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Keep your furnace going strong with expert maintenance from Hometowne Energy!

furnace tune up new yorkAs fall gets started, our service department gets busier. That’s why Hometowne Energy encourages customers to contact us right away to schedule an annual maintenance tune-up for your home’s furnace before the weather becomes chilly.

If you make an appointment for your tune-up soon, it will be easier to schedule one that works with your schedule. You won’t have to wait as long, either.

Every one of our service plans come with an annual maintenance check for your furnace. This way it will stay in working order and many parts and repair expenses are covered as well!

Why do I need a tune-up of my furnace?

By getting an annual maintenance tune-up from the skilled professionals at Hometowne Energy, you’re not only ensuring that your furnace will be in good shape to withstand another winter in the Finger Lakes region, but you’re also gaining other benefits!

Cut your heating costs. Properly maintaining your furnace will allow it to operate at peak efficiency. This, in turn, may help you save a nice amount of money on propane or heating oil expenses!

Keep your furnace going. By keeping your furnace well-maintained, you can make it run more smoothly and last much longer.

Keep the warranty valid. If you don’t have your furnace serviced by a professional once a year, you may be jeopardizing your furnace’s warranty. No warranty would be able to put you on the hook for future repair expenses.

Should I repair or replace my furnace?

As your furnace gets older, you’ll have to decide whether it’s worth repairing or if it’s time to buy a new one. Our team of professional experts will assist you in making an informed decision and offer an objective assessment on the most appropriate solution for your needs.

In certain situations, repairing your furnace may be the best option. Repairs are often easier and less expensive if it is no more than seven years old. Repairing may be the right solution if you want to move in the following year or two. Finally, a brand-new heating system may not be within your financial means.

There are times, however, when replacing your furnace is the correct decision.

Age and condition. As a rule of thumb, furnaces last around 10 years. If your furnace is nearing this age or older and you haven’t had it regularly serviced, it might be time for an upgrade.

Repair bills. If your furnace repairs will cost more than half of the cost of a new one, it’s usually preferable to replace it. In the long run, you’ll be more comfortable and save money on your energy bills.

Efficiency. Over time, furnaces that aren’t taken care of gradually become less efficient. For example, an older furnace’s efficiency may drop to only 60%. However, a new furnace boasts efficiencies up to 98%, meaning your energy costs will stay low for years.

Make time today to get in touch with Hometowne Energy to schedule your furnace’s annual maintenance tune-up!

Never Worry About Running Out of Heating Oil With Automatic Delivery!

checking heating oil new yorkIf you’re a Hometowne Energy heating oil customer and have chosen Will-Call for your heating oil delivery, then you must frequently check your tank’s fuel level. Doing so will let you know when it’s time to order more heating oil.

The gauge is usually located on top of the tank. It’s a clear glass or plastic tube marked with numbers that look like the gas gauge in your car: F, ¾, ½, ¼. A red marker or float indicates how much fuel is left in your tank. If the float is at or near the bottom of the gauge, or not visible at all, your tank is empty or almost empty. Contact us right away to schedule an emergency delivery.
 
If outdoor temperatures average 32˚ Fahrenheit over a 24-hour period, a 2,500-square-foot house uses about seven gallons of heating oil. If you let your 275-gallon heating oil tank (the size of most residential oil tanks) get down to 25% full, you have enough heating oil for perhaps a week.

It might take a few days for us to get a delivery to your home. Thus, it is essential that you request a delivery before your tank gauge falls below ¼ full.

What happens if I run out of heating oil?

If you run out of heating oil, your heating system will shut down and your home will quickly become cold. If this goes on for too long, your pipes may freeze and burst.

A heating oil run-out may also harm your furnace or boiler. Sludge may be pulled from the bottom of your heating oil tank, which might clog the oil filter and damage the oil line. You may also have to pay for the oil line bleeding and filter replacement in addition to the emergency heating oil delivery fee.

Automatic Delivery makes having heating oil worry-free!

We use the most up-to-date technology in conjunction with a tried-and-true approach of calculation to accurately predict when you will require more heating oil. Your heating oil usage history, real-time temperatures, and weather patterns are all taken into account, and our computer algorithms determine when your tank will be 30% empty based on these factors.

That information is used to schedule your heating oil delivery, ensuring that you have a full tank before your supply runs out. Your work is done! No more climbing down to the basement or going outside in the cold and snow to check your tank gauge. There will be no need to contact us with a delivery request anymore. There will be no more worry if you forgot to check your tank gauge.

Automatic Delivery is based on your prior fuel consumption, so it is vital that you notify us of anything that will change how much oil you use. Examples of this include:

  • traveling more frequently or for longer periods of time
  • living elsewhere for part of the year
  • adding finished space to your home
  • adult children move out or move back in
  • elderly relatives come to live with you

Contact us to become a Hometowne Energy Automatic Delivery customer for easy heating oil delivery!

Feel safe with heating oil delivery & service from Hometowne Energy

oilheat safety new yorkFor generations, heating oil has been the go-to choice for those in the Finger Lakes Region and Western New York when it comes to staying warm indoors. Even with other options available, many people still prefer heating oil.

Why is this the case, you might wonder? There are a number of reasons behind it! Heating oil is less expensive, on average, than other fuels and heats your home faster than any other energy source. Heating oil delivery from Hometowne Energy is always reliable, so you never have to worry about your heat source like you would with natural gas or electric heating.

However, there is something else to think about when considering the use of heating oil: safety.

One of the safest home heating fuels is heating oil. Although it has the word “oil” in its name, it is not a direct fire hazard. Before being vaporized and combusted in your boiler or furnace, heating oil must be heated to at least 140°F.

Today’s heating oil tanks are another example of safety. They’re now manufactured with double-wall steel, as well as plastic and fiberglass, to ensure they are almost leakproof. Alarms that prevent the tank from being overfilled are being built in to minimize the risk of leaks.

Although oil-based heating systems and tanks are relatively safe, there are still some things you can do to ensure their optimal functioning.

Get your heating system tuned up each year

Scheduling regular maintenance tune-ups with the qualified, experienced experts at Hometowne Energy can help you prevent problems before they start. Their comprehensive examination will find any potential issues and give them the opportunity to fix them before they create a hazard.

Our low-cost service plans include a tune-up as well as savings on repair services!

Don’t ignore your heating oil tank

Between deliveries of heating oil, check your heating oil tank for signs of failure. Examine the tank for indications of impending failures, such as blisters on the paint, moisture on the outside of the tank that persists even after a heating oil delivery, and pinhole leaks. Get in touch with us if you see any of these to prevent a potentially dangerous and expensive heating oil tank failure.

Contact us as immediately if you see any oil on the floor or ground surrounding your tank.

Protect against carbon monoxide

A carbon monoxide leak is extremely unlikely to be caused by heating oil. They can, however, happen. That’s especially possible if your oil-powered heating equipment isn’t maintained properly. Contact Hometowne Energy right away if your boiler or furnace is producing black smoke or soot. Install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the house, including the basement, as well as outside all bedrooms. Test and change the batteries twice a year and replace the detectors every five years.

Become a Hometowne Energy customer for the most dependable heating oil delivery and service in the Finger Lakes and Western New York!

Share the benefits of being a Hometowne Energy customer!

referral programs new yorkOur goal every day at Hometowne Energy is to provide the dependable, courteous service that makes for satisfied customers. It is at the heart of our motto of Neighbors Taking Care of Neighbors. That commitment is why we have been in business for about 80 years.

We strive for that end by offering our customers dependable heating oil and propane delivery, environmentally friendly Bioheat fuel, wireless propane tank monitoring, equipment services, cost-effective service plans, and more.

If you’re a happy Hometowne Energy customer, we’d appreciate it if you could tell others about your satisfaction with us and refer family and friends to us. We’ll show our appreciation by giving you a reward from our Refer a Friend program if you do!

When it comes to our company, no form of advertising can ever take the place of word-of-mouth. That’s especially true in today’s digital world. After all, wouldn’t you trust what a friend, neighbor, colleague, or relative has to say more than an ad?

How does Refer a Friend work?

You and your friends constantly suggest things to one another, such as excellent eating places or a one-of-a-kind store. Maybe you have discovered a new restaurant that you know they’ll love. A great book you found could make an excellent book club selection for them, so you tell them about it.

Refer a Friend is like that. Do you know someone who is looking for heating oil, propane, or equipment maintenance? They may be moving to a new house or dissatisfied with their present fuel provider.

There are many reasons why you should let your friends and family know about the personal, reliable service you receive from Hometowne Energy. Not only is it good for them, but it can also be beneficial to you!

For each family member or friend you refer who becomes a new Hometowne Energy Automatic Delivery customer, you’ll receive a $100 credit on your Hometowne Energy account. 

The more friends and family members you refer, the more rewards you could receive!

Do you have questions about our Refer a Friend program? Reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help!

Don’t run out during a cookout!

grill tank refill new yorkSummer is one of the greatest seasons because we get to enjoy outdoor grilling and dining! There are fast weekday suppers, leisurely weekend meals, and backyard barbecues with family and friends.

Propane grills are a great alternative for those who don’t want to use a charcoal grill because they’re quick and easy. Whether you’re cooking burgers and hot dogs for a crowd, grilling fish for a low-carb supper, or barbecuing ribs or brisket, propane grills eliminate the smoke, wait, and hassle of a charcoal grill!

You need enough gas in your grill’s propane cylinder to enjoy all the benefits of grilling with propane. Otherwise, you’ll either need to leave and get another tank or order takeout.

There are several ways to keep track of how much propane is in your tank, so you don’t have to worry about this. Let’s go through them one by one.

The hot water hack

This method is as easy as 1-2-3! Here’s what you do.

  • Fill a small bucket with hot tap water.
  • Pour the water down the side of the tank.
  • Run your hand along the side of the tank and feel for a cool spot.

The top of the cool spot is the fill level of the tank. It’s cool because liquid propane inside the tank is absorbing the heat from the water, which makes the metal wall of the tank cool to the touch. You can use this method to gauge how many of the original 18 to 20 pounds are in the tank.

Use the tank’s weight

Two figures are usually stamped on the handle of a propane grill tank – the water capacity (WC) and Tare Weight (TW). When empty, most grilling tanks weigh about 17 pounds and hold 20 pounds of gas.
To figure out how much propane is left in your tank, simply weigh it on a scale and subtract the TW number. Here’s an example of how that works: If a tank weighing 24 pounds has a TW of 17 pounds, there are about 7 pounds of gas left. That’s a less than half a tank.

Use an external pressure gauge

There are several types of external tank gauges to select from. They may be purchased online or at a home improvement store, grill shop, or hardware store near you. These are some types:

  • Inline pressure gauges install between the gas line from the grill and the cut-off valve on the tank, measuring pressures to determine how full the tank is.
  • Analog propane scales look like luggage scales and are pre-set to take your tank’s TW into account.
  • Digital propane tank scales provide a digital readout of remaining cook time and gas fill percentage. Some even come with smart phone apps. 

Connect your grill to your propane tank

Would you prefer to never have to worry about exchanging or refilling a propane cylinder again? Consider having a grill box attached directly to your home’s propane tank. This will provide continuous fuel to your gas grill, so that you never run out in the middle of cooking dinner again. Ask us about installing a grill box!

Count on Hometowne Energy for reliable propane delivery and service. Become a customer today!

Keep your home and loved ones safe with these tips

storm safety new yorkWhether it’s a front passing through or hot and humid weather triggering pop-up thunderstorms, the Finger Lakes region is vulnerable to severe weather during the summer.

With so much opportunity for inclement weather, learning all there is to know about propane safety can help you keep your family and home safe regardless of what comes our way.

We’ve gathered some crucial information and pointers to assist you in the event of bad weather.

Before a storm

Pay attention to any propane leaks. When you detect the distinct rotten-egg smell of propane, it’s a sign that there’s a propane gas leak. Propane leaks in tiny amounts, especially during bad weather, can grow worse and more hazardous.

Be informed and prepared. Every member of your family should know how to shut off the gas main at your propane tank. If you must leave your house, this is something you’ll need to do. Closing off the gas avoids any damaged tanks causing a leak that could ignite.

During a storm

Be careful. While the storm is happening, remain inside and as far away as possible from electric lines and conductive metals like your propane tank. If you’re outside when a storm strikes, stay away from trees, poles, and other tall and conductive things or structures. Pay attention for official announcements regarding possible evacuations.

After a storm

Inspect your property. If it’s safe to do so, head outside and look for trees or large limbs that have fallen outside your home. Keep an eye out for downed power lines that might harm your propane tank and put you and your family in risk.

Inspect propane appliances. Check for any damage, leaks, or other concerns. Don’t use candles when inspecting your propane appliances since a leak might cause the gas to ignite.

Contact us if there’s a problem. Contact Hometowne Energy IMMEDIATELY if you have any concerns about your propane tank, gas line, or propane appliances. Our experienced service technicians will carefully inspect and test everything to make sure all components are working safely. If you smell gas, put out any candles, cigarettes or other sources of ignition and get everyone including pets out of the house right away. Don’t use any light switches or phones as you’re exiting.

Become a Hometowne Energy customer for safe and dependable propane delivery and service!

Take a break from worrying over your energy bills!

energy saving tips new yorkIf you’re planning to take a vacation this summer, you’ve got a lot of company as many people are looking forward to some post-pandemic fun.

According to Forbes, six out of 10 Americans are planning to travel at least once this summer, in spite of inflation and gas prices.

With the rise in fuel and energy costs, you may be concerned about expenses on your trip. We’re here to help with five tips that can cut your energy costs so you can worry less and enjoy more.

Give your air conditioning a vacation

In the summer, cooling accounts for about 50% of your home’s energy bills. Switching your air conditioner to 85°F if you’re going away for more than a day or two will help you save money! Do you have a smart or programmable thermostat? Don’t forget to set it to return to your preferred temperature several hours before you return home so it will be cool when you arrive. Make sure to close curtains and blinds before you leave to keep your home from overheating and also stop people from peeking into your home when you’re not there.

Unplug the energy vampires

Energy vampires are electronics and small appliances such as computers, TVs, media players, ovens, gaming systems, coffeemakers, toasters, multicookers, blenders, electric toothbrushes, and phone chargers. They have this nickname because they’re always sucking up energy, even when they’re not used. Unplug or power off as many as you can before you leave. Get into the habit of unplugging or turning off any of these you’re not using while you’re at home as well to realize even greater energy savings!

Let the water heater take a break

Most contemporary water heaters have a vacation mode. This lowers the temperature setting so that the water heater does not operate as frequently while you are away, but it heats up quickly when you reset it after your return.

If you don’t have a vacation setting on your water heater, set it to low. Heating water is responsible for about 20% of your home’s energy consumption, so this tip can help you save money.

Want to keep saving on water heating energy costs when you get home? By lowering the water heater temperature to 120°F rather than the manufacturer’s setting of 140°F, you’ll save money. Your water will still be hot enough for comfortable showers, laundry, and your dishwasher, but you’ll save up to 10% on your water heating energy expenses. The lower temperature also reduces the risk of scalding, which children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to.

Let Hometowne Energy know

If you’re a Hometowne Energy Automatic Delivery propane customer, we ask that you please inform us when you’ll be away from home for more than a few days. That’s because we consider your usage history when scheduling your delivery. By notifying us when you’ll be away, you may prevent an unneeded propane delivery.

Put your smartphone to good use

The days and hours leading up to your vacation are very busy with packing, loading the car, and other preparations.

All of these activities may cause you to forget about important things, such as our suggestions for saving energy. The tips below help to give you peace of mind about your energy savings and the protection and security of your home.

First, create a checklist on the phone covering energy-saving tasks to do before leaving for vacation. Check them off as you do them, so you don’t forget.

Go around the house with your smartphone right before you depart. Take pictures of all the rooms with the lights out, appliances and electronics unplugged or shut off, water turned off to your washer, doors locked, the thermostat and water heater set for your vacation, windows closed and locked, and blinds and curtains drawn. Check your phone photographs for reassurance if you’re concerned about whether you left a light or appliance on while traveling.

Become a Hometowne Energy customer and get the most reliable fuel delivery and equipment service in the Finger Lakes region!

Learn about the advantages propane offers

propane and electricity new yorkThere has been a huge push for making electricity the primary energy source for houses, both nationally and right here in New York, based on the myth that it is the best approach to combat climate change.
But when you look more closely, you’ll notice that propane is the energy source that will assist us in achieving a zero-carbon future in a variety of ways.

Propane is more environmentally friendly

Some people think that electricity is “cleaner” than propane. This isn’t correct, though. About half of all electricity generated in the United States comes from coal-fired power stations that increase greenhouse gases and cause acid rain. Propane, on the other hand, is so clean burning it produces close to zero greenhouse gas emissions! 

Electricity is inefficiently transmitted. When electricity travels from a power plant through wires to your home, it encounters resistance, which results in a great deal of energy being lost. To create a unit of electricity in your house, it takes three units of source energy. To give us power, therefore, more coal must be burned, resulting in more carbon and CO₂.

Because propane is right there at your home, there is virtually no loss of energy from the tank to your appliances. 

Get better energy efficiency and comfort with propane

Propane is a better alternative to electricity for many appliances because it offers superior energy efficiency, allowing you to lower your environmental impact even more. Propane water heaters heat more water faster than their electric counterparts and do it with about 30% less cost. Propane clothes dryers get your laundry dry about 25% faster than comparable electric dryers. 
 
Electricity cannot match propane when it comes to dependability If your home is heated by electricity and the power goes out, you have no heat. With propane, on the other hand, you’re not reliant on a utility grid for your heating, water heating, cooking, or other needs because your propane supply is right at your home. A propane whole-house standby generator can keep your home safe and comfortable during power outages.

Renewable propane: Leading us towards a zero-carbon future

Renewable propane is a revolutionary new development in creating more environmentally friendly energy sources.

Molecularly, renewable propane is identical to conventional propane. It’s made from non-fossil fuels like animal fats, plant oils, biomass, and other triglycerides, which are sustainable and renewable resources.

More of us here in the Finger Lakes region will be able to use renewable propane in the coming years to reduce our environmental impact even further while enjoying efficiency and comfort in our homes.
 
Become a Hometowne Energy customer to get the most reliable propane delivery and service!

Hometowne Energy makes the decision easy!

water heaters new yorkWhen your water heater is nearing the end of its life and becoming less efficient and dependable, you may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of replacing it. There’s no stress with Hometowne Energy!

You can count on us to ensure that you get the best water heater for your needs. We’ll be there every step of the way with expert water heater sales, installation, and maintenance. We’ll also assist you in obtaining financing and any rebates your new water heater qualifies for.

We’ll also assist you in answering these three questions so that you get the appropriate water heater for your Finger Lakes region house.

Your water heater’s energy source

Is your current water heater powered by electricity? If that’s the case, you may save a lot of money by switching to a propane water heater! Because propane water heaters provide greater comfort while being more cost-efficient, this is an excellent opportunity to make the switch.

Propane water heaters on average cost $25 less each month to operate than electric water heaters, resulting in substantial savings on your water heating expenses.

A propane water heater will save you approximately $4,000 over a tank-style electric water heater of comparable capacity during an average ten-year lifespan.

In terms of energy efficiency, a propane water heater offers a lot. Its recuperation rate is twice as rapid as an equivalent electric water heater. The time waiting between showers will be shortened because hot water will be available much faster.

The type of water heater you want

You have a choice when it comes to propane water heaters.
 
There are several benefits to installing a traditional storage water heater with a tank. A 40-gallon propane water heater produces the same amount of hot water as a 50-gallon electric one while heating water much faster. It’s also less expensive to buy, install, maintain, and repair.

On-demand propane tankless water heaters provide endless hot water whenever you need it. Additionally, because it only heats water when you need it, your energy costs will be significantly reduced. When you take into account that water heating makes up about 20% of your home’s energy consumption, this could lead to a significant amount of money saved.

Finding out a water heater’s efficiency

When comparing water heaters, look for the Energy Factor (EF) rating. The EF rating shows a water heater’s energy efficiency based on how much hot water is generated per unit of fuel burned over a typical day.

The higher the EF, the more efficient the water heater is. Here is what goes into the EF rating: 

Recovery efficiency: How efficiently the heat is applied to the water 

Standby loss: The percentage of heat loss per hour of the stored water 

Cycling loss: The loss of heat as the water circulates through the unit 

Get in touch with Hometowne Energy to get started on upgrading to a new, high-efficiency water heater. And don’t forget to ask about our service plans to protect your investment!

Breath easier with these tips!

pet fur management new yorkPets have a lot to offer. They provide affection and entertainment. They are with us for support.

However, they can also shed dander and fur, which can aggravate allergies and other respiratory issues. The fur and dander can also be transmitted through your HVAC system all around your home.

Pets shed more in the summer months. That’s why we’ve put together a list of ideas to help you keep your pets and HVAC system happy while also maintaining your home’s comfort.

Keep pets brushed and groomed

Regular brushing and combing your pet can help to minimize shedding. The best method to brush and groom your pet’s breed will depend on the advice of your veterinarian.

Make sure you have a clean air filter

Dander and fur from pet dogs can enter your home’s air, where they are then carried to your HVAC system and filter. When the filter is blocked, your HVAC system must work harder. This results in greater energy expenditures as well as a risk of equipment malfunctions. Every month, check your HVAC air filter to see if it needs changing. If someone in the home has allergies or a respiratory illness like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), check yours more frequently. Consider using HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters if your HVAC system allows.

Take care of your vents

Hair and dander from pets may also enter your vents. Vacuum your vents on a regular basis and use a damp microfiber cloth to clean them. Floors, carpeting, and rugs all attract dust, dander, and fur. They should be vacuumed and/or mopped at least once a week.

Don’t neglect HVAC maintenance

Hometowne Energy’s service professionals perform regular HVAC maintenance to ensure that your system remains in excellent working order. It also allows us to identify whether your pets’ fur and dander are the sources of any problems, allowing us to correct them before they get worse.

Keep your ductwork clean

When your ductwork is filled with fur and dander as well as dust, it can become a breeding ground for germs and viruses. Have your ductwork cleaned by a professional every three to five years.

You can trust Hometowne Energy for all your HVAC needs! Reach out to us to learn more about our HVAC and comfort equipment services.