oven.
52. Use less water and use cooler water when doing laundry. The warm or cold water setting on your machine will generally do a good job of cleaning your clothes. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load's energy use in half.
Do It Yourself!Every now and then your heating system could use a little TLC. There are many things that homeowners can do themselves to help conserve. During the pre-season tune-up and during the winter, make sure that:
Radiators and baseboard units are clean and free of heat-resisting dust and dirt.
Vents, radiators and baseboards are not blocked by furniture and drapes.
Hot water pipes in unheated areas, such as attics and crawl spaces, are insulated. Home supply stores carry inexpensive foam tubing that is designed to be easily installed on hot water pipes.
Water radiators are bled of air once or twice each season. At the end of the radiator line, carefully open the small valve and place a cup under it to catch the hot water. Air and hot water together will sputter and spray out. When only water emerges, shut the valve again.
Filters on forced-air furnace systems are changed once each month. If the system has a permanent screen, wash or vacuum it periodically.
Registers are kept clean and are not blocked by furniture or carpets. If a register must be located under a chair, for example, attach an air deflector.
Airflow between rooms is adequate by undercutting doors so there is at least one-half inch of space between the bottom of the door and the top of the rug pile. This will allow air to move freely to the return and avoid pressure imbalances that can increase the rate at which warm air leaks out of the house and cold air leaks in.
Leave It To The Pros... and what pros they are! OHILI's member dealers have on staff the finest technicians on Long Island (maybe even in the country). Best of all, they're there for you in an emergency, 24/7/365.
Annual servicing and cleaning duties for the pro include:
Brushing and vacuuming the heat exchanger.
Changing the oil filter.
Checking all components for wear and replacing parts where necessary.
Adjusting the water and air temperature controls for efficiency and comfort.
Testing the combustion efficiency of the system.
Inspecting the condition of the venting system.
Upgrades And ReplacementsWill your furnace survive another winter?
If you actually have to think about this, perhaps it's time to upgrade your heating system. Upgrading can result in a big payoff in the long run, especially if you have an older, less efficient system. Today's heating equipment performs at efficiencies of up to 90% - for more heat with far less fuel use.
How do you know whether it's time for an upgrade? Consider the following:
Your system's age: If your furnace is more than 20 years old, replacing it now may be a smart idea. An older furnace may be sending as much as 40% of the heat up the chimney. Older equipment also tends to be oversized, sometimes capable of heating twice the area of your home.
Your service history (or lack thereof): Tell the truth now ... have you had your heating system serviced every year, or have you missed a few opportunities? Inadequate maintenance will mean a shorter life span for the equipment and can lead to premature failure, incomplete combustion of fuels and backdrafting of combustion gasses. Clogged filters and flues are a fire hazard. Cracked heat exchangers allow combustion gases into the home's air.
Home repairs/remodeling: Have you added on to your home recently, or are you considering doing so? You may want to consult your local OHILI member dealer, who will be able to address any shortcomings that may exist in your present system. In addition, if you are going to renovate, your heating and ventilation systems may be more accessible for installation purposes.
Uneven heating: If you experience hot and cold spots in your home, your old furnace may be the culprit. OHILI's expert, certified technicians can determine the appropriate load and efficiency level for your home - just give your dealer a call!
Lack of hot water: Is the temperature of your morning shower just right for a polar bear? Have your local OHILI member dealer check your hot water system. Hot water shortages may occur from a change in lifestyle (have you had longtime guests staying with you?) ... number of persons in the house (is there a new baby or an older person living with you now?) ... or simply problems with the heating elements. A new oil-fired direct, or even indirect hot water heater can give you virtually unlimited hot water all year long ... at a very reasonable cost.
Excessive noise: If it sounds like there's a Long Island Rail Road train rumbling through your basement, it's probably time to put your furnace out of service. New boilers and furnaces operate much more quietly than older models.
A new furnace is clean, quiet, efficient, can result in energy savings of 20-40%, and can pay for itself in 6-8 years. Best of all, your OHILI dealer can help you select a model that's right for your needs and budget. Find out how. Click here for a member dealer near you.
For related information, please visit our Modern Oilheat Technology section.