How to Get Heating and Weatherization Assistance
The State of New York administers several programs that help residents who are struggling with the expense of heating and weatherizing their homes.
The Salvation Army
- Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). The state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance administers HEAP, which helps eligible households pay heating bills, even if heat is included in the rent. Crisis benefits are available for households that run out of fuel. For information on where to apply, call 1-800-342-3009 or visit www.otda.state.ny.us.
- Weatherization Assistance Program. This program aims to reduce heating costs by improving energy efficiency. Funds can be used for insulation, heating system repairs or replacements, and more. Eligibility is based on income. For information, contact the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal (http://www.dhcr.state.ny.us).
also runs assistance programs in the area. For information, visit www.use.salvationarmy.org
or call the Salvation Army at (212) 337-7200.
What to Do If Your Oilheat System Fails to Work
Customers are always welcome to call us with any heat-related problems that they experience. If your heat isn't working, you may be able to restart it on your own with just a few simple steps. Please follow these instructions.
- Be sure that the burner switch is on.
- Make sure the thermostat is set above the room temperature.
- Make sure that there is oil in the tank.
- Press the reset button located on your oil burner ONLY ONCE.
- Check to see if the flame comes on.
- If burner does not fire at all, check your circuit breakers or fuses.
If burner still fails to operate, call Hunts Point Fuel for service.
How To Read Your Tank Gauge
When your tank gauge reads as shown, your 275-gallon tank contains these approximate amounts:
1/8 = 40 gals.
Never let your tank go below the 1/8" reading on the tank gauge!
1/4 = 70 gals.
3/8 = 100 gals.
1/2 = 130 gals.
6/8 = 160 gals.
3/4 = 200 gals.
7/8 = 240 gals.
Full = 265 gals.
Energy Saving Tips
- Each degree you turn down your thermostat saves about 2-3% of fuel
- Getting your heating unit serviced with a tune-up in the spring after a long heating season insures all is ready for next fall; removal of any contaminants inside a combustion chamber can help decrease condensation buildup and retention through the summer and help extend the life of your appliance
- Combustion efficiency and AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) are not the same thing;
- Combustion Efficiency is simply a test and calculation of what the efficiency is while your unit is running
- AFUE is "the ratio of heat output of the furnace or boiler compared to the total energy consumed by a furnace or boiler"; this would take into account chimney loss and off cycle loss up the chimney
- US Department of Energy
- There are still many older burners out there that are just not as efficient as those we have available to us today. Call us to review your equipment and we will give you a free estimate if we see you could benefit from a newer burner or equipment.
Conservation Tips for Cold Weather
- Sunshine! Windows on the south side of the house get the most sunlight. Eastern windows get sunlight in the morning. West facing windows receive sunlight in the afternoon. Open shades and drapes during the daytime to let the sun's warmth enter your home, and close when the sun goes down.
- Close your kitchen vent, fireplace damper and closet doors when not in use.
- Remove air conditioning window units, or cover them well.
- Keep radiators free of dust for top efficiency.
- According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners can save as much as 10% a year on their heating and cooling bills by simply turning the thermostat back by 10 to 15 degrees.
- Wrap your pipes, to guard against heat loss and prevent them from freezing.
- Avoid using space heaters. They're expensive to operate, and can be dangerous, too.
- Check your threshold for any gaps between it and the door. Use a bottom seal that can be attached to the bottom of the door — it should brush up against the floor to seal up the threshold. It virtually stops drafts.
- Get a heating system tune-up - it'll ensure you get maximum performance from every drop of heating oil burned.
- Make sure you have good insulation on exterior walls, ceilings with cold spaces above, and floors with cold spaces below.
- Change the windows. Consider new low-emissivity glass, which will decrease radiant heat loss without lowering visibility.
- Upgrade your oil burner - a modern burner can cut costs by 15%.
Conservation Tips for Warm Weather
- Keep drapes, blinds and shades closed during the day to block out the sun.
- Move furniture away from air conditioning vents.
- Plant shade trees due west of west windows. It could reduce your air conditioning bills by up to 25%!
- Cook on the grill to keep cooking heat outside the home.
- When cooking inside, use a microwave instead of a conventional oven. It uses less than half the power and cooks food in about one-fourth the time.
- Install reflective window coatings to reflect heat away from your home.
- Use ceiling fans to cool your home - they're much cheaper to operate than air conditioners, and moving air feels cooler, so you can keep your thermostat setting higher.
- Open windows on cool summer days and nights. A good rule of thumb is not to open windows when the outside temperature is warmer than the inside of your house.
- Change or clean your air conditioning filter monthly during cooling season to improve efficiency and the life of your air conditioner.
- Whenever possible, hang your laundry outdoors to dry.
- Install patio covers, awnings, and solar window screens to shade your home from the sun.
- Keep the coils of your central or window air conditioner free of dust and dirt.
Year-Round Conservation Tips
- Use compact fluorescent lights. They last up to 10 - 13 times longer than standard bulbs and use 75% less energy.
- Install dimmer switches. In addition to enhancing the mood, they'll extend the life of your bulbs and help you save up to 60% on your lighting costs.
- Lower the temperature of your water heater from 140° to 120°. You'll save 3% - 5% in water heating costs for each 10° reduction. Or consider a timer to turn your water heater off when not in use.
- Don't keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 37° to 40°F for the refrigerator and 5°F for the freezer.
- Don't leave the fridge door open! Every time you do, up to 30% of the air inside can escape. The same can be said for your oven.
- Use a covered kettle or pan to boil water; it's faster and it uses less energy.
- Air-dry dishes. Also, avoid using the heat-dry, rinse-hold and pre-rinse features.
- Choose a high-efficiency clothes washer and dryer. High-efficiency washers use half the water of standard models. High-efficiency dryers can save up to 30% in energy over standard models.
- Defrost food before cooking - you could save 30% to 50% on cooking costs. And pre-heat your oven only for baking.
- Install water-conserving fixtures, such as showerheads, faucets and toilets.
- Fix leaky faucets, especially hot water faucets. One drop per second can add up to 165 gallons per month - more than a person uses in two weeks.
- Install a programmable thermostat. When properly used, it could save as much as $100 or more off your annual heating bills.
How to Learn More about Oilheat and Conservation
Customers who want to learn more about Oilheat and conservation can find lots of information on the Internet. Here are a few sites of interest.
): The National Oilheat Research Alliance serves up a wealth of information about Oilheat, heating systems and energy conservation.
Energy Answers Today
): The site compares Oilheat and utility gas on a number of important issues, including safety, environmental impact and renewability.
New York Oil Heating Association
): NYOHA provides New York City-specific information about Oilheat.