Air Conditioning Preventative Maintenance Makes a Difference!

While early spring normally is too chilly to begin doing cooling tune-ups for our customers, there’s nothing wrong with booking your preventive maintenance service in advance so you can beat the warm weather rush.

While the minimum outdoor temperature varies between models, it usually needs to be in the 60°F range before we start going out to do tune-ups. That’s because parts of your air conditioning system—including the refrigerant—are not designed to work below a certain temperature.

How Important Is Annual A/C Maintenance?

After a long hibernation over the fall and winter, your cooling system needs some attention so it can keep you cool all summer long without problems. That’s just one reason why maintenance is important. Manufacturers require annual maintenance to keep your warranty valid. It’s that crucial!

A properly maintained central air conditioning system will have fewer breakdowns than one that has been neglected. Annual maintenance also keeps your air conditioning equipment running at peak efficiency, which means your home stays nice and cool while using less energy.

Regular maintenance can address your air conditioner’s minor aches and pains before they become full-blown injuries – emergencies that usually crop up during the peak demand summer months, when you need your A/C the most (and when you may have to wait longer for service).

Other Ways to Get Your A/C System Ready

Although a comprehensive central air conditioning tune-up is not a do-it-yourself project, there are some things you can do to get the ball rolling while waiting for your tune-up service.

  • Clear away obstructions. Remove sticks, leaves, and other debris from around your outdoor unit.
  • Have your ductwork checked. Schedule a FREE duct leakage inspection with us. If we find problems, we’ll recommend our duct sealing service. This will improve your indoor air quality and lower your home energy bills.
  • Test your system. Briefly run your cooling system to check for problems. That way, you can give us an early alert about what to look for when we do our maintenance service.

If you switch on your cooling system and it does not run, do this:

  • Check your thermostat. Make sure it is on the “cool” or “auto” setting. Also, is the temperature set about 5 degrees lower than room temperature? If you have a digital thermostat and the display screen is blank, you either need new batteries or the power supply has been interrupted.
  • Check all power switches/sources for air conditioner. A circuit may have tripped when the cooling system started up. Also check the disconnect switch in the box next to the outdoor condenser.

If the cooling system runs but there’s no cool air, do this:

  • Shut off all power switches and check the condition of the air filter in your air handler (the part of the A/C system that’s inside your home). The filter may be clogged. Change/clean the air filter if it’s dirty.
  • Make sure your supply and return air grilles are open and unobstructed.

If you can’t find what’s wrong after taking these steps, call us so we can come out and diagnose the problem.

Expert A/C Maintenance and A/C Repairs

Bottom line: a properly maintained air conditioning system will have fewer breakdowns than one that has been neglected. That’s why we offer all the same NATE-certified expertise and money-saving services that we provide for heating equipment. Please reach out to us now to schedule A/C maintenance.

If you need an air conditioning repair, we’ll get your system up and running again as quickly as possible. With advanced training in the latest cooling systems, the Wilson Oil and Propane team is ready to handle any cooling system repair for all brands, from simple to complex. We’ll fix your system quickly, arriving at your home with a truck full of tools and a full array of replacement parts to complete the job right the first time.

What Propane Appliances Can I Use in My Home?

Propane is an ideal option to power homes in the Delaware Valley. It’s a clean-burning, versatile and highly efficient fuel that provides a long list of benefits for homeowners.

Many people, however, may choose an all-electric home because they view it as the “cleanest” energy choice. But, unless your electricity is completely generated from a renewable source like wind, solar, or hydropower (instead of coal or natural gas), that’s simply not true. Read about propane and the environment.

After you let your home builder know that you prefer an all-propane home, Propane professionals can install properly sized propane storage tanks and then connect multiple propane gas appliances.

Storage tanks can be placed aboveground or buried underground, and large community propane systems can even be designed to fuel an entire development. Propane also provides jobsite flexibility by providing energy for portable generators and temporary heaters while construction is on-going.

You can also let your builder know that there is a current Propane Construction Incentive Program that can provide up to a $1,500 reward for the construction of propane homes in 2023. Read more about building homes with propane then see how we can help builders who use propane.

What Propane Appliances Can I Use in My Home?

Here’s a look at just some of the propane gas appliances and other propane-powered equipment you can use inside your newly built Delaware Valley home.

  • Furnaces— If you’re looking to generate heat to warm up your home, a propane furnace will keep you and your loved ones warm and toasty. Producing high indoor air temperatures at an affordable cost, propane furnaces are highly efficient. And you won’t have any need for a backup heating system when outdoor temperatures drop below the freezing mark.
  • Water heaters – Propane water heaters typically recover water twice as quickly as electric models, yet they generally cost up to 30% less to operate. Upgrade to a tankless propane water heater and energy savings can jump even higher compared to a conventional—and inefficient–electric water heater.
  • Whole house generators – When the power goes out, you won’t miss a beat with a whole-house power generator. It will keep your home heating or cooling system, sump pump, security systems and other equipment running until the utility company can make repairs and restore power.
  • Propane Gas Stoves– You can create some memorable meals with your propane gas stove/cooktop. From more precise cooking control to quicker temperature changes – especially for lowering or shutting off – propane is the way to go.
  • Propane fireplaces — You can lounge on your couch and enjoy real flames – not the blinking lights you’ll get with an electric fireplace. And you’ll get those flames at the push of a button. Plus, propane fireplaces deliver five to six times the heating capacity of electric fireplaces. Read about propane fireplaces.
  • Clothes dryers – Quickly reaching the required temperature to dry clothes evenly, propane dryers generally operate for less than electric dryers. Plus, clothes get subjected to less wear and tear as a result of the moist heat of propane dryers. Your propane dryer’s moisture-sensing controls will automatically shut it off at just the right time.

Contact Wilson Oil and Propane in PA

Wilson Oil and Propane leads the way in underground and aboveground tank installations for construction projects, big and small. Our services include:

  • temporary heat tanks and fueling
  • installation of residential and commercial tanks
  • proper sizing of residential and commercial interior and exterior systems
  • hands-on follow-up with homeowners.

Why not let Wilson Oil and Propane be your trusted resource for prompt, safe and reliable propane delivery service? We also install and repair propane furnaces and propane water heaters. Become a propane customer today.

Annual Maintenance Is a Vital Service

You wouldn’t drive an entire year without taking your car to a trusted mechanic to change the oil and perform a safety and maintenance check, would you? If you did, the risk of your car breaking down and leaving you stuck with a high repair bill would increase dramatically.

Just like your car, a home’s heating and central air conditioning equipment has a range of electrical and mechanical components that can wear down or break if you don’t follow your equipment manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations. The manufacturer can also void your warranty if you are negligent with equipment maintenance.

Ideally, a heating and central air conditioning system should both be serviced once a year to ensure your HVAC equipment is operating safely and efficiently.

Benefits of Annual HVAC Maintenance

Getting yearly tune-ups on both your heating and cooling system is the most important thing you can do to ensure your equipment runs as efficiently as possible. This is among the many benefits of getting annual service done on your HVAC system. Take a look.

  • Improved system efficiency, which can lower your annual heating and cooling expenses by 10% or more.
  • A longer life span for your furnace, boiler, central air system, heat pump or water heater.
  • Better for the planet: equipment that runs at top efficiency will emit fewer emissions.
  • A tune-up allows our expert technicians to spot minor issues before they become big problems (worn parts, a burner that needs adjustment, etc.) Problems tend to pop up during the worst times—such as when your furnace conks out during single-digit temperatures or when your air conditioning system shuts down in the middle of a heat wave.
  • Staying in compliance with your warranty: manufacturers generally require you to get regular HVAC service. If you skip a tune-up and your equipment breaks down, you could end up paying the total cost of repair.

Service Plans: Added Protection

We also recommend enrolling in a service plan. You can choose everything from a heating oil service plan, propane/natural gas service plan, a heat pump plan or a central air conditioning plan.

Our service plans are a great way to make sure that your heating and cooling equipment get necessary service. All of our service plans include an annual preventative maintenance tune-up of your heating or cooling system.

Service plans from Wilson also include free parts and labor for many heating and cooling system repairs, priority service, no overtime charges, and a $75 annual credit that can go towards the purchase of new equipment from us.

Wilson Oil & Propane is the company that people in the Delaware Valley region of Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey can depend on when they need maintenance or HVAC repair of their heating and cooling systems. Our service area includes the towns of Media, Wallingford, Swarthmore, Springfield, Broomall, and Newtown Square.

We have the professional technicians who can handle all types of HVAC service , from annual maintenance (tune-ups) to emergency heating and cooling system repairs to top-notch equipment replacement.

Become a Wilson Oil and Propane customer today.

Increase Your Knowledge About Oil Tanks

Here are answers to some of the common questions we get about heating oil tanks.

Q: How Long Do Heating Oil Tanks Last?

Heating oil tanks can last for decades, but like anything else, they eventually need to be replaced. Life spans vary depending on the humidity in the environment, the thickness of the tank’s wall and other factors. When tanks do fail, it’s hard to see it coming, because they generally erode from the inside out.

That’s why it’s a good idea to have them inspected periodically since cleaning up a tank leak can be incredibly expensive. We also recommend that you speak to us about our ProGuard® Tank Protection. This is available for both underground and aboveground tanks.

If your oil tank is more than 30 years old, it’s a good idea to look into your heating oil tank replacement options.

How Can I Tell If My Oil Tank Is Wearing Out?

Besides getting periodic professional tank inspections, you should also do your own visual inspections because some trouble signs can actually be seen, including:

  • dime-sized blisters in the paint, commonly found on the tank’s underside (feel the underside to find them). They can be a sign of pending failure
  • pinhole leaks, which are caused by rusting from corrosion inside the tank
  • condensation on the outside of the tank, long after a heating oil delivery
  • evidence of corrosion on the tank’s exterior
  • sagging tank legs
  • clogs or restrictions in the fill cap or the vent cap
  • signs of spills

Why Do Heating Oil Tanks Wear Out?

Besides just wearing out due to age, a heating oil tank can fail because of condensation on the inside. When there is a lot of empty space in an oil tank during the spring and summer, condensation can form along the inside walls. This eventually turns into sediment later, and, if ignored, can result in corrosion.

To avoid condensation from forming, you should keep your oil tank full during the warm-weather months.

If I Replace My Tank, Should I Change Its Size?

Today’s heating oil tanks come in a range of sizes and shapes. The heating oil pros at Wilson Oil and Propane can help you find the most suitable heating oil tank and get it installed quickly and correctly.

What Are the Different Tank Sizes for a Home?

Although heating oil tank sizes can include everything from 230, 240, 330, 500 (underground tank) 550 (two 275-gallon aboveground tanks) and 1,000 gallons*, the most common size for a residential heating oil tank is a 275-gallon aboveground tank. (*1000-gallon tanks are underground in the majority of cases.)

A general industry rule-of-thumb is that one or two-bedroom homes typically require a 275-gallon heating oil tank; three- or four- bedroom homes typically would need to go larger. However, some homes cannot accommodate larger heating oil tanks; you’ll need to have your space measured before deciding on your replacement tank.

What Other Factors Should I Consider?

Here are two other factors

  1. Current and future family size. As your family grows, so does your fuel consumption.
  2. Lifestyle. Do you spend long vacations away from home? Do you have elderly relatives living with you who need a warmer house? These are among the factors that will affect how frequent your heating oil delivery will be– and how big a heating oil tank you should get.

Where Should I Install My Oil Tank?

In cold climates like ours, few heating oil tanks are kept outdoors because heating oil can thicken and gel in extreme cold. The best solution is to locate your heating oil tank indoors, typically in the basement.

Partner with the People You Can Trust

As a full-service heating oil company, Wilson Oil and Propane can assure you that you’ll save a lot of headaches — and avoid equipment issues down the line — if you bring in certified professionals to replace your heating oil tank.

Not only can we offer you a wide selection of heating oil tanks and the knowledge to install them correctly efficiently, our installers are also experienced in the best ways to transfer your existing fuel and dispose of the old tank.

Our reliable team of heating oil professionals will work with you from the beginning to ensure that you have the right size for your heating needs, your heating system and the size of your home.

Once your tank is selected, our expert installation team will adhere to all industry regulations, guidelines and codes to handle a proper heating oil tank installation that’s safe and efficient.

Contact us today to request a heating oil tank inspection or for a FREE, no obligation estimate on a new heating oil tank system for your Delaware Valley home.

The Gold Standard for Removing Airborne Particles

One of the most effective products used to improve indoor air quality today is the high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.

HEPA filters, which are considered the gold standard for removing airborne particles like dust, pollen and bacteria, are highly recommended for anyone who suffers from allergies or respiratory ailments like asthma. These highly effective air filters are used in air purifiers and forced-air HVAC systems like furnaces and central air conditioning units.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a HEPA filter can theoretically remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any other airborne particles with a microscopic size of 0.3 microns.

These are known as “true HEPA filters,” which must meet strict industry standards for air filtration. The difference between a HEPA filter and a regular air filter is that HEPA filters are composed of thousands of thin fibers. This design is much more effective than the porous material—such as cotton and polyester—that is used to manufacture standard, less inexpensive air filters.

There are also “HEPA-type filters” available, but these are less effective, with a 99% efficiency rate of capturing particles of 2 microns or more.

What HEPA filters can’t do is remove odors and some types of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). You can solve this by installing a HEPA air purifier that has additional filters built in, such as a carbon filter.

HEPA Filters and COVID-19

Interest in air purifiers with HEPA filters skyrocketed after COVID-19 entered our lives. According to the CDC, COVID-19 particles on their own measure only about 0.1 microns in size. That’s too small for a HEPA filter to trap. But fortunately for us, when COVID-19 particles travel through the air, they attach themselves to the larger respiratory droplets released when an infected person coughs or sneezes. A HEPA filter can trap these larger droplets, including those tiny—and sometimes deadly–COVID-19 particles.

HEPA Filters: A Short History

Like many modern inventions, HEPA filters sprang from scientific research during World War II.

During that time, scientists were racing against time to develop the first atomic bomb. While this work progressed, it became critical to protect scientists from exposure to radioactive air particles. Thus, the introduction of the HEPA filter.

After the war, HEPA filters began being used in medical, commercial, and residential settings. As an example, hospitals use HEPA filters to help stop the spread of airborne germs. You can also find HEPA filters not only in residential air purification and air cleaning systems but some vacuum cleaners too. Read more history as well as a complete guide to HEPA filters.

Changing Your HEPA Filter

As you might expect, because HEPA filters are so effective at trapping air particles, they tend to become clogged more quickly than standard, less effective filters. While the recommended replacement rate varies—depending on where these filters are used and the number of particles they trap—HEPA filters typically need to be changed more often than standard filters. Some HEPA filters can be cleaned to extend their life. Please consult your owner’s manual for specifics.

As an industry leader in the installation and service of indoor air quality products, you can trust the experts at Wilson Oil and Propane to keep the air in your home clean and healthy. Read more about the indoor air quality solutions we offer.

Help Us Keep Propane & Oil Deliveries on Schedule

This is the time of year to share some tips to assure timely deliveries as well as how to keep your heating system operating safely and efficiently all through winter. Let’s begin with some delivery advice.

Watch Your Tank Levels

If you call us to order fuel, make sure to check your heating oil or propane tank regularly—especially in the middle of a cold snap. Don’t wait until your fuel level gets too low. We recommend calling when your oil tank is about ¼ full or when your propane tank gauge reaches 30%.

Combine Automatic Delivery with a Tank Monitor

Are you signed up for automatic delivery? If you aren’t, we think you should be! Automatic delivery is a free service that takes away the hassle of having to check your tank and order your fuel. It also lowers the risk of running out of heating oil or propane.

Whether you use propane or heating oil, you may qualify for a wireless tank monitor, which you can use in combination with automatic delivery. We can install a device that wirelessly monitors your fuel usage so we will always know the actual amount of fuel in your tank.

Read more about heating oil delivery or propane delivery.

Keep It Clear for Delivery Drivers

After a snow or ice storm, please clear a path to your oil fill pipe or propane storage tank so your driver can reach it quickly and safely. We also need you to shovel/plow your driveway so it is free of snow and ice. Safety codes prohibit us from trying to navigate slippery driveways. Our trucks need a space wide enough for an ambulance to get through.

Safety Tips

  • If you ever smell propane gas, leave your home right away. Report the problem from another location as soon as possible.
  • Keep the area around your heating system as clean and clutter-free as possible. Never store anything flammable anywhere near your system.

Pay Attention to Your Heating System

If you have an oil or gas furnace, change or clean the air filter a few times during the heating season. A dirty filter compromises efficiency and can even result in a shutdown.

If you have a steam boiler, check the water gauge periodically. Low water levels are a leading cause for boiler shutdowns. Steam boilers should also be “flushed” when the water in the gauge looks rusty. Talk with us if you’re not familiar with this procedure.

If you have a hot water boiler, make sure the water level of the boiler is at half-full. The boiler’s automatic filling system, controlled by the pressure-reducing valve, should maintain the proper water level at 12 to 15 psi of pressure. If there isn’t a pressure-reducing valve, manually feed the boiler by opening up the water feed valve until the boiler pressure reaches 12 psi.

Contact Wilson Oil and Propane

Always feel free to contact us if you have any concerns or questions about staying safe and warm this winter. Remember, we’re The People You Can Trust.

Founded in 1926, Wilson Oil and Propane strives to provide excellent service to our customers every single day. In addition to prompt, professional expert HVAC services and heating oil and propane delivery, we offer our customers many ways to lower their energy costs and enhance their comfort. Become a customer today.

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Do You Need Air Conditioning Maintenance?

Air Conditioning Preventative Maintenance Makes a Difference! While early spring normally is too chilly to begin doing cooling tune-ups for our customers, there’s nothing wrong with booking your preventive maintenance service in advance so you can beat the warm weather rush. While the minimum outdoor temperature varies between models, it usually needs to be in the 60°F range before we start going out to do tune-ups. That’s because parts of your air conditioning system—including the refrigerant—are not designed to work below a certain temperature. How Important Is Annual A/C Maintenance? After a long hibernation over the fall and winter, your […]
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