Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I just moved into a house with an oil furnace and I don’t know anything about it! How do I order oil or know when I need service?
A: If you become a Family Fuel and Heating Full Service Customer you can relax because we will take care of everything for you. You will receive a "Free Service Contract" that covers most of the wear parts that need replacing. We will also tune-up/ clean your furnace annually to ensure that your system is running perfectly, and we will put you on automatic delivery so you never have to worry about running out of oil, especially during the cold winter months.
COD Customers may request a specific quantity of oil, such as 100 gallons OR; you can have your tank filled; OR, you may want to budget a certain amount of money each month. In general. The more gallons of oil you purchase at one time, the lower the price per gallon is.
Q. How can I find out how many gallons my oil tank holds?
A. The easiest way is to have the tank filled from empty; however, if that isn’t possible, there are a few ways to estimate. First, if your tank is above the ground (located in your back or side yard or in your basement), if it measures 44” high by 60” wide by 27” deep, it holds 275 gallons.
In-ground tanks come in standard sizes and are typically 275 or 550 gallon tanks. If you are not sure, have our oil delivery driver stick measure your tank before and after adding oil. By measuring the change in oil level, our driver will be able to accurately estimate the size of your tank.
Q. How much will it cost me to heat my house?
A. Oil is a global commodity and therefore causes energy prices vary on a daily basis. As a result, every year is likely to be different. Even in recent years of so called " peak oil” use prices have gone down as well as up.
According to 2009 statistics typical houses in the Long Island area will use approximately $900 to $2400 per year for heating and hot water, taking into consideration all other types of heating sources.
A well- maintained oil heating system can save you more versus the averages stated. It pays to keep your heating system maintained at all times. Family Heating offers their Full Service Customers "Free Annual Cleanings and Tune-ups" to ensure that your furnace is tuned for maximum efficiency at all times. Those homeowners that maintain older heat furnaces that are 20-30 years old may consider installing a newer more efficient system.
Family Heating can offer you a top-of-the-line, high efficiency oil furnace and hot water heater that will give you an ROI-"Return on Investment" in as little as 4-5 years. Click on Installations then Boilers to see recent Installations completed by Family Fuel and Heating.
Q. Is it true that burning wood in a fireplace will make your home-heating energy costs go up instead of down?
A. “Yes. A fire needs air to burn, so it draws already heated air from the rest of the house. That action, in turn, pulls cold outside air into the house wherever it has leaks. Some of the warmth from a fire radiates into the room, but most of the heat goes up the chimney. The best of use of a fireplace is for enjoyment.”
You may consider installing a fireplace insert into your existing fireplace to reclaim as much as 90% of the heat going up your chimney.
Q. Is there a best time of year to purchase heating oil?
A. It is best to fill your tank before the heating season begins. Keeping your tank full or at least mostly full in the summer will help prevent water build up in your tank due to condensation.
Q.Is there a time of year when heating oil prices are lowest?
A. Sometimes the prices are lower in the summer. However, over the last dozen years or so worldwide market forces have been a bigger influence on energy costs than the season. That makes the concept of price timing a dicey game. Watching the diesel prices at the gas station is one way people can see pricing trends in heating oil. Local prices of heating oil are often different than the national scene. You are always welcome to track heating oil prices by calling us.
Q. What happens if I run out of oil?
A. Your furnace will stop running and you will need to order more oil. Restarting the furnace is usually as simple as pushing the reset button on the oil burner.
When you are a Full Service Customer with Family Heating you will never have this problem because we maintain computerized records that know exactly how much oil you burn in your home based on a degree days formula that automatically prints an oil delivery ticket for us to deliver oil and keep your tank filled at all times.
Q. Is it hard on my furnace to run out of oil?
A. It’s better for your heating system NOT to run out but it seldom causes damage. Refill your oil tank before it gets much less than a quarter full for best results.
It is possible with older tanks to suck up dirt and sediment off the bottom of your oil tank causing the oil line and in-line filter to clog, and stopping the flow of oil to your burner. If this should happen, you will need to request a service call to clean oil line and replace clogged filter.
Q.Is Oil Heat clean?
A. Oil heat is as clean as any other energy source for home heating. A properly maintained oil furnace will not put out any visible smoke from the chimney and there will be no dust , soot or smell inside either.
Q. What do I do if I have a smell odor or find soot near my furnace?
A. All oil furnaces will need annual “tune-ups” to keep them running clean and efficiently.
Full Service Customers of Family Heating will automatically receive a free annual cleaning of the burner, fuel nozzle, furnace and chimney stack. Your heating system will also be tuned to ensure the highest achievable burn efficiency.
Q. Is oil heat safe?
A. Yes, oil heat is very safe. Many say it may be considered the safest type of heat because it will not explode nor will it get so hot as to catch anything on fire. Yet oil heat is the warmest heat coming out of a heating vent. Thus it warms your home quickly, safely and cost effectively.