Q. I thought gas burned clean, why do I need to have my furnace checked?
Gas does burn very clean. The burners of most heating appliances however will develop rust. This can clog the ports and cause your appliance to burn inefficiently. In extreme cases this will also produce soot and carbon monoxide.
Q. If my boiler has electronic ignition, can I light it by hand if the power is out?
A. No. There has to be electricity to open the safety valve for the gas to come in.
Q. Is propane safe to use in my home?
A. Propane is a safe fuel to use in your home and business. Propane has a narrow range of flammability and cannot be ingested like gasoline or alcohol fuels because it is released as a vapor from a pressurized container. In addition, award-winning preventive maintenance programs like GAS Check (Gas Appliance System Check) ensure that homeowners understand how to properly maintain their propane appliances and enjoy a healthy, safe environment.
Q. How should propane tanks be stored?
A. Propane tanks should be stored outside. Do not store any propane tanks in the garage or any other indoor areas at any time, even during the winter months. As for excessive heat, propane tanks should only be filled to 80 percent of the tank’s capacity. This is to allow for some liquid propane expansion that might occur during hot days.
Q. Are there any tips when using a propane stove?
A. When purchasing a propane oven or range:
Q. What is Propane?
A. Propane naturally occurs as a gas at atmospheric pressure but can be liquefied if subjected to moderately increased pressure. It is stored and transported in its compressed liquid form, but by opening a valve to release propane from a pressurized storage container, it is vaporized into gas for use. Although propane is non-toxic and odorless, an identifying odor is added so the gas can be detected.
Q. Where does propane come from?
A. The main source of LP gas is crude oil-gas mixtures from actively producing natural gas and oil wells. Approximately 70% of LP gases came from natural gas production while 30% came from crude oil production and refining.
Q. What is a BTU?
A. A BTU is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one-pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit.
Q. What if I can not smell the gas?
A. There is a gas device you can purchase that sounds an alarm when gas is present. Contact us to inquire about purchase of this device.
Q. My grandmother used heating oil and it was smoky and smelly. Has that changed?
A. Yes! Heating oil burns much cleaner than it did even 15 years ago! In fact today’s heating oil burns just as cleanly as natural gas. And like televisions and cars, oil burning equipment has changed a great deal in the past 30 years. New-generation oil burning equipment is very efficient and produces low emissions. Tevis’ exclusive blend of lower-sulfur heating oil burns even cleaner and provides better fuel efficiency than the standard #2 heating oil delivered by other oil companies.
Q. When I’m getting an oil delivery, I’ve noticed a whistling sound while the tank is filling. What is that?
A. The whistle is a safety feature of your oil tank. When the deliveryman fills your tank, the oil displaces air, which leaves the tank through a separate vent. As the air escapes, it passes a device that whistles, just like a tea kettle! When the fill is complete, there is almost no air left and the whistler device quiets. The silence tells the deliveryman that the tank is full. Pretty neat!
Q. Do I need to be home to get oil delivered?
A. No. Unless your account is set up for cash on delivery, we can deliver fuel anytime without anyone being home. If you have pets, please ensure their safety and the safety of our delivery personnel by properly securing all pets.
Q. What is the average amount of oil a house will use?
A. Fuel usage depends many on many factors including size, insulation, system efficiency, and household habits. Please give us a call for free fuel usage estimate.
Q. Will you deliver more oil if I’m on automatic delivery?
A. No. We schedule deliveries when our computerized delivery system projects that your tank is between 1/3 and 1/2 full. Smaller, more frequent deliveries are inefficient and would drive fuel prices up unnecessary. We do everything we can to keep our fuel prices as low as possible!
Q. How do you know when it’s time to deliver oil to my home?
A. We count “degree days” to calculate how cold it has been. The average temperature on a given day is measured in degree-days. The colder it is, the more degree-days there are.
The number of heating degree days for one day is roughly equal to 65° minus the average temperature on that day.
Q. How do you track our oil usage?
A. We track the average number of gallons per delivery and compare that to the number of degree days to develop a use rating called a “K factor.” Each household has their own rating. It’s a lot like rating your home’s “miles per gallon.”
Q. Do you try to schedule deliveries when fuel prices are the highest?
A. No. If you are on automatic delivery, your deliveries are based on degree-day forecasting and your home’s K factor. Fuel prices fluctuate constantly. Trying to schedule deliveries according to these fluctuations would be impractical.
Q. What is our “NO” Run out policy?
A. Call 263-3329 and talk to our after hours answering service rep. He or she will contact our service tech on call. The tech will call the customer to assess the situation (a.) If you are out of oil and an automatic customer with a current balance; the tech will bring you 10 gallons of heating oil and start your furnace to hold you to the next business day. And the next day a delivery truck will be dispatched to your home. (B) If you are a “will call” customer you can leave a message on our office answering machine and a customer service representative will return your call the next business day to schedule a delivery for you. Or you can have our afterhours answering service contact our service tech. Our tech will call the customer to assess the situation and advise of the cost.
Q. I believe I am out of oil, when I hit on my oil tank it sounds empty even though my gauge says I have oil.
A. All tanks sound empty even when full, hitting and banging on the tank is not reliable to gauge fuel levels. If you think you are running low on fuel, please call us. We will look at your account and help you assess your need for a delivery.
Q. When there are severe winter storms how do you plan fuel deliveries?
A. Our delivery team keeps a close watch on weather forecasts to anticipate extreme weather, especially snow and ice storms. By using our sophisticated delivery projection system we know when you will need delivery and make adjustments to your delivery cycle based on weather forecasts. We also do our best to deliver to customers with difficult driveways before storms make driveways impassable.
Q. What can I do to help my delivery person when we have bad weather?
Q. Do your delivery trucks have snowplows?
A. No, it is your responsibility to make you driveway accessible if we need to use it to deliver your fuel.
Q. Why can’t the delivery person leave the delivery ticket in my mailbox?
A. US Postal regulations prohibit anyone other than the resident of the home from opening your mailbox.
Q. Should I keep my oil tank full during the summer?
A. Keeping your oil tank nearly full during the summer reduces the amount of condensation that will occur in your tank. Condensation occurs naturally when it is cooler inside the tank compared to the outside temperature. This trapped moisture can lead to bacteria growth and the development of sediment, as bacteria die and fall to the bottom of your tank.
Q. I’ve noticed some oil on the floor under my tank. Do I need a new tank?
A. Possibly, but not necessarily. You may just have a loose fitting or a leak in the oil line. If your tank has rust along its bottom or is showing any signs of “weepage” (which may appear as an oily stain on the tank) call us immediately to schedule an estimate for tank replacement. Do not try to remove rust from the bottom of your oil tank!
Q. Is it best to have my oil tank outside my home or in my basement?
A. Oil tanks can be installed in your basement or outside your home. Some are installed inside garages, and others are specifically designed to be buried underground. Outside above ground tanks do require additional care to resist rusting and condensation.
Q. Are all heating oil tanks ugly?
A. We don’t think so, but we’re biased. Today’s modern oil tanks come in various forms, sizes and there are specially design enclosures that are attractive to use when you tank is located outside your home.
Q. Is it OK to plant bushes around and in front of my oil tank fill?
A. You can plant near your oil tank fill; however; your delivery person needs enough clearance to be able to access your tank without obstructions.
Q. I supplement my oil heat with a wood stove (or other type of fuel). Will that affect my automatic deliveries?
A. All sources of heat should be reflected in our delivery projections for your home. Please call us if you begin or stop using a supplemental heat source.
Q. My mother-in-law is moving in for a few months. Will that affect my automatic deliveries?
A. Yes, additional occupants in your home need to be taken into consideration, especially if you use oil or propane for hot water.
Q. Is oil safe?
A. Yes. Heating oil is one of the safest fuels ever developed. Oil produces low emissions, is biodegradable, and it won’t burn in a liquid state. If a lit match were dropped into a container of heating oil, the oil would extinguish the flame, just like water does! To be ignited, oil must be vaporized. This only occurs under pressure at 140°F. Properly set and maintained oil burners produce very low, safe levels of carbon monoxide as a normal part of the combustion process. And if there is ever a malfunction in your heating system, there’s little or no need to worry about an explosion or the release of carbon monoxide into your home.
Q. Where is the pilot light on my oil burner?
A. Unlike some gas systems, oil furnaces have an electronic ignition system and do not require an open flame.
Q. Can I stick some lighted paper or a match in the furnace if it doesn’t light?
A. NO! Never put any sort of foreign object into the firebox of any heating system.
Q. Why should I have my oil furnace serviced every year?
A. In order to maintain efficiency, parts such as nozzle, oil line filter and air filters should be replaced regularly. Motors also need lubrication and controls should be maintained within the manufacturers specifications. An annual tune-up will help you avoid emergency repair calls.
Q. How many times can I push the restart button?
A. Once or twice only! Pushing the restart button repeatedly will cause your firebox to flood and heating oil, unlike gasoline, does not evaporate, thus making a lot of noise once it is started. Although rare, flooding the firebox could be a fire hazard.