pgagmin, Author at P. Gagnon & Son
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The P. Gagnon & Son Blog

Automatic Delivery eliminates worry over your heating oil supply!

oil tank gauge dover, me If you recently bought home that is kept warm with heating oil, you likely have questions about how to manage your heating oil supply.

P. Gagnon & Son is here to help! We provide reliable heating oil delivery and service and have been serving the Seacoast Region since 1904. Our premium heating oil is a blend that includes ultra-low sulfur heating oil (ULSHO), environmentally friendly biodiesels, and UltraGuard, an additive that helps keep your heating system running smoothly and at its maximum efficiency, which can help cut your heating costs.

How does the float gauge in my heating oil tank work?

Most of today’s heating oil tanks employ a float gauge to let you know how much oil is in your tank.
The gauge is placed on the top of the oil tank. The visible part is a plastic vial with markings that read F or Full, ¾, ½, and ¼, and a disc used for indicating how full the tank is.

An arm extends down from the vial into the inside of the tank and has a float on the end. In the middle of the arm, there is a hinge. That hinge allows the float to lower as the supply of heating oil in the tank goes down. As that happens, the arm lowers the disc in the vial.

What do I need to read a heating oil tank gauge?

The only tool you need to read your heating oil tank gauge is your eyes (and glasses if you use them).

See where the plastic disc is located in the vial. Since some discs are thicker than others, the middle of the disc is probably the closest approximation of your heating oil supply.

When should I order more heating oil?

We strongly urge our customers to never let their tank gauge fall below ¼ full before contacting us to schedule a heating oil delivery.

Going lower than ¼ full can put you at risk of a runout, as very cold weather could cause you to use more heating oil than usual and bad weather may slow our delivery schedule.

Here’s approximately how many gallons of heating oil are left in your tank if it’s ¼ full.

275 gallons: 69 gallons

330 gallons: 82.5 gallons

How long that remaining oil will last will vary based on multiple factors such as the size of your home, the condition of your furnace or boiler, and how airtight and insulated your home is. But here’s an example of an estimate:

If outdoor temperatures average 32° over a 24-hour period, a typical 2,500 square foot house will burn about seven gallons of heating oil per day. So, for example, if temperatures hover around the freezing mark and you have a quarter of a tank of oil left in your 275-gallon tank (which, remember, holds 225 gallons), you’ll have a little more than 55 gallons left – about enough to last about a week.

However, if temperatures are colder than that, as they often are here in the Seacoast Region during winter, you could use up your heating oil faster than that. That’s why we make our recommendation to request a delivery before you fall below ¼ full.

If you run very low on, or out of, heating oil, we offer 24/7 emergency heating oil delivery services. Call us any time of day or night.

You can end worrying about running out of heating oil with P. Gagnon & Son’s Automatic Delivery option! We use the latest software, your heating oil usage history, current weather conditions, and the weather forecast to make an accurate calculation of when you will need more heating oil. With that data, we schedule a delivery, so you get your heating oil tank filled before you run low.

How much heating oil will I need to order?

This not only depends on how much oil is in your tank at the time of delivery, but the size of your heating oil tank as well.

As we noted above, the most common sizes of residential heating oil tanks are 275 and 330 gallons. However, those numbers represent the capacity of the tank, not how much heating oil will go into them. This is because there is always a bit of empty space left in the tank to allow for expansion and to prevent overfilling and the spilling of heating oil.

Here is the maximum capacity for each heating oil tank size:

275 gallons vertical: 250 gallons

275 gallons horizontal: 240 gallons

330 gallons vertical: 305 gallons

330 gallons horizontal: 288 gallons

TankSure® protects your tank and your wallet

Heating oil tank failure isn’t just a hassle. It’s expensive and bad for the environment.

With TankSure® heating oil tank protection, you can gain peace of mind knowing that your tank is corrosion-free with an annual inspection at an economical cost. Plus, it comes with a $1,800 replacement warranty in the event of any tank failure! Investing in this plan provides long-term protection for your home.

Become a P. Gagnon & Son customer and have dependable, worry-free heating oil delivery and service!

P. Gagnon & Son will make sure your heating system is ready for next winter

heating service york, ma We’re in the home stretch towards Spring here in the Seacoast Region! That means many of us are looking forward to no longer needing to use our home’s furnace or boiler soon.

That makes now a great time to get an HVAC tune-up . This may not make sense right now, but there is sound reasoning behind this suggestion. Read on to learn more.

Advantages of late-season tune-ups

In the HVAC industry, this season is called “shoulder season,” as calls for furnace or boiler repair lull while air conditioning services are not yet in demand. Subsequently, our service department has seen an uptick in openings and provides accommodating scheduling availability for your heating system tune-up to be conducted at a time that works best for you. Plus, if any issues come up during the tune-up, it can usually be dealt with promptly!

Taking advantage of an HVAC tune-up today will provide you with the peace of mind that your boiler or furnace is in good condition and ready to go when needed. It eliminates the hassle of trying to schedule a tune-up in the fall when everyone else will be trying to do exactly that. Plus, if any unexpected cold snap occurs in autumn time, having taken care of your system ahead now provides security that you’ll be able to ride it out.

By the way, a tune-up is included in our HVAC service plans.

Why are tune-ups of my heating system important?

Frequent, professional maintenance of your heating system offers you many advantages. Here are just a few!

Prevent heating system breakdowns. Four out of five heating system repair jobs can be prevented with regular maintenance and inspection. During a tune-up, the P. Gagnon & Son service technicians not only perform essential maintenance but also conduct an extensive examination to detect any potential problems early on and prevent them from escalating into costly repairs. With consistent professional care, you’ll save money while avoiding inconvenient breakdowns!

Lower your energy bills. By maintaining your heating system properly, you can ensure optimal performance, keeping your home cozily warm while saving energy and money!

Protect your investment. Your furnace or boiler is a big investment in your home and its comfort, so maintenance should always be a priority. Taking proper care of your system will not only make it run more efficiently but also lower the amount of repairs needed, ensuring that you get maximum usage out of your investment. Investing time into maintenance now could help to extend the life of your heating system.

Protect your heating system’s warranty. Make sure that you receive yearly professional tune-ups as mandated by many manufacturers to keep your warranty valid. Without these regular maintenance check-ups, you risk voiding coverage and having to pay costly fees for repairs! Protect yourself now so that unexpected expenses don’t add up later on.

A tune-up now by P. Gagnon & Son helps your heating system now and down the road. Contact us today to schedule yours!

Get comfort and efficiency with a water heater from P. Gagnon & Son!

water heater installation maine Did you know that water heaters are the second-largest users of energy in your home, behind only your HVAC system? It’s true!

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, water heating accounts for approximately 20% of your home’s energy costs.

P. Gagnon can help improve your home’s energy efficiency as well as provide comfort and convenience by installing high-efficiency water heaters. We also install Rinnai propane tankless water heaters that can slash your water heating energy costs while also giving you endless hot water, on-demand!

If you’re wondering if it’s time to replace your home’s water heater, we’ve put together some information for you.

What is the age of my water heater?

Generally speaking, storage water heaters with a tank have an expected lifespan of 8 – 10 years.

Wondering how long your water heater has been around? Here’s a quick guide to help you pinpoint its age:

Locate the serial number of your water heater, which is typically situated on its upper part of the unit. The serial number will start with a letter followed by a series of numbers. The letter indicates the month in which it was manufactured (“A” for January, “B” for February, etc.), with the immediately following numbers being the year. So, if your water heater’s serial number starts with “J13,” the “J” is for October, and the “13” is for 2013, meaning that your water heater was manufactured in October of 2013.

When should I replace my water heater?

While age is a factor in when you will need to replace your water heater, there are other contributing factors.

For example, how well-maintained is your water heater?

Has the anode rod, also known as the sacrificial rod, been checked regularly, and replaced as needed? This rod attracts minerals that would otherwise contribute to corrosion of your water heater tank. The minerals eventually corrode the rod, so it needs to be replaced eventually so your tank continues to be protected.

Has the water heater tank been bled regularly? This maintenance helps prevent sediment from building up at the bottom or the tank and causing corrosion. Not bleeding it can accelerate water heater tank failure.

There are also these signs that your water heater may need replacing.

  1. Water around or under the water heater tank. This is a sign of leaking, which means tank failure is likely imminent. If you see this, contact P. Gagnon & Son.
  2. Your energy costs have inexplicably gone up. If you’ve noticed a sharp spike in your energy bills that can’t be attributed to an increase in fuel costs or usage, you may want to take a closer look at your water heater – it just might be the cause of these bigger bills. Over time, water heaters become less and less efficient. Investing in a new high efficiency one now will save you money for years to come.
  3. Rusty water. If you notice rusty water coming out of your faucet when you use hot water, it is likely a sign that there is corrosion in your water heater tank. That means you are probably facing tank failure soon.
  4. The water heater is making weird noises. If you’re hearing a growling or gurgling sound from your storage tank, it’s usually an indicator of sediment build-up. This is a serious problem, and you need to contact us.

Upgrade to a new water heater and enjoy comfort and energy efficiency! Contact P. Gagnon today for your FREE estimate .

Minimize your energy costs while maximizing comfort.

thermostat settings maine Are your home’s heating and cooling systems still run by manual thermostats? If so, you are missing out on maximizing their energy efficiency and minimizing your heating and cooling costs!

P. Gagnon & Son sells and installs quality programmable thermostats that make keeping your home comfortable easy. You can also save a lot of money by using a programmable thermostat, but how much? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, using your programmable thermostat correctly can cut your heating and cooling energy costs by 10% a year! When you consider that heating and cooling accounts for approximately half of your home’s energy consumption and costs, you can see what a great investment a programmable thermostat can be!

Even if you have a programmable thermostat, you may not be using it properly to optimize energy efficiency. So, we’ve put together some steps to make sure you get the most out of your thermostat.

[h3]Set your thermostat for savings

Look at the settings on your thermostat. Usually, there’s one for heating and cooling. Make sure it’s set on the right one. If it’s set to “OFF,” neither your heating system nor your central air conditioning systems will run.

There is also a setting for the fan, with the options of “AUTO” or “ON.” When set to “ON,” the fan will operate continuously to circulate air around your ductwork. It can come in handy if someone has burned dinner and you want to help circulate the air out of your kitchen and eventually out of your home. But if you leave it on, it can be a big waster of energy. The “AUTO” setting only turns on the fan when it is needed to get the air in your home to the temperature you set on the thermostat.

For your everyday settings, the Department of Energy offers these guidelines:

Don’t make the all-too-frequent mistake of setting your programmable thermostat to crank up the heat or air conditioning when you get home under the misguided belief that doing so will get your home comfortable faster. It won’t, and you’ll just waste energy, defeating the purpose of your programmable thermostat. Instead, program your thermostat to adjust to your desired temperature 30 to 60 minutes before you plan to get home. That way, your heating system can efficiently get it to that temperature, so you come home to comfort.

Programmable thermostats also allow you to set multiple programs, such as one for weekdays, one for weekends, and one for vacations.

You may decide to install a smart thermostat for your home. These offer many benefits. Smart thermostats ensure that you can remain in full control of your home’s climate, even when on vacation! As long as there is an internet signal or WiFi connection available, you can access and modify the thermostat settings using your smartphone. There are no more concerns about forgetting to set the thermostat before you leave the house.

A smart thermostat also keeps an eye on your home’s HVAC system. It can alert you when it’s time to replace your air filter when maintenance is required if something is wrong and you need a service call, and how much energy your system consumes so you can adjust your settings if necessary.
Ready to upgrade your home’s heating and cooling with a programmable thermostat? Contact P. Gagnon & Son today to get started!

Make sure P. Gagnon & Son can deliver your propane!

fuel delivery new hampshire Winter can be fun here in the Seacoast Region, with skiing, snowmobiling, and other outdoor fun. Shoveling or snow blowing your driveway probably isn’t on your list of fun things to do in the winter. However, it needs to get done for many reasons.

The trained and experienced propane delivery drivers at P. Gagnon & Son are committed to upholding the highest standards for safety in their work. If they cannot safely get down your driveway or to your propane tank, they will not be able to deliver the propane you need to keep your home warm, safe, and comfortable.

To ensure safe access for our delivery trucks, we kindly ask that our customers clear their driveways to a width of at least 10 feet. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated!

If your driveway has an incline, please consider spreading salt and/or sand on it. This is especially important since our delivery trucks are heavier than most cars that use your driveway.

Our delivery drivers require a pathway at least one foot wide between the driveway and the tank. If you are planning to hire someone for snow removal this season, we ask that show them exactly where the tank and path to it are in order to prevent them from blocking access during their work.

Heavy snowfall may obscure the location of your propane tank. Make it easy to spot by setting up a tall pole with a brightly colored flag or ribbon on top next to your propane tank.

Are you going away for a vacation somewhere warm, or perhaps a ski trip? Please arrange for snow and ice removal for while you are gone in case you need a propane delivery during that time.

Take good care of your propane tank

After every snowfall, use a broom to sweep away the accumulation of snow. Avoid using a shovel as this may cause damage to the tank and its components.

Why is it important to keep snow from accumulating on your propane tank? That weight, whether it’s accumulated over several snowfalls or from one heavy snowstorm, can put pressure on valves and connectors, which could lead to ruptures or misalignments. If there is a leak and the amount of snow prevents that leaked propane gas from dispersing into the air, it can create a dangerous buildup of gas.

There’s another reason that keeping your tank clear of snow is essential.

When temperatures drop, propane gas may shrink in volume. In extreme cold, its pressure can decrease so much that the propane gas is no longer able to reach your home’s appliances. Sunlight is your propane tank’s best friend; it helps maintain a safe pressure level. Without the sun, however, snow can start to accumulate and impede warming efforts — posing a risk of leaving you without heat in your home!

Keep P. Gagnon & Son informed

If you are an Automatic Delivery customer and plan on being away from home for more than just a week or so, please let us know.

We need to know if you’ll be away from home because we calculate the perfect time for delivery based on your propane usage history at this time of year. Letting us know in advance will prevent an unnecessary delivery and help ensure that you always have enough propane when needed.

P. Gagnon & Son helps keep your home comfortably warm with reliable propane delivery. Become a customer today!

Dear Friends,

The surge in all energy prices has been painful for everyone. Supply shortages across the board have also been causing concern.

As an example, ISO New England — the independent corporation responsible for keeping electricity flowing through our region — reported a high risk of rolling blackouts this winter. That’s due to a shortage of natural gas needed to make electricity. Electric rates have skyrocketed as a result.

However, there are a few silver linings amongst these dark clouds. First, propane’s price increases have been less than virtually all other fuels. Still, the future remains
uncertain because more American propane may be sent overseas to compensate for the cut-off in Russian supplies.

Second, future heating oil prices on the commodities market show a big drop-off in the months to come. This lines up with a prediction from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which projects lower distillate fuel prices in the first half of 2023. (Distillate fuels include heating oil and diesel.)

P. Gagnon & Son has been taking care of our customers for nearly 120 years. There are many things we can’t control, but we will always prioritize our existing customers over new ones. We will always go the extra mile to keep you safe and warm. And we will be there when you need us.

Mark Gagnon, President

As we went to print, some customers were asking us why heating oil prices haven’t been falling the same way as gasoline prices.

While gasoline and heating oil are both distillates of crude oil, their prices don’t always track the same way. The better comparison is diesel fuel. Diesel and heating oil are virtually the same product. They are just taxed differently.

Diesel prices have surged this year because fuel is scarce worldwide, unlike gasoline. There are simply not enough refineries right now to meet post-pandemic global demand, especially since the U.S. and European countries stopped buying Russia’s energy exports.

The good news is that we maintain a winter-ready inventory of heating oil at our secure on-site fuel storage facilities. We also have solid relationships with reliable fuel suppliers.

We want you to rest easy. As we’ve done for many years now, we promise to deliver comfort and peace of mind to you.

We could all use some extra money in our wallets. Here’s a chance to boost your budget.

Just read this newsletter and answer the questions on the enclosed reply card, or go to to enter. All entries received by 5/18/23 with the correct answers will be entered into a drawing for a $500 gift card. Three winners will be selected!

Are you worried about your worn-out heating system breaking down this winter? Contact us today to learn about all the ways you can save by upgrading to a new boiler or furnace.

Not only will you save money on heating your home for years to come, but you may also qualify for immediate savings. Right now, you can save a lot of money with available rebates and tax credits when you install a qualifying heating system.

Reach out to us for more details and ask us for a FREE estimate on a new propane or heating oil system.

To avoid delays, we provide 24-hour emergency heating service solely for our customers. This is how we define emergency service.

For non-emergency issues, please call our office between 8 am- 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, and we will send out a technician or driver as soon as possible.