If your heating system shuts off unexpectedly on a cold day and won’t come back on, please take a few simple steps before you call Wilcox Fuel. You might be able to get the system going again on your own.
- Check the emergency oil burner switch (usually a red switch plate at the top of the basement stairs or at the side of the furnace or boiler) and make sure it is in the “on” position.
- Check the thermostat and make sure it is set above the room temperature.
- Check for a blown fuse or circuit breaker.
- Check the oil tank to ensure that there is oil.
- If the home has a steam boiler, check the water level and refill if necessary.
- If all the steps above have been completed successfully and the system remains off, they should press the red reset button on the burner relay ONCE ONLY!
- If the burner does not start or fails to stay running at that point, give us a call, and we’ll take care of the problem!
The most direct route to reducing your costs is to upgrade to an advanced, high-efficiency heating system. Your amount of your savings will depend on the efficiency levels of your current system and your new system. A typical upgrade results in a 30% reduction in fuel use. You can also reduce your home’s heat loss by sealing leaks, adding insulation and replacing poorly insulated windows and doors. A very practical, cost-effective way to save is to lower your thermostat setting. You can buy a programmable thermostat that allows you put your heating system on a schedule, providing less heat when the home is unoccupied or everyone is asleep.
Probably not. Oilheat has consistently been at or near the top of the list of most cost-effective fuels for heating. A fuel conversion can cost more than $10,000, according to the Boston Globe, and there is no guarantee that any other fuel will cost less in the future. The Consumer Energy Council of America says that, “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.”
A typical upgrade saves about 30%. Your savings may be greater if your current system is old and inefficient and/or you choose a new system that is extremely efficient.
Crude oil prices became increasingly volatile after 2000 and hit an all-time high of $147.27 in July 2008 before falling to a four-year low of $32.40 in December 2008. Financial speculation in the world energy markets was widely seen as the leading cause of the extreme price volatility. The Oilheat industry has been a leading voice calling for increased controls in the energy markets, and Congress has begun eliminating regulatory loopholes that have facilitated energy price speculation.
There are a few ways to help reduce emissions, depending on how much you want to spend. Upgrading to a high-efficiency Oilheat system will reduce emissions by burning less fuel. Some state-of-the-art equipment “reburns” combustion gases to eliminate even more emissions. All Oilheated homes will reduce their emissions as reduced-sulfur Oilheat is widely introduced in the years ahead. The Energy Research Center says that a mix of reduced-sulfur Oilheat and biofuel “may well become the preferred fuel for lowering greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.”
If you use a blend of Oilheat and plant-based biofuel (often called Bioheat®), you are already tapping into a renewable, U.S.-made supply and reducing demand for imported energy.
It’s reasonable to expect a tank to last 20 years or more, and we can help you decide if you’re due for a replacement. If you are concerned about your tank, we offer proactive tank protection with our TankSure program. With ultrasonic testing, we can offer 100% replacement BEFORE your tank leaks. Ask about it today!
Bioheat® is an alternative Oilheat blend that incorporates renewable biofuel made from plants such as soybeans. ASTM has certified Bioheat as a compatible fuel for all Oilheat appliances. Bioheat production supports American farmers, and the fuel burns cleaner than traditional Oilheat, with reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s a matter of personal preference. The best way to decide is to understand how the different plans work. Price protection has two principle benefits: It protects you against inflation and makes your fuel costs predictable, and there are two major forms of price protection: fixed price and capped price. With fixed price, you contract to buy a specific number of gallons at a set price that does not vary during the life of the contract. With capped price, you contract to buy a specific number of gallons, and the maximum price is fixed for the life of the contract. Your price cannot exceed the maximum, but it can drop if our fuel cost drops. Without price protection, your price may vary over the course of the season. With each delivery, you pay the market price for that day.
Every heating system should be serviced annually or in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended schedule. A well-tuned system uses 5% less fuel than an out-of-tune system, according to the National Oilheat Research Alliance. Regular inspections also detect problems before they turn serious, which extends the system’s lifespan and prevents costly repairs. Wilcox Fuel offers service contracts that include annual tuning at no additional cost.