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401 Walcott St Pawtucket, RI 02860
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Which Natural Gas Heating System is Best For You?

Dupuis Oil Truck

Four major options to consider and compare

Many New England residents choose natural gas because it provides a convenient, economical heating solution. Around 50 percent of Rhode Island homes use this fuel, according to federal data. If you decide to install gas equipment, you’ll need to compare several different types of heating systems. The most appealing option differs depending on your personal priorities and the design of your home.

Gas Boilers

A boiler heats water rather than air. Most systems use baseboard heating units to distribute warmth. Installers put copper pipes with fins in low-profile metal housings that run along walls. These systems have somewhat higher minimum efficiency ratings than furnaces or steam-based equipment. They also help to conserve space. Unlike furnaces, boilers can efficiently heat water for sinks and showers.

Some systems supply steam for traditional radiators. They tend to deliver greater comfort than the alternatives. Many units feature attractive, old-fashioned styling. You might choose a radiator-based system if you want your equipment to complement the interior of an older home. On the other hand, these heating units may occupy too much space in small rooms.

Radiant Heat

Some buildings contain tubes that carry hot water through their floors. It’s easier to install the equipment when constructing a home, but you can also add it to your current house. This relatively expensive option might prove desirable if you favor complete silence, need to conserve space and don’t want to cover the floor with thick rugs.

Gas Furnaces

Numerous systems burn natural gas in an effort to directly heat indoor air. Ducts and a powerful fan distribute warm air throughout the building. Consider installing a furnace if you also want to add a central air conditioner, dehumidifier or humidifier. It can share the ductwork with this equipment. A downside is that air ducts take up a lot of room. It’s best to install them when building a new home.

Manufacturers offer standard, two-stage and modulating systems. To maximize comfort and efficiency, select a modulating furnace. It can regulate natural gas consumption with great precision. A standard unit costs the least but operates much less efficiently; consider buying one for a seasonal home. Two-stage models provide an appealing compromise for residents of moderately cold places like Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Contact Natural Gas Heating Professionals

The professionals at Dupuis Energy can help you pick the most suitable equipment for your home. We install, maintain and repair many different systems. Our company has met the heating needs of New England residents for 119 years. To learn more about natural gas heating equipment or services, please call Dupuis Oil or contact us.

 

10 Ways to Keep Your Home Warm During a New England Winter on a Budget

Easy, economical tips on warmth maximization.

If you live in New England, heating expenses probably have a major impact on your budget. Many people pay around $700 to $2,200 for fuel each year, according to the state of Massachusetts. Luckily, you can find simple, affordable ways to stay warm while cutting costs.

Cost-Effective Ways to Keep Your Home Warm

1. Remember to open your curtains or Venetian blinds during sunny days. Close them at night to prevent heat from easily escaping the room. Insulated curtains will maximize the benefits.

2. When you sleep or relax, use a hot water bottle. This simple tool warms up beds and sofas at very little expense. You can also insulate your bed with the help of flannel sheets.

3. Brew a pot of coffee. It will create warmth in multiple ways. The mug warms your hands and the beverage heats up your entire body. At the same time, a coffee maker produces enough heat and humidity to make a room feel noticeably warmer.

4. Put carpets or rugs on your floors. People lose up to one-tenth of their heat to uncovered wooden flooring. A carpet both insulates the floor and feels warmer to the touch.

5. If you have a fireplace, never keep the damper open after a fire stops producing smoke. It has the same effect as leaving a window open! Consider spending $45 on a “chimney balloon” for even greater energy savings.

6. Attach heavy-duty aluminum foil to the walls behind radiators. It will stop heat from passing through building materials and escaping the house. Foil can reflect warmth toward your living area.

7. Arrange furnishings so that they don’t block radiators or air vents. Poor placement can prevent air from circulating properly and cause some parts of a room to remain cool. If possible, keep any legless furniture away from walls with baseboard heating units.

8. Keep in mind that warm air often rises straight up if a heating device doesn’t have a fan. Think about mounting a shelf on the wall above a radiator. You could also put a small fan nearby and set it at a low speed.

9. Place clear plastic over the inside of your windows. This technique reduces heating expenses by around one-tenth to one-seventh. You can use bubble wrap for even better results, but it will prevent you from seeing outdoors.

10. Insulate the door to your attic. If it lacks insulation, significant amounts of heat will quickly rise into this unoccupied area. Make sure that the door closes tightly, and repair or replace it if necessary.

Contact Heating Oil Professionals

Dupuis Oil can help you keep costs low while remaining comfortable. We offer competitive fuel rates, a price-capping program and various discounts. Our friendly, experienced staff also maintains most types of heating equipment. Please contact Dupuis to learn more.

Tips That Will Come in Handy If Your AC Breaks Down This Summer

Why Wait for the Worst to Occur When You Can Be Prepared?

Among all of humankind’s great inventions, air conditioning is by far one of the most pleasant. No more must you dread the coming of summer. Instead, you can simply relax in total comfort. When your AC fails, however, it doesn’t take long before you begin to wonder why your primitive ancestors ever left the shady forests of their origins.

Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer just because your wonky air conditioning is making you feel like you’re living in the Stone Age. Use these basic pointers to keep cool until you can get help from an expert.

 

Keep Some Fans Around
Your body deals with excess heat in various ways. For instance, your skin undergoes energy transfer processes like radiation, conduction and evaporation to reduce its temperature so that you feel cooler. Fans aid this process by bombarding you with air molecules that act as outlets for all of the heat energy that your skin is trying to shed.

Fans are also a cheap standby alternative to portable air conditioner units. Of course, if your electricity is out, you can always buy a hand fan for some on-the-spot relief. This solution works especially well if you have kids with extra energy to burn.

 

Check the Simple Things
Climate control hardware is a complex system of components that all perform specific functions. Although some parts, like motors and electronics, are too dangerous for homeowners to mess with, others are basic enough that you can try some quick maintenance.

For instance, the refrigeration process that lets your AC cool the air around you produces condensed moisture that typically drips from a pipe leaving your air handler unit. Take a look to see if dirt or vegetation might be blocking this outlet.

Another straightforward remedy involves changing your air filters. As filters become clogged with debris, AC fans have to work harder to draw air through them, which can strain these appliances. For this reason, it’s usually wise to have extra clean filters on hand before you start relying on your cooling system to deal with summer heatwaves.

 

Tweak Your Surroundings
If none of the previous solutions work, then what should you do? Helping your home keep the heat out is a good start. For instance, covering windows during the day is a smart way to stop the sun from transforming your surroundings into an oven. This strategy is even more effective if you use mylar emergency blankets or regular thick quilts.

At night, crank open all of the windows. Turn on the fans to draw in as much cold air as possible, and arrange them in a way that lets air circulate throughout your entire residence.

 

Call for Help
If there’s one vital survival tool that you can’t afford to go without this summer, it’s a repair service’s contact information. Calling in the professionals as early as possible is the easiest way to minimize your suffering. To learn more about staying prepared, visit Dupuis online.

3 Big Tips for Saving Money on A/C This Summer

Affordable Cooling Remains Within Reach

Air conditioning makes hot summer weather seem far more pleasant. However, higher electric bills may put a big dent in your bank account during July and August. American homeowners spend almost $30 billion per year on A/C, according to the Department of Energy. Luckily, you can cut this cost by changing how you use the equipment and upgrading your home in certain ways. Follow these three tips to enjoy a summer without financial headaches.
1. Don’t overcool your home

If you wear light clothing, you’ll probably feel comfortable when you adjust the thermostat to 78 degrees. Don’t set it to the lowest temperature in an effort to cool your home more quickly. This technique squanders energy and doesn’t actually work. Remember not to place anything warm or hot next to a thermostat. For instance, the heat from a nearby computer could affect its readings.

2. Always adjust the thermostat before you depart

Don’t waste power by maintaining a low temperature while you work, shop or attend classes. If you often forget to follow this tip, consider installing an automated thermostat. Programmable units adjust the temperature according to your daily schedule. You might prefer a smart thermostat if your work hours frequently change. These devices allow people to control A/C systems with smartphone apps. Some models can use sensors to detect your presence.

3. Add insulation to walls and ceilings

Insulation doesn’t just keep homes warm in the winter. It can also shield your house from hot summer temperatures. Consider installing it in the attic or a garage below your living quarters. Remember to conduct thorough research; excessive insulation could create moisture problems. Injection foam products generally yield the best results. Be sure to seal any cracks or holes in the exterior of the home, as well, to eliminate any thermal losses.

The heating and cooling professionals at Dupuis Energy offer a number of services that reduce A/C expenses. Our air conditioner tune-ups enhance efficiency and reliability. We install modern ductless systems that greatly decrease power consumption. Our technicians can also perform a free home energy audit and determine if your house needs better windows or insulation. We serve customers across southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Please contact Dupuis to learn more.

The Differences and Benefits of Natural Gas and Propane

Great choices for home heating and cooking

Natural gas and propane have many of the same purposes. You may use them to run heating systems, water heaters or kitchen appliances. These fuels can help you accomplish tasks that range from cooking dinner to drying clothes. Both options are relatively eco-friendly and provide people with a variety of important benefits.

Natural Gas

Climate Central reports that approximately half of American homes contain gas heating systems. This fuel serves different purposes depending on whether a supplier liquefies or compresses it. Gas primarily comes from domestic sources, according to the Alternative Fuels Data Center.

Most people obtain this fuel via underground lines. These pipes can automatically supply it to your home as needed. This is convenient because you’ll never have to arrange deliveries or worry about running out. Customers only pay for as much energy as they consume, so there’s no need to order a minimum quantity. Some consumers will have a tank installed at their residence if they are not already on a gas line, which will require fuel delivery periodically.

This fuel generally provides a more affordable heat source than the alternatives. Suppliers keep costs low because they don’t have to transport it across the ocean or deliver it to individual homes in trucks. Another advantage is that many stoves and fireplaces continue to work during power outages.

Numerous chefs prefer to cook with gas rather than electricity. Gas stoves offer greater versatility and allow people to control burner temperatures with more precision. Unlike electric units, they instantly adjust the heat level when desired. Propane stoves work somewhat differently but provide similar benefits.

Propane

Domestic producers deliver nine-tenths of America’s LP (liquid propane) supply. This substance also yields few or no greenhouse gas emissions. Energy companies always supply it as a fluid. Although it seldom represents the least expensive option, LP costs less than electric or oil heat in many regions.

Customers must purchase this liquid in small cylinders or pay a supplier to deliver larger quantities. This makes it easy to control how much you spend and compare different companies’ prices. You can also buy extra fuel if the cost drops. Unlike gas, LP is available in rural areas that lack underground utility lines.

Large tanks prove useful for people who primarily heat their homes with this fuel. On the other hand, compact cylinders come in handy when you need a portable source of energy. You may use them to operate outdoor grills or kitchen stoves in travel trailers.

If gas or Liquid Propane appeals to you, Dupuis Energy can help you get started. We install both types of heating equipment and only sell efficient, long-lasting units. Our experienced staff services these systems as well. We also deliver LP at competitive rates. Please contact our Pawtucket, R.I. office for all of your heating & cooling needs.

Get Your HVAC System Checked Before Spring

Get Your HVAC System Checked Before Spring

Avoid costly, unpleasant summer breakdowns

Here in the Northeast, the coldest season is finally coming to an end. It’s easy to forget about the importance of air conditioning during a long winter. Nonetheless, hot and humid weather could arrive in two months or less. Last May, the Boston Globe reported on a heat wave with muggy air and temperatures over 90 F.

Get Prepared

Think about scheduling an HVAC inspection before Easter Sunday. Your air conditioner’s moving parts eventually wear out or need lubrication. Grime builds up on components, and drains or filters may become clogged. Such problems could shorten your system’s life span if no one addresses them.

Regular AC maintenance can help you save tremendous amounts of money by preventing breakdowns that call for expensive repairs. A basic tune-up or HVAC inspection costs around $129. The technician will test your system and carefully check it for problems. He or she may also clean various components, lubricate moving parts and make any needed adjustments.

On the other hand, you could spend $150 to $2,500 on a repair. Some parts remain relatively inexpensive to order and install, such as thermostats, capacitors, fuses and condensation pumps. However, compressors and evaporator coils cost far more. It might make more sense to buy a new system rather than fix aging equipment. Homeowners frequently pay around $4,900 to completely replace their central air conditioners.

Efficiency

Cooling equipment doesn’t only work more reliably when professionals thoroughly maintain it; the machines also conserve power by running more efficiently. Lubricated parts, clean coils and new filters reduce the amount of energy needed to produce cool air and circulate it throughout a home. Consequently, AC maintenance cuts your monthly utility bill while reducing air pollution.

Discomfort

An unexpected failure could also prevent HVAC equipment from keeping your home cool during hot weather. Inspections can reveal impending problems and enable technicians to fix them now rather than performing the work in June or July. Some people must go without cooling systems until they save up enough money for new parts.

Even if you have plenty of cash, it may take a long time to revive your air conditioning equipment after a summer breakdown. Technicians often become rather busy during the hottest weeks. This means that most customers wait longer for repairs than they would in the spring. You might need to spend money on fans or a small window unit in the meantime.

To minimize your expenses and ensure that your home remains cool throughout the summer, schedule a Dupuis Energy service call today. Our company inspects, repairs and replaces HVAC systems in southeast Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Since the early days of the 20th century. Contact Dupuis Energy today to schedule a consultation.

Taking Advantage of Propane Delivery

How Liquefied Petroleum Gas Might Improve Your Energy Outlook

The popularity of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), more commonly known as propane, can greatly be attributed to the fact that you can purchase it in handy tanks that make for convenient backyard barbecues or heating. Compared to other fossil fuels, LPG has a number of cost benefits and functional advantages. It even places less of a burden on the natural environment, so signing up for a regular propane delivery could just make your cookouts even more pleasant.

Is Propane Safe?
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LPG is known for its reduced carbon content compared to substances like gasoline and diesel. This fundamental chemical characteristic gives LPG the power to minimize greenhouse gas emissions when people use it as an alternative fuel source. Although most automakers haven’t completely caught on, you can already do your part with a propane lawn mower or vehicle conversion kit.

Reducing Your Energy Expenditures
Going green isn’t the only potential advantage of Propane. It’s also possible to save money by making the switch.

Government sources note that other forms of hydrocarbon fuels, such as petroleum, are likely to include massive acquisition surcharges by default. With almost a third of all petroleum used in the U.S. in 2014 originating overseas, your ability to drive your gas or diesel-powered vehicle affordably depends on politics, economics and oil prices on the other side of the globe.

The vast majority of propane that you’ll encounter is produced domestically. There are also preexisting transportation networks that take care of distribution. These factors lead to significant cost reductions.

What Kinds of Propane Accessories Might Improve Your Life?

Although vehicles that burn LPG have higher price tags, reports suggest that their reduced operating costs could make up for the disparity. Fortunately, homeowners who favor propane accessories have a wide selection of household devices and appliances to choose from.

Your propane delivery service can fill up a cylinder that powers your home’s furnace in the winter or keeps your water heater at a comfortable setting year round. Propane ranges, ovens, clothes dryers and space heaters for outdoor and indoor use also employ LPG to create precisely controlled temperatures at a fraction of the cost of their electric equivalents.

One of the smartest uses for LPG is to supply a standby generator that can kick in if there is a power failure to your home. When such a failure may occur, these high-efficiency devices can automatically start up in seconds, providing your home with power without depending on the grid. Depending on your system’s capacity, a propane generator can keep your lights and appliances running for days.

Whether you already have propane-ready devices in your home, or you’re looking to invest in some new and efficient tools for leisure or emergencies; propane and propane accessories can not only be highly useful, but also save you money over traditional electric devices.

 

Ready to take advantage of everything propane has to offer? Contact Dupuis Energy today to set up a delivery schedule or get a consultation!

 

Why You Need a Free Home Energy Audit

Improving your home’s energy efficiency will reduce your energy bill

Is your heating bill too high? Are you concerned about cold drafts in your home during the winter months? Before you invest in new appliances or insulation, you should get a free home energy audit, and maximize your savings through thrifty improvements to your home.

What are Energy Audits?

Energy audits, sometimes called energy assessments, determine how buildings consume and use energy. By identifying inefficiencies, an energy audit can give you guidance in making your home better for you and the environment. The EPA claims that homeowners can save between 5-30 percent on their energy bills every month by making their property more energy efficient.

What Happens During Energy Audits?

A professional energy auditor will begin by looking at your energy bills. Next they will use tools such as infrared cameras to conduct health and safety inspections to pinpoint areas where energy is being wasted. After the assessment, the auditor will give you a comprehensive energy report with suggestions for improvements. Such suggestions may include replacing your water heater, investing in ENERGY STAR products or switching to natural gas. If you get an energy audit from a full service company, they can immediately start making the upgrades you need.

Where Can I Learn More About Energy Audits?

The EPA has more information about energy audits and how they can improve your home. The Propane Gas Association of New England, the State of RI Energy ResourcesOil Heat America and the American Energy Coalition are also tremendous resources for homeowners looking to improve their home’s energy efficiency. The best time to get an audit is before temperatures drop below freezing so that you can make the necessary preparations for winter, however even a mid-winter audit is valuable as it can outline issues that warmer weather may not highlight.

Capitalizing Your Audit

When you’re ready to lower your bills and make your home more energy efficient, an energy audit will point you in the direction of needed improvements. Dupuis Energy can help you make any of the adjustments to your systems that the audit uncovers. As a full-service company, we deliver propane and natural gas to customers and take care of all their heating and HVAC needs. Our focus on energy conservation and customer service has made Dupuis Oil the premier supplier of energy products and services to homeowners in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts for over a century. Visit the Dupuis Oil website or call us now to start making your home more comfortable all year long.

Preparing Your Furnace for Winter

Three Important Maintenance Tips for the Heating Season

Very few things are worse than a furnace breakdown in the middle of winter. Heating problems leave you shivering in your own home, and long furnace downtime can lead to frozen and broken pipes; a big issue for any functional household. Avoid the stress and inconvenience of a broken furnace by following these simple tips.

1. Changing Air Filters

Inspect your filters every month, and change them after three months or as needed to keep them free of thick dust. If you have pets, you might need to replace the filters more often. Clogged filters block airflow, which will affect the output of your furnace. Clogged HVAC filters can also cause the unit to overheat. Most new systems will shut off automatically to prevent mechanical damage. If you’re having trouble with your furnace, check the air filter first.

2. Scheduling Tune-ups

Investing in a professional tune-up is the best way to prepare your furnace for the long heating season in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. Your Dupuis Energy technician will inspect each part of the system to ensure its safe operation. Combustion components require special attention. The gas or oil line and valves need to be inspected. Fuel filters should be replaced. The burner, nozzles and heat exchanger should be cleaned. The exhaust vent must be checked to make sure that carbon monoxide isn’t released into your home. Your Dupuis Oil service person can help you get everything sorted out with your HVAC system.

3. Thermostats, Deadly Gases, & Batteries

If your thermostat uses batteries, fall is a good time to replace them. Low batteries are a common and avoidable cause of service calls. Remember to also test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in the autumn; carbon dioxide can build up in a space more than normal in the winter and you want to always have an active warning system. Although HVAC tune-ups reduce the risk of deadly gases entering your living space, you should have a carbon monoxide detector in your basement and on every level of your home to protect your family.

It’s the perfect time to schedule a furnace tune-up. Combining your fuel delivery and furnace tune-ups is a great way to save money and ensure that your furnace is properly maintained. Contact us to learn more, and check our service pages for practical information.

Affordable Cold Weather Comfort

Survive the Chill Without the Freezing Your Funds

When winter rolls around, the snowy sights may be picturesque, but nothing is as lovely as a warm and comfortable home. No matter how much of a cold weather enthusiast you are, you can’t deny the importance of being able to retreat to your private heated sanctuary. Proactive home maintenance makes it easy and economical to maintain your paradise. Follow these simple tips from Dupuis to learn how you can save on your energy bills while staying toasty all season long.

Start Weatherproofing Where the Boundaries End

You and your family aren’t the only things that make use of your front door, windows and garage. Heat energy also passes through these portals unless you take steps to halt its progress.

Go on an inspection tour of the outermost edges of your home. Feel in front of and around windows and doors for drafts. Also check the edges where walls, floors and ceilings meet for cracks, and ensure that your weather stripping creates tight seals. Sealing up these points will help the money you pay for heating go much farther.

Get to Know Your Ventilation and Heater Better

Good seals aren’t just important in the spaces that you’re trying to heat. They also play a vital role inside your heating system itself. When your heater has to pump extra air through leaky vents just to warm up your rooms, it uses more energy, and your climate control costs skyrocket.

Of course, nobody’s suggesting that you crawl through your vents action-movie-style in order to hunt for cracks. On top of performing visual inspections in areas that you can readily access, you can simply pay attention to how your system operates. Behaviors like being unable to reach temperatures or cycling on and off repeatedly are usually good indicators of inefficient thermostat or furnace operation. If you notice them, you’re overdue for a maintenance call.

Don’t Take Building Materials for Granted

What’s going on inside your walls? If you’re like most homeowners, these hidden inner volumes contain one of many forms of insulation. The only question is whether it’s actually doing its job properly.

While it’s impossible to gauge the effectiveness of your insulation through simple visual inspections, problems often make themselves evident. For instance, if you observe that a section of wall is notably colder than others nearby, the insulation in that area may have degraded to the point where it no longer functions at peak efficiency.

Booking a professional energy audit is always a solid game plan. In addition to highlighting problems, audits make it easier to capitalize on the benefits of heating your home with cost effective, readily available fuels. To learn more about how the audit process complements maintenance and fuel delivery plans to keep your heating running as cost-effectively as possible, contact Dupuis energy today.