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9 Great Reasons To Add It to Your To-do List!

heating service vermontYardwork, clearing the gutters, cleaning the grill. As the days get longer, and the weather gets warmer, those are the chores most likely to be moving to the top of your list. Chances are you’re not giving much thought to your boiler or furnace, other than those last few chilly nights when you might need to turn it up just a little.

Benefits of Spring System Tune-ups

Once the sun starts shining, the last thing on your mind is your heating system tune-up. But we’ve got some great reasons that you should schedule it in the spring or early summer months:

  1. The benefits of your tune-up won’t wear off over the summer. Once the tune-up is done, it’s ready for when you turn the heat on again in the fall.
  2. It’s a jumpstart on your fall chores—which is kind of great when you think how busy that time of year can ultimately be.
  3. You’ll get your choice of appointments. In the fall, everyone is in a rush, and convenient appointment times fill up fast.
  4. Your system will be in prime shape and ready to go at the first unexpected cold snap in the fall.
  5. Your equipment will run when you need it most. It’s not the average winter temperatures that strain your equipment. It’s the stretch of single-digit days and polar vortexes that force your heating system to work extra hard to heat your home. Routine maintenance catches heating system problems in their early stages, helping you avoid inconvenient equipment breakdowns and the potentially costly repairs that come with them. 
  6. A well-maintained heating system runs more efficiently, burning less fuel to keep you comfortable. That translates into savings on your fuel bills—often as much as 10 percent.
  7. Your equipment will last longer. Regular maintenance can add years to the life of your furnace or boiler. Neglected heating equipment will need to be replaced earlier than expected—a big expense that can be avoided with seasonal tune-ups.
  8. For most people, a good warranty is a key consideration with a major purchase like a heating system. Why jeopardize that coverage? Most heating equipment warranties require routine professional service as a precondition; skip your tune-up and your manufacturer could be voided, leaving you to pay out of pocket for the expense. 
  9. If you have a forced-air heating system, a well-maintained furnace will help keep air moving while also controlling household humidity—two significant contributors to healthy indoor air quality. 

Service Plans Help Prepare for the Future

Speaking of out-of-pocket expenses, consider one of our service plans. Our service plans are so much more than a seasonal tune-up. They can really help you save when you do need a repair! Our Premium Service plan covers parts and labor for most repairs, and our Basic plan provides discounts on parts and labor. All our plans include priority emergency service. Because according to Murphy’s Law, if something can go wrong, it will—and usually at the worst time. These emergencies won’t wait until the weather clears or normal business hours resume, and neither will we.

Why wait? Contact Dorr Oil and Propane today to get on the schedule for your heating equipment tune-up and be ready for fall season that lies ahead.

Heating Oil Tanks Are Built To Last, but Still Need TLC

oil tank problems vermontYou probably haven’t thought about your oil tank in a while. As long as it’s not empty, it shouldn’t even cross your mind. And that’s fine! Heating oil tanks are built to last quite a long time. But that doesn’t absolve you from checking in to make sure it’s operating as it should. Eventually, maintenance will be necessary, and over the course of a few decades, they’ll need to be outright replaced.

So, what kind of lifespan can you expect from your oil tank? The honest answer is “it depends.” Age, maintenance, and construction are just a few of the factors that influence how long your oil tank will last. The good news is that modern heating oil storage tanks have come a long way, offering decades or virtually leak-proof performance compared to older types.

Is it time to replace your oil tank?

  1. Age. If your tank is less than 15 years old, you’re likely 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 begin proactively planning to swap it out.
  2. Construction. Older tanks are made of steel and can be of single- or double-walled construction. In addition, the steel can be different gauges or thicknesses. Thicker, double walls are better. Also, the location of the connector valve can make a difference. Connectors at the bottom of the tank—instead of the side—last longer on average. Newer tanks are made from plastic and fiberglass and are designed to last 50 years or more.

    Steel tanks are still available today, but they are built to a much higher standard than in the past. Using alternative construction materials such as fiberglass and polyethylene for the inner lining of double-walled tanks make them virtually leak-proof.

  3. Maintenance. If you leave your tank empty- or near-empty over the summer, condensation can begin to build up inside. That can then lead to rust. Sediment at the bottom of the tank can also result in corrosion. All that damage happens from the inside out, so if you see rust or seepage on the outside of your tank, you need to act fast to avoid a costly leak and spill. Consider having a professional inspection every year. Dorr Oil and Propane can help with exactly this!
  4. Telltale Signs. Check the paint on the underside of the tank. Blistering in the paint is a sign the tank is compromised. Condensation on the outside of the tank, even after a delivery, is also a warning sign.

The bottom line is that a new heating oil tank costs far less than the expense of an oil spill or cleanup. If you think it’s time to replace your tank, contact Dorr Oil and Propane today to learn more about expert oil tank replacement, installation, and removal in Southern Vermont, including Manchester, Stratton, Sunderland, Dorset, and nearby communities.

We want to acknowledge the recent, alarming surge in energy prices. This is difficult for everyone and we want you to know we are here to help any way we can. If you need assistance or have any questions please contact us to discuss the best solution.

4 Easy Steps Can Save You Money and Improve Your Indoor Comfort

furnace filters vermontChanging the filter on your furnace is an easy way to keep your heating system running more efficiently—which helps to keep your fuel costs down. A dirty filter can restrict air flow, making your system work harder to heat your home—using more fuel as a result. The filter protects your heating equipment from dirt and dust, preventing problems that could lead to a breakdown—and an expensive repair. A clean filter will also help improve the air quality in your home, reducing dust and allergens.

If you have a service plan with us, our techs will check the filter as part of your annual maintenance, but you need to change the filter more than once a year. Monthly or every other month is best in the winter—and all year, if you have central A/C.

If you aren’t sure what type of filter or the size you need, just ask us! Some filters are even washable—check the manufacturer’s directions. Some of them you can be placed in the top rack of your dishwasher, others can be vacuumed.

Changing your furnace’s filter is easy, and not even messy if you do it regularly. Here’s how in 4 easy steps:

  1. Shut off the power to your furnace.
  2. Open the access panel and slide the filter out. If you need to pull, check for a locking mechanism, and disengage it. Disposable filters have a cardboard frame. If your filter has a metal or plastic frame, it is most likely washable.
  3. Replace the filter. Look for the arrow pointing to the direction of air flow and make sure your filter is facing the appropriate direction.
  4. Secure the filter rack and re-engage the locking mechanism. Turn on the power. That’s it. Good job!

The bottom line is that ignoring your filters can damage your furnace and shorten its lifespan. Additionally, the harder your furnace works, struggling to push that heat into your home, the more energy it uses. The more energy your furnace uses, the more it costs each month.

Our team of experienced pros is happy to answer your questions—and if you have been postponing, it’s never too late to schedule your tune-up. Contact us today and start enjoying cleaner air, and improved efficiency. Looking for a new fuel supplier this season? We supply heating oil, propane, and diesel fuel too. Give us a call to find out our prices, delivery times, programs and more.

Here’s How You Can Help Our Drivers Stay Safe

propane delivery vermontWe all know how treacherous an icy patch on a front walkway or driveway can be. Now imagine navigating a snowy or icy path while maneuvering a heavy hose to deliver fuel.

Despite the mild start and some record highs in December, winter has arrived here in the Green Mountains—and that means extra challenges for our drivers. Wrangling a delivery hose and driving large transport trucks is hard work that our guys make look easy, but slippery surfaces and hard-to-navigate pathways can pose a big risk.

There are ways you can make deliveries safer for our drivers—both before and after big storms—so they can get their work done efficiently and get to everyone quickly.

No matter what winter brings, these tips can help our drivers—and you—stay safe!

Winter Storm Preparedness Tips

  1. When clearing your driveway after snow, keep in mind that our trucks need a 9- to 10-foot-wide path to maneuver safely—and we CANNOT deliver fuel if your driveway isn’t plowed. Marking the edges makes it easier to navigate, especially on steep driveways. And remember, just because you can get your car down your driveway doesn’t mean our 15-ton fuel truck can make it too.
  2. Be sure the path to your fill pipe is free of debris or branches and clear a path about a foot wide after a snowfall.
  3. After a storm, check for downed trees, branches, and power lines that may obstruct access to your equipment.
  4. Is your tank underground? Marking its location with a pole topped with a bright-colored flag or wide ribbon makes it visible over snowbanks and drifts.

Winter Safety for Your Home and Family

Maintaining a wide space around vents makes clearing snow and ice easier after storms. Wind, snow and ice can take damage lines and block vents, resulting in potentially dangerous situations for your home and family.

Here’s one more tip for winter peace of mind: When you sign up for our convenient, FREE automatic delivery service, you never have to worry about running out of heating oil or propane. That’s because our proven method tracks your usage and the weather to make sure you have the fuel you need, when you need it, no matter what Mother Nature throws our way.

Conditions on our mountain roads can go from nice to icy… fast. That’s why our delivery drivers are the best on the road! They’re out there in all kinds of weather to ensure you stay comfortable. They get help on the road from VTrans, and our guys will thank you for keeping your driveways clear, too.

Need more information? Need help clearing your driveway? Contact us today. We’ll be happy to help in any way we can.

Why a Safety Inspection Is Required When You Run Out of Propane

propane runouts vermontIf you’ve ever run out of propane, you know what a huge hassle it is—especially in the middle of a chilly Vermont winter season. Depending on what you use it for, you may not have hot water, you may not be able to cook or dry your laundry, and you may even lose your home heat. Customers often ask why we need to perform—and charge them for—a safety inspection when they’ve let their propane tank hit empty. It doesn’t seem like it should be a such big deal. Just fill up the tank as you always would, right? Not exactly.

For starters, it’s about safety. All propane piping and fittings are coated with a pipe-joint compound to seal connections and prevent leaks. When you run out of fuel, it causes changes to the pressure in the lines. When the pressure changes, it’s possible that the joint compound could contract and create a leak. While propane is completely safe under most conditions, it can be highly flammable, so leaking propane lines can be dangerous.

Therefore it’s important that we conduct a pressure test to make sure everything us operating safely when we refill your tank after a runout. We also do this test when we install a new tank.

Meeting Safety Requirements

These pressure tests are also required by state and federal law, as well as insurance rules. According to the National Fuel Gas code, “Immediately after the gas is turned on into a new system or into a system that has been initially restored after an interruption of service, the piping system shall be tested for leakage. If leakage is indicated, the gas supply shall be shut off until the necessary repairs have been made.”

According to the code, a licensed professional must perform a leak test:

Eliminate Runouts

The best way to avoid the hassle of a runout is to sign up for our free Automatic Delivery service. Dorr Oil & Propane customers overwhelmingly choose Automatic Delivery for propane and oil deliveries because it’s no work, and no worries! Our sophisticated computerized system monitors the weather and keeps track of your fuel use, so we know when to schedule your deliveries, and you always have propane or heating oil.

If you prefer will-call for propane deliveries, you’re responsible for monitoring your tank levels, and if you run out, we will have to perform and charge you for a test. Keep an eye on your tank, particularly in colder weather, and call when you have about a quarter (25%) tank. That ensures we can get you on the schedule and make a delivery in plenty of time.

Want to learn more about why homeowners and businesses in the greater Manchester area trust Dorr Oil & Propane for top-notch service and fair prices? Contact us for more information today!

Protect Your System—and Your Wallet—with a Service Plan!

furnace repair vermontWinters in Vermont can really give home heating equipment a workout. If you’ve never had your boiler or furnace conk out on a frigid February night, you probably never thought about just how much those repairs cost.

It doesn’t matter if you heat your home with propane or heating oil, heating equipment repairs can be expensive—especially if you need to replace a major part or component.

On average, a furnace or boiler repair can cost between $300 and $400, and repairs to a water heater can run close to $600. That’s why we give Dorr Oil customers a choice of two service plans to help make sure an unexpected breakdown doesn’t bust your budget!

Dorr Oil Has Got You Covered… All Year Long!

Whichever service plan you choose, you’ll save money—even if you never have a problem with your equipment! In fact, keeping you trouble-free is the main idea of our service plans. That’s because both available plans include an annual heating system tune-up. Our in-house technicians perform a multipoint check so they can identify and replace worn parts before they cause big problems.

For less than the cost of most typical repairs, our Basic Service Plan gives you:

For even more peace of mind, our Premium Service Plan coverage provides:

Helping You Save on Winter Fueling and Heating Costs

Our comprehensive service plans are designed to help you save money no matter what winter brings. The tune-up is the key. In addition to helping prevent breakdowns, regular maintenance by a trained pro helps ensure your system is running at peak efficiency. That means you’ll burn fuel more efficiently and keep heating costs down. Regular maintenance also extends the life of your equipment—an investment you don’t want to have to make too soon.

Annual tune-ups also protect your warranty. Most heating 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.

Dorr Oil has been taking care of the fuel delivery and heating and cooling equipment needs of homes and businesses in Greater Manchester, Vermont, and the surrounding communities for more than 20 years. We’re always happy to answer all your questions and help you choose the best service plan for your budget and your heating system. Contact us today for more information—or to enroll!

Filling Your Tank Now Can Save You Big!

fall oil delivery vermont“Will-Call” home heating fuel customers always run the risk of forgetting to call—or calling too last-minute for an oil delivery. Life is busy; we fully understand! So, here is your gentle fall reminder from the team at Dorr Oil and Propane: Call us to schedule your tank replenishment now!

While you’re at it, it’s a good time to explore the advantages of Automatic Delivery over that of Will-Call. You might be pleasantly surprised at what we found.

The Beauty of Automatic Delivery

In our experiences over twenty years serving homes and businesses in the Greater Manchester area, our Will-Call clients are more likely to inconveniently run out of fuel right when they need it most. However, when you’re enrolled in our Automatic Delivery program, we make sure that you’re always stocked with fuel and taken care of. Available for both propane and oil deliveries, this option makes getting your fuel easy while also providing peace of mind.

Once you sign up for Automatic Delivery, your work is finished! No more worrying about empty tanks and no-heat emergencies. How easy is that? You won’t have to worry about periodically checking your tank levels—even in the midst of an all-too-common Vermont snowstorm, nor having to call in to schedule a delivery. We use our software to determine your home’s fuel consumption based on your past consumption level factored alongside the recent weather patterns to estimate exactly when you will need a delivery.

So why even take the chance of running out and giving yourself another to-do? It’s easy to forget to run down to your basement, crawlspace, or outside to check your tank gauge. Let us take care of all the work.

Save Big with Our Fall Fill Special—Only for a Limited Time!

Other companies talk about great service. We guarantee it! Get a 100-gallon minimum fill-up by October 31, 2021, and enjoy 10 cents off per gallon with payment spread equally across two months! **

You can always count on Dorr Oil for safe, reliable fuel delivery to your home. If you’d like to schedule a fall fill-up, hear more about the perks of our Automatic Delivery program, or take advantages of any of our home heating system maintenance or installation services, contact us today! We’ll be happy to help.

Dorr Oil and Propane has been keeping homes warm and safe in the harsh winters of the Greater Manchester area of Vermont for over two decades. Because we’re locally based, we understand our customers’ needs. You’re not only our neighbors, but our friends.

**Credit card on file is required. Total billable amount must be received within 60 days’ time. Please speak to a customer service representative for details.

fireplace options vermontWhile temperatures are currently still situated in the mid-seventies here in Southern Vermont, we all know that one thing is for certain: Winter is soon coming our way—and there is simply no way to avoid it!

Like it or not, we all know the feeling of waking up in the morning and realizing that it is cold outside. However, if you’re looking to keep your house warm and cozy for as long as possible throughout the season, one smart way to do that is by adding a propane-powered fireplace into your living space! These fireplaces are loved by many homeowners here in Vermont—and may be the perfect choice for your home as well.

Here, we’ll share three key reasons to upgrade to a propane-powered fireplace prior to the winter season this year.

Cost Comparison to Traditional and Alternative Fireplaces

Propane fireplaces are, on average, cheaper than those that use wood or other fuels over their shelf lives. The cost of propane is typically lower per unit, and the fuel lasts longer than that of wood, so you don’t have to refill your tank as often. Plus, there’s no need to repeatedly buy starter logs, pellets, nor go through the hassle and labor of chopping your own wood.

Additionally, supplemental heating options like space heaters, or those powered by electricity, tend to spike your energy rates at times of the year when utilities are typically at a higher price point per kilowatt hour (kWh).

Although there is an initial cost to upgrading to a propane fireplace, this will—over the lifespan of your unit—be easily paid for and then some as you utilize propane as your primary heat source for your gas logs or insert.

Full Control Over Your Warmth

With a propane fireplace, or a fireplace insert for your existing masonry wood-burning fireplace, you get ease and convenience. Thanks to today’s technology, you get a lot more!

The flames flicker and dance and look more like a real wood fire. But, unlike a wood fire, you can control the heat instantly. You can crank it up on a really cold day or turn it down, so you get just a bit of cozy warmth on a cool fall day. And you can program your temperature settings for specific times.

Some propane fireplace inserts come with blowers, so if you have an open concept living space or a large area to heat, the heated air is pushed to all parts of the room for even and comfortable heating no matter where you are in the room.

When you have a propane fireplace, you get an energy-efficient source of supplemental heat, which means your furnace or boiler won’t have to work as hard to keep your home warm.

Low Maintenance

Propane fireplaces are a great alternative to wood or gas fireplaces because they do not require nearly any maintenance. Many homeowners love them for this reason alone, but there is another big plus: You don’t have to worry about ash and other by-products of wood-burning, either.

Propane is clean-burning and odorless, so your home will stay fresh without the smoky smell that can take over when you burn wood. Another bonus? Your chimney doesn’t need cleaning! All you have to do with a propane fireplace is occasionally change the filter in the vent pipe once every year or two (depending on how often it’s used). This means more time for you to enjoy your new purchase instead of worrying about ongoing upkeep!

Specifically, ventless gas logs require no chimney, flue or vent pipe and are the cleanest, highest-efficiency product on the market.

Switch to a Propane Fireplace Today!

If you love the benefits of having a propane fireplace, take advantage of our propane fireplace installation services! Let our expert team—with decades of experience working with top, name brand manufacturers—help keep you warm this winter. Contact us to get started and see which of our available models best fits your home—and your budget—today!

hvac service vermontAfter working hard through a long heating season last year, your furnace or boiler is ready for a little professional attention—especially if you skipped routine maintenance last year. By keeping up-to-date with your heating equipment maintenance, you will:

Our Available Service Plan Options

If you haven’t signed up for a Service Plan, Dorr Oil offers several options for your heating equipment! These include:

Our Premium Service Plan ($399), which covers:

Our Basic Service Plan ($199), which covers:

We also have offer coverage in our service plans for oil or gas-fired water heaters—contact us to learn more.

Avoid costly heating equipment repairs and get peace of mind for the coming heating season with Service Plans from Dorr Oil and Propane. Contact us today to learn more about heating maintenance in Greater Manchester, Vermont!