ultra low sulfur diesel

Diesel cars and trucks get a bad rap for the perceived pollutants they put out.

Everyone’s heard horror stories about being stuck behind a semi-truck pouring out black smoke for miles.

Thankfully, new ultra low sulfur diesel is reducing the harmful pollutants produced by diesel engines. Keep reading to find out how low sulfur diesel works and why it’s such a big deal.

What is Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel?

In 2001, the EPA created the Highway Diesel Program to reduce the amount of sulfur in diesel vehicles. It mandates a 97% reduction of sulfur oxides in diesel fuel, down to 15 ppm from a previous limit of 500 ppm.

Ultra low sulfur diesel was born from this law. It went into effect in 2006 and post-2007 all new diesel engines were designed to run on ultra low sulfur diesel.

They incorporate what’s called a particulate filter to help remove even more harmful pollutants from their exhaust. Diesel fuel itself is a heavier petroleum product that’s related to other fuels like furnace oil.

Benefits

The benefits of ULSD are obvious. It massively reduces the amount of sulfur oxides being introduced into the environment. 

Sulfur dioxide, the most common sulfur oxide, is a known skin and respiratory irritant. By reducing diesel emissions of it the EPA hopes to lower the total amount in the atmosphere.

Most European nations have been using ULSD as the standard highway fuel for years. The move to switch was lauded as a sensible measure for overall pollution reduction.

Other hydrocarbons are also significantly reduced by the switch to ULSD. If you’ve ever seen a big truck ‘rolling coal’ you know that diesel can produce a lot of smoke.

Because ULSD has such greatly reduced pollutants it burns nearly as cleanly as gasoline. This is a major breakthrough as diesel engines are generally more fuel efficient than gas ones.

Downsides

Like any highly processed petrochemical product costs increase as filtering does. ULSD is slightly more expensive than the product it replaces but it more than makes up for this with the reduced pollutants.

The process that removes sulfur compounds from diesel also destroys some lubricating and deposit reducing compounds. This means your engine will have to work a little bit harder to function at full efficiency.

Check the Label

If you drive a new model vehicle it’s extremely important you check before you pump any diesel. The particulate filters and other pollution-reducing devices they contain don’t function properly with other fuels.

You’ll produce much more sulfur dioxide when burning something like off-road diesel. Your engine will also be significantly damaged over time because of the impurities. 

Even worse, burning nonapproved fuels will likely void your manufacturer’s warranty. Look on the decal or handle of the pump. Since December of 2010, all pumps dispensing ULSD must be clearly labeled.

Do Your Part

By purchasing a fuel-efficient clean diesel vehicle you can save money and help reduce pollution. Ultra low sulfur diesel reduces the emission of several harmful compounds and helps your engine run smoother and cleaner.

If you’d like to learn more about the different types of heating oil, cooling systems, or other topics, contact us here today.

emergency heating repair

Is your furnace trying to tell you something? Furnaces often give many warning signs before they shut down completely, costing homeowners a costly emergency heating repair. Some of these conditions can be dangerous if they are ignored.

Read on for five signs that your furnace is telling you that it needs help.

1. Carbon Monoxide Detectors Are Sounding

It’s important to keep carbon monoxide (CO) detectors near your furnace. A CO leak is a life-threatening emergency. If your CO detector is sounding, turn off the furnace, open all windows, and evacuate the house.

Call your fire department to measure CO levels. Once you can return safely inside your home, arrange an emergency heating service call. Your furnace needs immediate evaluation by a trained professional.

Symptoms of CO poisoning include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Weakness in your muscles
  • Flu-like symptoms

Grab your dogs and cats on the way out. Their smaller sizes mean they will be overcome by CO much faster than humans.

2. You Smell Heating Fuel or See Signs of a Leak

If you smell natural gas or heating oil, you may have a potentially dangerous leak. Heating oil and gas odors are signs of a heating system malfunction. If you see any signs of a leak or smell gas or oil, shut the system down and call for help immediately.

3. Loud Noises

Alarming noises coming from your furnace or boiler should never be ignored.

  • Banging or Booming
  • Whistling or Squealing
  • Rattling
  • Humming
  • Rumbling

These noises mean something potentially dangerous is happening in your heating system. They may mean that your system is about to break down and cost you an emergency heating repair.

4. No Warm Air

If your furnace is running but there is no heat, your system needs to be evaluated by your heating service provider. Do not try to continue to run the furnace. Trying to use this system can result in permanent damage to the heating system.

5. Electrical Issues

A furnace that trips fuses or will not turn on indicates some type of electrical issue. Other signs your furnace is causing electrical issues are:

  • Dimming lights while furnace runs
  • Buzzing
  • “Electrical burning” smells
  • Wiring that looks corroded or burnt
  • Sparking from any electrical connections

Costs of an Emergency Heating Repair

Depending on what is wrong with the furnace, it may be a costly emergency heating repair service call. There is the cost of the service call itself as well as parts and labor. The repair could be as simple as a clogged filter or as costly as a blower.

Heating repair companies offer payment options, including credit card payments. Check to see if the company offers to finance for the repairs.

Schedule a Routine Heating Service Call

The best way to prevent an emergency heating repair is to make sure your system is ready before you need it. Let a heating service and repair technician evaluate your heating system to spot potential problems.

If your heating system isn’t working right, give us a call so you’re not left out in the cold.

sewer maintenance

If you’re a homeowner, you’ll be aware of the burden that comes with maintaining a property – cleaning gutters, changing AC filters, exterminating pests, etc., but have you ever done any home sewer maintenance?

If not, that needs to change.

Here’s why.

What’s a Home Sewer Line?

In short, a home sewer line is where all your plumbing lines connect.

By this we mean, all your sinks, showers baths, toilets, etc. These all filter out using the same path.

From there the waste travels away from your home and eventually links to your neighborhood’s central sewer system.

Needless to say, it’s important we maintain our sewer lines to avoid clogging. This can lead to a back up of filth and other harmful substances, which isn’t only gross, but it can also cause significant property damage if a flood ensues.

Here are two tips to avoid this happening:

1. Avoid Clogging the Line

The easiest way to prevent clogging is to be very careful with what you put down your drains. So, we recommend thoroughly scraping your dinner plates before putting them in the sink to soak.

More importantly, never pour grease down the drain. When it cools, it becomes solid and starts to stick to the lining of your pipes. Instead, drain it into a container, allow it to cool, and then throw it out in the trash.

We also urge you not to flush anything other than sewerage and toilet paper down your lavatories – as again, this can lead to clogs.

2. Reduce Your Water Pressure

We all love high water pressure when taking a morning shower. However, this inflicts undue stress on your pipes – which increases the likelihood of a potential leak.

You should note: installing a low-flow showerhead doesn’t decrease the pressure inflicted on your pipes. Instead, it only impacts the amount of water coming out of the showerhead.

You can monitor your home’s water pressure by measuring it. Just purchase a hose bib gauge from your local hardware store (these usually cost under $10).

Then attach it to your outside spigot and ensure the line is open. You want to see a reading between 40 and 85 psi (that’s normal for water pressure).

However, if it’s above that, you’ll probably need to get advice from a professional plumber.

Upon inspecting the situation, they may find a pressure reducer is necessary to fix things. This will most likely set you back around $400, which may seem like an expense, but it’s certainly cheaper than a flooded home!

Have Your Learned Something About Sewer Maintenance?

We hope having read this article; you now have a better idea about the importance of sewer maintenance.

If you need a helping hand with this task, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. One of the many services we offer is sewer repair, and we’d love to steer you in the right direction when it comes to your home sewer line. Speak soon!

energy efficient water heater

Is your family complaining about the cold water in your house?

Your water heater is an important part of your home as your family grows and grows up. If you think about how much use your water heater gets throughout the day, then you’ll realize why it’s important to upgrade if you’re not getting the production that you need.

An energy efficient water heater helps you out now, and in the long run. Think of a life where your bills are cheaper and everything from your dishwasher to your shower works with ease.

In this article, we’ll go over 7 of the biggest reasons why you should upgrade to an energy efficient water heater today.

Let’s get started.

1. You’re in Constant Repair Mode

If you find yourself constantly calling your plumber, then you may want to consider a change. Why continue to fix your old water heater when you could just get a new one that will actually work? 

If you notice rust, consistent leaking, or a faulty TPR valve it might be less worthwhile to fix and more worthwhile to replace. Rust erodes the tank, which leads to big-time leaks. If your TPR valve is faulty, it could mean big trouble via one big explosion.

2. Energy Efficient Water Heater = Less Money Spent

If you didn’t know, it takes up a lot of energy to heat the water every time you need it. If you upgrade now, your energy bills will make up the cost of the replacement over time. 

Modern water heaters have way better insulation, which means that once the water is heated, it stays heated longer with less energy. A new water heater could lower your energy bill by up to 20%!

3. No More Cold Showers

If your water heater actually works, you won’t have anyone taking cold showers. There’s nothing worse than coming home at the end of a long day, turning on the shower, and getting about 3 minutes of good, hot water.

It’s probably enough to convince you to upgrade when your kids are constantly complaining about the lack of hot water. Complaining is one thing, but experiencing it is another entirely.

4. Tankless

One option for you is to go tankless. Many companies are offering this nowadays. Compact and reliable, tankless heaters take up much less space than old water heaters and operate at 99% thermal efficiency. It’s an option.

5. Reliability

The headaches involved in constantly calling up the plumber to get your water heater fixed will be rectified by replacing it entirely. When you move into a house, the water heaters are usually unfortunately old, so you’ll be calling for repairs a lot.

A new water heater will give you reliable hot water for your dishes, laundry, and showers without the trouble of repairs and maintenance.

6. Propane Is Efficient…

A propane water heater will heat water faster than electric heaters and only when you need it. Typically, a water heater accounts for around a quarter of an American home’s energy cost.

Propane heaters are smaller, act faster, and more efficiently. That means that they save you money. 

7. And Lowers Your Carbon Output

Again, propane water heaters only take up about 12 square feet of space. Being so small, coupled with the fact that propane burns cleanly and produces less greenhouse gas emissions, means that your carbon footprint is lowered. Isn’t that what we all want, anyway?

Propane also keeps jobs in America. There are about 150,000 Americans employed in the propane production and distribution sector.

Upgrade Your Water Heater Now

Upgrade to an energy efficient water heater now and see results almost immediately. It’s not fair to you or your family to suffer because your water heater is outdated.

Install a new, energy efficient, propane water heater today and enjoy life with hot water once again.

For plumbing help, call Cochrane Oil & Propane today.

high-efficiency hvac

Have you ever considered getting an energy efficient heating and cooling system?

Did you know that 6% of all the electricity produced in the U.S. comes from air conditioning? That costs about $29 billion for homeowners yearly!

Installing a high-efficiency HVAC system can help you keep your house temperature more consistent while saving you money. Check out these eight reasons to invest in a high-efficiency heating and cooling system.

1. Cleaner Air

When you have older systems in your home, you run a greater risk of allowing carbon monoxide into your home. This happens when the heater exchanges develop cracks. Since carbon monoxide is odorless, the only way to know if and when this happens is by having a carbon monoxide detector in your home.

2. Good for the Environment

When you have a high-efficiency HVAC system, you decrease your carbon footprint. This means that it’s better for the environment than the older, less efficient model. Higher-efficiency systems use less fuel to run which preserves more of our world’s natural resources. 

3. Lower Electricity Bills

Better HVAC efficiency can lead to lower electricity bills. With upgrades like proper HVAC system installation, you can slash your energy costs. Older models need much more energy to run, so if your model is 15 years old, you could easily get your money back when you replace it.

When you have a more efficient unit in place, it won’t be running as frequently as the older model. Older units tend to run more frequently, so when you replace it for an energy efficient model, it will run less and save money.

4. Quiet

Gone are the days of having noisy, rattling furnaces. Newer HVAC systems are made up of noise absorbing materials. This makes things much quieter throughout your home.

5. Better Control of Temperature

You’ve heard of smartphones, but have you heard of a smart HVAC system? With technological advancements, you can now better control the temperatures in your home with a smart HVAC system. This gives you the ability to control the air conditioner or heat in specific rooms more efficiently.

6. Remote Access

With certain units, you can connect the controls to your smartphone. This means that you can use your phone as a remote. When you’re heading home from a vacation, you can adjust the temperature so that it’s comfortable when you walk in the door.

7. Less Electrical Issues

High-efficiency HVAC units have less electrical issues than their older counterparts. It can be expensive to keep up with older systems. They’re more likely to experience short outs and the cost of fixing the older unit could be very similar to buying a new one.

8. Increase Home Value

You never know when you when you may decide to sell your home. When you have a newer HVAC system in place in your home, it increases your home value. Home buyers are always looking for benefits and this can be an important one to check off their list.

Have Your High-Efficiency HVAC System Installed Today

There are many benefits to trading in your old unit for a high-efficiency HVAC system. From saving the environment to putting money back in your pocket, you will reap the benefits immediately.

Are you interested in replacing your older system with a more energy efficient system? Contact us today and we can help you pick the right system for your home.