ac maintenance

What if your summer turned into a real living hell?

The only way to keep your cool during the summer is with a good air-conditioner. But if your AC breaks down, then every day will be miserable.

Fortunately, a little AC maintenance can help you keep everything running nice and smooth. Keep reading to discover our hottest maintenance tips for a cool, cool summer!

1. #YesFilter

We live in an age where people celebrate “no filter.” But that doesn’t apply to AC unit maintenance!

When your filter is full of dirt and other unwanted nastiness, it will have to work a lot harder to keep you cool. That translates to higher power bills all summer long!

Keep the price and the temperature down by regularly cleaning or changing your filter.

2. Keep It Trim

Another thing that can reduce airflow may surprise you: the great outdoors!

The chances are that your outside AC unit was nice and clear when you first installed it. However, plants and leaves and other obstructions will grow up and start obstructing the flow.

Bust out the shears and the garden hose to clear the area out and get a more efficient AC unit.

3. Get With the Program

If you don’t already have one, take it from us: a programmable thermostat will change your life!

You can program it to raise the temperature at certain times and lower it at other times. And certain smart models let you make adjustments by using your smartphone.

By taking better control of the temperature, you can help reduce your bills and also prolong the life of your air conditioner.

4. The Biggest Fan

Sometimes, the problem with your AC may be right in front of you all along. We’re talking, of course, about the AC fan!

Over time, your fan may become damaged and dirty. Cracks and chips in your condenser fan will disrupt the airflow and keep everything as cool as you need it to be.

Replacing a damaged fan is very easy to do. However, if you never notice when it needs to be replaced, then you and your AC unit will be suffering in the heat for no reason! 

5. Clean It Up

Another area of your AC unit that doesn’t get enough attention and love are the “fins” within the unit. As with the filter, this area can get clogged with dirt and debris that damages the unit and keep it from performing effectively.

You can fix this by vacuuming the area, ideally with a soft-bristled brush. Keep in mind you’ll most likely need to unscrew the box and lift it off to perform this maintenance.

AC Maintenance: The Bottom Line

Now you know the secrets to AC maintenance. But do you know who can help you keep your cool during the summer?

We specialize in air conditioner repair and maintenance along with plumbing, heating, and more house maintenance services than you can shake a stick at. To see how we can make your AC better than ever, contact us today!

Every year, when the weather starts warming up, it’s smart to start thinking and planning for ways to entertain and enjoy your home’s outdoor areas.

Whether it’s grilling, sitting by the pool, or lounging on the patio, there are many options for making outdoor entertainment and leisure time comfortable. And, propane is there to power your outdoor lifestyle every step of the way.

As an inexpensive and safe fuel source, you can make all your outdoor entertainment and relaxation dreams a reality with propane systems. With the right appliances and systems, your entire property can become a space for outdoor enjoyment and entertaining.

Call us today to take care of all of your propane needs at 1.888.735.5651!


Discover all the options that are available to you:

Propane Pool and Hot Tub/Spa Heaters

A heated pool is obviously a great thing for colder temperatures. But for warmer months, a heated pool offers a reliably comfortable swim, no matter the twists and turns that the weather can bring.

With a propane-based pool heating system, you can keep water at any temperature that is comfortable for you. Many people enjoy a pool that is around 70 degrees or more for the right balance of refreshment and relaxation.

If you’ve got a hot tub, you’re in luck! The same type of propane heating system you use for a pool can be used for a hot tub as well.

With propane-heated pools and hot tubs, you can extend the available months to swim and soak throughout the early spring, summer, and into the late fall. The best part is that propane heaters are smaller compared to their electric counterparts, and they heat up water much more quickly.

Propane Patio Heaters

Patio heaters are a growing trend for people who want to be able to entertain patio-side throughout most of the year. Some are so powerful and efficient that you can even enjoy the outdoors on a crisp late fall day.


Wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted patio heating units are perfect for dining outside on a chilly night. As propane is an efficient and inexpensive fuel source, you can heat up large outdoor spaces without worrying about breaking the bank.

Propane Outdoor Fireplaces and Fire Pits

Fireplaces and fire pits are great additions to any home, but the cleanup is anything but desirable.

That’s why propane fireplaces and fire pits are the way to go. With a clean and smokeless burn, you won’t worry about passing winds blowing smoke in your face. Plus, as a safer alternative to wood, they can be turned off on a dime as opposed to waiting for embers to die down, as with a wood-burning pit or fireplace.


There’s also the convenience of propane-fueled fireplaces and fire pits. With wood-fired fireplaces and pits, you must continually fuel the fire with fresh wood (and make sure you always have it stocked). With propane systems, you can focus on enjoying your time by the fire without pausing to feed it.

Propane Grills and Outdoor Kitchen

Considering a propane grill? Now you’re cooking with gas!

Outdoor kitchens and grills are practically the definition of summer. However, traditionally, they can be a messy way of preparing food. With propane, there is no more clean-up of charcoal or wood ash. With propane-fueled grills and outdoor ovens, clean-up is a snap.

Propane grills and propane-powered outdoor kitchens are also safer. Whereas a charcoal-fueled grill takes time to cool down, a propane-fired unit turns off immediately.

Additionally, with propane delivery services like those provided by Cochran Oil and Propane, you can forget about running out to buy wood or charcoal ever again!


Pool House, Guest Cottage and Outbuildings

If you’re someone who believes in truly optimizing the use of your outdoor space, propane is your answer.

Pool houses, guest cottages, and other outbuildings are often expensive to heat and maintain. Electric units suck up power and do not offer a cost-effective or efficient way of heating these spaces. 

Propane, on the other hand, allows you to efficiently and effectively heat and maintain the temperatures of these outbuildings. For pool parties, sleepovers, and extended stays with guests, propane is an inexpensive way to keep your guest cottage, pool house, or other outbuildings comfortable.

For all your propane needs, you can rely on your Cochran Oil and Propane team

If you’re ready to start thinking about optimizing your outdoor spaces, Cochran Oil and Propane can help.

From design and consultation to installation and maintenance, Cochran Oil and Propane offers a full-service, year-round solutions for all your propane needs. Most importantly, Cochran Oil and Propane will sign you up for regular propane delivery so that you never run out.

home heating oil

Eighty percent of US homes are using home heating oil. Out of the 80%, 20% of households are in the Northeast census region. Heating oil is useful in areas where homes have limited access to natural gas. To ensure a constant supply, homeowners have to install storage tanks. The tank should be double walled. It should have a spill container located underneath to reduce oil spills.

Home heating oil is normally used in oil-fired boilers. Depending on the type of oil boiler, oil flows from the tank to the furnace. The feed pipe has a fuel delivery line protective sleeve to prevent spills.

What Is Heating Oil?

This is a distillate fuel used in furnaces, water heaters, and boilers in the US. Heating oil is closely related to diesel fuel but it varies in terms of chemical composition.

As the second most important byproduct of crude oil, it is widely used around the world for heating. In ancient times heating oil was used in stoves for cooking and lanterns for lighting.

In the Northern census region, the demand for heating oil is high during winter. Production of heating oil is in autumn and summer. Delivery of home heating oil is in winter.

How Heating Oil Heats Your Home

Heating oil is primarily used in boilers and furnaces. In the case of furnaces, heating oil flows through the feed pipe and into the heating chamber. Once the furnace is on, the air is heated and the system distributes the heat in the house via ductwork.

When it comes to boilers, water gets heated and produces steam. The system distributes the steam from the boiler via pipes to the radiators. In the case of hot water, the system distributes it via radiant floor systems or coil.

To reach your home, refiners transport heating oil to a local storage terminal. For instance, in the Northern Census region, heating oil gets delivered at the New York Harbor. From there, transportation via barge or rail to different storage facilities. To reach homeowners, contractors deliver heating oil using trucks with storage tanks.

Why Is Heating Dyed Red?

Heating oil in the US is dyed red to distinguish it from other fuels sold. It helps to identify that the oil is exempt from state, local and federal road taxes. These taxes are applied to fuel sold along public highways and roads. Heating oil is not meant for use in a vehicle even a diesel-powered vehicle.

Benefits of Home Heating Oil

Clean and Efficient

Home heating oil keeps homes in the Northern region safe and warm during the cold months of winter. It burns at 1200 degrees Celsius heating air and water faster. This keeps your home comfortable.


Unlike natural gas which can escape in case of a leak and ignite even in the air, heating oil does not burn in case of a spill. The only time heating oil ignites is by using the advanced burning system of your boiler or furnace.

Getting High-Quality Heating Oil at Your Home

As a homeowner, it is wise to choose a reliable heating supplier. He should have a license, be certified, insured and bonded. Not only that. He should be reliable, should offer high-quality home heating oil and great service too.

Are you in search of a house heating oil supplier dedicated to making your home comfortable? We can help. Contact us today!

boiler vs furnace

In 2018, Delaware experienced one of the coldest winters on record. The state saw below freezing temperatures over a twelve-day stretch, the third longest in state history.

It’s safe to say that our heating systems are an important part of surviving these cold winters.

However, we shouldn’t have to break the bank just to stay warm. Whether you have a boiler or a furnace, your system should be able to keep you warm while being energy efficient.

But what are boilers and furnaces, and which is the most efficient system?

Read on we’ll break down how these systems work and who wins the energy efficiency battle of boiler vs furnace.


Boilers create heat for your home by boiling water (hence the name). This creates either hot water or steam that is transferred throughout your home by way of pipes.

One of the big benefits that boilers have over furnaces comes directly from this water-based system.

Because boilers move water throughout your home instead of air, you don’t have to worry about dirt and dust being blown through your house. This means no air filters and less maintenance that comes with this kind of debris.

However, there are multiple downsides. 

For boiler vs furnace, leaks are much worse for boilers. A leak in your boiler system means a water leak – which can lead to water damage in your home. 

The water from your boiler can also freeze in your pipes when it is particularly cold. This can potentially lead to your pipes bursting.


Furnaces heat your home by heating and circulating air instead of water. 

Because of this setup, furnaces use air ducts to move hot air through a building instead of pipes. Leaks from these ducts result in little to no damage compared to leaks from water pipes.

However, hot air from furnaces does not heat a house evenly. Pipes from boilers are set up to radiate heat evenly throughout a house. Air from furnaces must come out from vents, and that air cools as it travels through the room.

Furnaces also give off more noise compared to boilers

Boiler vs Furnace: Which Wins the Efficiency Battle?

In the boiler vs furnace debate, the boiler wins when it comes to general energy efficiency. 

Boilers circulate the same water throughout its system, meaning it needs less energy to keep hot water hot. Furnaces, meanwhile, have to continuously heat new air, which requires more energy.

However, there are other factors that affect furnace efficiency and boiler efficiency.

Age is a huge sign of whether or not your boiler or furnace is running at a high energy efficiency level. While newer systems can reach close to 100 percent energy efficiency, older systems require much more fuel, which means much more money.

If you know that your heating system is older, an upgrade may be ideal.

Cleanliness is also a big factor. Boilers and furnaces can collect dirt and grime, or just generally wear down. If your heating system has not had a tune-up recently, it may not be running at peak efficiency.

After reading up on the boiler vs furnace debate, you’re in better shape to choose which is best for your home. Whether you currently have a furnace or a boiler, we can make sure that it is running efficiently, or we can assist in upgrading or changing your system completely.

Reach out today to find out how we can help you can heat your home as efficiently as possible.

residential boiler

The average US home spends $2,200 on utility costs every year. 50% of the utility costs are for heating and cooling alone. Most homes have boilers or furnaces powered by natural gas, propane or electricity. Other models use wood or home heating oil to heat your home through radiators.

Shopping for a residential boiler can be confusing. Not only do you have to know the different brands but their features too.

Are you building or remodeling your home? Looking for the best residential boiler to heat your home.

This article teaches you how to choose the best residential boiler for home heating.

Condensing vs Non-Condensing Boiler

When shopping for a residential boiler, you will come across a condensing and a non-condensing model. A condensing boiler has more than one large heat exchanger. It works by capturing hot exhaust gases which are then used to heat water. Condensing boilers are energy efficient compared to the non-condensing models.

The non-condensing model has a single combustion chamber and heat exchanger. Cold water flows via the inlet and released in the chamber. A gas burner heats the water, it rises and exits via the outlet pipe. Heat is distributed around the house.


It is important to buy the best boiler that meets your needs efficiently. As you shop, check the boiler capacity. The capacity is measured in BTUs. This value represents the energy required to heat a pound of water to one degree F.

Every homeowner needs best boilers for home heating with a different BTU. Here is a simple hack to ease your shopping experience. If your home is in a cold climate, you need 50 BTU per square foot of indoor space. If the area experiences a moderate climate, you need 35 BTU per square foot and 20 BTU for a home in a hot climate.

Type of Residential Boiler

Boilers use gas, oil or electricity to heat. Gas powered boilers can use propane or natural gas. Not every home is connected to the gas pipeline. For those that are not, propane is an alternative fuel.

Oil powered boilers are also common in areas where gas pipelines are not available. If you buy one, make sure you have heating oil delivered. You may need to have a storage tank. Like gas-fired boilers, oil fired boilers are expensive to operate. This is true if you take into account the rising petroleum costs.

Electric models are energy efficient. To save on utility bills, find a model that is ENERGY STAR certified.

Fuel Utilization Efficiency

It is important to check the annual fuel utilization efficiency rating of the model. This value tells you how effective the residential boiler system can convert fuel into heat. If you find a home boiler system with an 85% AFUE rating, then the model is a high-efficiency boiler. Such a residential boiler will likely be ENERGY STAR certified, too.

Oil fired boilers have an AFUE rating of between 80% to 90% while gas-fired models have 89% to 98% AFUE rating. For electric boilers, they have 100% AFUE rating. This is a good option for homes where electricity cost is low.

Power vs Direct Vent Boilers

A power vent home boiler system is versatile. It does not need a vent pipe to exhaust its gases. Instead, it uses a blower to pull fresh air into the chamber.  As such, it is ideal for installing anywhere in your home.

If you are remodeling your home and plan on moving your residential boiler, you have to move the pipes too. Remember, relocating your existing power vent boiler can increase costs.

The direct vent model has a vent pipe where its flue gases terminate. It draws air from outdoors for use in combustion within the chamber. This model requires fresh air consistently. If there is not enough fresh air, it will begin to corrode at the top.

Best Boilers for Home Heating

To extend the lifespan of your residential boiler, have a maintenance plan in place. This means once or twice a year, a professional contractor will take a look at the boiler. In case any key components are damaged, replacement or repairs are made. This will cut the costs of running the unit.

Looking for a professional contractor to install your best boiler for home heating? We can help. Contact us today!

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.


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.


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.