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

How Long Do They Last, Why Do They Wear Out and More

oil tanks hudson valley,ny Your heating oil tank plays an essential role in keeping your family safe and warm during the coldest winter nights. But many people aren’t sure how old their tank is or how long it will last. Here are some of the frequent questions we hear about heating oil tanks.

1. How Long Do Heating Oil Tanks Last?

Heating oil tanks can last for decades, but like anything else, they eventually need to be replaced. Life spans vary depending on the humidity in the environment, the thickness of the tank’s wall and other factors. When tanks do fail, it’s hard to see it coming, because they generally erode from the inside out.

If your oil tank is more than 30 years old, it’s a good idea to look into your heating oil tank replacement options.

2. Why Do Heating Oil Tanks Wear Out?

Besides just wearing out due to age, a heating oil tank can fail because of condensation on the inside. When there is a lot of empty space in an oil tank during the spring and summer, condensation can form along the inside walls. This eventually turns into sediment later, and, if ignored, can result in corrosion.

To avoid condensation from forming, you should keep your oil tank full during the warm-weather months.

3. How Do I Know When to Replace My Tank?

Besides getting periodic professional tank inspections, you should also do your own visual inspections because some trouble signs can actually be seen. These include dime-sized blisters in the paint (commonly found on the tank’s underside); pinhole leaks caused by corrosion inside the tank; condensation on the outside of the tank long after a heating oil delivery; and evidence of corrosion on the tank’s exterior.

4. What Is the Most Common Tank Size?

The most common size for a residential heating oil tank is a 275-gallon aboveground tank. A general industry rule-of-thumb is that one or two-bedroom homes typically require a 275-gallon heating oil tank; three- or four- bedroom homes typically would need to go larger.

5. How Do I Read My 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.

6. How Can I Avoid Running Out?

Ask your heating oil company if they offer automatic delivery. This allows them to be accurate about your fuel needs so they can make a heating oil delivery and you can continue to feel warm and safe using heating oil at home.

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

If you’re ready to replace your tank, see how you can save money with Hudson Valley heating oil tank equipment rebates.

Where It Comes from and How It’s Evolved

heating oil hudson valley, ny Heating oil comes from crude oil, which has to be refined to remove impurities. It’s then separated into different “fractions.” More refined, lighter fractions are used to produce such products as gasoline, kerosene, jet fuel, diesel fuel and No. 2 home heating oil, which is what you use to heat your home. By the way, did you know that diesel fuel and No. 2 fuel oil are virtually the same thing, in terms of their chemical composition?

Refining is just a step in the process. There is more work to be done before your fuel reaches your heating oil tank. After it is refined and ready for use, heating oil is transported by ship, barge, truck, and/or pipeline to major fuel terminals. It is distributed from these terminals to local heating oil companies.

Many of these companies have their own storage facilities, which can hold thousands of gallons of heating oil. These secure storage facilities ensure that an adequate supply of fuel is on hand during the cold months to ensure people get their heating oil delivery whenever they need it.

Heating Oil Gets Cleaner and More Efficient

Home heating oil has progressively grown cleaner and more efficient. In recent years, there have been significant improvements in oil heat’s efficiency and cleanliness, thanks in large part to vast reductions in the sulfur content of heating oil. Here is why this is important.

Bioheat® Fuel Lowers Our Carbon Footprint

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, according to Clean Fuels Alliance America:

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.

Proper Maintenance Saves You Money

water heater service hudson valley, ny All of us depend on our water heater for a range of needs. From showering and bathing to cooking to washing clothes and dishes and more, it’s nearly impossible to stay comfortable and clean without it. So how long can you depend on your current water heating system to keep all of that hot water flowing without any problems?

The life span of the most common water heater—units with a storage tank—can vary greatly, anywhere from 7 to 13 years.

How long your storage tank water heater lasts depends on a number of factors, including the temperature of the water you set for the tank, the volume of water used, the overall quality of the water heater model, and perhaps most importantly, the water quality. In the Hudson Valley, you may have to contend with “hard water,” which means your domestic water has a high amount of mineral content.

To head off any problems, especially if you have hard water, it’s a wise idea to call on an experienced heating oil technician to flush out your oil-powered hot water storage tank once a year. This procedure will remove sediment that has accumulated at the bottom of the tank. This sediment is caused by the build-up of minerals. Your technician can also check the condition of the anode rod, which generally lasts from 3-5 years.

What Is an Anode Rod?

Storage tank water heaters contain many parts and components, including a long metal anode rod, which extends the life of your water heater by preventing corrosion from building up inside your tank.

Usually made of magnesium or aluminum, the anode rod does its job through a process called electrolysis. The metals in the anode rod attract ions that normally would cause rust in iron and steel. But instead, these ions latch on to the anode rod and as a result, cause it to degrade over time. Without the anode rod, your water heater could rust out in just a few years. That’s why it’s so important to replace the anode rod after it degrades.

Oil-Powered Water Heater Options

A direct-fired water heater is the most common type, with a dedicated burner inside to heat water that is stored in a tank. As you use the water in the tank, the supply of hot water is constantly replenished.

On the other hand, an indirect-fired water heater uses the burner inside your boiler to heat your tap water. A typical design is a water tank with coiled pipes inside. These coiled pipes connect to your boiler. Hot water from the boiler passes through the coil, which heats up the water surrounding it. Thanks to this design, the boiler water never mixes with the contents of your water heater. Because of this configuration, an indirect-fired water heater is highly efficient and just one example of why heating oil is a leader in efficiency.

Signs That Your Water Heater Is Wearing Out

Some telltale signs of a failing water heater tank include higher water heating bills, water stains and unusual noises. If it takes longer to heat water than it used to, or the water doesn’t get as hot, these are also signs that you may be ready for a new water heating unit. A big trouble sign is a slow leak from your tank or rust on the tank or in your tap water. (A water tank rusts from the inside out).

If you think your water heater is failing, please contact your local heating oil company for advice about a water heater replacement.

Be Better Prepared to Identify Boiler Problems

boiler service new york With winter off to a fast and furious start, it’s a good idea to review the basics of how a boiler (also known as a hydronic system) keeps a home warm. That way, if you run into heating issues over the next few months, you’ll be better prepared to discuss the situation with your heating service contractor.

How Boilers Work

While the majority of new homes built in the Hudson Valley rely on a warm-air furnace for central heat, there are many other homes here that rely instead on a boiler for heat.

There are two main types of boilers found in Hudson Valley homes: a steam boiler, commonly found in the oldest homes, and the modern, and more energy-efficient, hot water boiler. Steam boilers require special safety precautions because of the temperature of the steam (the water must be heated to 212°F). As a result, it is vitally important to follow a regular maintenance schedule.

Your boiler extracts heat from heating oil as it burns; it can also be powered by propane gas, natural gas, or wood pellet. This heats the water (or creates steam) that will run through the zones that are calling for heat. The heat is delivered into your living space through either radiators or baseboards.

The problem is that some heat (as much as 30% in some older boiler models) will be lost as exhaust, which means you are paying a lot of money for heat that will never reach your living space. See how much you can benefit from a new boiler installation.

Condensing Boilers

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 sophisticated heating systems.

Maintaining Your Boiler

Regular maintenance is a vital money-saving investment for home 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 professional tune-up and safety check allows your heating service contractor 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.

3 Self-Maintenance Tips for Boilers

  1. Check the damper. When you check the baseboard, are you getting heat? If not, give the damper a check. Make sure it’s clear at the bottom of the unit, and there are no obstructions in the way, like carpeting or toys.
  2. Give your radiator valve regular checks. You always want your radiator valve to be set to “on” or “off.” It should not be in between the two positions, as this will make it unable to keep the temperature regulated. A radiator valve that is not in the proper position will also strain your pipes, causing an annoying hammering sound.
  3. If you have an older steam boiler, monitor the water gauge. More often than not, boiler shut-downs are the result of low-water levels. If the water in your gauge looks rusty, then it’s time to “flush” your steam boiler. Your heating service contractor can help you out and let you know what to do if you need assistance with this.

Contact your local Hudson Valley heating oil equipment service contractor for further information.