The factory-trained HVAC technicians at Genove Oil & Air have made customer care job #1 since 1977. Part of our commitment to taking care of families in Metrowest Boston and Eastern Massachusetts is passing on the knowledge gained from our years of experience.
Take a look at 6 Fall Energy-Saving Tips you can do today!
This article looks at 1 of the 6 energy-saving tasks on the list: oil burner tune-ups. Keep reading to see the top 3 ways a quality oil burner tune-up can save you money.
1. Use less fuel.
Fuel oil No. 2 and BioHeat®, a heating oil and biodiesel blend, both create 139,000 BTUs of heat per gallon, and propane LPG produces a little more than 91,000 BTUs per gallon, according to the Engineering ToolBox website. Oil heat provides 50% more energy per gallon than propane.
Likewise, a gallon equivalent of natural gas produces roughly 100,000 BTUs, which means you only need 40% more natural gas to get the same thermal comfort.
You already get the most bang for your buck with heating oil or BioHeat®.
Don’t buy into the misconception that oil boilers are fuel-guzzling dinosaurs from an age of cheap oil. The federal government requires all boilers to be rated 80 AFUE, or 80% efficient.
However, your boiler must receive preventative service to maintain its efficiency. Without it, poor water treatment, bad air-to-fuel ratios, and a buildup of soot and dirt can cause your boiler to run less efficiently year after year.
Allowing combustion byproduct (like soot) to build up on a boiler’s heat exchanger can reduce efficiency by more than 10%, according to The NEWS, an HVAC industry newsletter.
CLEAN UP WASTE: The problem with setting a time limit on heating system tune-ups is each stop is unique. A tune-up for a 1-year-old boiler isn’t going to take as long as a tune-up for a 25-year-old boiler that hasn’t been serviced in a decade! It can take up to four hours to properly tune-up and clean out a boiler that’s been neglected. Although, most tune-ups take about an hour, at Genove Oil, we make sure your boiler is working properly before moving on to the next home.
Those service technicians who rush jobs to meet a daily quota aren’t maintaining the performance of their clients’ boilers. As a result, unknowing homeowners use more fuel than necessary to heat their homes.
Speaking of waste . . . homeowners with old boilers can ask the HVAC service company about reducing the firing rate of the burner. Many older boilers are oversize, and by simply downsizing the burner nozzle, the unit can use less fuel per hour to achieve the same comfort level.
2. The boiler runs better and lasts longer.
A professional oil boiler cleaning should include brushing and vacuuming the boiler chambers and inspecting and vacuuming the chimney base, if needed. Chimneys should be inspected annually for cleaning and repairs by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep®, according the National Fire Protection Association.
Some parts, like air and oil filters, just need replacing. A clean filter is a new one.
Filters aren’t the most complicated parts on your oil boiler, but they’re critical to protecting the unit from dirt and debris. Air and oil filters become less effective as they do their job, and eventually they clog. Once this happens, the efficiency of the boiler declines and cost you more money in fuel costs.
Additionally, the strain of working under below-optimal conditions makes your unit more likely to breakdown. Not only is the safety of your family at risk with no heat on a cold night, but you incur expensive emergency repair costs.
Finally, over the long-run, your oil boiler won’t last as long as it should, and you will have to buy a brand-new boiler.
CLEAN UP INEFFICIENCY: To capture long-term, real savings, a preventative maintenance plan is key to getting your money’s worth on energy usage and the life of your boiler.
3. Promote a cleaner planet.
As stated earlier, most boilers you find today should be 80% efficient, and today’s heating oil burns cleaner.
In Massachusetts, many top-rated oil delivery companies offer Ultra-Low Sulfur (ULS) heating oil.
ULS heating oil produces 40x less soot and 90% less ash buildup when compared to traditional fuel oil No. 2, according to Brookhaven National Laboratory at Stony Brook University. Cleaner-burning fuel means your boiler won’t get as dirty.
Plus, ULS heating oil has 99% less sulfur than fuel oil No. 2, which means significantly less pollution in the air, including 99% less sulfur dioxide emissions and 30% less nitrogen oxide emissions, says Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Heating your home with a clean-burning, soy-based fuel alternative like BioHeat® is another way to reduce our overall use of petroleum oil for heating by 5%.
Both ULS heating oil and BioHeat® work in most oil boilers without the need for conversion equipment.
CLEAN UP THE AIR: Cleaner burning fuels improve the air quality in your neighborhood and community. If everyone takes steps to limit their own pollution, the entire world gets cleaner.
Save when you buy new!
Through Mass Save®, Massachusetts residents have access to big savings through incentives and rebates to buy ENERGY STAR®-rated boilers.
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If your question isn’t answered here, contact the friendly team at Genove Oil & Air, and we’ll find a solution for your home or business.