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We can help you plan your annual heating oil budget.

heating oil Hartford County, CT There are many benefits to using heating oil in your eastern Connecticut home. It offers more robust heat generation than pretty much any other home energy source, so you can be confident that your furnace, boiler or water heater can get the job done regardless of how glacially cold it gets outside.

Additionally, the eco-friendly Bioheat® fuel that Homestead Comfort delivers burns cleaner than traditional heating oil, shrinking your home’s carbon footprint and reducing wear and tear on your equipment.

One issue that our customers often talk to us about is how they can most accurately estimate how much heating oil they will need on a given day. This isn’t always a simple proposition since heating oil use isn’t uniform from day to day. But we can offer you some guidance to help you plan (and even shoulder the planning ourselves).

Determining Your Heating Oil Needs

As you might imagine, the primary driver of your heating oil consumption is running your furnace or boiler on a cold day. Many house and user-specific factors will impact this usage (and we’ll cover those momentarily). Still, you can get a general idea of your approximate needs based on outdoor temperatures with this table:

Average temperature (°F) Gallons used per day
 15  7.8
 20  7.0
 25  6.2
 30  5.3
 35  4.5
 40  3.7
 45  2.8
 50  2.0

Variables Affecting Your Heating Oil Usage

There’s more to consider than outdoor temperatures when estimating your heating oil use. Here are some of the key factors that can impact how quickly you use your fuel:

  1. The square footage of your home.
  2. The age of your heating equipment and how often it receives maintenance.
  3. How well-insulated your home is.
  4. The age of the people in your home. (Infants and older adults often need more sustained warm temperatures.)

One significant variable is the thermostat you have in your home. The U.S. Energy Information Administration advises that most U.S. homes can save as much as 10% each year on heating and cooling costs by turning their thermostats back 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from their normal settings. With a programmable or Wi-Fi-enabled smart thermostat, you can schedule these temperature adjustments for when you are out of the house or asleep and lower your heating oil usage during the heating season.

Let Homestead Comfort Track Your Fuel Usage — and Stabilize Your Payments!

Keeping track of your heating oil use can become a full-time job. Homestead Comfort offers two FREE programs to simplify your fuel planning and stabilize your heating oil budget.

  1. With Automatic Delivery, we handle the planning for you. Using your customer history and current weather patterns, our automated system keeps track of your fuel usage and pre-plans your next heating oil delivery. Additionally, new enrollments can qualify for an introductory discount on their fuel!
  2. Instead of getting hit with all your heating oil costs during the fall and winter, why not spread them out in lower monthly installments with a Monthly Budget Plan? You’ll cut your winter expenses virtually in half!

Contact Homestead Comfort today to enroll in these heating oil programs.

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Tips to get your A/C equipment ready before summer arrives.

central air Tolland County, CT We know you’re probably enjoying warmer afternoons that don’t require you to run a boiler or furnace to stay comfortable. Tolland County is lovely in the spring, but we shouldn’t overlook the fact that summer is not too far away.

That means you’ll soon be depending on your central air conditioning to stay cool when outdoor temperatures sizzle. Let the pros at Homestead Comfort offer these helpful tips for maintaining your central A/C equipment.

Inspect Your Air Filters

If you have a forced-air heating system (one using a furnace), it likely uses the same air filters that your cooling equipment does. Dirty or clogged HVAC filters can seriously impair your central cooling system’s performance. They block airflow, requiring your system to cycle more often and use more electricity.

Happily, addressing this issue is simple, and you can handle it on your own. Once a month, check your filter. If it’s reusable, you can clean off any dirt, dust and debris and return it to its slot. If your filter is disposable and dirty, you can replace it easily. Most home stores carry affordable replacement filters.

Test Your A/C Equipment

Before summer arrives, give your central A/C a quick test drive. If it doesn’t come on, try these troubleshooting tips:

  1. Confirm your thermostat is set to “air conditioning,” “cool” or “fan” mode.
  2. Confirm you’ve set the thermostat at least 5 degrees lower than the current room temperature.
  3. Ensure your equipment power switches are set to “on.”
  4. Make sure no fuses have blown or breakers have tripped.
  5. Make sure your vents are open and unobstructed by rugs, furniture or other items.
  6. Check that your air filters aren’t clogged.

If none of these tips work, you may need an A/C repair visit. The Homestead Comfort team is available to address your cooling problems.

Check Your Outdoor A/C Unit

Take a moment to confirm that your central air conditioning’s outdoor unit hasn’t become blocked by plant life, yard waste or other debris. This equipment should have 18 to 30 inches of clear space around each side to allow it to “breathe.”

If you’re mowing your lawn, it’s a good idea to shut off your outdoor A/C unit and position your mower to minimize grass clippings getting blown into it. Additionally, you should not stack hoses, yard tools or anything else on top of this unit.

Schedule Your HVAC Maintenance with Homestead Comfort

When was the last time your central A/C system received a professional tune-up? We strongly recommend that you service your cooling equipment annually. Doing so will keep it running efficiently and minimize the chance of a breakdown. It can also extend your system’s life expectancy.

All Homestead Comfort service technicians are licensed by the State of Connecticut. Spring is a great time for us to service your equipment since we won’t be busy with emergency no-cooling calls.

Take a moment to safeguard your summer comfort today. Reach out to Homestead Comfort to request A/C service.

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We offer water treatment options for hard water and other issues.

water softener Windham County, CT Our water services team speaks to countless homeowners in Windham County and elsewhere in our northern Connecticut service area about hard water.

Municipal water in our part of the country can contain a lot of minerals like magnesium and calcium, which can negatively impact your fixtures, appliances, food, clothing, etc. At Homestead Comfort, we work with Shaw’s Pump Company to provide a range of water quality improvements such as water softeners, water filters, well pumps, and well tanks. We’re always available to help households in our region.

Effects of Hard Water

Hard water can lead to many unpleasant issues that lower your overall quality of life:

  1. Diminished efficiency in dishwashers, washing machines and coffee makers.
  2. Chemical buildup on faucets and pipes.
  3. Dry and scaly skin.
  4. Lower effectiveness of soap and detergent.
  5. Damaged and stained clothing, towels and linens.
  6. Foggy and stained glasses, cutlery and dishes.
  7. Off tastes and consistencies for food and beverages

Luckily, there are many solutions available to homes with hard water problems.

What Are Water Softeners?

You might have heard of neighbors or acquaintances adding water softener pellets to their water. Water softeners are typically made of sodium chloride and used in a water softening device. The process of softening water involves removing calcium and magnesium ions from the water.

Softening water is one part of the process of ensuring safe, pleasant-tasting water in your home.

What Else Is in Your Tap Water?

Unfortunately, calcium and magnesium are just two impurities that have been found in the water in our part of Connecticut. Metal deposits (including lead) have been identified, as well as bacteria, sediment, E. coli and traces of discarded medications. As you might imagine, these contaminants can lead to issues with your family’s health and well-being.

The first step to addressing these concerns is determining whether there is a problem with your tap water. That’s where the team at Homestead Comfort comes in!

How Homestead Comfort Helps with Hard Water

Just as you would want to ensure the highest level of performance for your heating equipment, air conditioner, or car with an annual maintenance check, it’s a good idea to check your home’s water once a year. At Homestead Comfort, we offer what’s known as the 10-point water system tune-up. This yearly check-up includes the following services:

With this tune-up, you can ensure better-tasting, softer and healthier water in your pipes. This service can largely pay for itself with longer-lasting water fixtures, appliances and plumbing.

Don’t hesitate to contact the water service team at Homestead Comfort today. We’re always here for your family!

More about Do You Need a Water Softener?

Helping you determine if you need to replace older plumbing in your home.

plumbing Hartford County, CT Knowing the year your home was built can provide crucial information about the materials involved — and how safe they are for your family.

Most homeowners are aware of the dangers of lead paint and asbestos. But other building materials can pose a health and safety risk to your loved ones. One such material is galvanized plumbing.

Galvanized pipes are steel pipes with a zinc coating to prevent internal corrosion. This type of plumbing came into use around the end of World War II as a replacement for lead pipes. Galvanized pipes remained popular until about 1960, although you can still find galvanized plumbing in homes built in the late 1970s and early 1980s. If your home was constructed between 1940 and 1980, it could have these pipes.

What is bad about galvanized plumbing?

While galvanizing piping almost completely prevented rust and corrosion at first, its zinc coating begins to deteriorate over time and leeches into water. This can create sediment — including lead particles — in your drinking water.

Beyond the health issues, aging galvanized plumbing can present other issues:

  1. Leaking pipes and water damage
  2. Hard and discolored tap water
  3. Diminished water pressure

Simply put, if your home was built with galvanized pipes, your water quality could be significantly compromised, and you’re also risking some costly damage to your home.

How should you address old galvanized pipes?

First and foremost, it’s crucial to inspect your aging galvanized pipes and also arrange testing to see if your home’s water contains pollutants. Homestead Comfort can perform onsite water testing.

If lead or other harmful agents are in your water, we strongly recommend that you arrange a full replacement of all the galvanized pipes in your home. You don’t want to ignore a water quality issue that can impact your family’s health. Additionally, there will come a point where your galvanized plumbing begins to break down, and it’s best to get ahead of that issue before it causes water damage in your home.

If your water quality isn’t an issue, you might be able to forgo replacing your galvanized pipes in their entirety and simply replace individual pipes as they wear out.

Homestead Comfort provides plumbing and water treatment services.

Whether you’re dealing with old galvanized pipes or some other plumbing or water quality issue, we can help. Homestead Comfort has experienced licensed plumbers who handle a wide range of homecare issues in Hartford County and elsewhere in northern Connecticut.

We are always available to handle plumbing emergencies like leaking pipes, as well as renovation and plumbing replacement projects. Additionally, we partner with Shaw’s Pump Company to provide world-class water treatment services. With our 10-point water system tune-up, you’ll never need to worry about lead or other toxins in your drinking water. Your family’s well-being is our #1 priority.

Are you concerned about the safety and durability of the pipes in your Connecticut household? Don’t hesitate to contact the team at Homestead Comfort and arrange a plumbing appointment.

More about What Are Galvanized Pipes?

Don’t lose your heat on a frigid winter night.

heating oil delivery  Tolland County, CT When the mercury bottoms out in thermometers this time of year, northern Connecticut households depend on well-functioning heating oil boilers and furnaces to stay warm and safe. You don’t want to have that sense of dread that comes from seeing the temperature drop in your home because of a heating system that won’t come on.

At Homestead Comfort, we help homeowners in Toland County and beyond stay warm through the iciest winter nights. There are several reasons that a furnace or boiler might not work. One surprisingly common reason is that your heating oil tank is empty. This issue is relatively easy to fix — and to avoid.

Does a heating oil run-out hurt your heating equipment?

The good news is that running out of heating oil will not damage your heating equipment. Your burner will no longer work, but there should not be any lasting issues with your system.

How can you get your heating on after a run-out?

The first thing you’ll need to do after a heating oil run-out is get more fuel. The fastest way to do this is to call Homestead Comfort and arrange an emergency heating oil delivery. We can typically get there quickly, fill your heating oil tank and get your heating equipment up and running quickly.

If you need to get your heating equipment running immediately, you can add diesel to your heating oil tank as a stop-gap. Diesel is essentially the same product as heating oil, though it does cost more. You will need to prime your heating system burner, which involves loosening a bolt on the prime port and draining heating oil into a container until all the air has bled out. You should consult your equipment manual for specific guidance.

How do you keep track of your oil tank levels?

You can check how much fuel is in your heating oil tank by checking the gauge. This is a glass or plastic vial on top of your tank with markings like your car’s fuel gauge: F, ¾, ½ and ¼. You’ll see a disk in the vial. Its position inside the vial tells you how full the tank is. When the disk is at or near the bottom of the vial (or you can’t see it at all), your tank is nearly or entirely empty.

Homestead Comfort prevents run-outs at no additional charge.

We understand that life can get hectic, and it’s easy to forget to check your heating oil tank levels.

That’s why Homestead Comfort has developed a tried-and-tested method to ensure our customers never run out of heating oil. And you can use this service free of charge! When you sign up for automatic heating oil delivery, we handle all the fuel planning for you. Our computerized system will use your customer profile and the weather in our area to calculate how quickly you’re using heating oil. Then, we’ll send a delivery driver to your house well before you run low. Automatic Delivery is the zero-stress way to receive heating oil.

Don’t risk a fuel run-out with winter. Contact Homestead Comfort to enroll in FREE Automatic Delivery.

More about What Happens if You Run Out of Heating Oil?

As winter sets in, staying warm becomes a top priority. However, the cost of keeping your home cozy can add up quickly.

Below are effective tips to help you lower your heating bills during the chilly months, keeping both you and your wallet comfortable.

1. Home Energy Audit: Tip: Consider scheduling a Home Energy Audit. Our technicians will assess your home’s energy efficiency, identify areas for improvement, and provide tailored recommendations to make your home more energy efficient.

2. Optimize Thermostat Settings: Tip: Lower your thermostat when you’re away or asleep. Consider investing in a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust temperatures based on your schedule.

3. Regular HVAC Maintenance: Tip: Schedule annual HVAC maintenance to ensure your system runs efficiently. Clean filters, check for leaks, and make necessary repairs to optimize performance.

4. Proper Insulation: Tip: Assess your home’s insulation. Upgrade or add insulation in attics, crawl spaces, and walls to minimize heat loss and reduce the workload on your heating system.

5. Invest in Energy-Efficient Appliances: Tip: Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances, especially if your heating system is outdated. Energy Star-rated appliances can significantly reduce energy consumption.

With a few adjustments and mindful practices, you can enjoy a warm and cozy home without breaking the bank. Implementing these tips not only helps lower your heating bills but also contributes to a more sustainable and energy-efficient living space.

More about 5 Tips for Lowering Your Heating Bills in the Winter

As winter arrives, having a warm and cozy home becomes a top priority. While your heating system plays a crucial role, insulation is often overlooked.

Understanding Insulation:

Insulation acts as a protective barrier, slowing the transfer of heat between the inside and outside of your home. It comes in various forms, including fiberglass, cellulose, and spray foam. The primary goal is to create a thermal barrier that prevents the escape of heated air during the winter and the intrusion of outdoor cold air.

Benefits include:

1. Minimizing Heat Loss: Insulation minimizes heat loss by creating a barrier in key areas such as attics, walls, and floors. This ensures that the warmth generated by your heating system stays inside, providing a consistent and comfortable indoor environment.

2. Reducing Energy Consumption: When your home is well-insulated, your heating system doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the desired temperature. This reduction in energy consumption translates to lower heating bills and a more environmentally friendly household.

3. Consistent Temperature Distribution: Proper insulation helps maintain consistent temperatures throughout your home. It prevents hot or cold spots, ensuring that every room receives an adequate level of warmth, contributing to overall comfort.

4. Preventing Air Infiltration: Insulation acts as a defense against air infiltration, sealing gaps and cracks that could allow cold drafts to enter. This not only keeps your home warmer but also improves indoor air quality by preventing dust and pollutants from entering.

5. Long-Term Cost Savings: While investing in quality insulation may have an upfront cost, it is a wise long-term investment. The energy savings achieved over the years often outweigh the initial expense, making it a cost-effective strategy for homeowners.

The connection between insulation and efficient winter heating is undeniable. As you prepare your home for the colder months, consider investing in proper insulation to maximize the effectiveness of your heating system.

More about What are the Benefits of Improving Insulation in My Home?

The shelf life of heating oil — and how quickly you’ll use it this winter.

heating oil hartford, ct With winter upon us in Tolland, Hartford and Windham Counties, the households that we serve are using more heating fuel. At Homestead Comfort, we help our customers plan for how long their heating oil will last — both in the winter and throughout the year.

What’s the shelf life of home heating oil?

Generally, you can expect heating oil to be good for between 18 and 24 months, and the premium fuel that Homestead Comfort delivers tends to last a long time. We exclusively offer Bioheat® fuel, a high-quality blend of ultra-low-sulfur heating oil and organic biofuel. This product is great for the planet, and it leaves fewer deposits in your heating system, cutting down on wear and tear.

How quickly does your home use heating oil?

Several factors contribute to how quickly your home systems use heating oil, including:

In general terms, a 2,500-square-foot house might use between four and six gallons of heating oil per day when it is 30°F outside. If you have a 275-gallon heating oil tank, you might use your full fuel supply in a month and a half in the winter. (We typically recommend customers contact us for a heating oil delivery when their tank is about ¼ full.)

Of course, you can have the team at Homestead Comfort handle the fuel tracking for you, and we’ll do it for free! With our free Automatic Delivery service, you don’t need to check a tank gauge or call us for a delivery. We’ll calculate your fuel use based on your customer profile and the weather, then schedule your next delivery in advance. We’ll even give you a discount on your heating oil just for enrolling!

How can you reduce your heating oil consumption?

There are some steps you can take right now to lower your winter energy costs.

  1. Arrange maintenance for your furnace or boiler. An annual tune-up will help your system run more efficiently, which can lower your heating oil usage.
  2. Be smart with your thermostat. The Department of Energy advises that turning your thermostat back 7 to 10 degrees from its standard setting for 8 hours daily can lower annual heating and cooling costs by 10 percent. You can do this most easily by programming adjustments for when you’re asleep or away from home.
  3. Upgrade to new high-efficiency equipment. If your heating equipment is over 15 years old, its fuel efficiency could have deteriorated to 60% or less. You’re wasting 40 cents of every dollar you spend on heating oil. When you upgrade to a new system in the 90 percent efficiency range, you’ll significantly lower how much fuel you use in the winter for many years to come!

Are you interested in taking the stress out of receiving heating oil (plus getting a discount) with Automatic Delivery? Contact us to enroll.

More about How Long Does Heating Oil Last?

Water treatment systems protect your health and improve water quality and taste.

water filter Tolland, ct Everyone wants the safest possible environment for their loved ones. We work hard to get the healthiest food and the safest appliances. But what about the water coming out of our taps? Old plumbing infrastructure in Connecticut towns can cause harmful pollutants to enter our tap water. Also, you might have seen reports that PFAs — or “forever chemicals ” — are still being found in our state’s water supply.

In Hartford, Tolland and Windham Counties, many households turn to the water treatment team at Homestead Comfort for help ensuring clean, healthy water. One of our most popular products is a whole house water filter.

What is a whole house water filter?

Generally speaking, water filters remove contaminants, including minerals, bacteria, chemicals and sediment, from your water. You may be familiar with the kinds of filters you attach to an individual fixture in your home.

A whole-house water filter connects to the point of entry for all your home’s water — your main water line. This means that every tap, showerhead and device benefits. There are many different methods that whole house water filters use, including carbon filters, reverse osmosis filters, water softeners and acid neutralizers.

Can a water filter make your tap water safer?

When you install a whole house water filter system, all the water from your city or town’s lines passes through it. It catches sediment, minerals and other pollutants before they even enter your house’s plumbing.

What are the other benefits of a whole house water filter?

In addition to its crucial role in your family’s well-being, a whole house water filter can ensure:

Trust Homestead Comfort for Your Water Filtration

The water services experts at Homestead Comfort can get your whole house water filter in place in as little as one day, depending on the size of your home. Then, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your tap water is free from contaminants. We’re also always available to assist with any other water treatment services you need.

Don’t fret for one more day about your home’s water quality. Contact Homestead Comfort for a no-obligation estimate on water treatment services.

More about Is A Whole House Water Filter Worth It?

When it comes to creating a comfortable and energy-efficient home, insulation plays a pivotal role.

cellulose insulation blown-in

Whether you’re looking to keep your house cozy in the winter, cool during the scorching summer, or just reduce your energy bills, proper insulation is your secret weapon. In this blog, we’ll dive into the world of home insulation, exploring what it is, why it matters, and how you can make your home more comfortable and eco-friendly.

What is Home Insulation?

At its core, home insulation is all about controlling the flow of heat. It’s like putting a cozy blanket around your house. Insulation materials are installed within the walls, ceilings, and floors to slow down the transfer of heat. This means keeping warm air in during winter and hot air out during summer, creating a stable and pleasant indoor environment.

The Benefits of Home Insulation

Energy Efficiency: Insulating your home can significantly reduce heat loss or gain, leading to lower energy bills. With proper insulation, your heating and cooling systems don’t have to work as hard to maintain your desired temperature.

Enhanced Comfort: No more chilly drafts or sweltering rooms. Insulation helps maintain a consistent indoor temperature, ensuring you’re comfortable year-round.

Noise Reduction: Insulation is not just about temperature; it can also dampen sound. If you live in a noisy neighborhood or have a lively household, insulation can help keep things quiet.

Moisture Control: Certain insulation types can prevent moisture buildup, protecting your home from mold and mildew.

Types of Home Insulation

There are various insulation materials available, each with its unique properties. Here are some common options:

Fiberglass: Made from glass fibers, it’s widely used, easy to install, fire-resistant, and doesn’t absorb moisture.

Cellulose: Environmentally friendly, as it’s made from recycled paper products. It’s treated to resist fire, insects, and mold.

Spray Foam: This effective insulator can seal cracks and gaps, preventing air leakage. It’s water-resistant and helps deter mold growth.

Choosing the Right Home Insulation

Selecting the right insulation is crucial. Consider the R-value, which measures the insulation’s resistance to heat flow, the type of building, and your climate. Proper installation is also essential to maximize insulation’s effectiveness.

Home insulation is a cornerstone of an energy-efficient and comfortable home. By reducing heat loss and gain, insulation not only saves you money but also contributes to a greener planet. With various insulation types available, you can tailor your choice to your specific needs and climate. Ensure it’s installed correctly, and you’ll enjoy a cozier, quieter, and more cost-effective living space. So, why wait? It’s time to invest in your home’s insulation and reap the rewards. Contact us today to learn more about our home insulation services!

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