FAQ: Oil Heating & Furnace Oil
How do I order oil?
How will I benefit from investing in a service plan?
Which Brooks Energy fuel plan is best for me?
How do I learn how many gallons my tank holds?
How much will it cost me to heat my house?
How many gallons of oil will I use in a month? A year?
What’s the best time of year to purchase heating oil?
Is there a time of year when heating oil prices are lowest?
What happens if I run out of oil?
Is it hard on my furnace to run out of oil?
What if my pilot light goes out?
Is oil heat clean? Is it safe?
What do I do if I have a smell of soot?
Is it OK to burn diesel fuel in my oil furnace?
How do I get started with Brooks Energy?
Q: How do I order oil?
A: You can order a specific quantity of oil, such as 100 gallons; you can have your tank filled; OR, you may want to just budget a certain amount of money for a service plan. In general, the more gallons of oil you purchase at one time, the lower the price per gallon is.
Q. How will I benefit from investing in a service plan?
A. When you pay for service as you go, you never know when you’ll have an expensive bill. A customer who needs only a tune-up one year can have three or four service calls the next. Investing in a service plan eliminates unanticipated costs and gives you the peace of mind knowing your system is protected. It also increases the likelihood that small problems will be resolved before they become big ones.
Q. Which Brooks Energy fuel plan is best for me?
A. All three of our plans—Premium, Deluxe, and Standard—are excellent values: They cover many of the things that can typically go wrong with a heating system and can save you hundreds of dollars in repairs. You choose the level of protection that fits your needs and budget. Each plan includes a tune-up, a $100 value. Brooks Energy’s tune-up is comprehensive: We adjust your oil burner to maximum efficiency using calibrated instruments. The higher efficiency can save you up to 10% on your fuel bills. We inspect and test your oil tank for corrosion. All qualifying tanks will receive a proactive warranty. If our computer analysis indicates your tank is getting too thin or needs replacement, we will provide you with $1,000 towards the new tank before a problem occurs. Our Premium and Deluxe plans include 24-hour emergency service.
Q. How can I find out how many gallons my tank holds?
A. The easiest way is to have the tank filled from empty; however, if that isn’t possible, there are a few ways to estimate. If your tank is above ground (in your yard or basement), and measures 44” high by 60” wide by 27” deep, it holds 275 gallons. Most in-ground tanks come in standard sizes: 288, 340, 420, 518, 550, 555 and 675. On your next oil delivery, ask us to measure the tank before and after adding oil. By measuring the change in oil level, our technician can more accurately estimate your tank size.
Q. How much will it cost me to heat my house?
A. Energy prices vary daily, so every year is likely to be different. Even in recent years of so-called “peak oil” use prices have fluctuated. According to 2009 statistics, typical houses in the Hartford metro area uses $900-$2400/year for heating (taking into consideration all types of heating sources). Because a well-maintained oil heat system can save versus the average, it pays to keep your heating system maintained.
Q. How many gallons of oil will I use in a month? A year?
A. A typical round number of gallons for mid- winter use during the three frigid months of December, January and February will be about 100 gallons per month (about 3 gallons per day). The other nine months of the year will use about the same heating dollars as the three coldest winter months.
Q. Is there a best time of year to purchase heating oil?
A. We recommend filling your tank before the heating season begins. Keeping your tank full or at least mostly full in the summer will help prevent water build up in your tank due to condensation.
Q. Is there a time of year when heating oil prices are lowest?
A. Your neighbor will probably tell you that heating oil prices are lower in the summer. However, our experience shows that over the past decade or so, worldwide market forces have been a bigger influence on energy costs than the season. Timing heating oil prices is like timing the market: It’s a gamble. But… watching the diesel prices at the gas station is one way you can see pricing trends in heating oil. You are always welcome to track heating oil prices by calling us.
Q: Is it hard on my furnace to run out of oil?
A. It’s better for your heating system NOT to let it run out but it seldom causes damage. For best results, Brooks Energy recommends refilling your oil tank before it gets much less than a quarter full.
Q. What if my pilot light goes out?
A. An oil furnace doesn’t have a pilot light, which means you aren’t using any energy when the furnace isn’t generating heat for you. This is another way that oil furnaces save money, energy and the environment.
Q. Is oil heat clean? Is it safe?
A. A properly maintained oil furnace will not put out any visible smoke from the chimney, nor will there be dust, soot or smell inside your home. Oil heat is also very safe (it will not explode nor will it get so hot as to catch anything on fire). Oil heat is also the warmest heat emanating from a heat vent, so it warms your home quickly, safely and cost effectively.
Q. What do I do if I have a smell or soot?
A. All furnaces and furnace types will need annual “tune-ups” to keep them running clean and efficiently. Contact us to schedule your maintenance service.
Q. Is it OK to burn diesel fuel in my oil furnace?
A. Yes. Heating oil is diesel fuel. Putting diesel fuel into your oil tank is good way to get yourself through an otherwise cold night and morning in case a truck can’t get to you for a day or so. A harmless red dye additive indicates that it is not legal to burn in a diesel vehicle (the red dye indicates that there were no road taxes paid on the diesel fuel).
Q. How do I get started with Brooks Energy?
A. Just fill out and return our response card. We’ll immediately mail you an invoice. You can pay by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or AMEX. Our budget plan also gives you the freedom to schedule regular credit card payments. Your protection starts the day we receive your initial payment.
If you have any questions, please contact us!