Heating system maintenance for your Rhode Island home is important throughout the year—not just in the winter. One of the easiest ways to maintain your oil-fired furnace is to keep up with changing—or cleaning—your air filters. Whether you clean yours or replace it depends on which kind you have, but either way, most filters need to be changed every one to three months.
This may sound like overkill, but the reality is that your furnace will not deliver the comfort you deserve if it is not properly cared for. In fact, running an oil-fired furnace an air filter that’s clogged with fur, dust or other particles will lead to several other problems for you and the people in your household. Here’s a look at the issues that result from air filters that go ignored for too long.
Unfiltered air can bypass a dirty air filter. In addition, pollutants can get into your ductwork, which means they will eventually enter your home.
If your HVAC system has old or dirty filters, your comfort will come at a higher price—literally. Forcing air through a dirty, dusty air filter takes more energy than pushing it through a clean filter. Diminished airflow leads to higher bills, but an air filter that is properly cared for will prevent this.
When your furnace has an old or dirty filter, the extra energy it’s exerting translates to decreased efficiency for your system. This ultimately means your furnace has to work harder to keep you warm. You’ll see this reflected in your bill, but it’s an easy problem to solve.
Here’s the good news: Air filters are fairly inexpensive, and quite easy to switch out. And if your just requires being cleaned, then you don’t even have to purchase a new one. Caring for your air filter does not require a technical background, but of course, we are happy to help should you have a question! Let us know how we can help.
With summer in full swing, your heating oil tank level is probably not top of mind. Fair enough—we waited long enough for summer, right? Yes, but that’s not the whole story. We’ve got a few good reasons why you should top off your heating tank now, rather than letting it go until Rhode Island’s first cold snap next fall.
If your tank has empty space, condensation can easily form on the walls. As that moisture drips off and hits the bottom of the tank, it creates an environment that’s ripe for both sediment and bacteria to develop. The result of this is corrosion, which can ultimately cause your tank to fail. Resolving this problem can be expensive and time consuming, and keeping your tank full over the summer is a quick and easy way to prevent it. With a heating oil fill-up, you’ll prevent condensation from forming in your tank.
Aside from corrosion, sludge is another result of condensation. It can form at the same time as the sediment and bacteria we mentioned, but rather than causing corrosion, sludge can clog your fuel lines. This will drastically reduce your system’s efficiency, and once your lines are clogged, your furnace or boiler will be unable to receive your fuel. The inevitable—and expensive—result of this is a system breakdown. Your in-between fill-up will also eliminate the chance of sludge forming in your tank over the summer.
If all you have in your heating oil tank is your leftover fuel from last winter, you are setting yourself up for an emergency delivery in the event of an earlier-than-expected cold spell. However, if you go ahead and fill up your heating oil tank now, you’ll have plenty for the first wave of cold weather, and you’ll be protecting your tank from corrosion and sludge in the meantime.
Take it from us: the best kind of care you can offer your heating oil tank is to make sure it’s filled up for the season.
Are you enrolled in automatic heating oil delivery from Vaugh Oil? If not, learn more about it and contact us today. We also handle equipment installation and service, and we offer pricing and payment options that are convenient for you!
If you’ve had your heating oil furnace in your Rhode Island home for a while, you’ve probably gotten used to the subtle sounds it makes. However, when you hear banging, whistling, whirring or excessive humming, it is probably time to call for a repair. A few possible issues can lead to these noises:
If a furnace is overworked or tune-ups are not happening on a regular basis, it becomes prone to burnout. Unfamiliar noises could mean that the furnace’s motor is on the brink of shutting down. Be sure to request service right away.
Your unit should be pretty quiet, and if it’s not, there may be an internal problem with the heating oil pump. Different sounds have different causes, from buzzing to rattling to whining. Our expert technicians are trained to understand what these strange sounds each mean, and they know the best way to address each one in order to fix your problem or recommend an upgrade.
When excessive debris or dust gets into the furnace, the moving parts can become damaged—and loud. This is often the result of a dirty air filter, so it’s important to be proactive and replace or clean your air filter regularly (usually quarterly, but sometimes it needs to be done more often). A low, rumbling noise could indicate a dirty gas burner, while a high-pitched squeal could mean the ball bearings are under-lubricated. If replacing your air filter (or cleaning it, if it’s non-disposable) doesn’t solve your problem, contact us for service.
Furnaces are complex systems, and it’s important that they receive proper maintenance and care. This will ensure your safety and protect your home. It will also help keep your bill down, as a well-maintained furnace is guaranteed to run more efficiently than one that has not been tuned up.
Ultimately, if you hear an unfamiliar sound or you’re concerned about how your heating oil furnace is running, contact us to request service.
We want your experience with Vaughn to be as convenient and simple as possible. With that in mind, we offer several heating oil pricing and payment options for you to choose from. Please take a look at this overview of plans for and of course, let us know if you have any questions!
If you want predictability and can pre-pay for your fuel, then this is the plan for you. With this plan, you’ll save if the price drops, but you’ll never pay more than your Prebuy price. This plan keeps your expenses simple and manageable. Please note that a fee for the two-way protection does apply.
If you would like your payments spread out over most of the year, choose a Monthly Smart Pay plan. Our Budget plan helps you avoid especially high bills in the winter, and you can include your service plan in it as well. You’ll never pay for more oil than you receive or use at your Rhode Island home. If Smart Pay payments are made on schedule, no finance charge will apply. With this plan, you will pay for some fuel prior to your first delivery. Your final payment will happen after your final delivery.
This plan has many similarities to the plan above, but it also has a price cap incorporated for your protection. Still, you are not locked in, so if the price falls, you will pay less. Please note that our suppliers do charge a two-way protection fee.
Set up automatic payments and keep your account current using our secure system. You can set this up with any pricing plan—whether it’s monthly or yearly. You can set this up with a credit card or deductions from your checking account. We’ll make the deduction each month and you’ll be all set.
When you go paperless, you’ll see the difference right away. You’ll receive your bills via email, and you won’t have to deal with paper clutter every month! You can activate E-billing with any of our pricing plans.
Every year, as spring turns to summer and the weather heats up, many homeowners wonder: Should I shut off my oil furnace for the summer? Will that save me money?
In some cases, it makes sense to run your furnace in the summer, as we explain below. Of course, please contact us with questions if there’s anything you’re not sure about!
One note before we continue: If you have radiant floor heating, radiators or baseboards, you have a boiler, not a furnace.
If you cool your house with window units, your furnace is not part of the cooling process. However, if you have an HVAC system, it may require the furnace to be running in order to function properly. Essentially, the furnace powers an outdoor compressor and AC evaporator coil. The compressor keeps the evaporator coil cool with refrigerant to remove heat and humidity from your home. With the help of the furnace’s blower, the cold air spreads from the coil and makes its way into your living space through your home’s ductwork.
Furnaces that are 15+ years old generally require a pilot light. If that goes out, the furnace doesn’t work. This is a reason to keep your furnace on, but it’s also a reason to consider an upgrade. Pilot light designs are inefficient; in fact, the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings on furnaces this old are generally 56% to 70%. That’s a far cry from the latest furnaces, which have an electric ignition and operate at efficiency percentages that reach the mid-90s.
Shutting off a furnace’s pilot light for an extended time can make the system more susceptible to corrosion, and while it’s inactive it could also be a draw for insects and small animals, which would be a problem, for obvious reasons, when you start it back up in the fall. If you feel strongly about doing this, be sure to clean the furnace before putting out the pilot light, and then top off the tank so there’s no unnecessarily empty space.
Please contact us so we can help you assess what makes the most sense for your household. If you are sure you want to turn off your furnace for the summer, we encourage you to schedule an appointment for an oil burner cleaning and a delivery to your Rhode Island home.
If your heating oil tank is approaching its 15-year mark, or showing signs of wear and tear, it’s time to start thinking about an upgrade. Before you make your purchase, however, it’s important to know that you’re getting the best size to suit your household’s needs. As your local heating oil experts, Vaughn Oil is proud to provide you with five key tips about oil tank sizes.
You know you need reliable diesel fuel delivery to keep your Rhode Island business going strong. But how do you know you’re with the right company for your on- or off-road diesel fuel? When you become a Vaughn Oil customer, you’ll never have to wonder again. We’re here for you throughout the year, in any weather that comes our way, to ensure your business doesn’t miss a beat.
You can rely on our commercial diesel fleet to deliver wholesale and bulk diesel when you need it—on time and at a fair price, anywhere in the state. Businesses, educational institutions and health care facilities count on us every day for their diesel fuel delivery needs, which many of them also use to power generators. Some of these include:
As a Vaughn Oil customer, you can rest assured we’ll keep our promises. That means:
Since 1972, Vaughn Oil has served businesses and homeowners in Rhode Island with reliable fuel and service. Contact us today!
Over the winter, across the country, we watched in disbelief as Texas suffered an unexpected and truly devastating deep freeze. Along with this weather event came extensive power outages. Unfortunately, we’re getting all too used to seeing the fallout from power outages that leave families stuck without electricity for anywhere from days to weeks.
Many lawmakers on both the state and federal levels are pushing an “electrify everything” agenda through, as it’s viewed as a way to protect the environment. Along with this comes plans for eliminating fossil-fuel-powered heating systems, like heating oil furnaces and boilers—all to be replaced by electric heat pumps.
Please know that here at Vaughn Oil, we want to see an end to climate change, and we want to be a part of the movement to get there. The concern we have with the current direction lawmakers are taking is that it’s not really a solution to the problem at hand. Here’s why: Once the temperature drops below 32°F, your very expensive heat-pump conversion will still require a backup system to keep you warm. And a little-known fact is that electricity production generates the second-highest amount of greenhouse gas emissions. (Transportation holds first place.)
As we continue in the effort to address climate change, we are proud to offer a 5% blend of Bioheat fuel to all of our customers. A blend of biodiesel and ultra-low-sulfur heating oil, Bioheat produces near-zero-emissions. The same cannot be said about electricity.
We want to see more engagement between lawmakers and the heating oil industry—and we want to be a part of the effort to educate them about the steps we are taking to reach net-zero carbon emissions and ways to keep that effort progressing.
We believe in fighting climate change, and in continuing to cut carbon emissions, until we hit zero. As we do that, we must not rely on breakthroughs that have not yet happened to an already unreliable electric grid. Overloading the grid is not the answer.
Contact us to learn more about how we can work together in the movement toward net-zero carbon emissions.
We’re sure all of you followed the debacle of power outages in Texas and elsewhere in the wake of the deep freeze that hit in February. No one has to explain that to people in our area. It seems as if three or four times per year, a storm knocks out our power, leaving tens of thousands of families without energy for days — or even weeks.
More than anything, this has exposed the fragility of the nation’s electric grid.
That’s why it’s disturbing that many state governments are rushing ahead on an “electrify everything” path to reduce carbon emissions. We believe that we must take aggressive steps to address climate change — and we’re doing that. Our company is proud to have transitioned from traditional heating oil to Bioheat® fuel.
The problem is that however well-intended the “all electric” movement is, it is relying on breakthroughs that do not yet exist, to an electric grid that is already unreliable.
Consider what will happen when the electric grid is taxed by huge new demand — caused by conversions of cars, buildings, homes and more.
Alternatively, we, and others in the liquid fuels industry, continue to offer a solution that immediately reduces every customer’s carbon footprint dramatically without regressive taxes, additional equipment cost to consumers or overloading the electric grid. We need thoughtful policy that balances the need to address our climate without putting all our eggs into one fragile energy basket.
Read more about the benefits of Bioheat fuel in this issue of the newsletter. And as always, please let us know what we can do to help you, because with Vaughn, you always get Service, Quality and Value — Guaranteed.
Q: Now that the weather is warming up, should I be doing anything to care for my heating equipment?
A: Yes. In fact, now is the perfect time to schedule your annual tune-up. You’ll get your choice of appointment time, since we are not dealing with no-heat emergencies at this time of year. And since annual maintenance doesn’t “wear out,” once you have this tune-up, you’ll be all set! On the flip side, if there is a need for a big repair or even an upgrade, you’ll have plenty of time to take care of that before the next heating season rolls in.