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.

boiler repair

How much did your boiler cost to purchase and install? Are you ready to incur that cost again soon? Well, that’s the question you should always ask yourself when you ignore boiler maintenance and repair.

Boilers, just like any other appliances, are bound to malfunction every once in a while. You should know how to spot signs indicating your boiler needs a fix. If you don’t, boiler problems can be potentially dangerous and costly when left unaddressed.

Read on to learn the common indicators that you need boiler repair services:

1. Weird Boiler Noises

Strange noises coming from your boiler is one of the key indicators that something isn’t right with your system. All boilers make some normal noise that you’ll get used to with time. However, if you hear some sounds that are far from the norm, your boiler may need repair.

Banging, knocking, whistling, gurgling, and clunking noises are signs of danger. These noises could be caused by a faulty heat pump, loose pipes, damaged fan, blocked system, or broken heat exchanger. If left unattended, these problems could cause more damage to the entire heating system and become costly to repair.

Call in a home boiler repair technician to diagnose your system and find the source of any weird noise.

2. Strange Odors

If your boiler system is gas-powered, it could experience leakages. A gas leak is hazardous and should be checked out immediately. If you smell a rotten egg-like odor emanating from your boiler, call a professional repair technician right away.

Dark spots around the boiler’s casing are also an indicator that your boiler is leaking gas. Don’t put your family at risk by hesitating to call in a boiler repair expert!

3. Water Leakages

If you notice wet patches around your boiler or its piping, your boiler has a malfunction. A leaking boiler is a liability and a clear indication that a bigger problem is waiting to happen. A faulty internal component is often the cause of a water leak.

4. Slow or No Water Heating

If you notice that water from your hot water taps is taking a long time to heat, you could have a problem with your boiler’s circulation system. You could also have a problem with your boiler if your central heating system isn’t functioning at its optimal potential.

There could be many reasons why your water isn’t heating, and if you can’t find an answer to the problem, contact a professional. Don’t keep your family in the cold while you can call in for emergency repairs.

5. High Energy Bills

Sudden rises in energy bills could be an indication that your boiler is malfunctioning. If your boiler has become inefficient, it will use more fuel to produce the usual amount of heat required in your home. If a boiler is too old and inefficient, consider replacing it with a newer energy star-certified model.

Don’t Ignore Signs Showing You Need Boiler Repair!

Preventative maintenance is the best solution to common boiler problems. However, if you notice any of the above signs, don’t hesitate to call in for boiler repair services.

A well functioning boiler will save you money, keep your family comfortable, and serve you for a long time!

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!

clogged sewer line

When it comes to a clogged sewer line, preventive maintenance can save you thousands in repairs.

It’s important that you check for the below signs regularly.

Signs You May Have a Clogged Sewer Line

Below are some signs that you might possibly have a clogged sewer line. These can be diagnosed by yourself or a trusted friend.

1. More Than One Drain Is Backed Up

If you only have just one drain that’s clogged and acting up, you should be fine. Clear out the drain like you normally would and you’re good to go.

However, if you clear one drain out and you’re finding that a few other drains in your home are clogged and acting up, your main sewer line may be the culprit.

Your drain is set up similar to a tree, where the main sewer line is the trunk, and all of your drains in your home are the branches that feed into this main sewer line.

You’ll want to check all of the drains to see if there is clogging in multiple areas at once.

2. Your Toilet is Acting Up

If your toilet is acting up while you use other appliances that require water, like your dishwasher or your washing machine.

Specifically, you’ll want to be aware of any gurgling noises happening in your toilet. In a functioning system, air-flows freely, down and out into your community sewer system.

But when there’s a clog close to the toilet or farther down the mainline, the build-up causes air to flow backward back up the line, causing the gurgling noise.

3. Water Close to Your Sewer Line’s Cleanout Pipe

Your cleanout pipe is usually a pipe that allows direct access to your main sewer line. This line allows plumbers to diagnose specific problems without having to dig up the line, saving them time and you money.

The cleanout is coloured black or white and placed in an unobtrusive place. It can be out in your yard or somewhere nearby. 

If you think you may have a clog, check your cleanout and see if there is any water or pooling near or around your cleanout. This, along with the other signs, may indicate you have a clog in your line.

4. Multiple Large Trees In or Around Your Yard

Here’s one that is a rather indirect indicator but can be a potential sign. In fact, it is one of the more common forms of clogging when it comes to main sewer line problems.

Once you find your cleanout pipe, try to visualize where your main sewer line runs. Now look for any trees that are nearby that might grow to potentially obstruct that line. 

You might not know exactly, but if you happen to have a few large trees in proximity of your sewage line, it is a potential culprit to your clog. 

Get an Expert to Help

The earlier you diagnose a clogged sewer line the better you are at avoiding costly problems.

If you think you might be dealing with a potential sewage problem, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

propane heating

Are you considering a switch to propane home heating but don’t know what it entails? Or are you looking to buy a home with propane heating systems and want to learn more about it? Well, you’re in the right place!

Propane heat is a highly efficient and affordable method of home heating that’s growing in popularity among homeowners. Although only about 5 percent of homeowners in the U.S. currently use propane gas, more homes are likely to adopt it soon.

Here are four material things you need to know about propane heating:

1. What Is Propane Heating?

Propane heating is the use of propane gas to fire up appliances, fireplaces, cookers, boilers, and more. Propane gas is a hydrocarbon and is often referred to as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). It’s produced both through natural processes and crude-oil refining.

Propane gas, just like natural gas, is colorless and odorless. An odor is added during processing to make it detectable in case of a leak. Propane heating gas is a versatile, efficient, and green source of energy.

In outdoor areas, propane is used to heat swimming pools and spas, as well as power grills, lights, and even standby generators when there is a power outage.

2. What Are the pros of propane heat?

Propane heating offers many benefits to homeowners. First, it’s portable, and therefore you can set it up anywhere you want. If your home or structure is far from a natural gas connection, propane is the ultimate solution.

Second, propane gas has no greenhouse emissions and is approved as a clean fuel by the U.S. government. It’s nontoxic and eco-friendly. Third, propane heating offers better heating efficiency that natural gas – almost double!

Higher fuel burning efficiency means your gas lasts longer, and this saves you money in the long-run.

3. What Are the Cons of Propane Gas Heating?

The most significant disadvantage with propane gas is that it can be expensive to switch to, or set up initially. If you’re making a switch, you’ll need to consider the appliances that you might have to replace. Calculate how the cost of obtaining those replacements measures up against the benefits of using propane fuel.

If you’re setting up propane heating systems from scratch, expect to incur hefty charges for tanks, piping infrastructure, and other accessories. You’ll also need to do some comprehensive research and assess your living situation when switching to propane to determine if it will be cost-effective. 

Another disadvantage is that propane gas is still a fossil fuel, so it’s a non-renewable energy source. 

4. What Do You Need to Know About the Storage Tanks?

Propane tanks can either be above or under the ground. The larger the container, the longer you can go without having a refill. They range in capacity from 100 to over 1,000 gallons.

You can buy and own a propane tank, or you can rent one from a fuel company. With a personal tank, you don’t have to pay any monthly fees, but you’ll incur a significant cost upfront. With rental tanks, your fuel company is responsible for maintenance.

Consider Propane Home Heating

Propane heating has all the benefits you’re looking for in a home heating fuel. Why not make the switch today? Contact us for more on propane home heating. We offer a free tank installation.

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.