Shocking spike in fuel prices is hurting all of us. Click here.

The Benefits of Converting

propane conversion massachusettsWith inflation rates being what they are, everyone is looking for ways to cut costs. Perhaps you’re thinking about switching your southeastern Massachusetts home from electric to propane power. As you consider your options, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of switching from electric to propane power for your home.

Propane Is Reliable

Propane is self-contained, and so it stands alone. You don’t need gas lines, and you don’t have to be dependent on the power grid. Given how much more common extreme weather events have become and how often the power grid fails, switching to propane could give you peace of mind.

Propane Is Versatile

Propane can do a lot inside and outside your home. In addition to warming your home and water, it can help you cook like a pro indoors and out with a propane stove or grill. Propane clothes dryers save you time and energy because they work faster than electric dryers and leave you with fewer wrinkles. Propane space heaters help you add comfort to any space. And propane pool heaters let you swim in comfort for more of the year. There are so many ways propane appliances can enhance the quality of life in your home.

Propane Is Efficient

A lot of propane appliances like clothes dryers, water heaters, and space heaters work more efficiently than their electric counterparts. That saves you time and money, and it’s good for the environment.

Propane Is Economical

Because propane appliances operate so efficiently, using propane saves you money. Propane also tends to have better price stability, so you’ll always have a good idea of what to expect when it comes to your energy bills.

Propane Is Clean & Green

Propane is a clean-burning fuel that produces relatively few greenhouse gas emissions. Because propane burns so cleanly, it’s good for the longevity of your appliances. Most electricity, however, is generated in coal-burning power plants. In fact, the production of electricity is America’s second-largest source of greenhouse gases.

You Can Count on W.H. Riley & Son

If you decide to make the switch, W. H. Riley & Son can provide propane and piping to run all your propane appliances. We also install a variety of propane furnaces and water heaters.

W.H. Riley & Son offers our southeastern Massachusetts customers competitive prices, stellar customer service, and an exemplary safety record. Click here to see if we’re in your neighborhood.

Contact us today to learn more about the propane services we offer.

Here’s What to Do

storm safety massachusettsThunderstorms bring a lot of potential hazards and disruptions. W.H. Riley & Son cares about the safety of our customers, and we know you care about keeping your family safe. Now that thunderstorm season is upon us, we want to make especially sure that our propane customers know what to do when thunderstorms are in the weather forecast.

Storm Safety

If you use propane, it’s important you know what to do with regard to your propane tank, appliances, and all related equipment for the safety of everyone in your Massachusetts household. Follow these safety tips before, during, and after a thunderstorm:

  1. Check for leaks. Before the storm, make sure you don’t have any propane leaks—not even a small one. Make sure everyone in your household knows what propane smells like and what to do in the event of a leak.
  2. Find your gas main. You need to know where your gas main is and how to turn it off. Whenever you need to evacuate your home, you should turn off the gas main before you leave. That could help prevent a fire if your tank is damaged and begins to leak during a storm.
  3. Stay away. During the storm, you and your family and pets should stay away from power lines and anything that is a conductor of electricity. That includes your propane tank!
  4. Stay informed. Remain alert and follow all instructions from local emergency personnel and community leaders. They may provide safety updates such as areas to avoid.
  5. Be observant. After the storm is over and you’re sure it’s safe to go outside, take note of fallen trees and downed power lines that could affect your property. Make sure nothing has damaged your propane tank or gas line.
  6. Check your appliances. Inspect all of your propane appliances for damage. Check for visible issues and then run each appliance to make sure there are no malfunctions.
  7. Avoid candles! Never burn candles when inspecting anything powered by propane. Your tank could ignite!

For additional propane safety information, click here.

You Can Count on W.H. Riley & Son

W.H. Riley & Son provides the service you can count on. We’ve been meeting the fuel needs of Massachusetts since 1873. We pride ourselves on providing our residential and commercial customers with the highest-quality fuels and the highest standards of safety and service.

Contact W.H. Riley & Son today to request a propane delivery or to learn more about the services we offer.

Give Your AC Some TLC

a/c tune-up massachusettsSpring is finally here, and that means summer is just around the corner. It might be hard to imagine it now (especially given the winter we had in Massachusetts this year), but in just a few months you’ll be sweltering under the summer sun. When the summer really heats up, you want to be sure that your AC is up to the task of keeping you and your family nice and cool and comfortable—even on those scorching hot days. Now is a good time to evaluate your AC and make sure it gets all the preparatory care it needs to be ready for the summer months ahead.

Age Matters

You’re only as old as you feel, but the age of your AC matters. If it’s 15 years or older, you should consider replacing it. Better to replace it now than have it fail you in the middle of a heat wave. Plus, even if you’re sure your unit can still keep things cool enough for you, old ACs usually have a SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating as low as 6. Modern models have a SEER rating of 15 or higher. That difference will have a significant impact on how much you spend on your cooling bills. Investing in a new, high-efficiency unit now, will save you money on cooling costs and repairs over the long run.

W.H. Riley & Son is one of our region’s leading air conditioning providers. Whether you’re looking to add air conditioning to your Massachusetts home or want to upgrade your system, our trained and certified technicians can help you make the right choices for your needs and comfort.

Springtime AC Maintenance

Here are some springtime maintenance tips for making sure your AC is ready to keep you and your family cool:

  1. Check the thermostat. This is the brain of your HVAC system. If it’s not working right, nothing else will either. Replace the batteries. And if you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, now is a good time to invest in one. Programmable thermostats are an easy and cost-effective tool for managing your summer cooling costs.
  2. Check your vents. Check all the rooms in your home to make sure your vents aren’t blocked by drapes, curtains, furniture, etc. You want cool air to be able to enter each living space freely.
  3. Check your ductwork. A duct leak can cause you to lose up to 15% of the air your unit has cooled. Seal up any obvious leaks and fix out-of-place duct joints in exposed ductwork areas.
  4. Clear the drain line. This will prevent water from getting diverted back into your home or toward your foundation and causing serious problems.
  5. Check your AC filter. Blockages reduce your air filter’s efficiency, and a chronically blocked AC filter could cause your cooling system to fail. Make a habit of checking your air filter at least once a month. Depending on the model of AC you have, clean or replace your filters as needed.
  6. Check your electrical lines. Wiring problems could cause you to lose power to your AC. Check all electrical connections and circuit breakers.
  7. Clean the outdoor condenser unit. Check for debris like leaves, twigs, and nests. Your condenser unit should never be covered when it is in use. There needs to be adequate airflow throughout the entire home cooling system chain.

Whenever you begin using your AC, check for signs of a refrigerant leak. Indicators of a leak include poor cooling, ice on the evaporator coils, and wet spots near your AC condenser.

Important Warning Signs

Contact W.H. Riley for service if you notice any of the following issues, because they may mean your air conditioning system needs professional care:

Professional AC Maintenance

The best way to keep your air conditioning system running smoothly is to make sure that it receives proper maintenance. And one of the best times to have your air conditioning serviced is during the spring. On the first warm day of spring, start your AC and let it run for 15 minutes. If it’s not blowing cold air, contact W.H. Riley & Son. Better to get it fixed now than when you really need the relief.

The benefits of proper maintenance:

When W.H. Riley & Son provides AC maintenance, you get thorough service. As part of a maintenance visit, we carefully inspect every component of your AC system for wear and tear and other problems. We also make sure all moving parts are fully lubricated and that there is sufficient refrigerant. In short, we make sure that your AC is in good shape and operating at maximum efficiency.

Service You Can Count On

At W.H. Riley & Son we provide our southeastern Massachusetts customers exceptional customer service. Click here to see if your southeastern Massachusetts neighborhood is in our service area.

Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a tune-up for your air conditioning unit. With W.H. Riley & Son on the job, you get service you can count on!

A Happy Earth Day Discussion

earth friendly fuel massachusettsYou probably already know how versatile and cost-effective propane is. Perhaps you already have one (or more) of the many propane appliances W.H. Riley installs in your Massachusetts home. But did you know that propane also offers environmental benefits above and beyond electricity? In celebration of Earth Day, let’s take a look at the environmental benefits of propane and Bioheat Plus® fuel.

What makes propane green?

If you compare an all-electric home to one that uses propane for heating, the propane home will produce up to 30% fewer carbon emissions. And a home that uses propane for heating as well as for water heating, cooking, clothes drying, and space heating will produce up to 50% fewer carbon emissions than an all-electric house. Why? Propane appliances are extremely efficient, and that efficiency means a smaller carbon footprint. Additionally, propane is the lightest and simplest hydrocarbon on earth. As one of the cleanest burning fossil fuels, it produces almost no greenhouse gas.

Here’s are a few examples of propane’s efficiency:

Additionally, in the rare event of a leak, propane doesn’t pose a danger to the environment the way other fuels do. It doesn’t harm the air, soil, water, plants, or water-based organisms. It simply dissipates.

Bioheat Plus® fuel

W.H. Riley is proud to deliver Bioheat Plus® fuel to our heating oil customers. This fuel offers a number of advantages over traditional heating oil. Bioheat Plus® fuel burns more cleanly than traditional heating oil. That’s good for the environment and saves you money on the cost to heat your southeastern Massachusetts home. Plus, not only will your heating system function more efficiently, it will last longer and require fewer repairs.

Bioheat Plus® fuel’s benefit to the environment is measurable. Compared to traditional heating oil, it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 86%. Companies across the country are transitioning to higher levels of Bioheat Plus® fuel. As this trend continues, heating oil will move closer to being carbon neutral, and as a result, we’ll see a reduction in its carbon footprint.

Choose W.H. Riley & Son

W.H. Riley & Son provides service you can count on. We’ve been meeting the fuel needs of southeastern Massachusetts since 1873. We pride ourselves on offering our residential and commercial customers the highest-quality fuels and the highest standard of service.

Contact W.H. Riley & Son today to become a customer or to learn more about our commitment to the environment.

What You Should Do

heating tune-up massachusettsIt might seem counterintuitive, but spring is a great time to think about your heater. With the days getting warmer and longer, your heater isn’t working as hard. But you want to make sure that it will be ready to serve you and your family all year long (especially when things start cooling down again). So here are some things to think about how to make sure you have no unwelcome surprises in the future.

The Importance of Maintenance

Don’t let the warmer temps tempt you to switch off your heater and forget about it all spring and summer. Now is the best time to schedule a maintenance visit with W. H. Riley & Son. Whether your boiler heating system uses propane, natural gas, or heating oil, our licensed and certified technicians will provide maintenance and can handle any necessary repairs. We are also a full-service furnace company and can also handle all your furnace needs and make sure it’s running optimally.

The Time Is Now

Your heating system works hard every winter—and this past winter has been an especially tough one. That wear and tear adds up. You don’t want to experience a breakdown on a cold, snowy day. Better to schedule a maintenance visit now and get ahead of any potential problems so that come next winter, you have peace of mind and a heating system primed and ready to keep you and your family safe and warm.

Spring is the ideal time to schedule your maintenance visit because by the summer you’ll have the additional expense of keeping your air conditioning up and running. By the time autumn rolls around, you’ll find it harder to schedule a maintenance visit. It’s one of our busier seasons for heating system maintenance and repairs. So from a budgeting and scheduling perspective, now is the ideal time for a heating system maintenance visit.

What to Expect

Annual maintenance visits are designed to address any wear and tear and get ahead of any potential problems before they become serious and disruptive.

During a maintenance visit, your HVAC professional will do the following:

At W.H. Riley & Son we provide our southeastern Massachusetts customers with competitive prices, exceptional customer service, and an exemplary safety record. Click here to see if your southeastern Massachusetts neighborhood is in our service area.

Contact us today to learn more or schedule a tune-up for your heater. With W.H. Riley & Son on the job, you get service you can count on!

A few words about heating oil prices

oil prices massachusettsOur economy gets increasingly global every day. That means that events on the other side of the globe can affect the price of things here in southeastern Massachusetts. Heating oil is no exception. And when the price of oil rises, it hurts us all—even those of us who are in the business of selling it. Let’s take a look at how current events are affecting the price of heating oil.

Understanding the Energy Markets and Price Fluctuations

Global crude oil prices soared to over $100 per barrel for the first time in eight years after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. As you probably know all too well by now, the price of crude oil goes is linked to the price you pay for gasoline, heating oil, and many other products.

This is unwelcomed news to those of us already exhausted after two years of surviving a pandemic. Prior to this, energy prices in all sectors—oil, propane, natural gas, and electricity—had been on a steady rise because global oil production hadn’t yet caught up with the pent-up demand that quickly followed the perceived end of the pandemic.

Even before the war in Ukraine accelerated price increases to an even greater degree, frenetic consumer spending—combined with persistent supply shortages—had already sent inflation rates in our country to their highest level in 40 years. 

Why Is Oil Supply Still Lagging?

You’ll hear some pundits and politicians in the U.S. assert that “we just have to drill for more oil at home.” That’s a simplified and misinformed solution to the production shortfall.

Investors know that a zero-carbon emissions world is not too far off in our future. Big money is holding back on fossil fuel investments as legislators try to move the country toward more renewable energy. Investors are looking to sink their money into long-term, profitable opportunities in the burgeoning green energy field.

Local heating oil dealers like us are making great gains in terms of making our fuel more dependent on renewable energy too. W.H. Riley & Son is proud to deliver Bioheat® fuel to our customers.

Another factor influencing oil companies is what happened in the spring of 2020 when crude oil prices fell all the way to negative $30 per barrel. Traders had to pay buyers to take oil! Since then, however, prices have been rising steadily. And then they exploded in late February after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

But, proving just how much and how quickly things can change, crude oil prices have dropped under $100 per barrel again (as of mid-March). This was caused by a variety of factors, including the unexpected Covid-19 lockdowns in China, small signs of a possible diplomatic solution to the Ukraine conflict, and the biggest drop in four years of “bullish bets” on the market by hedgers.

To say that we are currently in the midst of an extremely volatile energy market would be an understatement.

Russia’s Role

Russia is a large factor in all of this because it is the third-largest petroleum and liquid fuels producer in the world (behind only the United States and Saudi Arabia). It’s a major exporter of both crude oil and natural gas.

For weeks, energy prices had been rising in anticipation of the sanctions that were likely to be levied on the Russian energy sector if the country invaded Ukraine. In the frenzied world of investment, this is known as the “fear factor.” Even the hint of a possible disruption in energy supply influences how commodities traders buy and sell.

After Russia invaded, the U.S. was the first country to place a ban on Russian imported oil and petroleum products, which amounted to about 7% of U.S. imports in 2020. In comparison, Canada ranked number one with 52% of petroleum imports, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

But here’s where the fear factor comes in again. While Russian oil imported into the U.S. accounts for just a few drops in the barrel, so to speak, the prospect of Europe eventually joining the U.S. in banning Russian energy imports would leave a big void to fill, and those who make their living in the oil markets don’t like that uncertainty. This includes the speculators who are betting on price moves as well as the hedgers, who are limiting risk for their clients who are involved with either the production or consumption of oil.

What Comes Next?

We don’t know where things will go from here, but we hope this spike is only temporary. Nothing will make us happier than when the world is a more peaceful place and heating oil prices return to normal. Until then, know that W.H. Riley & Son will continue to deliver the best products with the best service.

W.H. Riley & Son has been serving southeastern Massachusetts since 1873. We’ve seen (and endured) a lot in all those years, and we’ll continue to stand the test of time and deliver for you. Click here to see if your southeastern Massachusetts neighborhood is in our service area.

Contact us today to learn more.

Take advantage of this complimentary service

propane delivery massachusettsAt W. H. Riley & Son, we care about the comfort of your Massachusetts household. We also want to make being a W. H. Riley & Son customer as easy as possible. Because of this, we offer our heating oil and propane gas customers the option to get automatic delivery of their fuel.

Reasons to sign up for automatic delivery

There are a number of reasons to sign up for automatic delivery. First of all, it’s very important to never run out of fuel.

When your propane levels get too low, air can get into your heating system. And having air in your heating system can lead to expensive damage. If you run out completely, it’s even worse. You’ll also need a professional to restart your system. A good rule of thumb is to make sure your tank’s propane level never falls below 20%. You should also keep in mind that your gauge isn’t fool-proof or perfectly accurate, so you need to stay vigilant. However, if you sign up for automatic propane delivery, you won’t have to check your propane tank gauge regularly. We’ll monitor your propane usage and schedule a delivery before you run low.

Similarly, you never want to run out of heating oil. In addition to the discomfort of having to go without heat and hot water, when you allow your tank to run down to empty, that can allow debris to clog your oil filters. That can reduce the efficiency of your heating system and may eventually cause it to fail. Plus, water can collect in an empty heating oil tank and cause it to rust. That can also cause your heating system to fail.

Not every heating oil provider (especially the discounters) offer automatic delivery, but W.H. Riley & Son does. It’s easy and convenient. You don’t have to remember to check your tank’s levels or call for a delivery. We’ll handle all the calculations and scheduling. In addition to tracking your usage, we monitor the local weather and adjust our delivery schedule accordingly.

Give yourself peace of mind and sign up for automatic delivery. Once you do, you’ll have one less thing to worry about. Plus, you’ll avoid the headache and potential expense of having a runout and needing to request an emergency delivery. And the best news is this: There’s no additional charge for this service.

Count on W.H. Riley & Son

You count on W.H. Riley & Son to help keep you safe and comfortable in your home all season long. We provide our southeastern Massachusetts customers with competitive prices, stellar customer service, and an exemplary safety record. Click here to see if we’re in your neighborhood.

W.H. Riley & Son provides service you can count on. Contact us today to learn more or to sign up for automatic delivery.

Learn about this cleaner energy source

renewable energy massachsuettsPropane can do a lot for your Massachusetts home. It’s one of the cleaner and most efficient fuel options available. It’s also very versatile. Propane can run a variety of your home’s appliances—and it can do so more efficiently (and cost-effectively) than electricity. Propane also has a low carbon profile. It’s a natural by-product of energy production and doesn’t require any expensive infrastructure for its production or delivery.

An introduction to renewable propane

Renewable propane is like traditional propane chemically and in terms of its physical properties. That means they can be used together without the need for expensive or labor-intensive processes. The only real difference is where they come from. Because renewable propane isn’t made from fossil fuels, it presents several advantages to the environment.

How renewable propane is made

Renewable propane is made from water residues and sustainably sourced materials like agricultural waste, cooking oil, and meat fats. It’s commonly a coproduct with biodiesel. Because renewable propane has so many natural sources, it has the potential to be widely available.

Renewable propane has environmental benefits

Renewable propane benefits the environment in two main ways:

Where renewable propane is produced

America has a few renewable propane refineries, and more are in the works. For example, California’s AltAir Fuels produces renewable propane as a coproduct of sustainable jet fuel. In Europe, even more commercial production plants are being developed. Renewable propane represents the next step towards a zero-carbon-emissions future. Visit RenewablePropaneGas.com to learn more.

Make W.H. Riley & Son your propane provider

W.H. Riley & Son provides service you can count on. We’ve been meeting the fuel needs of Massachusetts since 1873. We pride ourselves on providing our residential and commercial customers with the highest-quality fuels and highest standards of service.

Contact W.H. Riley & Son today to sign up for automatic propane delivery, schedule a repair, or learn more about how propane can work for you.

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, especially if you’ve been with us a while. We can also set you up on a monthly payment plan.

Nothing will make us happier than when prices start dropping. Until then, trust us to look out for you, and let’s pray for the people of Ukraine.

Have you had your yearly tune-up?

heating service massachusettsThis has already been a tough winter, and it isn’t over yet. If you haven’t gotten a yearly tune-up for your heating system, don’t wait another week. Just because spring is on the horizon, doesn’t mean you can ignore your heating system. Winter has plenty of punch left (not to mention early spring), and you don’t want to be left in the cold if the temperatures take a dip and your heater isn’t up to the task.

How do you know if there’s something wrong with your furnace or boiler? There are some warning signs you should keep an eye out for.

Signs your heater needs professional help

If you notice any of the following problems with your boiler or furnace, contact W.H. Riley & Sons for service:

If you’ve noticed any of the above, don’t wait to call for service. You don’t want to risk having a no-heat emergency on a cold New England day (or night).

If everything is working well, but it’s been over a year since your last tune-up, then it’s time to schedule one. Tune-ups are a great way to get ahead of problems before they become more serious and expensive to fix.

Don’t skip your yearly tune-up

There are many benefits to annual tune-ups for your furnace or boiler. Here are five reasons you should make it a yearly priority.

At W.H. Riley & Son we provide our southeastern Massachusetts customers with competitive prices, exceptional customer service, and an exemplary safety record. Click here to see if your southeastern Massachusetts neighborhood is in our service area.

Contact us today to learn more or schedule a tune-up. With W.H. Riley & Son on the job, you get service you can count on!