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Get to Know Your Oilheat Boiler Better

boiler service hudson valley Many people who live in the Hudson Valley rely on a heating oil boiler to keep their home warm. If you’re one of them, did you ever wonder how this heating system generates enough heat to make your home toasty warm throughout our cold winter months?

Let’s start by looking at how heating oil boilers have evolved so you can understand the type of boiler you have in your home. Steam boilers can still be found in older homes here, usually ones built before the 1950s. If you have this type of system, your boiler stays true to its name because it needs to boil water to make steam before your heat can be distributed through your home.

In comparison, newer boilers do not need to boil the water to make steam. Instead, they use hot water to distribute heat through a home’s piping. The heat is distributed through your home by either radiators or baseboards.

Because a boiler is what’s known as a closed-loop system, water does not need to be constantly brought in or replaced, making it more efficient. Some of the key components of a boiler system include:

As far as the operation of a heating oil boiler, when your home needs heat, the thermostat sends a message to the oil burner to start working. Your system’s fuel pump will draw heating oil from the tank to the burner. From there, your heating oil is turned into a fine mist, mixed with air and ignited inside the combustion chamber. The heat that’s generated travels into your home.

Is a Boiler a Good Way to Heat My Home?

Yes. Many homeowners prefer hot water heating to warm air systems like furnaces because the heat that boilers create does not dry out the air as much as a warm-air system would. Plus, the heat generated by your hydronic heating system (another name for a boiler) can also be used to heat water in your home that you use for washing, cleaning, etc. This creates an efficient two-in-one space and water heating solution. Heated water is stored in a separate tank that’s connected to the boiler for later use.

What Is a Condensing Heating Oil Boiler?

A more efficient version of the hot water boiler is the condensing boiler, which is designed to keep heat loss to a minimum. By recycling heat from the exhaust process – and by operating at lower temperatures overall – your condensing boiler can improve operating efficiency by 10-15% compared to a non-condensing boiler.
However, a condensing boiler is not practical for all homes. Plus, condensing boilers cost more to manufacture. Installing a condensing boiler correctly requires highly trained technicians who know how to capitalize on the efficiency benefits of these ultra-modern heating oil systems.

How Do I Keep My Boiler Running Efficiently?

Regular maintenance is a vital money-saving investment for heating systems– not just because it can keep your equipment running safely and at peak efficiency, but also because four out of five heating system breakdowns are preventable if you follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations.

A system tune-up allows your heating oil technician to fix minor issues before they become big problems (worn parts, etc.). Regular tune-ups can also help you conserve heating fuel over the winter.

Your professional heating oil technician will conduct a series of tests to make sure your heating system is running at the best possible efficiency. Any adjustments and repairs can then be done after this initial evaluation.

How Do I Know When to Replace My Boiler?

While the average boiler will last about 20-25 years—assuming that a proper maintenance schedule has been followed—there are many home boilers still in use that are even older than that. And while they may still be keeping homes warm enough, their efficiency rate is much lower than a new hot water boiler, which means you are using more fuel to generate heat.

Besides age, other signs that your boiler may be wearing out include signs of corrosion, frequent breakdowns, and expensive repairs.

If you’re ready to explore new heating oil system options for your home, your local heating oil full-service company will be happy to help. Please remember to ask about current rebate opportunities for new heating oil equipment now available in the Hudson Valley.

Don’t Risk Safety as You Try to Conserve Fuel

home heating hudson valley, ny

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to save money on home heating, but please do it in a smart way and never take chances with your safety. With that in mind, here are some common mistakes that people make that you will want to avoid.

Space Heaters

It’s never a good idea to shut off your furnace or boiler (or turn their thermostat way down) and rely exclusively on electric space heaters to try to save on fuel. You’ll just run up your electric bill instead. You’ll also vastly increase your chance of frozen pipes.

Space heaters also pose safety risks. If you feel you must use them when it’s very cold outside, follow these tips.

Heating Vents

For people who rely on oil furnaces to stay warm, a common mistake is closing the heating vents in seldom-used rooms. The belief is that this will conserve heat and save money, but this is not a good idea.

This is because closing some vents on your home will disrupt normal air flow, causing an imbalance that will just make your furnace work harder. Closing vents can also raise the risk of frozen pipes, especially in rooms that tend to be on the cold side anyway.

It’s always better to keep the temperature at a comfortable level throughout your home and program it to energy-saving settings when the house is vacant or everyone is asleep.

Thermostat Settings: What’s Best for Winter?

You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68°F while you’re awake and setting it about 8°F lower while you’re asleep or away from home. But you should not set your thermostat below 60°.

Moving your thermostat setting too low is another way to raise your risk of frozen pipes. Water pipes near outside walls or in unheated spaces are especially prone to freeze-ups. The risk increases if cracks in your foundation allow cold air to enter.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss. So, the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save, because your house has lost less energy than it would have at the higher temperature.

The same concept applies to raising your thermostat setting in the summer — a higher temperature inside your home will slow heat gain into your house, saving you money on air conditioning costs.

The U.S. Energy Department concludes that you can save as much as 10% a year on home heating and cooling by simply adjusting your thermostat 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from its normal setting.

If your home heating system has not been keeping you warm enough, you may want to explore current heating oil equipment rebate opportunities. Afterward, reach out to your heating oil service provider for advice about a replacement home heating system.

Find out how you can lower your fuel costs with a new furnace or boiler installation.

Do I Have Enough Heating Oil for the Season?

heating oil delivery hudson valley, ny At this time of year, you may be wondering about heating oil usage and the process of measuring your tank level, avoiding runouts and more. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about the heating oil delivery process.

How Long Will a Tank of Heating Oil Last?

Throughout the heating season, Hudson Valley homeowners usually need anywhere from 700 to 900 gallons during a normal winter. If you have a 1,000-gallon underground tank, in theory, you could possibly make it through the heating season if that tank is full right now. Keep in mind, however, that the capacity of a 1,000-gallon tank is only about 900 gallons. That’s because space needs to be left in the tank to allow for expansion and to prevent any spillage upon delivery.

This is just one example. Many people also own 275-gallon aboveground heating oil tanks, which typically hold about 230 gallons of fuel when full. A full tank should give you enough heating fuel to last from 4-6 weeks if you own a 2,000 square foot home.

Of course, these are just rough estimates. Many variables affect the amount of fuel you consume. This includes the outdoor temperature, the size of your home, the quality of insulation in your home, the efficiency of your heating system and how well it’s been maintained, and the thermostat setting you choose.

Here’s one way your actual usage can vary. In an average size home, (about 2,400 square feet), if the temperature during a 24-hour period averaged 20 degrees, you probably would burn about seven gallons of heating oil. On the other hand, if the average temperature was 40 degrees the next day, you would probably use a shade under four gallons during that time.

How Do I Read an Oil Tank Gauge?

On top of the heating oil tank is a clear glass or plastic cube that is marked with numbers that resemble the gas gauge of your car: F, ¾, ½, ¼. A red marker or float commonly indicates the amount of fuel left in your tank – if the float is at the bottom of the gauge or not visible at all, your tank is empty or nearly empty.

To make sure the gauge is working, carefully remove the outer case and gently press the float down. If it bobs back up to the original position, the gauge is working. If the gauge is not working, contact your heating oil supplier and let them know. The last thing you want to do is to start guessing how much oil is left in your tank during a cold snap. When your gauge reaches the ¼ level, you need to order more fuel.

Read more about heating oil tanks.

How Can I Avoid Running Out?

Your heating oil company most likely can give you peace of mind by providing you with its automatic heating oil delivery service. By doing this, your heating oil company can track your fuel use and make a delivery when you’re getting low.

There is no need to schedule and wait for deliveries, and you’ll avoid the expense and hassle of having your heating oil system tested and primed for restart—something that is required after a fuel run-out. There is no extra charge to be on an automatic delivery schedule.

Is Heating Oil a Safe Way to Heat My Home?

Absolutely. First, heating oil cannot burn in its liquid state. Before combustion can even occur, heating oil must first be vaporized into a finer mist by your oil burner at temperatures above 140°.

Second, the fuel you have stored in your heating oil tank right now is very safe because it can’t explode. In fact, if you were to drop a lit match into a bucket of heating oil, the flame would go out, just as if you dropped the match into water.

Third, a heating oil system poses a very low risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If an oil burner ever malfunctions, you’ll most likely see smoke and the safety devices will shut the furnace or boiler off.

Find a heating oil company in the Hudson Valley.

Keep Your Property Clear for Your Oil Delivery Driver

heating oil delivery new york For heating oil delivery drivers, ice and snow can turn an already tough job into a potentially hazardous one. Besides navigating slick roads, walking with a heavy hose over slippery surfaces can also be challenging. Sometimes, drivers have sustained injuries when they’ve lost their balance on icy sidewalks.

After a snow or ice storm, please clear a path to your oil fill pipe so your driver can reach it quickly and safely. You’ll also need to shovel or plow your driveway so it is free of snow and ice. Safety codes prohibit heating oil delivery drivers from trying to navigate slippery driveways. Fuel trucks also need a space wide enough for an ambulance to get through.

How to Avoid Running of Oil

To make winter deliveries easier and stress-free, ask your Hudson Valley heating oil company if they offer automatic delivery service. They will use your past heating fuel usage and current weather conditions to know when to schedule a delivery before you run low. This eliminates the work and worry of managing your fuel supply on your own.

But if you still prefer to call for heating oil, you need to give your heating oil company extra time when conditions are harsh. It’s best to call for more fuel when your heating oil tank falls to the one-quarter mark.

Staying Warm with a Safe Home Heating Fuel

Remember that when you get a heating oil delivery, you’re getting a home heating fuel that has a remarkable safety record because it is biodegradable, nontoxic and nonflammable.

For further peace of mind, modern heating oil tanks have been designed to be virtually leak-proof. Whether your heating oil storage tank is in your basement or outside your home, the tanks being installed today are designed with corrosion-resistant materials.

Maintain Your Heating Oil System

Making it easier to get heating oil deliveries during winter is important. But you shouldn’t forget about paying some attention to your heating system during the cold months.

First, make sure you’re keeping the area around your heating system as clean and clutter-free as possible. Never store anything flammable, like paint or old newspapers, anywhere near your system.

If you have a heating oil furnace, check the air filter a few times during the heating season and clean/change it if it looks dirty. A dirty filter compromises efficiency and if it becomes badly clogged with dust and other debris, can force your system to shut down.

If you have a steam boiler, check the water gauge periodically. Low water levels are a leading cause for boiler shutdowns. Steam boilers should also be “flushed” when the water in the gauge looks rusty.

If you have a hot water boiler, make sure the water level of the boiler reads at half-full. The boiler’s automatic filling system, controlled by the pressure-reducing valve, should maintain the proper water level at 12 to 15 psi of pressure. If there isn’t a pressure-reducing valve, manually feed the boiler by opening the water feed valve until the boiler pressure reaches 12 psi.

If you’re concerned that your heating system is not up to the task of getting you through another winter, read about what you should look for with a new boiler or furnace installation.

A Look at Safety, Efficiency and More

oilheat hudson valley, ny If you have recently moved into a home that uses heating oil, you may have a lot of questions. Here are the answers to some common questions to help you get to know—and feel good about—your home’s heating fuel.

Is Heating Oil a Clean-Burning Fuel?

Yes, advancements in both fuel quality and heating equipment have made that possible. Many heating oil companies in the Hudson Valley deliver Bioheat® fuel. This is a blend of ultra-low sulfur heating oil combined with premium biofuels made from renewable resources such as animal fats, recycled restaurant cooking oils and plant oils.

As ultra-low sulfur Bioheat fuel becomes more widespread in the future, home heating oil will move closer to becoming a carbon-neutral fuel. Read how heating oil has become cleaner over the years.

Do I Need to Change My Equipment to Use Bioheat Fuel?

No. Most major heating system manufacturers accept Bioheat fuel as covered under their warranties for use, and you won’t need to make any changes to your furnace, boiler, or oil storage tank to use it. Performance standards for Bioheat fuel have been approved by ASTM International, an organization that sets industry standards for fuels and lubricants.

Is Heating Oil an Efficient Way to Heat My Home?

Yes. Technology has brought great improvements in heating oil equipment efficiency, which has reduced annual fuel consumption by as much as 40%. Naturally, this has saved heating oil consumers a lot of money on fuel.

Plus, Bioheat fuel is cleaner burning than conventional heating oil, which helps to increase system efficiency even more and reduces your home heating expenses, all while keeping your home warm and comfortable.

Bioheat fuel leaves fewer deposits on your system’s internal parts. That helps to reduce wear and tear, meaning you will likely have fewer breakdowns and a longer life expectancy for your oil boiler or oil furnace than compared to operating it with traditional heating oil.

As far as modern heating oil equipment like oil boilers and oil furnaces, new systems now have efficiency ratings as high as 95%. This provides homes with more warmth for less fuel.

Modern heating oil systems are also much smaller than older ones. The average boilers and furnaces today are compact yet powerful, and similar in size to a three-drawer filing cabinet. Learn more about heating oil furnaces and boilers.

Is Heating Oil a Safe Way to Heat My Home?

Absolutely. First, heating oil cannot burn in its liquid state. Before combustion can even occur, heating oil must first be vaporized into a finer mist by your oil burner at temperatures above 140°.

Second, the fuel you have stored in your heating oil tank right now is very safe because it can’t explode. In fact, if you were to drop a lit match into a bucket of heating oil, the flame would go out, just as if you dropped the match into water.

Third, a heating oil system poses a very low risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If an oil burner ever malfunctions, you’ll most likely see smoke and the safety devices will shut the furnace or boiler off.

Fourth, the advent of Bioheat® fuel has made home heating oil even safer. That’s because Bioheat fuel has a higher flash point, also known as ignition temperature. It’s just one more thing that homeowners who use Bioheat fuel can feel good about.

Read more about safe Bioheat fuel.

Outlook for a Cleaner Future in the Hudson Valley

bioheat hudson valley new york Heating oil companies in the Hudson Valley continue with a proven pathway to reduce carbon emissions (CO2) because of their embrace of Bioheat® fuel.

This is a clean-burning blend of ultra-low-sulfur heating oil and renewable biodiesel — also known as biofuel — that is produced with recycled and organic materials such as animal fats, used cooking oil, and vegetable oils. This renewable liquid fuel is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and it’s produced under rigid specifications.

How Bioheat Fuel Decarbonizes Your Home

A gallon-for-gallon substitute for traditional petroleum, biodiesel is a “decarbonizing-now” solution that makes Bioheat fuel a drop-in fuel that’s more than ready for prime time.

It’s estimated that widespread regional use of Bioheat fuel already prevents more than 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions from polluting our atmosphere every year. Those emissions will shrink even further as the ratio of biofuel blends increase in the years ahead.

Bioheat fuel’s already low carbon emissions are considered recycled carbon since that carbon becomes fully absorbed by the plant materials contained in biodiesel.

In contrast, when traditional fossil fuels that do not contain biodiesel are burned, they take carbon that was originally stored in the ground and release 100% of that carbon into the atmosphere, where it will remain for decades.

The endgame is to transition to B100 Bioheat fuel (100% renewable biofuel). Recently, the country’s largest producer of heating oil burners, the R.W. Beckett Corporation, announced it had begun production of the first fully warranted burners with B100-compliant components.

NORA and Its Net-Zero Home

The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) continues to pursue research with other partners on making B100 Bioheat fuel a reality.

NORA has been a leader in the transition to low carbon liquid fuels in the home heating sector for decades through testing and promoting the use of the advanced biofuel that’s combined with traditional heating oil. NORA’s liquid fuels research laboratory in Plainview, NY is among the leading facilities in the U.S. conducting this type of research.

As an example, NORA has demonstrated that a home heated with 100% biodiesel and using solar panels to produce electricity can reach net-zero carbon emissions quickly — and at an economically viable cost. The Energy Kinetics System 2000® heating oil boiler is used in the NORA Net-Zero Home with the new Beckett B100 burner.

Renewable Bioheat Fuel Made in America

Bioheat fuel is now being produced at more than 75 production plants around the country. Today, these facilities produce about 3.2 billion gallons of biodiesel and renewable liquid fuels each year. Biofuel production isn’t just about achieving a cleaner environment. It is about building a stronger economy too. The industry supports more than 60,000 jobs and generates billions of dollars in gross domestic product, household income and tax revenues.

Learn how heating oil companies in the Hudson Valley are fueling the future with every heating oil delivery.

Save $600 with Federal Tax Credits

Congress recently passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which allows homeowners to claim a federal tax credit of $600 for installing ENERGY STAR-certified heating oil systems that use renewable fuel blends of at least 20% biodiesel.

Since many full-service heating oil companies in the Hudson Valley install high-efficiency heating oil systems compatible with Bioheat fuel, there is a good chance you can qualify for this tax credit! (Please reach out to your heating oil company to get started).

There are long-term savings too. A new heating oil system should help you save 20% or more on your annual heating costs.

The inclusion of tax credits for heating equipment powered by liquid renewable fuels provides validation by Congress that advanced biofuel (biodiesel) can reliably eliminate carbon emissions from homes.

Read more about a new boiler or furnace installation.

Get Up-to-Date on Improvements in Heating Oil

heating oil hudson valley If you’re a long-time heating oil customer, you probably know a lot about the fuel that keeps you and your family warm. But here are five interesting facts about the “new” heating oil that you may not know.

A Leader in Efficiency

Heating oil generates nearly 140,000 Btu’s of heat for every gallon burned, making it one of the leading high-efficiency furl sources for home heating.

What’s the secret? The flame in a heating oil system burns much hotter than many other energy systems can generate. This produces more heat and warmer air or water, leading to evenly distributed heat throughout the house. This powerful heat output can help keep your home as cozy as ever, even on the coldest of nights in the Hudson Valley.

Second, technology has also brought great improvements in heating oil equipment efficiency that have reduced annual fuel consumption by as much as 40%. This has saved heating oil consumers a lot of money on fuel.

Heating Oil Is More Clean-Burning than Ever

Advancements in fuel quality have made heating oil more clean-burning than ever before. Many heating oil companies, including those in the Hudson Valley, now deliver Bioheat® fuel.

This is a mix of ultra-low sulfur heating oil blended with premium biofuel made from renewable resources. The use of Bioheat fuel lowers greenhouse gas emissions and puts home heating oil on track to becoming a carbon-neutral fuel.

Bioheat Fuel Saves You Money

Bioheat fuel burns more cleanly and more efficiently than conventional heating oil. So, you’ll be using less fuel to get the same amount of warmth, and your heating system will last longer. You’ll also likely find that you need fewer repairs on your system. You may also be able to extend the time between system maintenance. All of this amounts to savings!

Bioheat Fuel: Made in America

Bioheat fuel is sourced and produced right here in the United States, supporting local farmers, local industries and local economies. The U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel industries now support about 65,000 U.S. jobs and more than $17 billion in economic activity each year.

The production process puts excess plant oil and animal fats to good use, diverting waste products from landfills. Food production is never sacrificed for fuel in the creation of Bioheat fuel.

Bioheat fuel has a significant advantage over other green home heating products: it’s available right now and reduces greenhouse gas emissions every day.

Read more about the benefits of Bioheat fuel.

Heating Oil Tanks Have Vastly Improved

Any real estate agent can tell you that the biggest obstacle in selling a home that uses heating oil often revolves around the heating oil storage tank. But that obstacle can easily become a nonissue if the home has a modern, aboveground oil tank.

There have been big improvements in heating oil tanks over the years. One of the most important is double-walled construction with an outside layer of corrosion-proof galvanized steel. This keeps the chance of a costly leak to a minimum. Other innovations include:

A heating-oil tank gives homeowners the ability to safely store an adequate supply of heating oil that’s ready for immediate use whenever the need for home heating arises.

Read more about heating oil tanks.

Keeping Homes Warm in the Hudson Valley

efficient home heating new york While prices will always rise and fall, homeowners who rely on heating oil in the Hudson Valley to keep warm will consistently get great value for their energy dollars. Here’s why.

Heating oil produces a tremendous amount of heating energy, providing both efficiency and comfort. For every gallon of heating oil consumed, nearly 140,000 Btu’s of heat are produced. That’s the equivalent of about 70,000 60-watt lightbulbs! That’s far more heating energy than most other heating fuels can generate.

Technology Brings Big Improvements

Technology has also brought great improvements in heating oil equipment efficiency, which has reduced annual fuel consumption by as much as 40%. Naturally, this has saved heating oil consumers a lot of money on fuel.

Modern heating oil equipment like oil boilers and oil furnaces, now have efficiency ratings as high as 95%; this provides homes with more warmth for less fuel.

As an example, many new heating oil boilers use energy-saving controls that greatly reduce fuel usage during mildly cold weather and provide a more even heat with fewer temperature swings.

Plus, high-efficiency heating oil furnaces feature variable speed motors that use about 80% less electricity than older motors and provide more consistent airflow and temperatures.

New heating oil systems are also much smaller than older ones. The average boilers and furnaces today are compact yet powerful, and similar in size to a three-drawer filing cabinet.

Your full-service heating-oil company in the Hudson Valley plays a pivotal role in making sure that you get the high-efficiency heating system you need and can afford.

A full-service company has highly trained personnel with the knowledge and equipment expertise to guide you to the ideal solution, one that, no matter which heating system you buy, will bring lower heating bills and greater comfort.

Read about a new boiler or furnace installation.

Bioheat® Fuel Steps Up in the Hudson Valley

In the Hudson Valley and elsewhere in the country, heating oil has been reformulated with Bioheat® fuel, which consists of ultra-low sulfur heating oil that’s blended with renewable biodiesel. Bioheat fuel blends represent the future of heating oil in our country.

The most refined grade of heating oil available, Bioheat fuel is one of the cleanest burning heating sources for your home. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions significantly and no changes to your existing heating oil system are necessary.

Here are a few reasons why the use of Bioheat fuel is a game-changer in terms of reducing carbon emissions.

Bioheat fuel has a significant advantage over other “green” home heating products: it’s available right now and is currently offered by heating oil retailers. It’s heating both homes and water right now — all while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The overall goal is to transition to even higher levels of Bioheat fuel, which will further reduce our carbon footprint and actually turn heating oil into a carbon-neutral energy source.

Find out more about Bioheat fuel in the Hudson Valley.

Annual Preventive Maintenance for Heating Oil Systems

schedule boile tune up hudson valley, ny Similar to furnace maintenance, boiler maintenance is accomplished through a professional tune-up. This allows a heating oil service technician to fix minor issues before they become big problems. Regular tune-ups can also help you conserve heating oil over the winter.

Spring and summer are ideal times to get this important maintenance service done. Your Hudson Valley heating oil company’s service schedule fills up rapidly in the fall. That’s when the cooler weather makes everyone start paying attention again to their heating system. Fall storms and early cold snaps cause further complications because sometimes your service provider has to cancel scheduled tune-up appointments so that they can respond to no-heat emergencies.

Five Benefits of Annual Boiler Maintenance

Getting yearly tune-ups on your heating system is the most important thing you can do to ensure your equipment runs as efficiently as possible. This is among the many benefits of getting annual service done.

  1. Improved heating system efficiency, which can lower your annual heating expenses by 5% or more.
  2. A longer life span for your boiler
  3. Better for the planet: equipment that runs at top efficiency will emit fewer emissions.
  4. A tune-up allows your technician to spot minor issues before they become big problems (worn parts, a burner that needs adjustment, etc.) Problems tend to pop up during the worst times—such as when your boiler conks out during single-digit temperatures.
  5. Staying in compliance with your warranty: manufacturers generally require you to get regular HVAC service. If you skip a tune-up and your equipment breaks down, you could end up paying the total cost of repair.

Boiler Maintenance Tasks You Can Do Yourself

If you have an older steam boiler, check the water gauge periodically. Low water levels are a leading cause of boiler shutdowns. Steam boilers should also be flushed when the water in the gauge looks rusty. If you have a modern hot water boiler, the boiler’s automatic filling system should maintain the proper water level.

When to Replace Your Boiler

Like any piece of equipment, your heating oil boiler will eventually have to be replaced one day. If you think it’s time to replace your old boiler, please contact your heating oil company. This may be a better option than annual boiler maintenance.

Here are signs that will help you determine if a replacement system is the best decision.

The latest heating oil boilers are small, smart and super-efficient and can save you 20% or more on your annual heating costs. There are many different equipment options to fit your budget and your local heating oil service company has expertise in all types and models of heating oil equipment.

See how much you can save with a new boiler installation.

A Look Back at the Price Rollercoaster We’ve Been On

oilheat prices hudson valley ny While your Hudson Valley heating oil company cannot control what happens with oil prices on the global market, we can give you some understanding about why heating oil prices rise and fall on a steady basis.

It starts with the price of crude oil, which is usually the most important factor in the pricing of heating oil. Like gasoline and jet fuel, heating oil is just one of the many products refined from crude oil. Crude oil is a globally traded commodity which means that it is subject to many forces that drive its value up or down.

The War in Ukraine

Even before Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, energy prices were increasing in anticipation of sanctions on the Russian energy sector. Russia is the world’s third-largest petroleum and liquid fuels producer. It is also the second-largest producer of natural gas.

Even the possibility of a big disruption in the vital energy supply chain heavily influences the buying and selling done by commodities traders. A Wall Street burst of trading activity caused energy prices to rise based on speculation in the stock market about what could happen in the coming weeks and months if sanctions were imposed on Russia. This is often referred to as the fear factor.

After Russia eventually invaded, the U.S. and other countries placed bans on Russian imported oil and other energy products. It left a big void to fill. And as you know by now, energy prices soared even higher as a result.

Supply and Demand Issues

Before the uncertainty created by the Ukraine war, oil prices had fluctuated because of COVID-19. In spring 2020, crude oil prices plummeted when economies locked down across the globe. Production virtually ground to a halt.

Another supply-demand issue has centered on diminished refinery production, especially as demand increased as COVID-19 cases started to decrease. Over the last several years, 5% of U.S. refinery capacity, along with 6% percent of European refinery capacity, has been shut down. A few refineries closed or scaled back because of the collapse in energy demand in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some older refineries were shut down because they were inefficient, and their profits weren’t large enough for Wall Street investors. Other refineries were closed so that their owners could convert them to produce biofuels.*

Seasonal Demand, Operating Costs and the Weather

U.S. heating-oil prices are typically driven by the use of oil in homes in the Northeast, which consume about 90% of the heating oil used in the nation. In a brutally cold winter, prices often rise. Labor costs, transportation, and storage costs contribute to the price of heating oil just as they do for other businesses and industries. For example, when gasoline prices rise, heating oil suppliers must pay more both to get heating oil supplies delivered to them, and to run the trucks that deliver to their customers.

Reliable Heating Oil Service in the Hudson Valley

A full-service heating oil company not only has access to a secure supply of fuel and well-maintained trucks to deliver it, it also has a staff large enough – or expert partnerships with service companies – to provide excellent customer service and the technical expertise to keep you warm and comfortable when the weather gets cold in the Hudson Valley.

For starters, your heating oil company can give you peace of mind by provide automatic heating oil deliveries. Your heating oil company can track your fuel use and make a delivery when you’re getting low.

There is no need to schedule and wait for deliveries, and you’ll avoid the expense and hassle of having your oil heat system tested and primed for restart—something that is required after a fuel run-out. There is no extra charge to be on an automatic delivery schedule.

Reach out to a full-service heating oil company in the Hudson Valley.

*Source: NY Times, 11-10-22