Heating Efficiency Without Sacrificing Comfort

As winter settles in, optimizing your home heating system can be a smart and eco-conscious way to stay warm while minimizing oil consumption. Home heating oil remains a reliable source of warmth, and by adopting a few energy-efficient practices, you can enhance its effectiveness and reduce your overall oil usage. Let’s explore ten ways to achieve efficient heating while still enjoying the comfort of home heating oil.

1. Regular Maintenance and Tune-Ups:
Schedule annual maintenance for your heating system. Regular tune-ups help maintain peak performance, ensuring that your system runs efficiently and uses less oil to produce the desired warmth. The best time to schedule a tune-up is between August and September, so put that on your calendar and make sure to schedule yours as soon as possible.

2. Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat:
Installing a programmable thermostat allows you to control heating schedules more effectively. Lowering the temperature when you’re away or sleeping and raising it when you’re home can lead to substantial oil savings.

3. Seal Air Leaks and Insulate:
Proper insulation and sealing air leaks in your home can significantly reduce heat loss. Insulate walls, ceilings, and floors, and use weather stripping or caulk to seal gaps around windows and doors.

4. Install Heat Reflectors:
Place reflective panels behind radiators. This simple trick redirects heat back into the room, ensuring it doesn’t get absorbed by the walls.

5. Use Ceiling Fans Strategically:
In winter, spin ceiling fans clockwise to circulate warm air more effectively, and in summer spin counterclockwise to keep cool. This helps distribute heat evenly, reducing the need to crank up the thermostat in the winter or the AC in the summer.

6. Invest in a Modern, High-Efficiency Boiler:
Upgrading to a modern, high-efficiency boiler can significantly reduce oil consumption. Newer models are designed to maximize fuel efficiency, ensuring more heat is produced from each gallon of oil.

7. Zone Heating:
Consider implementing zone heating by using individual room heaters or adjusting radiator valves. This allows you to heat only the areas in use, optimizing oil consumption.

8. Upgrade Windows to Energy-Efficient Models:
Energy-efficient windows with proper insulation can prevent heat loss. Consider upgrading to double-pane or triple-pane windows for improved thermal performance.

9. Home Energy Assessment:
Wouldn’t it be great if you could have an expert give your home an energy checkup and do some of the work right then and there? You can. The average home in Connecticut receives about $1,000 in services and realizes around $200 in savings on their annual energy bills.

10. Explore Renewable Energy Options:
Supplement your heating system with renewable energy sources, such as solar panels or a solar water heater. Santa Energy can install solar panels for your home or business — get a quote today. While not a direct replacement for home heating oil, incorporating renewables can reduce overall energy consumption.

Efficient heating doesn’t mean sacrificing warmth; it’s about optimizing your resources. By adopting these ten strategies, you can use less oil while still embracing the comfort and reliability of home heating oil. Investing in modern technology, maintaining your system, and making energy-conscious choices not only reduce your environmental footprint but also contribute to a more sustainable and cost-effective home heating experience. Stay warm, cozy, and remember that Servco Oil is here for you 24/7, always. Need emergency service or fuel delivery? We can help — call 203-762-7994 Our phones are staffed by Servco employees at all times.

Here’s how to help us get your heating oil delivered as quickly as possible

Snow storm in Chester County by Annie Nyle on Unsplash

When the weather is bad, you need oil as quickly as possible to heat your home. Our drivers do their best to make the delivery process as efficient as possible, but here are a few things to do before they arrive that make the process even more expedient.

Clear the way:
Servco’s delivery drivers need access to your heating oil or propane tanks, so clearing a path for the fuel truck and the area around your tank will ensure a quick and efficient fill-up. Maintaining a clear and visible house number aids drivers in locating the property swiftly. Timely communication with the heating oil provider, especially during heavy snowfall or inclement weather, allows for better coordination and planning.

Watch your head:
Check and clear the snow and ice above your tank to avoid damaged equipment. We want you and the delivery technicians to stay safe, so here are some tips for safely removing snow and ice from your roof:

•Start by using a roof rake to gently remove accumulated snow from the roof surface, taking care not to damage the roofing materials. Employing a long-handled broom or rake to gently knock down icicles hanging from the roof edges can also prevent potential hazards.
•Avoid using rock salt, as it can be corrosive and cause damage to both roofing materials and vegetation below.
•Remember to stay on the ground as much as possible, use proper safety equipment, and consider seeking professional help if ice dams have formed, as improper removal may lead to further damage.

Stay in touch:
If you are experiencing a fuel emergency such as completely running out of fuel, heating system failure, leaking fuel or emergency fuel delivery, call Servco 24/7 and our customer service team will do their best to make sure you get service as quickly as possible.

Servco is here for you 24/7, always. Need emergency service or fuel delivery? We can help — call 203-762-7994. Our phones are staffed by Servco employees at all times.

12 Steps to Prep

prep homes for winter snows

Preparing your heating system for winter is crucial to ensure your home stays warm and comfortable during the colder months. Here are some tips to help you get your heating system ready for winter:

1. Schedule a Professional Inspection:

Arrange for a certified HVAC technician to inspect your heating system before winter begins. They can identify and address any potential issues.

2. Create a Maintenance Schedule:

Regular maintenance is key to the longevity and efficiency of your heating system. Create a schedule for filter changes, system checks, and professional servicing.

3. Change or Clean Air Filters:

Replace or clean the air filters in your heating system regularly, as dirty filters can reduce efficiency and indoor air quality.

3. Check for Leaks and Drafts:

Examine windows and doors for drafts and seal any gaps with weatherstripping or caulking. Inspect your home’s insulation for any damage or missing sections.

5. Test and Program the Thermostat:

Ensure that your thermostat functions correctly by turning on the heating system and verifying that it responds appropriately to temperature adjustments. If you have a programmable thermostat, set it to lower temperatures when you’re not at home or sleeping. This can save on energy costs.

6. Consider a Programmable Thermostat or Smart Thermostat:

Upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat can help you save energy by automatically adjusting temperatures based on your preferences and schedule.

7. Inspect and Clean Vents and Ducts:

Make sure all vents and ducts are clear of obstructions. Vacuum or dust vents to improve airflow. Consider professional duct cleaning if necessary.

8. Check Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors:

Test and replace batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, as heating systems can pose a risk if malfunctioning.

9. Bleed Radiators (for Hydronic Systems):

If you have a hydronic heating system with radiators, bleed them to remove trapped air, which can hinder heat distribution.

10. Consider Investing in a Generator:

If power outages are common in your area during winter storms, consider getting a generator to power your heating system and other essential appliances.

11. Stock Emergency Supplies:

Prepare an emergency kit with blankets, warm clothing, non-perishable food, water, flashlights, and other essentials in case of extended power outages.

12. Learn the Basics of DIY Repairs:

Familiarize yourself with basic troubleshooting steps, such as resetting circuit breakers and pilot lights, to address minor heating system issues.

By following these winter heating system preparedness tips, you can ensure that your heating system runs efficiently and keeps your home warm throughout the winter season while minimizing energy costs and safety risks. Servco Oil & Propane is dedicated to providing our customers with responsive, courteous service. We provide 24-hour emergency service, 365 days a year. You can reach us at 203-762-7994.

Servco keeps homes in Wilton, Westport, and New Canaan, and all-around Southwestern Connecticut comfortable with top-notch equipment service and service plans. Contact us today to learn more!

Keep your generator up and running for when you need it.

servco generator protection plan A whole-house generator from Servco is the right answer for people who don’t want to worry about losing power. But as it’s a piece of machinery that doesn’t get used all the time, having a service plan will help you take care of your generator and will ensure that it can take care of your home and loved ones when the power goes out.

Servco’s Generator Protection Plan

Servco’s Generator Protection Plan includes an annual 20-point maintenance tune-up, discounts on repairs, priority service, and scheduling, and a discount on installation of any new equipment from Servco.

Our annual 20-point maintenance tune-up includes:

  • Change oil and filter
  • Replace air filter
  • Replace spark plug and inspect spark plug wires
  • Test battery charge state
  • Inspect battery cable and terminal ends
  • Check battery trickle charge
  • Inspect fuel lines and connections
  • Measure and adjust propane fuel pressure
  • Check all electrical connections
  • Measure output voltage and hertz
  • Check and record all gauges and timer readings
  • Check exercise cycle
  • Test transfer switch operations
  • Check and adjust valve clearance
  • Inspect all hoses
  • Update Firmware
  • Check vibration/noise/leakage
  • Inspect fuel plenum
  • Clear enclosure louvers
  • Clean and wipe down enclosure

24/7 Wireless Monitoring by Generac

An added benefit to this plan is Generac’s wireless monitoring which eliminates 95% of all fail-to-start situations.

Combine Protection Plans and Save

Sign up for Servco’s Generator Protection Plan and combine it with the A/C Protection Plan, Propane Protection Plan or our Oil Heat Protection Plan and save $50.

Protection You Can Count On

You’ve made an investment to keep you and your family comfortable when the power goes out. Adding on our Generator Protection Plan will not only protect that investment but also take the worry out of the power going out for years to come.

For questions about your generator, our service plans, or anything else Servco related, please contact us today.

Enjoy the benefits of propane without worry!

propane safety connecticutHave you recently moved to a home that uses propane? Congratulations! You are the beneficiary of an outstanding, efficient energy source that provides superior amenities in your home.

You’ll enjoy comfort with high-efficiency home heating and water heating systems that will keep your energy costs under control. Cooking on a propane range is a dream thanks to precise, instant temperature control that helps you make delicious meals. Get a cozy fire with the push of a button with a propane fireplace.

However, you need to know some basics about propane safety. We’ll walk through a few with you.

Get to know your propane system

One of the first things you need to learn is how to turn off your home’s propane supply, both at your tank and at your propane appliances.

If you need to evacuate your home for weather or some other safety hazard, you must shut off your propane supply at the tank if you can safely get to it. The Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) has a video to show the steps in doing that.

Check the owner’s manuals for all your propane appliances and learn how to shut off the propane supply for each.

Learn what propane smells like

Propane has no odor in its natural state. During processing, an odorant is added to make propane leaks easier to detect. The way that smell is most commonly described it as being like rotten eggs. Make sure everyone knows that.

In its natural state, propane has no smell at all. An odorant is added during processing to give it a distinctive smell that makes it easy to be aware of a propane link. The most common description of that odor is that it’s like rotten eggs. Make sure everyone of all ages in your home knows that. 

Install propane leak detectors

You may think that your home is safe if you have properly installed smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. However, neither of those can detect a propane leak. And there are times that you may not be able to smell propane’s distinct odor if it’s leaking. Reasons include:

  • excessive air, water, or rust inside your propane tank 
  • an underground propane tank leak (propane’s odorant dissipates in soil) 
  • the odorant “sticking” to the inside of the propane distribution pipes 
  • you are a smoker or have a cold, allergies, sinus problem, COVID-19, or other medical condition hampering your sense of smell 

These situations are why we urge our customers to install propane leak detectors in their homes. Propane leak detectors are affordable and can be purchased at your local hardware or home improvement store, or online. They need to be installed near all propane appliances and outside all sleeping areas.
 
Get reliable, safe delivery of propane to your home. Become a Servco customer today!

Have no worries with service from Servco!

hvac service connecticutWith summer in full swing here in Fairfield County, our attention is largely on summer fun.

Summer, on the other hand, is also a great time to think about your home’s heating system. If you take the time now to deal with any needed repairs or replacements, you’ll have comfort in knowing that your home’s furnace or boiler will be operational when you need it again this fall.

Advantages of summer service

One advantage of having any heating system repairs or replacements done in the summer is the ease with which it can be done. Servco’s service department has a more flexible schedule, allowing us to arrive at your house as soon as possible to service your home’s furnace or boiler.

The team of Servco service technicians are highly trained and experienced. They have the knowledge to assist you in getting the most out of your home’s heating system. Our focus is always maintenance and repairs first.

Did you find that your heating or boiler system was having issues or simply performed inadequately during the winter? We can go over that during the summer, addressing any concerns and making any necessary repairs to ensure that your heating system is operating at peak efficiency next winter.

Deciding between repairs vs. replacement

At Servco, we don’t believe in replacing a heating system simply because it’s old. If we discover that replacing your boiler or furnace may a better choice, we’ll tell you the truth, and give you a FREE estimate. We’re with you the whole way, helping you to secure financing and get any rebates your new heating system qualifies for. We’re also here for you in the future as our affordable service plans help you keep your new heating system in good running order while also helping you save on repair costs.

If it turns out that replacement is the way to go, doing it in the summer will have your new high-efficiency heating system installed and ready to get to work when cold weather arrives.
There are a number of things to think about before upgrading your home’s heating system. Here are some examples.

Repair costs. If your heading system needs extensive repair work and the cost is more than 50% of what it would cost to replace it, replacement likely makes the most fiscal sense.

Performance. If you are getting poor or uneven heating, we’ll thoroughly go over your heating system to see what repairs can be made and/or determine it’s time to start planning for its replacement.

Heating costs. If your heating costs have gone up but repairs don’t seem to make much of a dent, it’s time to start thinking about replacing your furnace or boiler. You’ll get a return on your investment from the first day you turn on your heating system thanks to improved efficiency and decreased energy costs.

Future plans. Do you intend to retire or relocate in the near future? It may be worth upgrading your heating system. If you’re looking to sell your home in the next few years, a new heating system may increase the value and appeal of the house to potential buyers. If you are planning to retire, a new furnace or boiler will give you better efficiency and lower energy costs. You also will not have to worry about replacing it right after moving to a fixed income.

Contact Servco today to schedule your heating system’s maintenance tune-up!

Servco has the heating oil tank for you!

oil tank size connecticutHow old is your home’s heating oil tank? If it’s more than 20 years old, now is the time to start planning to replace it because you’re on borrowed time. A heating oil tank failure can be inconvenient, stressful, and potentially very expensive because of any cleanup costs for the spilled heating oil.

Servco is here for you! We’ll replace your heating oil tank with a new, high-quality tank. We take care of you every step of the way, securing any needed permits, installing your new tank to meet all regulations and codes, managing disposal of your old tank, and will alert you to any local or state fees for heating oil tank disposal.

There are some things to consider as you plan to replace your heating oil tank.

What size is your heating oil tank?

You need to know two figures.

First is the capacity of your heating oil tank, which is measured in gallons. Second are the dimensions of your tank in width, length, and height.

Your heating oil tank’s capacity is commonly stamped on the tank. If yours doesn’t have it, you can estimate using the dimensions.

A typical home heating oil tank size is 275 gallons and comes in either a vertical (275V) or horizontal (275H) orientation. There are other tank sizes, depending on it they are installed above ground or underground. Other aboveground tank sizes are 288, 340, 420, 500, 550, 675, and 1,000 gallons.

What to do before replacing an oil tank

Measure the area where your new heating oil tank will be installed before you choose a new tank. You need to know that it will fit once installed.

Our heating oil pros will talk over your heating oil needs now, as well as take any future plans into consideration. For example, if you plan on expanding your family or if elderly parents are going to be moving in with you, your heating oil usage will likely increase. We’ll let you know if you may want to upgrade to a larger heating oil tank.

Servco Automatic Delivery customers are eligible to enroll in ProGuard heating oil tank insurance, which provides $50,000 of coverage for tank replacement and cleanup costs in the event of a heating oil tank failure. 

Summer is a great time to replace your heating oil tank! You’ll be ready whenever you need to turn on the heat this fall. Contact us today to get started.

Trust Servco for your home cooling needs!

home cooling tune up connecticutWith summer approaching here in Fairfield County, we’ll soon be putting our home’s air conditioning to work.

Is yours ready for the job? If you haven’t gotten your annual A/C tune-up from Servco, it isn’t!

A/C maintenance is essential

You wouldn’t drive your car for years without having the oil and filter changed or getting regular tune-ups, would you? It’s the same thing with your home’s air conditioning system if you don’t have an annual maintenance tune-up.

Your air conditioning put in a lot of work last summer. Before you use it this summer, it’ll need some attention.

Servco provides professional air conditioning maintenance services that ensure your system is in good working order and operating at peak efficiency. You’ll spend as little money on energy as feasible to keep your home cool and pleasant.

Our expert service technicians will also check your air conditioning system for any signs of trouble or problems during a regular maintenance tune-up. They’ll have the opportunity to fix them before they cause breakdowns or further damage.

Another incentive for yearly upkeep: Most A/C manufacturers require annual professional maintenance to keep the warranty in effect. If you don’t do that, and your warranty may not cover future repairs. 

How to take care of your cooling system

A full maintenance A/C tune-up is not a DIY project. It requires professional training, tools, and experience. There are, however, some ways you can help your air conditioning system run better. 

  • Clear away obstructions. Remove sticks, leaves, weeds, litter, and other debris from around your outdoor unit. 
  • Test the A/C system. Run the air conditioning system for 20 minutes. Pay close attention to how it operates. Take notes and let our service technician know what you observed. 
  • Update your thermostat. If you have an older manual thermostat, we can upgrade you to a programmable or smart thermostat. These can help your air conditioning run more efficiently and cut your cooling costs by up to 10%! 

Don’t let your home’s A/C go unmaintained this summer. Get in touch with Servco today to schedule a maintenance tune-up! 

Propane’s benefits for your backyard and beyond

propane heaters

You know that propane is great for keeping your home warm and comfortable in the winter.

Did you know that propane’s versatility and efficiency also shine in the summer? Read on the learn more about how propane can enhance outdoor living at your home!

The neighborhood grill master

So much summer fun at home centers around your propane BBQ grill, whether it’s for easy and fast weeknight dinners, the kids’ pool parties, or cookouts with family and friends.

Your propane BBQ grill lets you take your cooking outside when you don’t want to be stuck in a hot kitchen.

You can end the hassle of having to exchange or refill a propane cylinder by connecting your built-in propane grill to your home’s propane tank.

Pool heaters – The water’s fine!

Installing a pool or spa is a big investment. With propane, you can not only make the most of that investment but save money to boot. You’ll be able to start using your pool and spa earlier in the spring and later in the fall. Propane pool and spa heaters get the water warm in a fraction of the time comparable electric models take, saving you big on energy costs!

Patio heaters create a relaxing space

After dark, you may unwind in comfort with a propane patio and deck heater. You can sit down and have a glass of wine in front of a propane fire pit or a propane fireplace. Propane fireplaces, firepits, and patio and deck heaters allow you to stay comfortable even when there’s a nip in the air

Bug traps say “Bye-bye” to bugs

If you love being outside but hate being bothered and bitten by mosquitoes, propane offers a solution! Propane-powered mosquito traps mimic human breath to lure mosquitoes to their doom. Some also work on biting flies.

Propane can also light up the night!

You may create a warm glow in your backyard, as well as the front, with lovely propane-powered lights in designs to match all types of homes, including yours.

Hit the road with propane

Propane cylinders make camping and RVing more fun and comfortable. The power camp grills, tent heaters, RV refrigerators and stoves, and more!

Servco’s dependable propane delivery can help you make your backyard a staycation destination. Become a customer today!

Better for the planet, better for your home!

biofuel connecticutWith the current volatile situation with global oil supplies, and the price spikes that have gone with it, the importance of decreasing our reliance on foreign oil has come into sharp focus.

The heating oil industry has long been helping pave the way for energy independence with the addition of heating oil blended with biofuels. At Servco, we deliver Bioheat® fuel, a blend of ultra-low sulfur heating oil with biodiesel.

Not only does using Bioheat fuel mean we’re using less oil, it also dramatically reduces greenhouse gas emissions and reduces wear on your home’s heating system so it can last longer with fewer repairs.
If you don’t know much about biofuels, we’ve put together some information you’ll find interesting.

What are biofuels?

The most common biofuels are ethanol and biodiesels. Ethanol is an alcohol made from the sugars found in common grains as well as sugar beets, rice, and grass clippings. It is commonly used as an additive in gasoline for motor vehicles.

Biodiesels, also known as biomass-based diesel fuels, are made from renewable resources such as plant oils, animal fats, recycled restaurant cooking grease, and algae. Biodiesels are what is added to Bioheat fuel.

Biofuels return a lot of energy

Biodiesels have the highest energy balance of any fuel. Energy balance is defined as energy intake vs. energy expenditure. Biodiesels return 3.2 units of energy for every one unit of fossil energy needed to create it.

Biofuels are for more than heating

Biodiesels are used in a wide range of ways. This past December, a United Airlines passenger flight fueled entirely by biofuels went from Chicago to Washington, DC.

Biofuels are safer

Biofuels contain virtually zero sulfur, making them easily biodegradable as well as clean burning. In the event of a leak in your tank or a big spill, biofuels that leak out will not harm your soil or groundwater in the same way petroleum diesel fuel would.

America is big on biofuels

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the United States is the world’s largest user of biodiesels, accounting for 22% of biodiesel used worldwide. Brazil and France are in a distant second place, each using about 10%. The U.S. produces about 1.81 billion gallons of biodiesel each year.

Whether you’re in Bethel, Stamford, or other nearby Fairfield County communities, Servco provides reliable delivery of cleaner-burning Bioheat® fuel. Become a Servco customer and enjoy the benefits of Bioheat fuel in your home!