We strive for transparency in all of our business practices, and that includes having a page of resources and FAQs available for you to reference when you have questions. Browse the most frequently asked questions that our customers have about their heating fuel and HVAC systems in the Binghamton, Hamilton, Whitney Point, Norwich, and Sidney, NY areas. Then get in touch if you have any unanswered questions at the end! Our team of energy experts is always more than happy to speak with you.
Q: What is propane?
A: Propane is a gas fuel that is compressed, stored as a liquid, and used as a vapor. It is nontoxic, colorless, and naturally odorless, although a highly regulated odorant is added to aid in detection. The fuel is used for residential, commercial, industrial, AutoGas, and agricultural use. Some common propane uses include heating, water heating, lighting, fleet fueling, clothes drying, cooling, crop drying, forklifts, and greenhouse climate control.
Q: What is the difference between LPG and propane?
A: LPG stands for liquefied petroleum gas, which represents a larger family of fuel. Butane is an example of another LP-gas which differs slightly from propane in terms of its chemical formula and certain qualities, such as the temperature at which it vaporizes.
Q: What are some common uses of propane gas?
A: Propane is most often used for heating and water heating. Other uses include cooking, generators, pool heating, lighting, vehicle fueling, forklifts, irrigation, crop drying, and more.
Q: What are the advantages of using propane gas?
A: Propane is an approved clean fuel listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act. It produces fewer emissions than many other fuels. Most propane is created in North America, and sales support local economy and jobs. The US is the world’s leading propane provider and has more than enough to go around. With propane, you know they have options when it comes to delivery and service.
Q: What appliances can I use with propane?
A: Propane can fuel a variety of appliances, including: furnaces, boilers, water heaters, fireplaces, stoves, ranges, grills, clothes dryers, fire pits, fireplaces, pool and hot tub heaters, refrigerators, freezers, space heaters, lighting, generators, lawn care equipment, landscaping tools, vehicles, fleets, buses, and more.
Q: How can I tell if a propane tank is empty or nearing empty?
A: To find the level of propane in your tank, refer to the propane tank gauge. We at Blueox Energy provide automatic delivery services so you don’t have to worry about checking your tank gauge so frequently. If you prefer ordering manually, we recommend contacting us when your tank reaches 30% capacity.
Bioheat® Fuel FAQs
Q: What is Bioheat® fuel?
A: Bioheat® fuel is a safe, renewable heating oil blend that incorporates a portion of biodiesel, which is made from recycled cooking and vegetable oils that would otherwise be discarded as waste.
Q: Why should I order Bioheat® fuel?
A: Because you can feel great knowing that you’re using a cleaner version of traditional home heating oil. Bioheat® fuel produces fewer emissions than traditional fuel oil and runs affordably in the same equipment with no expensive modifications or conversions required.
Q: What do I need to know about using Bioheat® fuel?
A: There’s nothing you need to do differently or change to incorporate Bioheat® fuel into your family’s home heating routine—especially since all of our heating oil already contains biodiesel! Just keep ordering deliveries of this energy source, and your home will benefit from all the eco-friendly perks Bioheat® fuel has to offer, such as lower carbon content and fewer emissions.
Q: How does Bioheat® fuel impact the environment and our community?
A: Bioheat® fuel is making a positive impact on our community! The fuel produces significantly fewer sulfur dioxide and carbon emissions than traditional oil, and the biodiesel industry is currently hosting more than 62,000 jobs in America!
Q: Is Bioheat® fuel safe?
A: Yes, Bioheat® fuel is a safe and nonexplosive fuel source. It is fire-resistant because of its high flash point of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It also produces visible warning signs like smoke if a heating system malfunction were to occur, meaning oil users can benefit from home security.
Q: What are the main uses for Bioheat® fuel?
A: Heating oil is primarily used for heating and water heating. It can be used in furnaces, boilers, and water heaters that are powered by liquid fuel.
Q: How do you read a Bioheat® fuel tank gauge?
A: Read a tank gauge just like your car’s gas gauge: Full, ¾, ½, ¼, and Empty. You can find the small circular glass or plastic gauge on the top or side of your tank. Be sure to check it frequently and place an oil order before the bottom of your gauge reaches the 1/4th marker. Or, simplify the process by signing up for automatic delivery.
Q: How does the weather affect heating oil usage?
A: The colder the temperatures are, the more heating oil a furnace or boiler will need to provide warmth. During the dead of winter, you will go through oil more quickly than the spring or fall. Other factors can affect heating fuel usage too, such as personal heating preference, home size, and furnace or boiler efficiency—that’s why it’s so important to frequently check your tank gauge or sign up for automatic oil delivery.
Heating Service FAQs
Q: What types of heating systems are available?
A: The most common types of whole-home heating units are furnaces and boilers. Furnaces use forced hot air to distribute heat through ductwork in your home. Boilers use hot water or steam to radiate heat through your floor, baseboards, or cast-iron radiators. Electric heat pumps are also available for whole-home heating, seasonal, supplemental, or zoned heating.
Q: Which heating system is best for my home?
A: When it comes time to replace a heating system, most of our customers choose to replace it with the same type of heat distribution that they had before. For example, if your boiler needs to be replaced, most people will choose to replace it with a boiler. For specific details on which type of furnace or boiler you should choose, contact us and ask for a recommendation based on your home size, heating preferences, and fuel type.
Q: How do I keep my furnace or boiler running smoothly?
A: The best way to keep your furnace or boiler running smoothly is to order fuel regularly, get it regularly maintained by a qualified technician, and keep an eye out for any signs of malfunction including smoke, clanging, or strong smells.
Q: What should I do if my heating system malfunctions?
A: If it simply shuts down, you should give us a call right away. We proudly offer 24/7 service for your furnace or boiler, so you can call at any hour if your heat stops working. If you are experiencing an emergency, evacuate the area and call 911. Heating system malfunctions are rare, but possible, and should be handled by a professional.
Q: How can I make the most of my home heating budget?
A: In the heating world, best practice is to schedule a tune-up for your heating furnace or boiler every year. This will extend the lifespan of your equipment, help you boost efficiency and spend less on fuel, reduce your risk of a breakdown and no-heat emergency, and reduce the amount of stress you’ll feel when the weather gets cold. You can also sign up for an annual service plan, which includes your annual tune-up and other great discounts that are sure to save you money.
Q: How often should I have my furnace or boiler serviced?
A: You should have a preventative maintenance tune-up performed once a year on your furnace or boiler (and air conditioner, for that matter). This will help your heating system work more efficiently, use up less fuel, last longer, have a lower chance of breaking down, and maintain a manufacturer’s warranty.
Q: What is the average lifespan of a furnace or boiler?
A: The average furnace or boiler lasts about 10–15 years when cared for properly. However, the lifespan can vary based on frequency of use, part replacement and maintenance, climate, and other factors. Getting your heating equipment serviced at least once per year is a key to a long lifespan.
Q: Why does my furnace or boiler have a burning smell when I turn it on?
A: During the off-season, furnaces and boilers can collect dust. When you first turn them on in the fall, the dust will harmlessly burn off, producing the telltale burning smell for a short period of time. If it’s your first time running your furnace or boiler in the fall, don’t sweat it. However, if your furnace or boiler produces a burning smell after its initial startup for the season, give us a call and request a safety inspection.
Air Conditioning FAQs
Q: What types of air conditioning system are available?
A: The two main types of air conditioners include central A/C and ductless mini-split models. The main difference is right in the name—central A/C requires internal ductwork, whereas ductless mini-split air conditioners do not. Ductless units can attach to any wall, and are popular in garages, finished attics, additions, and other places ductwork does not reach. Some ductless mini-splits can also provide supplementary heating via a heat pump attachment.
Q: Should I use ductless or central air conditioning?
A: It depends! If your home has a central ducted heating system, a central air conditioning unit would integrate seamlessly with your home and provide invisible cooling. If you don't have central ductwork, or have areas in your home without it, one or more ductless mini-splits might be the way to go. If you're still not sure, contact us to talk to an expert.
Q: How can I make the most of my air conditioning budget?
A: The best way to get affordable air conditioning is to take good care of your equipment. Schedule annual efficiency tune-ups or sign up for a cooling service plan for your air conditioning system, be it central or ductless. Plan to repair it swiftly if it ever stops working. If it's more than 15 years old, an entire system replacement could save you 30% or more in annual electricity costs.
In addition to annual maintenance, you can make other adjustments to your daily routine to cut cooling costs. These methods include closing window blinds on hot days, sealing any drafts, turning down the A/C at night and while you're out, planning cold meals for hot days, running your ceiling fans while you're in the room, and installing a programmable thermostat.
Q: What is a SEER rating?
A: SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (or Ratio), is a score that's used to determine how efficient your air conditioner is. Your SEER affects how many watts of electricity your air conditioner will use, and in turn, how high your electricity bill will be. The higher your SEER rating, the more efficient of a system you're running and the more affordable your cooling will be.
Q: What is an AFUE rating?
A: AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, is similar to a SEER rating. AFUE measures an HVAC unit's efficiency in converting fuel to energy, and it's based on a percentage scale. In a perfect world, a new unit would have 100% AFUE, and all of the fuel burned would be directly converted into cold air. In reality, units usually have closer to a 70% AFUE. To be classified as a high-efficiency system, the AFUE must be 90% or higher. Like a SEER rating, the higher your AFUE, the more cost effectiveness your family will enjoy.
Q: How often should I have my air conditioner serviced?
A: Experts across the country recommend that air conditioners have preventative maintenance once per year. This will prevent inefficiency issues, clogs, wear and tear, and other small issues. Contact Blueox Energy today to schedule your air conditioner's preventative tune-up and help your unit work efficiently for years to come.
Q: How long does an air conditioner usually last?
A: Central A/C units tend to last between 12 and 20 years, depending on the level of maintenance the homeowner keeps up with. Ductless mini-splits can last from 15–20 years, depending on the same circumstances as above. It's important to remember, though, if your A/C is more than 10 years old, it's likely running at a much lower efficiency than new units. You could save as much as 30% on annual energy costs by upgrading to a new central or ductless air conditioning system.
Q: Why does my air conditioner have water around it?
A: As air conditioners cool the air in your home, humidity in the air is condensed. This causes previously invisible water particles to gather into drops that can collect around your air conditioning unit. This water is called condensate and is very common. Your A/C system is designed to drain this water to a sump pump or floor drain. If you notice water leaking from the unit, you should call for service as your drain system is not working properly. However, if you have any concerns that your air conditioner is not operating safely, please get in touch with us right away. We're always happy to help when it comes to the well-being of our customers.
General Blueox Energy FAQs
Q: Why should I become a customer of Blueox Energy?
A: At Blueox Energy, we are forward-thinking fuel dealer committed to providing premium products and cost-saving solutions such as competitive pricing, payment plans, maintenance agreements, and referral rewards. We are a one-stop shop for various fuels (propane, kerosene, fuel oil, diesel, etc.), and service options that will help your home comfort systems run smoothly and efficiently. We would be grateful for the opportunity to exceed your expectations with the premium customer experience we provide.
Q: What towns in New York do you offer fuel delivery and HVAC service?
A: We provide fuel delivery and service to Central and Southern Tier New York, including various towns within Broome County, Chenango County, Cortland County, Delaware County, Herkimer County, Madison County, Oneida County, Otsego County, and Tioga County. Get in touch to see if we service your hometown!
Q: How do I order a fuel delivery or schedule HVAC service?
A: We make things simple with online fuel delivery requests: order anytime that is convenient for you! Simply click here to log into your account (or create one) and place your fuel delivery order, or contact us to request an HVAC service appointment.