Heating Oil: A Reliable Choice for Home Comfort
Experience reliable home heating with lower emissions.
Homeowners in Queen Anne’s County and other Delmarva communities have to face freezing nights and wintery precipitation throughout winter. At Poore’s Propane and Oil, we appreciate these challenges because we call this region home, too.
How does home heating oil compare to other energy sources during this challenging time of year?
Regrettably, many individuals in these regions think of heating oil as the soot- and smoke-producing fuel their grandparents used. However, the reality is that today’s heating oil is significantly more refined, efficient, and environmentally friendly than its predecessors.
Here are some reasons that heating oil remains an excellent choice to ensure your home’s comfort.
1. Heating oil is a safe option.
When it comes to heating your home, oil heat stands out as one of the safest options. Liquid heating oil does not explode. If a lit match were dropped into a bucket of heating oil, it would extinguish immediately. Additionally, modern heating oil tanks are better than ever at preventing fuel spills with double-wall construction and leak prevention features.
2. Heating oil provides ample warmth.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, just one gallon of heating oil can produce an impressive 138,500 Btu of heat energy. To achieve the same heat generation, you would need approximately 41 kilowatt hours of electricity or 134 cubic feet of natural gas. That means your oil-powered furnace or boiler will be able to produce consistent, robust heat — no matter how cold it is outside.
3. Heating oil equipment is efficient.
Today’s oil-fired heating systems boast fuel efficiency ratings of 90% or higher, resulting in an average annual consumption of 500 fewer gallons of fuel compared to the 1970s. You can be confident that the overwhelming majority of the energy produced from your heating oil will go towards keeping your family comfortable and safe.
4. Heating oil is more eco-friendly.
Petroleum-based heating oil has been ultra-low-sulfur for some time now. It contains only 15 ppm (parts per million) of sulfur content compared to older heating oil’s 4,000 ppm. This has been excellent for reducing its emissions. It’s also better for your home heating equipment. Ultra-low sulfur heating oil extends the life of your heating equipment by leaving fewer deposits in your heat exchangers, resulting in less maintenance.
Choose Poore’s Propane and Oil for fuel and equipment services.
Heating oil is a fantastic way to heat your home and generate hot water, and no company in the region has more dependable heating oil delivery than Poore’s Propane and Oil. We offer free automatic delivery service, which ensures that you always have the heating fuel you need.
We also have a skilled HVAC service team that can handle just about any heating or cooling installation, maintenance or repair. Our attentive heating service will keep your oil-fired boiler or furnace running at peak efficiency for years to come!
Contact us today to become a valued customer of Poore’s Propane and Oil in Central Delmarva and Eastern Pennsylvania.
How Much Can Your Heating Oil Tank Hold?
Track your tank levels and know when to arrange a heating oil delivery.
Even though you might not think about it every day, your heating oil storage tank is one of the most important pieces of equipment in your home. It holds and protects the fuel your home relies on for heat in the winter and hot water all year round.
It’s a good idea to be aware of your heating oil tank’s capacity, how to check the amount of fuel in it and when you should reach out to Poore’s Propane and Oil for a refill. We’re here to make this totally stress-free.
What is your oil tank’s capacity?
To figure out how large your heating oil tank is, you should start by measuring its dimensions (height, width and depth). Newer oil tanks will list the capacity (how much fuel it can hold) on the tank nameplate. If yours doesn’t list the capacity, contact our team and give us the dimensions. We can likely tell you what capacity oil tank you have.
The typical single-family home has a heating oil tank with a capacity of 275 gallons. They come in either a vertical or horizontal orientation. Larger homes may require a 300 to 500-gallon model.
How much fuel does a heating oil tank hold?
It’s important to note that a 275-gallon tank won’t hold a full 275 gallons of fuel. Heating oil companies like ours need to leave some room for air and sundry debris that will settle at the bottom of the tank. So, a filled 275-gallon tank will contain roughly 240 gallons of heating oil.
How can you determine how much heating oil is in your tank?
To determine how much heating oil is in your tank, all you need to do is check your tank gauge.
The gauge is located on top of your tank. It’s a clear glass or plastic cube marked with numbers similar to those on your automobile’s gas gauge: F, ¾, ½, ¼. There is a disk resting in the cube. Its position tells you the amount of fuel left in your tank. If this marker is at or near the bottom of the gauge (or you can’t see it), you could be facing a heating oil run-out. Contact us immediately.
At Poore’s Propane and Oil, we advise our “will call” customers to reach out to us when their tank is at about 30%. Doing so will allow us time to get to you without the risk of your fuel running out.
Poore’s ensures you always have the heating oil you need.
Households in Cecil County and across central Delmarva count on us for no-fee automatic heating oil delivery. Let Poore’s Propane and Oil’s state-of-the-art system calculate your fuel usage, and we’ll deliver your heating oil right when you need it. There’s no checking tank gauges, no calling for fuel and no risk of running out.
Let’s take the stress out of your winter heating fuel needs. Contact us to enroll in automatic delivery.
How Efficient Is a Propane Water Heater?
Propane storage-tank and tankless water heaters offer plentiful hot water.
Did you know that, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the average American household uses nearly 20 percent of its energy on water heaters? While we reasonably worry about running our air conditioning too much and get annoyed when someone leaves a light on in an empty room, our home hot water generation also affects our energy bills considerably.
Of course, it’s hard to “cut back” on hot water use. Hot water is essential for bathing, cleaning clothes, washing dishes and many other critical purposes. That’s why, at Poore’s Propane and Oil, we suggest investing in a more efficient hot water system. Propane water heaters tend to outperform the competition, in our experience.
Propane vs. Electric Storage Tank Water Heaters
A traditional water heater has a storage tank where it heats water for distribution throughout the home. When trying to find the most efficient unit, it’s important to consider how quickly it can replenish the hot water in the tank.
Propane generates more heat energy more quickly than electricity, so propane units can heat roughly double the amount of water per hour than electric models can. This keeps the warm showers flowing with less energy.
Should you switch to a tankless water heater?
When customers come to us looking to upgrade their hot water equipment, we often suggest they change to a propane tankless water heater.
These units don’t store water in a tank but rather use a powerful flame to heat water whenever a fixture or appliance needs it. The flame is calibrated for the amount of hot water required. When properly sized to match your home’s peak “flow rate,” they can produce plentiful hot water on demand. You won’t need to worry about your shower going cold because the dishwasher is also running.
And propane tankless water heaters are fantastically efficient. Traditional water heaters can experience considerable “standby losses” when they reheat unused water in a tank. These losses disappear with tankless systems. In fact. The DOE found that homes with tankless systems are up to 34% more energy efficient than homes with storage-tank units.
This can add up to some significant savings, especially if you’re switching from an inefficient electric unit. The Propane Education & Research Council found that a 2,400-square-foot home could save about $355 per year by switching from a traditional electric water heater to a propane tankless water heater.
You also enjoy a longer service life. Tankless water heaters are less exposed to corrosive particles and can last over 20 years with proper maintenance.
Let Poore’s help with your water heater upgrade.
The average lifespan of a traditional water heater is about 10 to 15 years. If your unit is over a decade old, it’s a good idea to start looking at replacements. This will give you the widest possible selection of high-efficiency equipment before your current unit goes out. The Poore’s Propane team helps homeowners in Sussex County and throughout central Delmarva find the best equipment that can improve their hot water generation while lowering their energy costs.
Let us help you upgrade to an energy-efficient propane water heater. Reach out to us today.
Four Tips to Prevent Heating Repairs
You can avoid a home heating breakdown and a pricy service call.
This time of the year can be full of happy surprises: unexpected gifts, visits from old friends, and an extra Christmas cookie (or two).
But a sudden heating repair is not a pleasant surprise. It’s the exact opposite!
When the night is icy cold in Kent County and across Central Delmarva, you don’t want to experience a boiler or furnace breakdown. At Poore’s Propane and Oil, we hope we can go the whole winter without needing to visit your home for a heating repair. Here are four easy ways you can avoid needing our HVAC repair team.
1. Check and change your furnace’s air filters.
We recommend that you check your furnace’s air filters at least once a month during the peak heating and cooling seasons. When these filters are dirty, your heating system will need to work harder to keep you warm, which inflates your fuel bills and increases the chance of an equipment breakdown. Changing a dirty filter is relatively simple and inexpensive.
2. Be smart with your home’s thermostat.
You can slow wear and tear on your equipment by making smart thermostat adjustments. This practice is also a big money-saver. The U.S. Department of Energy finds that you can save as much as 10% on heating and cooling annually by turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.
By using a programmable thermostat, you can make these adjustments when you’re asleep or out of the house. You’ll spend less on heating oil and propane, and your heating system will get less of a winter workout.
3. Keep your senses alert.
You can often recognize emerging issues with your home heating by using your senses. Here are some things you should contact our team about:
- Squealing, banging or thudding noises when your heat is on.
- Lingering burning odors from your heating equipment or vents.
- Cold registers, radiators or baseboards when your heating system is running.
- Persistent cold spots throughout your house.
4. Arrange heating system maintenance with the Poore’s team.
Whether you have a boiler or furnace — and regardless of whether it’s oil or gas-fired — you should arrange heating maintenance once a year. Not only will routine service prevent unnecessary heating repairs by catching equipment issues before they get out of hand, but it can also lower your energy bills by improving efficiency. Additionally, annual maintenance is typically required to keep your manufacturer’s warranty in place. Skip a tune-up, and you could wind up on the hook for the full cost of a heating repair that your warranty should cover.
Poore’s Propane and Oil has a fantastic way to ensure your heating equipment gets the attention it needs: a Priority Plus Service Plan. Our affordable service plans include a complimentary tune-up, plus priority emergency service and reduced costs for heating repairs.
We can help you get ahead of a potential heating system issue. Reach out to our team today to arrange service for your boiler or furnace.
Do You Have Enough Propane?
Don’t start the winter with a no-heat emergency.
The nights are getting colder and colder in Chestertown, Dover, West Grove, New London and other cities and towns in central Delmarva and eastern Pennsylvania. Propane-fueled grilling has given way to propane-fueled hearths in the households we serve. No doubt, your gas-fired furnace or boiler has started coming on more often.
At Poore’s Propane and Oil, we’ve found that some of our customers get accustomed to the slower propane usage of warmer months and can be caught off-guard by their increased fuel use in winter. In the most unfortunate circumstances, these households can have unexpected propane run-outs. Let us refresh your memory on how to confirm that your home has enough propane. We’ll also tell you how Poore’s can make tracking your fuel levels totally stress-free — without costing one extra dime!
How do you check your propane tank gauge?
On top of your propane tank is a dome, which you can lift to reveal your tank’s gauge. It’s a round dial like a speedometer. The numbers on the dial tell you the percentage fill of the tank, not the number of gallons. If the needle is pointing to 50, your tank is half-full.
We recommend that you reach out to us before the tank gauge drops below 30%. This minimizes the likelihood of an unexpected run-out.
What happens if your tank runs out of propane?
Simply put, a propane run-out is a horrible (and costly) inconvenience for all concerned. Without fuel, your home’s heating equipment, water heater and other propane appliances will be out of order. On a winter night, this can be a considerable safety issue.
Our team will work as quickly as possible to get an emergency propane delivery to your house. However, before we can fill your tank, we are required to perform a safety and leak test. This adds to the expense of the emergency call.
Have you signed up for Poore’s automatic propane delivery?
We understand that keeping track of how much propane is in your tank can be complicated, especially if your home has several gas-fired appliances. The Poore’s Propane and Oil team has a computerized system that tracks the propane usage of many customers based on their home profile and current weather patterns. We do this as part of a free service called automatic propane delivery.
Once you sign up for automatic delivery, you can stop worrying about checking fuel tank gauges or calling us for propane. We schedule your propane delivery well in advance based on our calculations. Your spot in our drivers’ schedule is reserved. You don’t need to worry about running out of heating fuel on a freezing night.
Additionally, when customers sign up for automatic delivery, it makes planning our busy winter delivery routes simpler. Our drivers can fit more homes into their schedules, and more people get the fuel they need each day.
To enroll in automatic delivery, please contact our team today. We’re ready to process your request!
Poore’s Propane and Oil can ensure you never run out of heating fuel.
Every winter, we need to answer emergency heating oil delivery calls in Caroline County, MD, Chester County, PA, and many other parts of our service region.
A heating oil runout is a major inconvenience, especially on a freezing winter night. You won’t have home heating or hot water until a Poore’s Propane and Oil delivery truck makes it to your house. Then, we’ll need to get your equipment back up and running. It’s a pain in the neck for everyone. Luckily, the Poore’s team has ways to prevent runouts and ensure your uninterrupted comfort throughout the heating season.
Checking Your Heating Oil
When was the last time you checked your heating oil tank gauge? If it’s been a while, you should definitely do so before the winter arrives in full force.
Your tank’s gauge is a glass or plastic vial. It sits on top of the tank and has markings similar to a car’s gas meter — F, ¾, ½ and ¼. You’ll see a marker or float resting in the vial. Its position tells you how full your oil tank is. If the float in your gauge is at or near the bottom of the vial (or you can’t see it at all), your tank is empty or close to it. You need to contact us as soon as possible for a refill.
We recommend that our “Will-Call” customers contact us when their tank’s gauge reads about 30%. This will considerably reduce the risk of a runout.
End Heating Oil Runouts with Automatic Delivery.
The winter brings a lot of distractions: shoveling snow, buying gifts and planning holiday gatherings. We know it’s easy to forget to check your tank’s gauge. That’s why Poore’s Propane and Oil offers a proven way to prevent heating oil runouts, and it won’t cost you one extra cent!
Enroll in Automatic Delivery, and our computerized system will handle all the planning for you. Using your customer profile and weather forecasts, it will calculate your fuel usage. With this data, we’ll schedule a heating oil delivery for when your tank is about 25-30% full. You’ll never need to check a tank gauge or pick up a phone to order fuel. It’s the stress-free way to receive heating oil.
There’s no additional fee for Automatic Delivery, and you don’t end up using more heating oil when you’re on this schedule. We will only deliver your fuel when you need it, and you only pay for the heating oil going into your tank.
Customers who try Automatic Delivery end up loving it. It’s also incredibly helpful to us since we can more effectively plan our delivery routes and ensure every customer gets their heating oil right on time.
Reach out to the Poore’s Propane and Oil team today to discuss arranging a start-of-the-season fuel delivery or enrolling in Automatic Delivery. We have helpful team members standing by to help.
Water Heaters Need Maintenance, Too
Regular water heater service saves you money on energy costs.
Most homeowners know how important annual service is for their boiler or furnace. But there’s another piece of equipment in your home that you paid a lot of money for and rely on throughout the year: your water heater.
Families depend on a well-functioning hot water system to clean clothes and dishes, wash hands and enjoy relaxing, rejuvenating showers. Moreover, the U.S. Department of Energy found that heating water accounts for about 18% of your home’s energy use.
A poorly maintained water heater could severely impact your home’s comfort and unnecessarily increase your heating oil or propane bills. Here are some simple maintenance tips to improve your home’s hot water performance.
Water Heater Service You Can Do Yourself
Most homes tend to have a traditional storage-tank water heater in central Delmarva and eastern Pennsylvania. These systems heat a large tank of water for distribution throughout the house. Over time, particles in this water corrode the inside of the tank, eventually causing a full water heater failure. But you can slow this process by flushing your water heater tank once a year.
Flushing a water heater of sediment is a fairly simple DIY process. Your unit’s manual will provide model-specific instructions, but here’s a general rundown:
- Set your water heater’s burner to off or pilot. This prevents damage to your unit.
- Close the cold water supply valve.
- Attach a garden hose to the water heater’s drain valve. Run it outside or to a utility sink, shower or floor drain.
- Open one hot water faucet in your house — or open the pressure release valve on your water heater. This prevents a vacuum from forming inside your water heater tank while you drain it.
- Open the drain valve and let the water heater empty. This water will be hot, so keep family and pets away.
- After the tank drains, open the cold water supply valve to run cold water through the tank.
- Monitor the water coming out for sediment. Once it runs clear, you can close the drain valve and remove the hose.
- Refill the tank with water (closing the pressure release valve or hot water tap).
- Turn your burner back on.
Doing this annually can add years to your home’s hot water system!
Professional Water Heater Service
Your water heater doesn’t get any downtime throughout the year. So, it’s crucial that you arrange regular service for your water heater like you would your boiler or furnace.
Annual water heater maintenance allows a professional technician to check your unit’s burner and other vital components. This bolsters your unit’s fuel efficiency and helps slow the corrosion that can shorten its lifespan.
Is Your water heater on its last legs? Poore’s can help!
No water heater lasts forever, and it’s never good when your unit completely fails. You’ll be left without hot water while we secure new equipment. Please keep an eye open for early warning signs that your water heater may fail, including:
- Strange noises like rumbling and clanging
- Rusty or brown water from your hot water taps
- Water collecting around the base of your tank
Don’t hesitate to reach out to Poore’s Propane and Oil. We handle many water heater installations each year and can help you get ahead of the game with a new, efficient product.
Need service for your water heater? Drop us a line today!
Don’t Do Your Own Heating System Repair
Professional service for hvac equipment is best
We all want to be able to do as much of our own home maintenance as possible. Not only is going DIY often more affordable; it also gives you a sense of ownership of the place you call home.
But while it can be incredibly satisfying to replace a light fixture or assemble your kids’ new playhouse, you should never try to do your own gas or oil heating appliance repairs. The Poore’s Propane and Oil team is always available to customers in central Delmarva and eastern Pennsylvania to fix broken or poorly operating heating equipment.
Here are some risks of attempting your own heating system repairs.
Whether your home uses propane or heating oil, you face significant safety risks by repairing any furnace or boiler with a fuel line. Heating oil spills require extensive (and expensive) cleanup and environmental remediation. Gas leaks are severe explosion and suffocation risks.
Either way, you’ll need an HVAC professional — and maybe emergency services — to fix the leak you might inadvertently cause.
Modern furnaces and boilers have complicated electrical components. If you don’t have proper training on this equipment, you will likely damage these parts. More seriously, you could run the risk of electrocution.
Voided manufacturer’s warranty
One of the benefits of having a relatively new heating system is that your manufacturer will cover many repair costs associated with faulty parts.
However, these warranties clearly state that only certified professionals can perform maintenance and repairs on this equipment. If you have performed DIY repairs on the equipment and it then breaks down, your manufacturer will likely refuse to cover the cost.
Home safety issues
There is an important reason you place carbon monoxide (CO) detectors on every level of your home. Combustion issues and improper ventilation can cause this odorless, colorless gas to accumulate. Carbon monoxide can cause vomiting, blurred vision, shortness of breath, loss of consciousness and even death. It’s a serious risk to the well-being of your loved ones. By doing your own heating system repairs, you considerably increase the likelihood of CO accumulation.
They say there’s nothing more expensive than free labor. Doing your own furnace or boiler repair could substantially exacerbate the underlying issues with your system. You will likely have to contact a professional to perform the repair anyway, but the repair could be much more costly. Depending on the severity of the heating system problem, you might end up needing new equipment.
Heating issue? Call the Poore’s team today!
If you need an oil or propane appliance repair , the Poore’s team is at your service. We pride ourselves on the thoroughness and quality of our work. Call us whenever your heating system is out of commission, and we will get it up and running quickly while upholding the highest safety standards.
Let our expert technicians provide the boiler or furnace repairs you need. Contact Poore’s Propane and Oil to request service.
How Long Do Heating Oil Tanks Last?
Reach out to Poore’s if you think it’s time for an oil tank replacement.
Most households with oil-fired heating in central Delmarva or Eastern Pennsylvania have their heating oil tanks in their basements or some other out-of-sight location. But “out of sight, out of mind” can be a risky policy when it comes to your home’s fuel tank.
You see, heating oil tanks wear out over time, and you don’t want your first inkling that your tank is failing to be a messy, expensive oil leak.
Lifespan of a Heating Oil Tank
The average aboveground oil tank (including the one in your basement) is right around 25 years old. If you have a home with a buried underground tank, its lifespan is closer to 15 years.
Signs Your Heating Oil Tank is Failing
Heating oil tanks often fail because of internal corrosion, and condensation is the main cause of corrosion. When moisture forms on the inside of your tank, it drips down and settles at the bottom. This fosters the development of sediment and harmful microorganisms. The process can take a while but will eat away at your tank.
An aggravating thing about internal corrosion is you often don’t see it until your tank is about to fail. But there are some early warning signs:
- Loose oil on the floor around your tank
- Condensation and wet spots on your tank after it’s filled
- Pinhole leaks
- Rusting, peeling or blistering on the outside of your tank
- Dents on the body of your tank
Be Proactive with Your Oil Tank Replacement.
Sometimes, a failing piece of equipment in your home is only a minor inconvenience. For example, it isn’t fun having to go a few days without a working stove, but it’s not a major emergency.
If your heating oil tank fails, you could wind up with an oil spill in your home. Cleaning up these spills can be an incredibly pricy process. But you can avoid that pain entirely by being proactive if you notice the red flags of a failing heating oil tank. Contact Poore’s Propane and Oil early, and we can inspect your tank and repair it or find a suitable replacement if needed.
Poore’s is here for your oil tank installation!
Is it time for a new heating oil tank? You will be amazed by how much more advanced today’s heating oil tanks are than the older models. At Poore’s Propane and Oil. We have a wide selection of state-of-the-art models with double-wall construction and corrosion-resistant galvanized steel. These tanks are virtually leak-proof!
And Poore’s will make the replacement process completely stress-free. Our team has the training and experience to get your new oil tank in place promptly and safely. We’ll install your new oil tank, transfer any fuel and safely dispose of the old tank. We’ll leave your home as clean as or cleaner than we find it.
Don’t wait to contact us if you suspect your oil tank is nearing retirement. We’re here to help!
Propane stoves are safe for your home.
Propane opens a lot of doors in terms of high-end gas appliances and amenities. Homeowners regularly speak to our team members in Dover, Chestertown and Lewes about the products their propane tanks can power beyond boilers, furnaces and water heaters.
One product we’re getting more questions about at Poore’s Propane and Oil is the propane stove. There’s been a lot in the news lately about gas stoves and air quality, and we want to help you separate fact from fiction.
Gas Stoves — What’s the Debate?
When people express concern about gas stoves, the issue at hand is generally not the environment outside but rather harmful pollution inside the home. The reason for this indoor air quality concern is a group of recent studies showing the potential for indoor air pollution hazards associated with using natural gas stoves.
Let’s take a moment to look at these studies and determine what they mean for the propane appliances in your kitchen.
”Gas Stoves” versus propane stoves
One prominent study came out in December 2022 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. It concluded that “12.7% of current childhood asthma nationwide is attributed to gas stove use.”
Their use of the term “gas stoves” refers mostly to natural gas stoves. But propane and natural gas are not the same fuel, and their chemical differences are noteworthy. Much of the debate about indoor emissions hinges on methane leaks. Natural gas is almost entirely composed of methane gas, but propane is methane-free.
What about particulate matter?
Another concern with gas stoves is particulate matter, defined by the US. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as microscopic solids or liquid droplets so small they can be inhaled and cause health problems.
All cooking produces particulate matter, whether it involves a natural gas, propane, wood or electric stove. Indeed, propane is better than many other options since it emits virtually no particulate matter. Nonetheless, it’s important to have proper ventilation around any stove, regardless of the energy source.
Ventilation is key.
In addition to methane and particulate matter, studies have highlighted other emissions concerns. A 2022 Stanford study found that natural gas stoves (again, not propane) “co-emitted health-damaging air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) … into home air and can trigger respiratory diseases.” A 2016 study at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab found that natural gas stoves emitted considerable nitrogen dioxide.
Overall, the best solution seems to be investing in good ventilation around your stove, whether with a hood and fan or by keeping windows open. Additionally, Dr. Ravi Kalhan of Northwestern University suggested in the New York Times article that an air purifier with a HEPA filter can largely mitigate the level of nitrogen oxides in homes.
The gas stove debate continues.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the health debate surrounding gas stoves is ongoing and far from settled. A Lancet Respiratory Medicine abstract found “no evidence of an association between the use of gas as a cooking fuel and either asthma symptoms or asthma diagnosis.”
And there are other health concerns involving electric stoves. A 2020 National Fire Protection Association study found that electric ranges cause household fires at a rate 2.6 times greater than gas ranges.
Propane stoves offer a superior, restaurant-quality cooking experience that our customers love. If you have any questions about the safety and efficiency of propane equipment, reach out to the Poore’s team.