Battening Down for Winter

Mark Gagnon

Dear Friends,

Lingering, summer-like days and crisp, cool evenings always make autumn a season to savor. But fall foliage and earlier sunsets remind us that winter isn’t far away. And with the wild-card winters we’ve had in recent years, it’s important that your heating system is ready when that first cold snap arrives.

The best way to guarantee your family’s comfort is to get your heating system tuned up. A tune-up ensures that your furnace or boiler will operate at peak efficiency and use less fuel. Regular maintenance reduces the chance of breakdowns and expensive repairs, and following a proper maintenance schedule also keeps your equipment warranty valid.

The options for minimizing your heating costs don’t stop there, of course. You can avoid unexpected bills for repairs with a heating service plan. Also keep in mind that you can still enroll in a price-protection program. Go here to learn more about all of your price-protection options.

As temperatures fall, I know we will be getting a lot of calls about a loss of heat. While we’re happy to come out to your house and correct this for you, sometimes checking a few items on your own is all you need to do to get your heat back.

Remember, your comfort is our concern! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us by phone or online — anytime.


Mark Gagnon

Tankless propane water heater

The average household in the United States uses about 65 gallons of hot water each day. Are you paying more than you should to keep all that hot water flowing?

If you had a tankless propane water heater, you could stop worrying. What’s more, if you install a qualifying propane tankless water heater before December 31, 2016, you’ll be eligible for a $300 federal tax credit and a $100 rebate from Rinnai! And look at these other benefits:

Want to go tankless? Contact us today for a FREE estimate.

Home comfort family

You’re going in the right direction by using propane or heating oil to keep warm. But sometimes, you can lose your way trying to remain comfortable controlling costs.

Here are some tips to help you stay on the right path.

1. Buyer beware

Comfort Maze 1

Some fuel companies are notorious for bringing in customers at a discounted rate, all the while making it seem like their price is always lower than other companies’. In fact, their strategy is to continually step up your price until you are paying much more than you would with us. Other “discount” companies advertise low prices in the paper, but are often unavailable when you call.

If you get an offer that seems amazing, please call us to see what’s really involved. We’ve built a business that has lasted for decades by providing a great combination of value, safety and service. If you’re not careful, you can run right into a comfort dead end.

2. When to call it quits

Comfort Maze 2

If your boiler or furnace is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it soon; the performance and reliability of heating equipment typically deteriorates after 15 years (sooner if maintenance has been neglected).

At a minimum, a new system should help you save up to 20% on your annual heating costs. (If you significantly improve system efficiency, savings can be 40% or even more!) You’ll feel the difference in comfort too. And you’ll also save on repairs, because you’ll minimize the potential of a system breakdown, a common problem with old systems.

A family that spends $2,000 per year to heat its home and reduces its annual cost by just 20% saves $400. If the new system costs $2,800, the payback time on a system investment would be only seven years.*

* This example is for illustrative purposes only; your energy savings and equipment costs can vary.

3. More power to you

Comfort Maze 3

Some people think they can’t afford a backup generator, but studies show that NOT having any backup power can be more expensive in the long term. Just one power outage can cost you $1,250 — in spoiled food, eating out, damage to electronics, lost wages and temporary relocation costs.*

If you’re thinking about adding a generator, consider propane. A propane generator offers advantages that other fuel sources can’t match.

Unlike gasoline or diesel, propane can be delivered easily and stored safely on your property. During extended power outages, gasoline and diesel may be hard to get. Propane can also be stored for an unlimited amount of time; gasoline and diesel degrade after being in storage awhile.

Permanently installed outside your home and supplied by your tank, a propane generator will start automatically within seconds of the power going out.

*Source: Power Outage Impact Research, B2B International, 2015.

4. Propane delivered automatically

Like our oil customers, many of our propane customers get scheduled deliveries. They never have to call us for fuel because we carefully track their fuel usage and then make a delivery before their tank gets low. Automatic deliveries do not cost anything extra!

Comfort Maze 4

This system works for most customers if usage is consistent, but there are exceptions, especially for customers who use propane appliances at their discretion, such as fireplaces, space heaters, pool heaters and stoves.

In cases like these, we ask that you call us for a delivery when your propane tank gauge reaches 30%. That gives us plenty of time to get more fuel to you.

If you get automatic deliveries and start using a lot more or less fuel than normal, please call and let us know.

5. Avoid these mistakes

Comfort Maze 5

Many people have added insulation in their home and followed other energy-conserving strategies. That’s good! But in some cases, these changes seal up a home so tightly that the heating system can’t get enough air to operate efficiently. Poor air flow can also be caused by these conditions:

6. Get “smart”

Comfort Maze 6

Beyond replacing your old system or maintaining it properly, there are many other ways to make your home more energy efficient, reduce energy usage and save money on your heating bills.

A programmable thermostat is a great example. When used properly, it can save you about 10% on your annual energy bills. As you may know, you now have the ability to access a “smart” programmable thermostat remotely through the internet.

If you’re away from home, you can use your phone to adjust the temperature setting. The thermostat can also send you an email or a text alert about a drastic temperature change — and possible equipment failure. Some models even let you know when it’s time to schedule maintenance for your heating system. Now, that’s smart!

Comfortable life

  1. Our website is your one-stop shop for doing business with us, making it as easy as pie. Get information on our services, check your account, order fuel and more.
  2. We offer a convenient AutoPay plan and paperless billing, designed to streamline bill paying and to reduce paper clutter. Call or email us today and we’ll be glad to get you set up!


Over the summer, a customer let us know that our service technician Matt McCarron had rescued the family’s cat, which had become stuck inside the furnace early one morning. All in a day’s work! Read more customer stories and service updates by visiting us at

Keep these suggestions handy in case your heat ever stops working. We also have a troubleshooting guide on our website for your convenience (just click the FAQ section).

If you lost your heat:

Please call us right away if you need further assistance! We’re here for you 24 hours a day to keep you warm and safe.

Dave EllisDan Richardson

All of us extend best wishes to our longtime service manager Dave Ellis, who is retiring on October 31. A U.S. Navy veteran, Dave has been with us for 17 years.

“I still plan on getting up at five in the morning, even though I don’t have to be anywhere,” he says. “My wife and I look forward to spending time at our lake house, where I hope to do lots of woodworking, fishing and kayaking. We’ll also do some traveling, and I’ll have more time with my grandson.”

Meanwhile, Dan Richardson takes over the role of service manager after his great work as our installation manager. Dan has been in this business since 1978 and previously worked for Davis Oil.

“I look forward to my added responsibilities in keeping P. Gagnon the leading independently owned family company in the Seacoast area,” says Dan. “I feel we have the best service team going into the heating season that I have ever seen.”