blog Archives - Frank Lamparelli
If you are experiencing difficulties with managing higher fuel prices, click this link here to find a community assistance program provider that can help.
Banner

Annual HVAC Maintenance Can Save You Money and Protect Your Home

furnace service massachusettsWith prices surging on everything from unleaded gas to paper towels, many people are looking for ways to cut excess costs this year. In this financially strained environment, some homeowners are thinking of skipping their furnace’s annual tune-up.

At Frank Lamparelli, we understand how stretched our South Shore customers’ budgets are, but skipping your yearly maintenance is not a good idea. When you ignore routine maintenance of your heating systems, it can have unpleasant repercussions. Those range from higher fuel costs to potential safety issues and breakdowns. Here are the risks you take if you skip your furnace tune-up.

Sub-Standard Heating Performance

After a year of service, your furnace likely has some standard issues that could impede its performance. These can include:

For the most part, these issues can be handled easily with routine maintenance. But if you leave them unattended, they can place strain on your heating system. Lingering debris in your furnace will cycle into your living space and reduce indoor air quality. In the worst cases, this can lead to an accumulation of fumes, causing a safety hazard in your home.

Increasing Home Energy Costs

When you get a furnace tune-up from a professional service technician, you can be assured that your equipment runs at peak efficiency. Energy-efficient furnaces don’t need as much fuel to heat your home. Even something as simple as cleaning or replacing your air filter can improve the flow of warm air and save you money.

The cost of your tune-up may be offset quickly by the energy savings you’ll see!

Costly Furnace Repairs and Replacements

In addition to cleaning and recalibrating your equipment, your service technician keeps an eye out for small issues that are developing. These might be low-labor, low-cost fixes during your tune-up, but if you leave them unattended, they can lead to a system breakdown and a pricy repair. Better to take care of them with your annual maintenance visit!

And each breakdown in your furnace will reduce its overall life expectancy. Getting a yearly tune-up better defers a furnace replacement—which could cost you thousands of dollars to replace.

Finally, if you skip your annual furnace tune-up, your manufacturer’s warranty might be voided. Annual maintenance is typically a provision of your warranty. If your furnace breaks down after you skipped your tune-up, you might be on the hook for the full repair cost.

Is your furnace covered by our Premium Heat Protection Plan? If so, then your tune-up is already paid for! All you need to do is schedule it. Contact us now to arrange service or to learn more about our available protection plans today.

Worried About Paying Your Heating Bill? There’s Help!

help paying billsTruth be told, 2022 has been tough on countless South Shore families. After more than two years of pandemic-related hardships and supply chain shortages, energy prices have soared nearly across the board. This all adds up to higher prices on all energy: heating oil, propane, natural gas, and electricity included. And this is on top of inflation reaching 40-year heights as of this summer season.

It’s why many folks in Massachusetts and nationwide are concerned about the impending winter around the corner. At Frank Lamparelli Oil, we understand how worrisome this situation can be. That’s why we encourage as many of our customers as possible to enroll in our FREE monthly budget payment plan. It stabilizes your fuel billing and helps you better budget your winter heating bills. August is the last month to enroll with your first payment being due in August, so don’t wait to get more information!

However, we’re also aware that some customers may need more assistance, and we want to make sure you know about some fuel payment programs that may be available to you.

It’s crucial that you begin researching and applying for programs before temperatures drop, to ensure you’re ready for the start of the heating season.

Massachusetts Home Energy Assistance Programs

If you go to this link here, you can receive information and guidance on state and federal programs that can help you heat your home in the winter. These assistance programs include:

Fuel Payment Assistance Options in Your Local Community

Many local private and public organizations have resources to help you meet your home expenses. These groups can offer fuel payment assistance, weatherization, and rental assistance, too.

You can get a complete listing of available resources on this page. Just enter your county, and you’ll receive contact information for organizations that can help.

Finally, if you’re worried about your upcoming winter bills, don’t hesitate to contact us at Frank Lamparelli. We can often work out a solution for our customers—especially if you get in touch with us early.

Lower Your Winter Bills & Make Fuel Payments Predictable

fuel payment options massachusettsWe don’t need to tell you that these are tough economic times. Inflation is at its highest rate in 40 years. We’re still contending with pandemic-related supply chain shortages, and global conflicts have sent all energy prices into record territory.

Sadly, heating oil and propane prices have not been immune to these spikes. We know how painful this is for you, and we hope as much as you do those prices will drop soon.

But right now, Frank Lamparelli is looking for ways to make these volatile times a little easier for you. One thing we’ve found that helps is enrolling in our monthly payment plan….and there’s still time to for you to take advantage of it!

How Does the Monthly Payment Plan Work?

When you enroll in a monthly payment plan, you don’t pay for your fuel at time of delivery. Instead, we calculate how much fuel you will likely use over the year based on projected prices and a 30-year average weather estimate. Then, we spread out your costs into equal monthly installments.

Our payment plans generally run July through June, but we want to be flexible to allow as many customers as possible to take part. Spreading out your payments with our monthly payment plan always made sense. With prices so high, we feel that it’s essential.

Shield from Huge Seasonal Bills!

When heating oil or propane customers pay for fuel on delivery, they get hit with several large bills in the fall and winter. These big expenses always seem to fall at the worst times, like during the holiday season and when income tax filing is due.

That’s why a monthly payment plan is so helpful. It takes the uncertainty out of monthly energy payments. And when you divide your costs evenly, your winter expenses are cut in half. Even if you get two deliveries in one month, you’ll still only make one payment.

If prices drop and stay lower, we’ll happily adjust your plan accordingly. In the end, you only pay the cost of the fuel you receive at the market price on the days it’s delivered—not a cent more.

We hope you’ll consider enrolling in a monthly payment plan. Pretty much everyone who participates likes it much better than paying in full for each delivery, especially with fuel prices currently being so high. Our team is always available to answer your questions and discuss ways to make your home more energy-efficient. Contact us to enroll today or simply click the link here to submit your enrollment request in less than two minutes!

Propane Products Are Increasingly Appealing to Homebuyers

home value massachusettsHomeowners in Southeast Massachusetts want to get the most value for their homes, especially if they’re thinking about selling in an incredibly hot seller’s market.

Whether you’re thinking of repainting your siding or refurbishing your wood floors, there are many ways to extract value from your property. Many people ask us if the efficient propane-fired appliances in their homes can raise their property value. And the answer here is not always cut and dried.

Here’s what we’ve found about propane appliances and home prices:

Versatile Propane Appliances and Your Property Value

There’s little doubt that propane-fired appliances are more appealing than their electric counterparts. For example, propane water heaters are 30 to 50 percent less expensive to run than electric water heaters. Propane clothes dryers help to dry laundry faster—with fewer wrinkles and less static electricity. And there’s no contest when it comes to gas-fired cooking ranges versus electric. Dedicated home chefs prefer the strong, even, and controllable heat they get from propane in the kitchen.

With all that said, most propane appliances will not appreciably change your property’s value.

However, there are two notable exceptions to this: propane fireplace inserts and firepits. These amenities are immensely appealing to prospective homebuyers, to the point that the National Association of Realtors estimated a gas fireplace could bump a home’s market value by up to $12,000.

These products are convenient and mess-free, and they vastly improve a homeowner’s quality of life. So, if you have a propane firepit or hearth insert, be sure to mention it in your sales listing!

Propane Tanks and Property Value

There’s one other piece of propane equipment that can affect your home’s value, and that is your propane tank itself.

Many homeowners choose to lease their tanks from their fuel provider. This has its benefits since your provider can take care of upkeep and, when needed, replace the tank. However, if you own your propane tank, you should factor its value into the sales price for the property. After all, it’s unlikely that you plan to take the tank with you when you leave, and the buyer will undoubtedly benefit from owning their own fuel storage. You’ll also want to factor in how much fuel is left in the tank when you hand over the keys as well.

If you’re interested in upgrading the propane-fired equipment in your home—or installing new appliances in a propane-powered home—get in touch with us for a FREE ESTIMATE. We’ll be happy to help in any way that we can.

Our Fuel Is Great for the Planet and Your Budget!

biofuel massachusettsLike many people in the South Shore corridor and globally, we are concerned about the effects of climate change on the planet. At Frank Lamparelli, we want to do our part to reduce emissions and promote domestically produced, energy-efficient heating fuel.

That’s why we are proud to deliver Bioheat® fuel—a blend of ultra-low sulfur heating oil with up to 20 percent biofuel. Bioheat is excellent for the planet, and we’re happy to say it’s also great for the economy and your home’s heating system, too.

Eco-Friendly Fuels like Bioheat® are Fuels of the Future

Bioheat fuel creates significantly lower emissions because it’s made with carbon-neutral biofuel. What’s the difference between Bioheat and biofuel, you ask? Biofuel is a gallon-for-gallon replacement for petroleum-based heating oil. It’s made from organic and recycled feedstocks like:

Blending 20 percent biofuel produces a 14.6 percent reduction in CO2 emissions. It produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than natural gas! It also has 80 percent less sulfur dioxide and up to 30 percent less nitrogen dioxide, both contributors to acid rain and respiratory ailments. By 2050, the industry expects to reach net-zero carbon emissions.

In short, Bioheat fuel is part of the decarbonization solution…today.

Bioheat Keeps You Comfortable for Less

You don’t have to sacrifice comfort with Bioheat fuel. It burns hotter than other fuel types, warming your home faster and with less oil. In modern oil-fired systems (FYI—Bioheat does NOT require special equipment) you can reach fuel efficiencies above 90 percent.

Even better, since Bioheat burns so cleanly, it leaves very few deposits in your equipment. Fewer deposits mean fewer repairs and a longer lifespan for your heating system.

Bioheat Helps the Economy

In an age of global energy uncertainty, Bioheat fuel is domestically produced and helps America’s economy. Production of Bioheat fuel supports 62,000 jobs in the United States and generates billions of dollars in gross domestic product. The follow-on effects of Bioheat help countless groups, from soybean farmers to restaurant owners to local fuel companies like ours.

If you use Bioheat fuel in your Massachusetts home, you should feel fantastic for supporting decarbonization, American jobs and your own home’s HVAC systems. If you want to start enjoying all the benefits of Bioheat, become a Frank Lamparelli customer today.

Helping to Protect Your Home—and Your Financial Security

oil tank insurance massachusettsDo you have a heating oil tank in your Greater Boston area home? If so, you may have seen a story in the news recently about a young Wareham, MA couple who nearly lost their home due to a heating oil tank failure. In this instance, their homeowner’s insurance company initially refused to cover the nearly $200,000 in cleanup and replacement costs.

That massive bill Emmaline and Brian Proctor faced was largely due to the cost of removing the contaminated soil from under their home. Fortunately, thanks largely to public and media attention, the insurance company relented and agreed to cover a large amount of the costs related to the heating oil tank failure.

The tank failure itself, caused by a great deal of corrosion inside the tank, caught the Proctors by surprise, as the tank was only 18 years old and had another 12 years before reaching the average heating oil tank life expectancy of 30 years.

So, if you use heating oil in your South Shore home, there are some very important lessons from this:

  1. Most homeowners’ insurance policies here in Massachusetts DO NOT cover the costs of repairing or remediating damage caused by leaked heating oil, or heating oil tank replacement.
  2. There are specialized heating oil tank insurance policies that can help cover the costs of repairs, replacement, and remediation. Talk with your insurance agent or company about those to become more familiar.
  3. You need to pay attention to your heating oil tank no matter how new—or old—it may be.

How Can I Prevent Heating Oil Tank Troubles?

The corrosion that destroyed the Proctors’ heating oil tank may have been caused by condensation building up in the bare walls of the tank’s interior. That condensation eventually drips down into the heating oil—and because water is heavier than heating oil—it sinks down to the bottom of the tank and accelerates the development of sediment leading to corrosion.

Keeping your heating oil tank full, especially in the spring and summer seasons when the development of condensation is amplified, helps prevent the development of condensation. That can help extend the life of your heating oil tank.

Is your heating oil tank more than 20 years old? Now is a good time to be proactive and start planning—or saving—for your heating oil tank’s replacement. Set a reminder on your phone’s calendar to inspect your heating oil tank at least once a month.

Here are the things that you need to keep an eye out for. Any of them could be signs of trouble with your heating oil tank and—at worst—a sign of looming failure:

If you discover any of these, no matter how old your heating oil tank is, please contact us right away so we can come take a closer look. If you require a new tank, we’ll let you know so that we can start the process.

And if your heating oil tank is more than 30 years old, or you don’t know how old it is, you should begin now to plan its replacement, as you are likely on borrowed time!

Oil Tank Tips for New Homeowners or Buyers

Are you buying a home that uses heating oil? Make sure that the tank is thoroughly inspected BEFORE you buy. If the heating oil tank is underground, you should factor in the cost of having it removed and replaced with an aboveground tank, as well as any remediation costs, into future expenses for that home.

Also, have the property checked to make sure that there are no old underground heating oil tanks. If there are, you’re also buying any future removal or remediation costs for those along with the house itself.

Frank Lamparelli serves Canton and the entire Greater Boston area, and we can help with everything related to your home’s heating oil tank! Contact us online or give us a call with any questions you may have—we’ll be happy to help.

Save On High-Efficiency HVAC & Home Comfort Equipment!

hvac rebates massachusettsWith prices of nearly everything—from gas to the grocery store—having increased over this past year, most of us are looking for ways to save money and cut costs as best possible while still maximizing our comfort.

Frank Lamparelli can help with exactly that. We sell, install, and service high-efficiency, heating, cooling, and comfort equipment that help to cut down your energy costs. But that’s just the beginning of how we help you save money. We’re also able to help you secure available rebates from organizations such as the Massachusetts Energy Marketers Association, plus other incentives, that help to further lower the cost for installing new equipment in your home.

Right now, here’s what MEMA is offering customers:

Funds are limited, so you need to take advantage of this opportunity for they run out!

Mass Save will soon be announcing the rebates they’ll be offering this year, so keep an eye on our website for updates! We’ll be sharing information on those rebates as soon as they’re announced.

Other Incentives Available from Frank Lamparelli

These rebates are only the beginning of how Frank Lamparelli works to help you save money on your heating, cooling, and comfort equipment.

Trust the experts at Frank Lamparelli to help cut your home’s energy costs with our available rebates and incentives. And if you need assistance with your home HVAC system or home comfort equipment, be sure to give us a call—we’ll be happy to help.

P.S. If you’re looking to upgrade your home heating or cooling systems, contact us today for a FREE estimate!

Unsurprisingly, we’ve been getting many calls around two connected issues: the surge in fuel prices and supply concerns. People are astounded by how much prices have risen and how fast. So are we. They are also concerned that there will be interruptions in supply that will cause them to run out of fuel. 

The Russian invasion of Ukraine shocked energy markets, sending crude oil to record territory and spiking all energy prices. We’ve had increases from our heating oil suppliers of over $1.25 per gallon in less than a week. Propane prices have been better but still increased over 40 cents per gallon. And the situation remains very fluid.

What’s Coming Next?

We don’t know where things will go from here. One thing we can tell you is that we hate this as much as you do. Some people are under the misconception that when prices rise, we make more money. The opposite is true. People cut back usage. They have trouble paying their bills, and our receivables skyrocket. Meanwhile, we must pay our suppliers in just ten days. We must borrow much more from the bank. It is an awful mess for everyone.

One thing you can count on is that we will not let you run out. We have been in business for many years and have very strong relationships with suppliers and financial institutions. We are already getting calls from customers who are with other companies that can’t say the same. These customers are unable to get deliveries for 20 days out. You don’t have to worry about that with us.

If you are having trouble paying your bill, talk to us before it becomes a problem. Many times, we can work out something to give you more time. Keep in mind that we do offer a monthly Budget Plan which begins in July. For more information, visit this page here.

Nothing will make us happier than when prices start dropping. Until then, trust us to look out for you, and let us all keep the people of Ukraine in our thoughts during this terrible time.

Understand the Potential Issues—and How to Best Solve Them

heat pump repair massachusettsDo you have a heat pump in your Eastern Massachusetts home? Perhaps it came with your current residence, or you’ve recently installed one. In any case, if you’ve previously used a furnace or boiler before a heat pump, you might think that heat pumps will run the same way. So, if you see the heat pump running constantly, you will immediately worry and ask yourself: Why is my heat pump not shutting off? Is there some sort of problem with it?

In many cases, there’s no need to worry. They often need to be constantly running to keep your home at your desired temperature—especially in the middle of a cold winter season. In fact, while heat pumps are great for cooling your home, they can sometimes outright struggle with home heating here in New England. That’s because the lower the temperature goes, the harder they need to work to keep your home warm.

Once the temperature reaches 32˚F or lower, heat pumps need help to heat your home. Many homes that converted to electric heat pumps for heating either rely on the electric resistance heating element—which can send electricity bills through the roof—or have even kept their old furnace or boiler for backup heating.

While it may be perfectly normal for your heat pump to run constantly, you may want to be cognizant to other potential issues that may be at-hand. We’ll detail some of those here:

Improper Unit Sizing

In numerous instances, we see that there is a discrepancy in the size of the heat pump unit in relation to the residence it’s installed at. Why does this matter?

If the unit is undersized, it may wear down faster because it is forced to run for a longer time with more power, making it hard to reach the demand for that room or a house. On the other hand, if the unit is too large or oversized, while it does heat up or cool down a room faster, it will consume more electricity than it should, because it will frequently switch on and off depending on the room’s temperature and thus, will require more energy.

Poor Insulation

If your heat pump is running constantly in the winter with very low temperatures—as we’ve stated earlier—this can be quite typical. But it should shut off, even if just briefly, when you’ve reached your desired thermostat temperature. If it doesn’t, the room might be leaking air out and prompting the heat pump to keep running to (try) and maintain that set temperature. In this case, you may want to work on the home’s insulation by sealing up any cracks or leaks. This can be done remedied in various rooms of the home with fixes like caulk, weatherstripping, or replacing aged insulation altogether.

Faulty Thermostats

Though not as common, if your thermostat is reading the temperatures incorrectly, it can cause your heat pump to continue cycling. To troubleshoot this:

Dirty Air Filters

Clean units run more efficiently than dirty ones—that’s a fact! HVAC units typically break down because dirt and other debris clog the air filters and coils and restrict the airflow. The clogs cause the unit to overheat and, consequently, work harder to warm the house. While the air flows through the coil with the limited capacity, it lessens the unit’s efficiency.

The experienced technicians at Frank Lamparelli are experts at installing and servicing a comprehensive line of heating and air conditioning products. Our team can install your new system safely, and help you maintain and repair any system you have for years of extended, affordable use. Contact us today for a FREE estimate!

By Helping Us… We Can Better Help You!

fuel delivery massachusettsWith the holidays now passed, the heart of the winter season is settling in here across Eastern Massachusetts. If you’ve been a longtime resident here, you know that means a passing winter storm is pretty much inevitable!

And whether it’s a few inches, an ice storm, or a major nor’easter, there are some things you need to do to ensure your winter’s supply of propane and heating oil is uninterrupted.

Make Sure We Can Get to You

We realize that shoveling your driveway and pathways after a winter storm is not enjoyable. However, if our heating oil and delivery trucks can’t get down your driveway or access your heating oil or propane tank safely, we won’t be able to make a delivery.

Our trucks will be able to fit into your driveway if it is cleared wide enough for our vehicles to enter. Make sure your driveway is clear of snow to a width of at least 10 feet.

A minimum of one-foot-wide approach—or pathway—from the driveway to your heating oil or propane tank is also required. You should use a pole topped with a bright-colored flag or a large ribbon to indicate your tank’s specific position. The pole must be tall enough to be seen above heavy, piled, or drifted snow.

If you’re going to be taking a vacation this winter, plan arrangements for snow and ice removal while you are gone.

Take Care of Your Propane Tank

After each snowfall, use a broom to clear away snow from on top or around your propane tank. Don’t use a metal shovel or plow near the tank because they can harm the tank or its components. Many folks don’t realize that it is hazardous to leave your tank covered in the snow. The weight of heavy snow may damage fittings and joints, causing them to fail and the entire tank to shift. This can cause propane leaks. The snow can also prevent leaking gas from escaping, which can create a dangerous gas buildup. Additionally, because propane is a liquid, it compresses in the cold weather and that can reduce the pressure inside your tank to a point that it may not be able to reach the gas burners in your home. A blanket of snow on your tank prevents the sunlight from reaching your tank and warming the propane inside to keep it at a safe, normal pressure level.

Keep Us Informed

Are you an Automatic Delivery customer and planning to be away for more than a few weeks? Let us know, as we base your delivery schedule on your prior fuel usage. Letting us know can prevent an unnecessary delivery to your home.

Enjoy the most reliable heating oil and propane delivery on the South Shore by becoming a Frank Lamparelli customer today!