blog Archives - Frank Lamparelli
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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!

Frank Lamparelli Offers Many Solutions to Better Assist You!

payment options massachusettsIt’s been a tough fall season as far as prices go. From gas for the car to groceries, our wallets have felt the crunch and the ripple effects of supply chain disruptions in more ways than one. And as the winter season quickly approaches the South Shore, you’re likely looking for a way to make your fuel costs a little less burdensome. Frank Lamparelli offers several payment options that can help.

1. Enroll in Auto Pay

If your to-do list is getting a little too long for your liking, you can remove one to-do from it by enrolling in Auto Pay.

Every month, your payment is automatically deducted from your credit card. Your worries about late payments are eliminated. If your credit card has a points-based rewards system, you’ll even get to earn those rewards a little faster!

2. Download the Frank Lamparelli mobile app

If you’ve ever realized in the evening that you forgot to request a fuel delivery or pay your Frank Lamparelli bill, no worries! You don’t even have to turn on your laptop. Just use our handy, easy-to-use app, available at both Google Play and the Apple App Store. You can check delivery and service status and manage your account with just the touch on the screen.

3. Refer-a-Friend Rewards

Sometimes, a good deed is rewarded. Refer-a-Friend is one of those cases! When you refer a friend to us and they become a Frank Lamparelli Automatic Delivery customer, not only have you helped your friend get dependable fuel delivery and heating system services, but you’ll be rewarded with a $50 credit on your account! Since there is no limit to how many friends you can refer, you can make a big dent in your fuel costs with Refer-a-Friend!

4. Enroll in Paperless Billing

Did you ever struggle to find something in the pile of mail on your kitchen table? With paperless billing, your Frank Lamparelli statement is delivered right to your email. You’ll save time, hassle, and extra paper, too!

If you’re worried about using the mail for your monthly Frank Lamparelli payments, you can use your Frank Lamparelli online account to make your payment quickly and securely at any time from a desktop computer or mobile device.

Get reliable fuel delivery, expert equipment service, and personal, responsive customer service from Frank Lamparelli! Become a customer today and experience the difference we can make for you this season—and beyond.

Utilize a Cleaner, Greener Fuel for Whole Home Heating

bioheat regulations massachusettsBioheat® is getting support from states all over the Northeast as state governments see the environmental, economic, and consumer benefits to a cleaner-burning home heating fuel.

What’s better? You can enjoy those benefits when you get your Bioheat delivered by Frank Lamparelli!

What are the Bioheat Mandates?

Our neighboring states of Connecticut and Rhode Island have passed new Bioheat mandates into law.

On July 12th, 2021, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed a mandate that requires all heating oil delivered in the state be a minimum of B5 Bioheat by 2020. The B5 signifies that at least 5% of the fuel is biodiesel, which is blended with previously mandated ultra-low sulfur heating oil (ULSHO). The requirements are increased to B10 by 2025, B15 by 2030, B20 by 2034, and B50 by 2035.

Rhode Islander Governor Daniel Mckee signed the state’s Bioheat mandate on July 13, 2021. It currently mandates B5 Bioheat, and that is increased to B10 by 2023, B20 by 2025, and B50 by 2030.

New York is also considering a new Bioheat mandate as well.

Frank Lamparelli is already ahead of the curve, as our Bioheat fuel already contains up to 20% biodiesels, and that percentage is only going to continue to grow!

What Makes Bioheat Better Than “Regular” Heating Oil?

Bioheat is much better for the environment than traditional #2 heating oil, with 80% less sulfur dioxide, up to 30% less nitrogen dioxide, and 20% less carbon dioxide. Those greenhouse gases are major contributors to climate change. In fact, our Bioheat is even cleaner burning than natural gas!

You don’t have to replace, retrofit, or alter your home’s furnace or boiler to enjoy the benefits of Bioheat. Not only does it work perfectly with home heating systems, Bioheat is better for them!

Between the removal of sulfur and the clean burning of biodiesels, Bioheat leaves fewer deposits in your heating system’s heat exchangers. There’s less wear and tear on your parts and internal components. Your furnace or boiler runs more efficiently, saving you money on monthly energy costs.

Not only that, Bioheats cleaner burning means fewer breakdowns and a longer life for your home heating system.

Bioheat is Also Good for the Local Economy

There are about 10 biodiesel producers here in the Northeastern United States that supply the biodiesel used to make Bioheat. Those producers support nearly 5,000 full-time, good-paying jobs with $175 million in annual wages. They are also responsible for creating over $1.2 billion in annual economic activity.

You can trust Frank Lamparelli for dependable delivery of cleaner-burning Bioheat to your South Shore, Massachusetts home for high-efficiency warmth and comfort all winter long. Become a customer today and experience the difference we can make for you.

Make Sure Your Home Stays Safe All Season Long!

vacation home service massachusettsThere are lots of snowbirds here on the South Shore who spend their winters in warmer places. If you’re joining the flock—or just getting some time away for the holidays visiting friends or relatives—you need to do a few things besides packing to keep your home safe and secure while you’re gone!

These tips are especially important in winter because your home needs to stay warm while you’re away. Do these and you’ll enjoy some peace of mind—just what you need when you’re on even the smallest of vacations.

Get Your Heating System Tuned Up

You may be thinking, “Why do I need a tune-up? I won’t be home to use it.” But while you won’t be there, your house still needs to be kept safely warm. If your furnace or boiler conk out while you’re away, you could be facing a no-heat emergency that brings with it more than just simple discomfort.

Contact us as soon as possible to schedule your maintenance tune-up—it’s one thing that should never be skipped, whether you’re home or not!

Program Your Thermostat Properly

Don’t waste energy and money heating your home to the same default temperatures when you’re not around. Program your thermostat to stay at a constant 55˚ Fahrenheit until you get back. That helps save energy—but keeps the house warm enough to protect crucial elements such as your piping.

A smart thermostat comes in handy when you’re on vacation as well. You can check your thermostat settings from anywhere you get a Wi-Fi or data signal, and you can set it to warm up the house just ahead of your return.

Turn Down the Water Heater

No point in keeping water hot when you’re not home! Turn your water heater to the “Vacation” or “Low” setting for the time you’ll be away.

Unplug Energy “Vampires”

Energy vampires are those appliances and electronics that suck up energy even when you’re not using them, driving up your monthly energy costs.

The kitchen and bathroom are two prime places for these energy vampires. Unplug your small kitchen appliances like multicookers, coffeemakers, stand mixers, and toasters. In the bathroom, unplug electric toothbrushes and hair styling tools.
Other items around your home to unplug include:

What’s one other crucial step to take? Make sure your home always has the fuel it needs to keep your home safely warm while you’re away on vacation this winter! Let us know if you have plans for an elongated stay away from home—this helps ensure that your automatic deliveries can remain scheduled accordingly.

Looking for a new fuel supplier this season? Contact us today to see just how easy it is to switch—we’ll get you setup with your next Bioheat or propane delivery in no time!

Know What Gets You the Most Bang for Your Energy Buck!

AFUE rating massachusettsIf you aren’t sure if your home’s heating system will last through another cold winter season, or, you’ve already been toying with the idea of replacing the furnace or boiler in your South Shore home, now is actually a great time to do it.

Why’s that? For one, you will full-ensure that you have a reliable heating system for the months—and years—ahead. What’s better? You’ll begin getting a return on your investment from the moment you turn it on thanks to improved efficiency ratings that today’s high-efficiency heating systems have to offer.

So, the question remains: How do you know just how efficient a furnace or boiler will be?

To start, Frank Lamparelli’s equipment experts will give you a FREE estimate and help you choose the best quality, most efficient heating system that works within your needs—and budget. We can also help you with available financing and rebates to make your new furnace or boiler more affordable.

From here, we can also help you become more familiar with the term “AFUE”, which is often used when talking about furnaces and boilers. In fact, this may be one of the most essential things to look for when buying a furnace or boiler! It refers to how well a system uses its fuel each year. It stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency.

Why Does AFUE Matter?

The best comparison we can make is that the AFUE rating is comparable to your automobile’s miles per gallon or MPG. The higher the AFUE number, the more energy-efficient the furnace or boiler is. The amount of heating oil or propane used by the heating system compared to how much heat it generates throughout a heating season is measured by the AFUE.

Here’s an example:

The furnace or boiler you’re thinking about buying has an AFUE rating of 80. What that figure means is that 80% of the fuel it uses is converted to heat. The other 20% is lost in the conversion process. That translates to 80 cents of every dollar you spend on fuel goes towards heating your home.

When it comes to purchasing a new furnace or boiler, there is some really good news. Today’s high-efficiency furnaces and boilers are available with AFUE ratings of 95 or higher. When compared to systems as recent as just two decades ago, it’s nearly a night and day difference—and allows for great savings on your monthly energy bills!

The United States Department of Energy specifies typical AFUE ratings for heating systems. The current minimum standard for a new heating system is 80.

Check on the faceplate if you want to find out the AFUE rating of your current furnace or boiler. The rating is generally shown there.

You can trust Frank Lamparelli with expert sales, installation, and service of your new oil- or propane-fired heating system. Interested in replacing your existing home system? Contact us today for your FREE estimate and we can help you get started.

Learn How to Save on Heating Costs Without Sacrificing Comfort!

ready for winter massachusettsOnce Halloween has come and gone, the holiday season is undoubtedly in full swing—which means some of us will have more planning, shopping, and organizing to do than at any other point in the calendar year.

That is why now is the optimal time to make sure your home and your heating system are ready for the cold weather to come. After all, the last thing you want is a no-heat emergency during your holiday gatherings. We’ve put together a checklist of things to do:

Give Your Heating System a Well Deserved Tune-Up

Frank Lamparelli’s skilled, professional service technicians can perform a furnace or boiler tune-up to make sure your heating system is functioning properly—and operating at peak efficiency.

Before smaller issues turn into full-fledged breakdowns, your technician has the opportunity to thoroughly inspect your boiler or furnace and make any required repairs before the South Shore gets any colder.

Take Care of Your Ductwork

Every three to five years, your HVAC system’s ductwork should be serviced and cleaned. It must be done more frequently if someone in your home suffers from allergies or a respiratory disease like asthma or COPD.

Also, a service of your ductwork allows your ductwork technicians to discover and repair leaks that cause inefficient performance and ultimately lead to higher energy costs.

Don’t Block the Heat

Vacuuming and dusting the vents helps your heating system work more efficiently and not blow dust and other allergens about the space. Also, make sure vents aren’t obstructed by anything like furniture or drapes so that the air can freely circulate.

Replace Your System Filters

A clean filter helps your system run at its best efficiency. Your air filter should be changed at the very least once every three months. Check it monthly and change as needed. If you have pets or someone in your home has a respiratory condition, it will need to be changed every month—especially as we begin to remain inside where it’s nice and warm more often.

Adjust Your Thermostat

Check your thermostat for proper function and make sure it is set to the most energy-efficient settings. This is the recommendation from the U.S. Department of Energy:

Now is the time to upgrade to a programmable or smart thermostat if you haven’t already. These utilize wireless technology to allow you to check and program your thermostat from wherever there is a wireless or cellular signal. Both can help you save money on your energy bills. Some smart thermostats can even notify you if your HVAC system requires immediate service!

With dependable fuel delivery and equipment service, Frank Lamparelli is your go-to for keeping your home warm and comfortable this winter. Become a customer today and experience the difference we can make in your South Shore, Massachusetts home!