High energy prices are hurting us all, Click here.

6 Tips for Winterizing Your Home & Saving Money

home checklist before trip massachusettsIf you’re like most Americans, you’re overdue for a vacation. This winter is a great time to get away and relax. Whether you’re hitting the slopes or heading to a warm beach, a lot goes into planning a great getaway. While you’re making preparations for your winter vacation, it’s a good time to think about how you can save on your energy bills while you’re away. There are a few simple steps you can take to winterize your home and save money.

Here are six ways to prepare your home before you go on vacation and save money on energy costs:

  1. Lower your thermostat: Living in New England, you must keep your home warm enough to prevent your pipes from freezing, but you don’t need to heat your empty house as much as you would if you and your family were there.
  2. Lower the temperature on your water heater: There’s no need to have your water heater working as hard when no one is there to use the hot water, especially since heating water is responsible for almost 20% of your home’s energy costs. Modern water heaters usually have a vacation setting. If yours doesn’t, lower the temperature 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Really unplug: Energy vampires are devices that consume energy even when they’re not being used. Appliances with a digital clock (like your microwave or coffee maker) or indicator light (like your television or printer) use energy even when you’re not using them. There’s no advantage to leaving certain items plugged in, it’s just costing you money and wasting energy. Unplug items that tend to go on standby rather than turning off. Unplug chargers, TVs, washers and dryers, printers, and gaming systems. Unplug anything that can take a vacation when you do. Just be careful not to unplug anything that you do want functioning non-stop (your DVR, for example).
  4. Leave a light on (just not 24/7): Unplugging your appliances can save you money, but leaving your home dark the whole time you’re away can also be an invitation to burglars. Install motion sensors on your outside lights to add security without adding a lot to your energy bill. Install timers on a few indoor lights. Again, you’ll get some security without the expense of leaving your lights on all day and night while you’re gone.
  5. Contact your fuel provider: Especially if you’re an automatic delivery customer, contact W.H. Riley to let us know you’ll be away. That way, your dip in usage won’t throw off our calculations and we can schedule your deliveries to best suit your family’s needs.
  6. Seal air leaks: Making your home as airtight as possible is a great cost-effective way to lower your energy bills all year long. Caulking windows and weatherstripping doors will help your home better maintain the desired temperature and save you money on your energy bills for heating and cooling your home. To save even more during the winter months, add plastic coverings to your windows for additional insulation.

You can go away on vacation, but W.H. Riley & Son will always be here to take care of all your fuel needs. Click here to see if your home is in our service area.

Contact W.H. Riley & Son today to learn more about propane delivery or heating oil delivery in southeastern Massachusetts. We provide service you can count on. It’s been our business since 1873.

Troubleshooting tips for your oil furnace

oilheat repair massachusettsIt always seems to happen on the coldest day of the year. One morning you wake up to an unusually cold house. It’s not a broken window. It’s not a door someone forgot to close. Your oil furnace has stopped working. Now what? There’s no need to worry. There are some simple steps you can take that may get your oil furnace back up and running and can save you having to call for service. But if you do end up needing professional help, there’s still no need to worry. If you live in southeastern Massachusetts, W.H. Riley & Son can handle all your furnace needs.

Oil Furnace Troubleshooting

Don’t panic if your oil furnace isn’t working. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Up your thermostat to at least five degrees above whatever the current room temperature is. (For some thermostats you’ll also need to activate the “heat” setting.) If that doesn’t get your furnace to start after a few minutes, proceed to the next step.
  2. Confirm that your system’s power switch is in the “on” position. If it is, proceed to the next step.
  3. How full is your oil tank? If you don’t have at least 1/8 of a tank, call W.H. Riley & Son for a delivery of heating oil. We provide the highest quality heating oil with exceptional customer service. If you have at least 1/8 of a tank, proceed to the next step.
  4. Go to your circuit breaker box. Confirm that all the circuit breakers are on. If they are, proceed to the next step.
  5. It’s time to check your filters. First turn off the system’s power. The filter is located along the return air duct. Is it clean? A clogged filter can cause your system to overheat and shut down. If the filter is clean, proceed to the next step.
  6. Press and hold the “reset” button on the burner for 3 seconds. No matter what, do not push this button more than once. If your furnace doesn’t kick in after a few moments, it’s time to call in the professionals at W.H. Riley & Sons. Our trained and certified service technicians have the knowledge and experience to offer exceptional troubleshooting and furnace repair services. And we offer 24/7 emergency service.

Winter is just around the corner. Don’t wait until something goes wrong with your furnace. With regular maintenance, you can keep your heating system running efficiently all year. Let the experts at W.H. Riley & Son make sure your furnace is ready to work reliably and efficiently all winter long. Click here to see if you live in our service area.

W.H. Riley & Son is a full-service furnace company serving Massachusetts residents from Mansfield to West Bridgewater and from Somerset to Walpole. Contact us today to become a customer and let us handle all your furnace needs.

W.H. Riley is looking for experienced fuel delivery drivers and HVAC technicians

HVAC jobs massachusettsIf you are an experienced fuel delivery driver or HVAC technician, then consider joining the W.H. Riley team. You’ll be joining a stable and successful business with a long history of serving southeastern Massachusetts. In fact, we’re the oldest family-run fuel service company in the region. And we’re always striving to be the best.

Why W.H. Riley & Son?

There’s a lot you can look forward to as a W.H. Riley & Son employee. In addition to taking great care of our customers, we offer our employees the following:

If you take great pride in your work and like to excel, then W.H Riley is the right fit for you. We strive to deliver the best to all of our southeastern Massachusetts customers.

Job Openings

If you’re ready to be a part of a family-owned-and-operated company with an almost 150-year legacy of providing quality sales and service, then check out the job listings below. We’re currently looking to fill two positions: fuel delivery driver and HVAC technician.

Fuel Delivery Driver

HVAC Technician

If you’re ready to become a part of the W.H Riley team, click here to apply by uploading your cover letter and resume.

Contact W.H Riley today to learn more about working with us.

Dear Valued Customer,

Once again, we’re seeing energy prices surge across the board. We know how painful that can be for our customers. It’s painful for us as well.

What’s going on?

Gasoline has risen more than a dollar more per gallon vs. year ago. Natural gas prices have skyrocketed more than 150%. Crude oil prices have climbed above $80 per barrel, a level we haven’t seen in seven years.

The cost of electricity has not been spared either. Higher natural gas prices result in price hikes for wholesale electricity because of heavy reliance on natural gas-fired power plants.

What’s more, wholesale propane prices have hit their highest weekly average levels since February 2014. Read more about the factors that are driving today’s energy market.

What We’re Doing

People sometimes misunderstand how negatively all this impacts us as well. We don’t make more money when prices rise like this- we make less. Think of it this way: it’s like when the cost of coffee, milk or oranges rise. It’s not the local grocery that is profiting. (That’s left to the Wall Street investors). Our customers have a harder time paying their bills. They reduce expenditures. We need to tap into our lines of credit more. Our phones light up with questions. So the sooner energy prices drop, the happier we’ll be.

In the meantime, please talk to us about things we can offer to help you reduce your energy costs, or handle payments more easily. And if you are having trouble with your bills, please call us. We can generally work with you if you reach out before you fall behind.

Trust us to come through for you

We’ve been in business for many years and have deep roots in the community. We have secure access to supply. We are doing everything possible to ensure we can deliver—even if other companies cannot—no matter the cost or difficulty we face.

We thank you for your understanding and we appreciate your loyalty. As we’ve done quite a few times in the past, we will get through these tough times by all working together.

The Advantages of a Home Powered by Heating Oil or Propane

alternative home power massachusettsYou’ve probably already heard a lot of talk about the electrification movement—the push to use only electric-powered equipment in homes. In fact, a lot of municipalities are trying to bring about the complete electrification of their homes. As someone looking to buy a home in southeastern Massachusetts, you might be tempted to choose an electric-powered home over one that uses heating oil or propane. However, even though electricity gets a lot of buzz, there are a number of reasons to choose a home powered by propane or heating oil.

Heating Oil or Propane vs Electricity

Here are a few things to consider when comparing a home that uses heating oil or propane to one that only uses electricity:

  1. Power outages are becoming more and more common. America’s electric grid is imperfect and can’t always be counted on, especially in the aftermath of extreme weather. If you depend on electricity to keep you warm, what will you do when a massive storm leaves your Massachusetts neighborhood in the dark? You want to have a source of heat that you can rely on no matter what. With heating oil or propane, you have that assurance.
  2. A boiler or furnace powered by heating oil or propane is more practical than an electric heat pump in places like New England. Electric heat pumps become noticeably less effective when the outside temperature gets close to freezing. Compared to a system powered by heating oil or propane, an electric heat pump simply won’t warm a Massachusetts home as effectively during the long, cold New England winter.
  3. If the home you want to purchase isn’t move-in ready or may need a new heating system soon, consider this: Installing a heat pump is extremely expensive. On average, a new heat pump costs $20,000. However, you can purchase a new, highly efficient boiler or furnace for less than half that amount and still reduce your carbon footprint.

Other Propane Advantages vs Electricity

Here are a few things to consider when comparing a home that uses propane appliances to one that uses electric appliances:

  1. Appliances that run on propane are extremely efficient and so cost less to run. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save $174 each year just by using a propane water heater instead of an electric one. Propane water heaters can cost anywhere between 30%-50% less to operate than their electric counterparts.
  2. In the event of extreme weather, your access to propane won’t be affected. The electric company can’t make the same promise.
  3. Propane water heaters work faster than electric water heaters. In fact, a propane water heater can produce twice as much hot water in the same amount of time. Propane clothes dryers work 25% faster than electric dryers and cause less static. That adds up to increased longevity for your clothes. Additionally, propane space heaters are significantly more efficient than electric heaters.

Consider This

Propane and heating oil have their advantages, and electricity isn’t as green as most people think. Because most of America’s electricity supply comes from coal-burning power plants, electricity is the second-largest greenhouse gas source in our country (second only to transportation). You don’t want your new home to add to that number.

Choose Your Next Home Wisely

Now that you know the benefits to having a house that uses heating oil or propane, you can make a more informed decision when choosing your new home. And once you’re moved in and need propane or heating oil delivered, know that you can count on W.H. Riley & Son for all your fuel needs. Click here to see if your prospective home is in our service area.

Contact W.H. Riley & Son today to learn more about propane delivery or heating oil delivery in southeastern Massachusetts. We also install and service boilers, furnaces, water heaters, and can provide propane and piping to run all your propane appliances.

Autumn is the best time to prepare your boiler or furnace for winter.

why heating maintenance massachusettsAutumn is a season of change. The leaves change color. The days get shorter and shorter. And tee shirts start getting replaced with sweaters and vests. If you’re a smart homeowner, autumn is also a season of preparation. Now is a good time to make sure your New England home is ready for whatever winter has in store. Now is a good time to get a tune-up for your heating system. Whether you have a boiler or a furnace, the technicians at W. H. Riley can make sure your heating system is functioning optimally before it has to do the work of keeping your home warm through the winter months.

Heating systems tune-ups are important

Here are some of the reasons you should get a tune-up for your boiler or furnace this autumn:

  1. You don’t want any unwelcome surprises in the dead of winter. Getting a tune-up now will make sure that your system is prepared to get you through the winter. If it turns out that your system needs more than a tune-up, if you need major repairs or it’s time for an upgrade, better to find out and take care of it now than when you need you need it most. W. H. Riley can handle whatever your boiler or furnace needs. We install, repair, and maintain boilers and furnaces.
  2. Don’t wait for an emergency and fight the rush. If you wait until something goes wrong, chances are you’ll be competing for service with a lot of other customers who are in the same boat. By getting a tune-up now, you’ll have more scheduling options and can choose a date and time that’s convenient for you rather than having the emergency choose the date and time for you. That’s stress you can avoid.
  3. Save money. Without regular maintenance, your heating system can lose up to 5% of its efficiency every year. That’s money you don’t need to spend. Spending money on a tune-up now will save you money all winter because you’ll have a more efficient boiler or furnace.
  4. Save yourself the stress of a breakdown. Nearly 80% of heating systems repairs could have been avoided with routine maintenance. Getting a tune-up will save you stress as well as avoidable repair costs.
  5. Protect your warranty. Yearly maintenance is a common requirement for heating systems. Skipping a maintenance visit may mean you’ll have to pay more out of pocket before your warranty expires.
  6. Stay safe. A heating expert should be able to detect the early warning signs of a carbon monoxide problem before it puts you and your family at risk.

Winter is just around the corner. This fall, let the experts at W.H. Riley & Son make sure your heating system is ready to work reliably and efficiently. Our trained and certified service technicians offer exceptional troubleshooting and repair services for boilers and furnaces. And if they discover you need an upgrade, they can help you through that process too. Click here to see if we provide service in your neighborhood.

Contact W.H. Riley & Son today to learn more about heating system service and repair in southeastern Massachusetts.

Advantages to using propane appliances in your home or business

propane applications massachusettsThere are a number of advantages to using propane in your New England home or business. It’s powerful, safe, versatile, and environmentally friendly. Here are five reasons to use propane appliances in your home or business.

  1. Propane is environmentally friendly. Propane is one of the cleanest burning fossil fuels—producing almost no greenhouse gas. Using propane instead of electricity to cook, heat your water, heat your home or business, and dry your clothes could cut your carbon emissions in half.
  2. Propane is safe and easy to transport. If there is a leak, propane is nontoxic and will not harm the surrounding air, plants, soil, water, or water-based organisms.
  3. Propane is efficient to produce. Statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show that nearly two-thirds of the electricity generated by most power plants is lost between the plant and the end consumer. By contrast, propane doesn’t degrade and generates energy on the spot.
  4. Propane is reliable. Even if your New England neighborhood experiences a power outage, your supply to propane won’t be interrupted due to extreme weather. A propane generator can make sure that your family is safe and warm no matter what the weather brings.
  5. Propane is versatile. There’s so much propane can do. Keep reading to find out some of the specific ways propane can benefit your home or business.

Propane for your home

Propane can warm your house and provide you with hot water. But that’s not all propane can do in your home. A propane stove gives you precision temperature control that an electric stove can’t match. Propane clothes dryers are faster, more energy-efficient, and result in less static and wrinkles than their electric counterparts. Propane space heaters allow you to get localized comfort all year—whether you’re in your garage, shed, or outdoor living space. You can also use propane to get more mileage out of your pool or hot tub in the cooler months.

Propane for your business

A lot of Massachusetts businesses use propane. If you have a factory or warehouse, propane can safely run your forklifts indoors and outdoors. Propane is a great choice for commercial mowers if you are a landscaper or maintain a golf course. If you have a commercial or high-volume kitchen, propane can help you maintain the quality of your food while keeping up with the demand. Finally, propane is the smart choice for high mileage vehicle fleets.

Let the experts at W.H. Riley & Son help you add value and efficiency to your home or business with propane.

Contact W.H. Riley & Son today to learn more about propane delivery or propane appliance installation, service, and repair in southeastern Massachusetts.

How to determine how big an oil tank you need

oil tank options massachusettsBecause you live in or near Bristol County, you want to know your home will be warm when the temperatures outside start to drop. You probably already know how important it is that your oil tank never gets down to empty. An empty tank means a cold house and cold water. That’s not good, even in the hot summer months, but especially not during a cold New England winter! An empty tank can also cause the reduced efficiency or failure of your heating system.

If your heating oil tank is more than 25-30 years old, it’s time to start thinking about replacing it. This is also a good time to figure out what size oil tank your home really needs. Here are some of the basics you should know:

With your oil tank in place, count on W.H. Riley and Son for your heating oil delivery needs. We deliver clean-burning Bioheat® fuel, which means that your heating system will not only burn fuel more efficiently but will last longer and require fewer repairs. We’ll also make sure you never have to worry about your oil tank’s levels getting too low. Just sign up for our automatic delivery program. We’ll monitor your usage and deliver oil well before you run out. And, we offer Tank Guard®, which protects you against tank corrosion and provides a $2,500-$3,000 warranty for the complete replacement of the tank—at no additional cost to you! Just ask us for details.

You can trust the experts at W.H. Riley & Son to keep you comfortable in your home all year long. We provide reliable service you can count on.

To learn more about dependable oil delivery and service from W.H. Riley & Son in southeastern Massachusetts contact us today.

Why You Shouldn’t Panic if Your Tank Is Down to 25% During the Upcoming Heating Season

heating oil service massachusetts

As a New England resident, you count on your home staying warm when the temperatures outside start to drop. It’s important that your oil tank never gets down to empty. But you don’t have to spend any time or energy checking or worrying about low supplies in your tank. W.H. Riley & Son can help to take care of that for you.

It’s true – you want to avoid an empty oil tank. If you run out of oil on a cold day, it’s a huge inconvenience. You’ll have to wait until more oil is delivered to have a warm home and hot water. Letting your tank run down to empty can also cause debris to clog your oil filters. That can reduce the efficiency of your heating system and eventually cause it to fail. There are additional concerns: Your HVAC equipment can be damaged by any sediment or impurity that gets pulled into the feed line. Finally, water can collect in an empty tank. Water in your tank can lead to rust in your tank, and that can cause your heating system to fail.

That said, don’t panic if your tank gauge indicates you only have 25% – you will definitely not run out in a day or two. 25% is still about 60 gallons in most oil tanks, which will last most customers at least a week if not two, even in mid-January. We do appreciate when customers call when they’re at 25% because we know we need to deliver soon, certainly in less than a week. But you don’t need a delivery that same day. Nobody goes through a quarter of a tank of oil in a day. Giving us a few days’ notice helps us to schedule our delivery routes in the most efficient manner, without putting our customers in any danger.

As a W.H. Riley & Son customer, you’ll never have to worry about running out of oil, as long as we have a little notice. We have our own storage tanks, so we’ll always be able to deliver the heating oil you need when you need it. You can also take the guesswork out of oil delivery by signing up for our automatic delivery program. If you join our automatic delivery program, you’ll never have to check your oil tank levels again or worry about having an empty tank. We’ll monitor your usage and deliver oil well before you run out.

You can trust the experts at W.H. Riley & Son to keep you comfortable in your home all year long. We provide reliable service you can count on.

To learn more about propane delivery and service from W.H. Riley & Son in southeastern Massachusetts, give us a call at (774) 643-0326 or visit our website.

7 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About the Environmental Benefits of Propane

propane green energy massachusetts

If you use propane in your New England home, you probably already know how powerful, safe, and versatile it can be, but did you also know that propane is also considered “green”? Here are seven facts you probably didn’t know about propane and its benefits for the environment.

  1. Propane is the only alternative fuel included in the 1990 Clean Air Act and the 1992 National Energy Policy Act.
  2. Propane is the lightest and simplest hydrocarbon on earth. Because of this fact, propane is one of the cleanest burning fossil fuels—producing almost no greenhouse gas. For example, using a propane instead of a traditional engine in a vehicle can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 90%.
  3. If there is a leak, propane is nontoxic and will not harm the surrounding air, plants, soil, water, or water-based organisms.
  4. Nearly 90% of the U.S. propane supply is produced domestically, so the carbon footprint associated with its transportation is smaller than that of fuels that must be brought to the U.S. from abroad.
  5. Using propane instead of electricity to cook, heat your water, heat your home, and dry your clothes could cut your carbon emissions in half.
  6. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, propane is more efficient to produce than electricity, nearly two-thirds of which is lost between the power plant that produces it and the end consumer.
  7. In comparing the energy required for the extraction, processing, and transportation of propane versus electricity, propane is 87% efficient, but electricity is only 32% efficient. A higher energy efficiency is better for the environment.

Now that you know the environmental benefits of propane, let the experts at W.H. Riley & Son help you get the most out of propane in your home. We provide service you can count on.

To learn more about propane delivery or service from W.H. Riley & Son in southeastern Massachusetts, give us a call at (774) 643-0326 or visit our website.