The last several years have set records for heat. If trends continue, this summer should be as warm—or warmer—than last year and in the Hudson Valley, you can count on humidity, too. Is your cooling equipment ready for the season or is it time to put replacing your air conditioning system on your to-do list?
We get this question every spring, and the answer is always, “It depends.”
Sometimes, a few repairs and a tune-up will have your system running like new, but there are a few factors to consider.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind:
The typical lifespan for an AC system is approximately 10 to 15 years. Even well-maintained equipment will start to fail at this point in its shelf life, and in many cases, the manufacturer warranty is likely expired. This can cause repairs to get more frequent and more expensive. Older systems that use the phased-out R-22 refrigerant should also be replaced. R-22 is not only hard to acquire, but also prohibitively expensive.
How did your cooling system perform last summer? Did you experience frequent breakdowns? If you saw a big increase in your energy use despite getting a tune-up, it could be a sign that your AC is not running as efficiently as it once was, or as it should be.
The cost of a tune-up is usually worthwhile. It can prevent lots of small problems from turning into expensive repair jobs.
But frequent breakdowns can really add up. We recommend the $5,000 rule. If you multiply the age of your system by the cost of a repair and it’s more than $5,000, you’re better off replacing your cooling equipment.
So, for example, if you have an 8-year-old system and the estimate for repairs is $1,200, you’d get $9,600.
Your equipment will give you plenty of signals it’s ready for a repair. Noises—including rattling, grinding and just overall louder operation—means your equipment is working harder than it should.
Be aware of these other signs of pending problems:
If it’s time to update your equipment, the good news is that a new AC system will run more efficiently and help you cut your cooling costs by as much as a third, annually. Our team of professionals can help you access your needs and talk to you about trouble spots, like hard to cool rooms. A ductless air conditioning system may be the most efficient way to keep your home comfortable.
We know every house is different. A “cookie cutter” approach doesn’t work—and the best system in the world is only as good as the installation. We’ll help show you why spending extra for an ultra-high efficiency system might not be worth the cost for you, and we’ll help you navigate your options and find the best choice for your budget and your space.
We also offer smart and affordable protection plans that include maintenance to help keep a new system running like new for longer!
Even if your system still has a few good years, it’s never too soon to schedule your AC system maintenance. Our technicians will perform a multi-point precision tune-up to ensure your equipment is running right. Annual maintenance is the key to getting the best performance out of your home’s cooling system.
Whatever your needs, Depew Energy is here to help you keep your cool. Contact us today.
Typically, when folks think of propane tanks, they picture the 20-pound cylinder that you hook up to a grill. In that case, the idea of a leasing a tank may not make sense. After all, you simply get it refilled or exchange your empty tank for a full one. There’s no formal agreement, other than maybe a security deposit at most.
But when it comes to residential propane tanks, there’s a bit more involved—including the decision of whether to lease or buy your propane storage tank. Whether you’re a new homeowner who has never lived a home with propane, or you’re thinking of making the switch to propane, the team at Depew Energy can help you understand all your options when it comes to leasing, choosing, and installing a tank for your home.
The only real benefit of owning a tank is that you aren’t obligated to buy your propane from the owner of the tank. Don’t like the service? Take your business elsewhere! If you sell your house, you can include the tank in the sale—and the buyer can choose their own dealer.
When you own your tank, you need to pay for regular maintenance and inspections, and you’re responsible for the repair of any leaks. It’s important to know that care and maintenance of a propane storage tank is not generally a DIY job, other than visually monitoring for corrosion.
You’ll need to pay for those services additionally. You’ll also have to pay to replace the lost fuel—something you wouldn’t be responsible for with a leased tank. And, if you ever need a bigger or smaller tank, you’ll have to pay outright for a new one.
When it comes to propane tanks, size matters. If you outgrow your propane tank, you’ll need to order propane too often—or risk the cost and hassle of runouts.
Getting a big tank means you’ll need fewer refills—and you may be able to avoid or lessen the sting from price spikes. But a bigger tank is, well, bigger! You’ll need space to bury it. And if it’s aboveground, a huge tank can be less attractive. Today’s propane tanks are designed to withstand the elements for 30 years or more before they need to be replaced. Some aluminum and composite cylinders can last even longer. If you’re sure your needs won’t change, and you won’t need a larger tank in a few years, maybe it’s an investment you want to make.
When you lease a propane storage tank, all the maintenance is the responsibility of the company you work with. They’ll take care of regular inspections, too. Since it’s their tank, you can be sure they’ll take good care of it for you. And if your needs change and you need a larger or smaller tank, they can help you with that, too.
The only downside of leasing a propane storage tank is that you are committed to buying propane from the company you lease from. But when you work with a great, local company that puts customer service first, it’s likely you’ll be happy with your choice.
Here in the Hudson Valley, there’s a reason homeowners trust the professionals at Depew Energy. We can make selection, installation, and maintenance of your tank easy as can be. And we’ll provide reliable propane delivery services, too. Contact us for more information today—and ask about our convenient wireless tank monitoring!
If you’re thinking of scheduling an upgrade or replacement to a new propane furnace, you might be worrying about the length of time you’ll be without heat. Whether your old system conked out unexpectedly and you’re racing against the next cold snap—or you’re planning to replace your old furnace at the end of the season—the actual installation only takes a few hours!
The real work is making sure you get the right heating equipment for your needs. And that’s where the pros at Depew Energy can help. When you call us, we’ll help you assess your specific household needs, navigate your available options, and find the best choice for your budget and your space. Plus, we can even see if your system qualifies for any state or manufacturer rebates, too!
The bigger the house, the more Btus you will need to heat it comfortably. An average home of between 1,600 and 4,000 square feet will need a system that generates about 100,000 Btus. Here’s a rough guide:
|Square Feet||Typical Btus|
|700 – 1,500||40,000 – 60,000|
|1,300 – 3,000||80,000 – 100,000|
|1,600 – 4,000||100,000 – 125,000|
|2,000 – 5,000||125,000 – 150,000|
What’s the big deal if you get the wrong size? Too small and you won’t be able to heat your home adequately. But in addition to a less comfortable home, your equipment will work harder to try to keep up, resulting in “short cycles”—turning on and off frequently. It’s annoying, and it also puts a great deal more wear on your system.
So, wouldn’t an oversize system be a good thing? It’s not. When the blower fan is too powerful (because it’s sized to send warmed air through a much bigger space) you can end up with leaks in your ductwork. It can also result in pressure buildup that will cause your equipment to work too hard.
In either case, you’ll have to replace your furnace much sooner than if you had the proper sized equipment for your home.
When you’re investing in a big piece of your home’s infrastructure, looking for good value is important but remember that there’s something to the adage that you get what you pay for. If the cost of your heating furnace looks too good to be true, it probably is. A low-cost system is frequently made with low-quality parts put together by unskilled laborers who work for businesses that cut corners. With a cheap furnace, you’ll end up paying more in the long run, with increased heating costs or with future repairs. In most situations, it’s usually both.
We only sell and install equipment with strong reputations for quality and can help you choose a model that will suit your needs as well as your budget. With furnaces from brands including PurePro, Burnham and Buderus to name a few, you can feel confident that your new equipment will perform well and give you years of warmth and comfort for years to come.
When it comes to the cost of installation, again: remember you get what you pay for! Lots of contractors offer tempting estimates for replacement heating equipment. The catch is that usually these cookie-cutter jobs usually result in poor performance and costly repairs or refits.
We know no house is the same, and that’s why our technicians treat every job like a custom project. They take the time to get the job done right, to ensure maximum efficiency and the best return on your investment. Depew Energy also offers money-saving protection plans that include seasonal maintenance to help you protect your investment and ensure decades of comfort!
When you ask us to install new heating equipment, we take the time to evaluate your home’s infrastructure, discuss any comfort problems you have and listen carefully to what you want. And then we make sure you get exactly that.
By doing the job right the first time, we’ll help you save time and money on repairs and refits in the future. You’ll also enjoy better efficiency, which helps keeps heating costs manageable.
Contact us today to get started.
If you operate a diesel fleet, such as commercial trucks, vans, or busses, you probably know you need diesel exhaust fluid to make sure they meet emission standards. But do you know all the benefits of this fluid?
Diesel exhaust fluid—also known as “DEF”—is made from a blend of <32.5% urea and 67.5% deionized water. Originally, it was needed mainly to remove nitrous oxide from diesel exhaust to meet stricter standards set in 2010. Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
Now, diesel engines use a technology called selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to remove almost all nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions. But DEF, which is injected into the exhaust pipeline, still delivers great benefits for your employees and your bottom line.
Without DEF, there’s still particulate matter and small amounts of nitrogen oxide that can contribute to serious health problems, such as asthma, cardiovascular disease, and chronic bronchitis. DEF helps break down remaining traces of NOx gases into harmless nitrogen and water. That’s important for your employees who are exposed to diesel exhaust.
Because it removes particulate matter after combustion, it means your vehicles have more power. It also keeps maintenance and repair costs down. That also helps extend lifespan and improve mileage—which translates into savings of as much as 5% in fuel costs.
On average, for every 50 gallons of diesel fuel used, you will need one gallon of DEF. But variables such as the type of vehicles you operate, and even the weather, can affect how much you’ll need. The experts at Depew Energy can work with you to better determine your appropriate DEF needs.
DEF is non-toxic and safe to handle, but the urea content can be corrosive. It should be stored in a cool, dry place, ideally out of direct sunlight. Generally, it has a shelf life of about two years.
DEF will freeze when temperatures hit 12 degrees Fahrenheit or below, which can happen in winter here in the heart of the Hudson Valley during the winter. Usually, the heat of the engine is sufficient to melt it and ensure smooth operation.
The commercial fuel experts at Depew Energy have 20 years of experience working with local businesses throughout the Hudson Valley. We understand your fleets, and we understand your business needs when it comes to commercial fleet fueling. We sell ArmorBlue DEF and will work with you to make sure you have everything you need to keep your fleet on the road!
Contact us today to find out more about our diesel exhaust fluid supply, and how we can benefit your commercial fleet.
Propane is a clean-burning and safe way to heat your home and water and run many appliances. One of the many benefits of clean-burning propane is that there are—on average—fewer maintenance issues for equipment—and fewer breakdowns versus other heating systems.
But if you do have a problem with your heating system—or any of your propane equipment or appliances—NEVER attempt to repair it yourself, even if you think it’s an easy fix. Here’s why you should always hire a certified professional for any propane appliance or system repairs.
The propane in your tank is highly pressurized, and your system uses a regulator to decrease the pressure as it enters your home. The pressure settings are different for natural gas than for propane and when the regulator is set incorrectly, it can lead to a gas leak.
That’s true whether pressure is too high or too low. The problems that result when pressure is too low are why we are required to do a pressure test after you have a runout.
When the regulator isn’t working properly, you’ll notice the flame height fluctuating, and orange flames instead of blue flames. There may also be soot. You may even notice that you’re using more gas than usual. If your regulator is submerged due to flooding, you should have it replaced.
In addition to moderating the pressure, the regulator helps maintain the correct ratio of propane and air to burn correctly. Modifications or repairs performed by a nonprofessional can result in the wrong ratios. When appliances are burning propane incorrectly, they produce carbon monoxide, which is an odorless, colorless gas that can be deadly.
While propane is extremely safe, it’s a highly flammable gas under certain conditions. In the case of a leak, gas can accumulate in enclosed areas and any spark could set it off. Sparks can be caused by tools on metal, as well as flipping switches, lighting matches, using the phone, thermostats, or appliances. Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do when they smell gas.
Do not relight pilot lights until the leak has been repaired and the system has had a pressure test.
A DIY repair job could void your warranty—or even your insurance. That could cost you a lot more than whatever you think you might be saving by trying to fix a problem yourself.
What should you do? Call up a local, reliable provider like Depew Energy! Our technicians are trained and licensed, and when you need a repair, we’re here for you with quality workmanship and transparent and fair pricing.
We even offer a variety of service plans with different levels of coverage for your heating equipment. These include things like an annual tune-up of your system; the best way to prevent problems! All our plans are comprehensive and affordable which can help you keep the cost of repairs manageable if your equipment does ever encounter a problem.
Whether you need an equipment repair or safe and dependable propane delivery contact the professionals at Depew Energy today. We take care of residential and commercial customers throughout the Hudson Valley of New York.
When you think of heating oil, what do you picture?
Most people have an image of thick, black, toxic sludge. Well, you might be surprised to learn that’s a wildly outdated and inaccurate idea of the heating oil that’s actually in your tank today.
Over the last few decades, technological advances in the way heating oil is refined has resulted in fuel that burns nearly 95% cleaner than it did in the 1970s. As a result, the heating oil in your tank burns so cleanly—producing such negligible emissions—that the Federal Clean Air Act doesn’t even regulate it anymore.
These improvements in refining processes have produced ultra-low sulfur heating oil that’s much better for the environment. In fact, ultra-low sulfur heating oil has been mandated in New Jersey since 2010 and in New York since 2012. But this clean-burning fuel offers plenty of benefits for customers, too. The quality of the oil in your tank has a big impact on how efficiently your system runs, how long your equipment lasts, and how much fuel you need to burn to keep your home comfortable.
With more unpredictable winter weather, it’s one more reason more people are sticking to oil.
Heating oil has always been more cost-efficient than natural gas in terms of Btu content. And today’s cleaner oil burns even more efficiently, helping to keep heating costs down even more.
As a fast fact, you need to burn about 40% more natural gas to receive the heating equivalent of heating oil! Ultra-low sulfur heating oil also opens the door to super-efficient heating systems, which can increase the advantages of heating oil over natural gas even more. Research conducted by the Energy Research Council/Brookhaven National Laboratory found fuel savings as high as 48.3% when outdated equipment is replaced with a new, high-efficiency boiler.
Cleaner fuel also protects your investment in your heating equipment and helps it last longer. Less sulfur means less build-up in your equipment and your storage tank. That translates to fewer breakdowns and lower maintenance costs on average for you.
The average heating oil-fueled boiler or furnace should last around 30 years if it’s properly maintained—nearly double the lifespan of a typical gas furnace! Heating oil-based water heaters also boast faster recovery rates. For example, a unit powered by heating oil will heat up to twice as fast as a water heater powered by natural gas, and more than three times as fast as an electric-powered water heater.
With heating oil—as with propane—your heating fuel is delivered on schedule right to your Hudson Valley home. Natural gas customers don’t enjoy security like that. Any time of year, there are reports of interruptions in natural gas service because of pipeline deterioration, cold weather, or accidents.
When underground natural gas pipelines are damaged, hundreds and even thousands of customers may lose their supply until repairs are finished. You could be hours, or even days, without the gas you need to heat your home.
The same is true of electric heat: When winter wind, ice or snow knocks out power lines, you’re at the mercy of the power company to get your heat back on. Depew offers automatic delivery service that takes the forecast into account. So, you never have to worry about running out of fuel, no matter what the winter brings!
The other downside of electric heat and natural gas: you’re dealing with a utility company. Usually, that means a far-away office where you’re just an account number in a database. Depew is a family-owned and operated company that specializes in outstanding service. We offer safe, reliable heating oil delivery with personalized service.
Learn more about the benefits of heating your home with ultra-low sulfur heating oil with ever-reliable service from Depew Energy. Contact us today—we’ll be happy to help.
When you burn logs in a fireplace, the flames are usually red, orange, and yellow. So, you might wonder why the flame is blue when you burn propane. While it might seem unusual, it’s actually a good thing! When your propane burns with a blue flame, it means your propane is burning at maximum efficiency, and more importantly, safely.
When propane gas burns with the correct ratio of fuel to air, there is enough oxygen for complete combustion of propane. The gas molecules in the flame are ionized and the propane flame is blue—as it should be. The blue flame means that your propane is burning at its full heat, so you aren’t wasting any fuel.
When propane flames are orange or yellow, it means the propane on those parts of the flame is not being completely burned. The incomplete combustion that causes these off-color flames can lead to a carbon monoxide buildup in your home. It’s important not to ignore the problem, which can become a serious safety issue if not corrected promptly.
On the burners of a propane range, spilled or burned food can block parts of the burner and cause incomplete combustion. If cleaning your cooktop doesn’t solve the issue—or the orange flames are in another appliance or a gas fireplace—contact us immediately to look.
In addition to the potential for carbon monoxide buildup, orange flames mean that you’re only getting about half the heat from the flame.
In complete combustion with a blue flame, the temperature of a propane flame is 3,596˚ Fahrenheit. With a yellow flame, the flame’s temperature is 1,832˚ Fahrenheit…so you’re getting only about half the heat. When it comes to home heating or water heating, that drop in efficiency will show up in your bills. It will also affect your cooking—the timing will be off, and you won’t get a good sear on that steak, or a nice crust on those hash browns.
Propane has a stellar safety record, thanks to strong government regulation and high industry standards. And when your systems and equipment are working properly, and your propane is burning efficiently, you know easy and comfortable it makes your day-to-day life.
Propane gives you environmentally friendly, energy efficient, and cost-effective home heating and water heating. You get to cook with a range that provides instant temperature control and even cooking. Propane fireplaces give you cozy comfort with none of the work or mess of a wood-burning fireplace. Outdoors, propane is a much more effective and affordable option for pool and spa heating than electricity. You can also use propane for your grill, firepit, insect trap, and more!
When you need safe, reliable propane delivery, you can trust Depew Energy. Every day, thousands of businesses, and families just like yours in the Hudson Valley, rely on us to keep them comfortable with an always reliable supply of propane.
Let us show you what a difference we can make in your propane home or business. Contact us today.
Heating oil tanks are built to last—but they don’t last forever. And replacing an old oil tank is a lot less expensive than dealing with a leak or, worse yet, a spill. That’s why the best time to replace your tank is before it starts leaking. Unsure of the health of your heating oil tank? Here are the telltale signs that your heating oil tank is leaking—or could start soon:
When your heating oil tank sits empty, like in the summer, condensation can form on the interior walls. Because water is denser than heating oil, that water drips down and sinks to the bottom of the tank, where it becomes an ideal environment for bacteria and other microorganisms. Over time, it turns into sediment or sludge that corrodes your tank from the inside out—and can eventually create leaks.
Because your tank never stays empty for long in the heart of the cold winter season, these issues typically don’t come up. But in summer, especially if your tank is outside, condensation will form quickly. Of course, if you’re signed up for automatic deliveries, we’ll make sure you’re topped off for the summer, which is a great way to better protect your tank.
Most leaking oil tanks are discovered within days of an oil delivery. That’s because pumping oil into the tank creates pressure on weak spots in your tank.
As soon as you notice any signs of a leak in your heating oil tank, you should call us immediately to suspend deliveries until you can replace your tank. Eventually, a leak can, and most likely will, turn into a spill, resulting in serious environmental and financial consequences. By law, any oil spill greater than 10 gallons must be reported to the local fire department, which is required to inform the Department of Environmental Protection.
A variety of factors influence the lifespan of your heating oil tank: age, maintenance, and construction are just a few. If your tank is less than 15 years old, you’re probably okay for a few more years. If you don’t know when it was installed, and your home was built before 2000, it’s probably time to put replacement on your radar.
The good news is that modern heating oil storage tanks have come a long way from designs of the past, offering virtually leak-proof performance for decades, and a new heating oil tank costs far less than the expense of an oil spill or cleanup.
No matter what you need, the pros at Depew Energy are here for you, and we’re always happy to help. As a family-owned business, we’re your neighbors, and we care about our reputation in the community, so we go out of our way to exceed your expectations. Contact us today and we’ll discuss your available options.
When people talk about what’s driving higher prices, they often mention the cost of gas—typically unleaded 87 gasoline. But, as pricy as gasoline is today, diesel fuel has become even more expensive. This is very noteworthy as diesel is what fuels most of the fleets that deliver goods, or are used in manufacturing, farming, and more.
For large vehicle fleets, farms, and other commercial ventures, the high price of diesel is an aggravating reality of life. Its on-road and off-road uses make it indispensable for many businesses. But why is diesel generally priced higher than gasoline? To answer this, we first need to understand how the two fuels are different:
Like gasoline, diesel is made from refined crude oil, but it is less flammable and less volatile than gas and delivers a lot more power. The distillation process separates the different hydrocarbons that compose either gasoline or diesel. Here are some essential differences:
Functionally, diesel produces 10 to 20 percent more energy in combustion than gasoline. So, diesel engines get more mileage per gallon of diesel than gas engines.
There are three factors that contribute to diesel’s higher price point compared to gasoline:
One barrel of crude oil only produces about 11-12 gallons of diesel, compared to 19-20 for gasoline.
When your business depends on every truckload of diesel fuel, that fuel is more than just a line item in your budget. You need a partner who will deliver true value at a fair price. As a local, independent fuel company here in the Hudson Valley, we can’t do much to reverse the high taxes, refining costs, and demand driving up diesel prices (not to mention global conflicts, market speculation and OPEC cutting production). But we CAN help make your diesel fueling easier!
Our commercial and business partnerships are important to us, and that’s why we strive to deliver real value that goes beyond competitive prices. Our friendly staff has fuel management expertise that takes the stress and guesswork out of commercial fuel deliveries. We’ve got the experience to understand your needs and help you plan, schedule, and manage your fuel deliveries. We can also help you track your fuel usage to reduce waste and improve efficiency. And we can work with you to plan a fueling station right at your business or job site!
We’re always here to take your call. Contact us today to find out how we can make doing business easier for you.
Your heating system is one of the largest investments you make in your home. The best way to protect your heating equipment investment is to have professional maintenance service performed on your equipment every year.
Trust us—we hear it all the time! You may think you’re saving a little money by skipping your seasonal maintenance, but chances are a breakdown will cost you a lot more than the tune-up.
An annual tune-up by a trained service technician means tiny problems get corrected before they can become expensive breakdowns. Regular maintenance also extends the life of your equipment—an investment you don’t want to have to make again too soon.
A good tune-up will include a thorough cleaning of all parts, lubrication of motors, bearings, and other moving parts, testing and adjustment of controls, and more.
Most heating and cooling equipment warranties require routine professional service as a precondition; skip your tune-up and your manufacturer’s warranty could be voided, leaving you to pay out of pocket for expenses that would have been covered otherwise.
Regular maintenance also extends the life of your equipment. Further, when your equipment is properly tuned, it operates at maximum efficiency, helping you keep energy costs under control.
Our technicians stay up to date on all the latest equipment, including boilers, furnaces, water heaters, and even cooling equipment, to ensure that your repairs are done not just quickly but correctly so you can avoid repeat problems. But if you do need to replace a major part, it can get expensive. That’s why we offer several comprehensive service plan options to help take the sting out of any repairs that you may need!
We offer three levels of service plan—including our new Diamond level service plan. Each option includes thorough seasonal tune-ups and round-the-clock emergency service. And all offer varying discounts on parts and labor so you can find the best plan for your needs. Be sure to read the brochure on our website for specific details.
When it comes to protecting your heating equipment investment, you can count on the pros at Depew for unsurpassed service and quality any time of the day or night. We aim to get you up and running again as quickly and painlessly as possible. Our technicians bring the same level of expertise and high standards to every job, whether it’s a new system installation, an emergency repair, or a routine tune-up.
Contact us to schedule a tune-up, learn more about our heating equipment service plans, or to get started on enrolling today!