checking hvac filter rhode islandHeating 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.

Lower Indoor Air Quality

Unfiltered air can bypass a dirty air filter. In addition, pollutants can get into your ductwork, which means they will eventually enter your home.

Bigger Bills

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.

Lower Furnace Performance

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.

heating oil delivery rhode islandWith 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.

Avoid Condensation

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.

Prevent Sludge

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.

Prepare for the Cold

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!

heating system repair rhode islandIf 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:

1. A Failing Motor

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.

2. A Heating Oil Pump Issue

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.

3. Dirt Buildup

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.

Your Safety Is Our Priority.

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.

You can trust the Vaughn Oil team to answer your questions about your furnace, equipment sales and installation, heating oil delivery and more. Contact us today!

heating oil prices rhode islandWe 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!

1. Fuel Prebuy with Price Cap

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.

2. Monthly Smart Pay, aka Budget

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.

3. Monthly Smart Pay, aka Budget with Price Cap

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.

We also make life easier with Auto Pay and E-Billing!

Auto Pay Plan

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.

E-Billing

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.

Contact us today and let us know how Vaughn can help. We offer service, installation, fuel delivery and more!

heater on in summer rhode islandEvery 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.

Your Cooling System Relies On Your 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.

If your furnace has a pilot light, it probably makes the most sense to keep it on.

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.

oil tank installation rhode islandIf 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.

Oil Tank Factors To Consider

  1. Familiarize yourself with your current heating oil tank. What size oil tank do you currently have? What is its capacity, in gallons? And what are its dimensions, in terms of depth, width and height? Depending on the age of the tank, the capacity may be listed on the nameplate. Older tanks will require you to estimate the capacity based on the dimensions.
  2. Get to know heating oil tank sizes. While today’s standard aboveground residential heating oil tank size is 275 gallons, they range in size from 275 to 1,000 gallons. They come in both vertical and horizontal orientations. (Specific capacities include 275, 288, 340, 420, 500, 550, 675, and 1,000 gallons.)
  3. Understand how much space you have available. Measure your space before you shop for a new tank.
  4. Think about the size of your home and the number of people who live there. Have you had children since your last tank was installed? Or has anyone moved in or out? Has the size of the house itself changed? All of this will factor into what size tank you need.
  5. Consider your lifestyle. Are you planning to travel much or spend long stretches of time living elsewhere? If so, be sure to take that into account when you look for a new tank.

When you need to select a heating oil tank and have it installed, Vaughn Oil is here for you. Contact us today—and ask us about rebates and financing options!

commercial fuel delivery rhode islandYou 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.

Commercial Diesel For All Types Of Operations

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!

electricity alternative rhode islandOver 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.

Changing Direction On The Rush To Electrification

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.)

Looking Ahead With Bioheat® Fuel

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.

water heater safety rhode islandAccording to the National Fire Protection Association, water heaters account for about one out of every 10 fires started by home heating systems. Protect your home and family with these helpful tips for practicing water heater safety.

Safety Tips For Your Water Heater

  1. Keep up with annual service. Make sure you get your system tuned up every year. This will keep your system at its maximum efficiency, and it will allow our expert technicians to find small problems before they become larger, more expensive—and potentially dangerous—issues.
  2. Avoid a flashback fire. Keep any flammable items, like painting supplies, oily rags or cleaning items, away from your water heater. Anything that could ignite is fair game, so always be on the lookout.
  3. Know how to shut your water heater down. Check your owner’s manual or look online so you are prepared if you ever need to shut the system down at a moment’s notice. Contact us if you need assistance.
  4. Keep the area clear. Prevent a dangerous situation and allow proper airflow by keeping the area surrounding your water heater clear of debris that can disrupt ventilation.
  5. Stay in touch with us! If your water heater is acting up, please let us know. Water heaters are not the way to practice troubleshooting—they require professional care and maintenance. A D-I-Y video on YouTube is a great way to learn some home maintenance skills, but please leave the care and maintenance of your water heater to our team.
  6. If you need an upgrade, keep an open mind. The latest makes and models of water heaters are energy-efficient and safer than systems of years—and decades—past. And when you have a new water heater, you’ll see a drop in your bills due to the increased efficiency. In fact, with a new system, you’ll see lowered fuel bills right away!

Turn to Vaughn Oil to schedule your tune-up or inspection or with any questions you may have about your water heater or other home comfort equipment!

boiler repair rhode islandDo you have a boiler for your Rhode Island business? If so, it’s important to keep up with maintenance and service, even if it seems like everything is fine.

Powerful and efficient, a boiler is an ideal way to power your commercial operation’s heating system. It makes it easy for you to keep large spaces warm for employees and comfortable for clients, customers, patients or students, without blowing dust around, which could be the case if you were running a commercial HVAC system.

Even so, your boiler needs occasional attention, and our reliable technicians can ensure that your boiler is running at its maximum efficiency—or they can identify any potential issues or needs for necessary repairs.

According to the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors, commercial boilers should have a licensed boiler contractor complete an inspection and maintenance call at least once a year, but ideally twice annually.

Is it really important for me to schedule maintenance for my commercial boiler?

Yes, it is. You need to keep your heating system running reliably and efficiently, and without a maintenance check, undetected issues with your system could potentially halt your business later on.

Having a licensed commercial heating technician perform a tune-up also allows you to monitor your boiler’s condition over time. Your system’s efficiency has a direct impact on both your fuel expenses and on your comfort level inside your place of business. We want to make sure your boiler receives the care it needs on a regular basis.

If your commercial boiler is overdue for a tune-up, we can help! Contact Vaughn Oil today to schedule your maintenance appointment. Our professional heating technicians get the job done quickly, accurately and on time. They are careful to keep any disruption to your place of business at a minimum.

Do you need a commercial heating system installed or repaired for your Rhode Island business? Contact us today!

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If your car needs a repair, it’s a good feeling knowing “you’ve got a guy” who can be trusted to get the job done right—at a fair price. Many Rhode Islanders feel the same way about their home comfort needs. They want to be able to say, “I’ve got a guy” who will: Vaughn Oil does all of that—and much more—for you!

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