Fall 2018 Archives - P. Gagnon & Son
Fuel Prices: Keeping You in the Loop - Click Here.
Following the Golden Rule

Mark Gagnon

Dear Friends,

These days, it’s hard to find a heating fuel and service company that isn’t part of a national chain or a major corporation. So it’s no surprise when our customers tell us how much they appreciate working with a familyowned company that’s been in the neighborhood for more than a century. We’re proud to be one of the only locally owned, family-run fuel companies in this area!

When you call or stop by our office, our friendly staff is knowledgeable, courteous and happy to answer your questions. And if you have a problem or an emergency, your call will be treated with urgency.

In our business, we believe in the golden rule: Treat your customers the way you’d like to be treated. Customers tell us they appreciate our fair and transparent pricing as well as all of the services we offer that make their lives a little easier. That includes payment and pricing plans, automatic deliveries and service plans.

So if you’ve been through the “winter wars” with us before, you know you can count on us for dependable deliveries and emergency service no matter how bad the weather gets. Just let us know what we can do to help.

Warmly,

Mark Gagnon
President

Using phone next to dog

A big part of what allows us to deliver the kind of old-fashioned value and service that you appreciate is our commitment to the latest technology.

A few years ago, we equipped all our technicians and drivers with computer tablets so that they could easily communicate with our office, access your service history quickly, check the availability of parts and much more.

Additionally, our online portal gives you easy access to your account anytime. It’s now mobile friendly, so you can pay your bill, check your fuel usage, schedule a delivery or request a maintenance appointment on the go.

You can also use our portal to set up e-billing and automatic payments. Most customers really enjoy the ease and the reduction of paper clutter.

By making it easier for you to work with us online, it means it’s even easier for you to work with us on the phone. Our customer-service representatives have more time to answer questions, troubleshoot equipment problems and, most important, dispatch a technician or a driver when you encounter a heating emergency.

This is the time of year when you want to make wise choices to stay comfortable while you keep your energy costs under control. Here are some tips to help you.

5 Propane Upgrades to Consider

Boy riding bike

Balance out your comfort and savings throughout the year with these five suggestions for propane upgrades.

  1. Install a propane fireplace or propane log set. Vented propane hearths give you all the benefits of wood fireplaces without the smoke, mess or clean up — and at a fraction of the installation cost — no chimney required!
  2. Warm up to a propane space heater. Do you have rooms that are drafty and cold? Do you do a lot of work in your garage? Vented propane gas space heaters are easy to install, incredibly efficient and extremely safe. They also burn cleaner, with fewer emissions compared to electric space heaters.
  3. Upgrade to a new propane furnace. Propane gas furnaces are best in their class in terms of efficiency, with ratings from 90 to 98% efficient. A propane furnace can provide affordable warmth and comfort for any size floor plan, from small residences to large custom homes.
  4. Go tankless. Swap out your old electric tank water heater for an innovative tankless propane unit. You’ll cut down on your water heating bills and enjoy a virtually endless supply of hot water.
  5. Swap out your electric stove for a propane range/cooktop. Precision temperature control is just one of the reasons that 9 out of 10 professional chefs choose to cook with gas. Why not discover all the other benefits of a propane cooktop for yourself?

Propane — the more appliances you have, the more you’ll love it! For more propane upgrade ideas, please contact us and we’ll be glad to share our expert advice with you!

Raising Smart to a Higher Degree

Woman phone

A smart thermostat is a great addition for your home. A Wi-Fi enabled thermostat allows you to view and change temperature settings, check local weather conditions and more, all from your smartphone, computer or tablet.

Once the smart thermostat gets installed, you register it online. This enables access from any location. If you’re away from home, you can use your phone or tablet to adjust the temperature setting so your home is at the perfect temperature when you return.

Some thermostat models even allow you to adjust temperatures to your comfort and over the next few days your thermostat will “remember” the temperatures you like and build a schedule based on your patterns. Now, that’s pretty smart — and it saves you on both heating and cooling costs!

Put Your Comfort on Automatic

Many of our oil and 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 delivery does not cost anything extra!

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

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

If you’re a heating oil customer who prefers to call in your order, you should do so when your tank reaches the ¼ mark.

Important: If you find you’re using a lot more or less fuel than you did last year, please call and let us know. We will be happy to adjust your delivery schedule.

Safety Corner

Carbon monoxide alarm

Here are a few tips on how to keep everything running safely and efficiently in your home.

Kids holding earth

Did you know that all heating oil delivered in Maine must now contain an ultra-low level of sulfur content?

This commitment by the heating oil industry, in partnership with our state government, means that oil heat customers will experience some very significant benefits now and into the future: Reduced sulfur content means cleaner-burning fuel that’s kinder to your equipment. There’s less sediment, fewer clogs and far fewer breakdowns.

In short, ultra-low-sulfur heating oil burns more efficiently, helping you keep costs down and giving you more value per gallon.

Additionally, our heating oil typically includes Bioheat®, a blend of traditional home heating oil and biodiesel. This is a highly refined, clean-burning fuel made from renewable sources. It’s another important part of our commitment to bringing the cleanest energy possible into your home.

Family

Are you hoping for an easier winter than last year’s? (Who isn’t?) Start with these tips to help things go more smoothly this year.

  1. Call for a gas appliance safety check. We’ll inspect propane tanks and lines according to industry guidelines.
  2. Sign up for automatic deliveries.
  3. Enroll in Auto Pay: no stamps to buy, no checks to mail and no worrying about late payments.
  4. Replace old heating equipment. New, high‑efficiency models can reduce your annual fuel costs.
  5. Remove snow, ice or any other obstructions near your tank or fill pipe when the weather gets bad. This allows our drivers to deliver your fuel as safely and efficiently as possible.

Mark Leach

Q: Why do I have to get a leak test when I run out of propane?

A: It’s all about safety, and it’s required by state and federal law, as well as by insurance rules.

All propane piping and fittings are coated with a pipe-joint compound to seal connections and prevent leaks. But if the pressure changes in the lines — as happens when you run out of fuel — there is the possibility that the joint compound could contract and create a leak.

As a result, whenever we install a new tank, or if you have a run-out, we must perform a pressure test. We need to make sure the tank is operating safely. Contrary to what some people may think, we would never perform a leak test just to charge an extra fee.