» Diesel: The Commercial Landscapers Alternative Fuel
When it comes to powering commercial landscaping equipment, most companies choose gasoline by default. But many landscaping business owners today are looking for fueling options to set them apart from the crowd and keep their business one step ahead of the competition.
One of those options is commercial diesel fuel.
Although diesel and gasoline are both processed from crude oil, the two fuels differ in the way they burn. This difference gives diesel fuel some distinct advantages over gasoline as a fuel for commercial landscapers.
What Diesel Fuel Offers
With diesel-powered equipment, you’ll get:
- Higher efficiency – Dense diesel fuel burns more efficiently than gasoline, which means that less of it is needed to generate the same power. You get better fuel economy with a diesel engine, which translates to less money spent on fuel – even if the fuel itself costs a bit more.
- More durability – Diesel equipment can last twice as long as gas powered equipment, in part because diesel fuel as a lubricant on the engine, reducing wear and tear.
- Higher torque – Diesel engines produce more torque than their gasoline counterparts – a big dvantage for landscapers. Why? Because torque is responsible for the force of the spinning blades of a lawnmower; the higher the force, the more grass you can cut.
- Greener performance – Carbon dioxide emissions are 40 percent lower from a diesel truck than a gas truck. Newer diesel engines also reduce particulate emissions – another advantage of diesel over gasoline.
Of course, all these advantages are also true when you use diesel fuel to power your larger commercial landscaping equipment and vehicles – a big reason why many landscaping business owners choose diesel for their trucks, backhoes, and more.
Need commercial diesel fuel for your landscaping business? We can help!. Contact Holden Oil today to learn more about commercial diesel fuel service in the North Shore of MA!
» Get Your Propane Tank Ready For The Summer!
As home comfort appliances go, a propane tank is pretty low maintenance. But there are still some things you need to do to keep a propane tank running properly and safely throughout the year, including during the summer months.
Caring For Your Propane Storage Tank
Here are four things you can do to tend to your tank in the coming weeks:
- Clean up around it – Make sure the tank is easily accessible for propane delivery crews by trimming back branches or bushes that block the tank or the path to reach the fill valve. Remove any nests that have been built near the tank or under the tank lid; this will keep our drivers from tripping or getting stung or bitten when they deliver your fuel.
- Address any rust issues – Rust spots should be addressed immediately to prevent corrosion that can lead to tank leaks. Once the rust is removed from the tank, it can be cleaned. If you own your propane tank, painting it is a possibility – but NEVER paint a propane tank a dark color. Dark colors attract heat from the sun, which can cause the gas in your tank to expand to dangerous pressures. If you lease rather than own your propane tank, you shouldn’t paint it at all – tell your propane supplier about any rust issues with your tank so they can properly address the problem. This leads us to tip three.
- Get a professional propane tank inspection – Propane tanks need to be checked regularly by professionals to ensure compliance with propane safety regulations. NEVER make repairs or modifications to your propane system on your own – always contact a propane professional for expert propane tank inspections and propane tank maintenance in MA.
- Fill your tank – Even though it’s not peak heating season, there’s a good chance you’re using more propane this time of year than you think – especially if you’re running appliances like a propane pool heater, propane gas lights, or a propane water heater. To avoid a fuel run-out, schedule a propane delivery when your tank is no less than one-quarter full. Summer is actually a great time to fill your tank, since propane prices are usually lower than they are during the heating season (don’t worry, propane won’t “spoil” sitting in your tank).
Proper care for your propane tank can prevent costly repairs and keep your family and your propane delivery crew as safe as possible. Contact the propane experts at Holden Oil today to schedule a propane inspection, or to schedule a propane delivery in the North Shore!
» What Are The Benefits Of Using A Propane Grill?
Tired of dragging the bag of briquettes out from the garage for family cookouts? Had enough of the taste of igniter fluid on your burgers? Switch to a propane grill and you’ll avoid those inconveniences and unwanted flavors!
Here are five key benefits of swapping your hibachi for a propane grill:
- Greater convenience – A propane grill lights instantly and reaches cooking temperature quickly, with no lighter fluid mess or ash and briquette clean up.
- Better health – Charcoal briquettes are loaded with chemicals to help them ignite more easily – chemicals that can find their way you’re your food.
- More precise heat control – With a propane grill, you can control cooking temperatures to within a few degrees – a big reason why most professional chefs choose to cook with gas outdoors (and indoors, for that matter).
- A smaller carbon footprint – Not only does propane burn cleaner than charcoal, but drippings from your food are more likely to flare up on a charcoal grill and release smog-creating chemicals.
- Better taste – Using quality ingredients in your meats, veggies, and marinades is the key to making good-tasting food on any kind of grill. But food tastes better when it’s cooked right – and cooking it right is about having control over the cooking environment. That control is much easier with a propane grill than it is with a charcoal barbecue.
Propane Outdoor Living Installations In The North Shore
With propane gas, the outdoor fun doesn’t end at the grill. Swim on cool mornings and evenings (and later in the year) with a propane pool heater – or take the edge off on a chilly late spring evening with a propane fire pit or patio heater. Whatever you need to make your backyard a staycation getaway, Holden Oil can make it happen!
From Everett to Essex, Melrose to Merrimac, Holden Oil pros will take your outdoor entertainment up a notch with propane outdoor living appliances! Contact us today to learn more about propane pool heater, propane fire pit, and propane grill installations in the North Shore!
» How Do I Estimate The Amount Of Fuel In My BBQ Tank?
Spring is here – time to get out and cooking on your propane grill! Just make sure you have enough gas in your propane cylinder before your next cookout gets underway.
Most portable grills use a 20-pound propane cylinder, which on a medium-sized grill will typically last 18 and 20 hours (larger grill can guzzle gas at twice that rate). The question is, how do know how many hours of cooking time you have left in your tank when most 20-poung propane cylinders have no fuel gauge?
Let’s take a look at three ways you can estimate how much gas is left in your tank.
Method 1: Using Hot Water
The FiX IT Home Improvement Channel shared this simple trick for determining the approximate level of propane in a tank using a little bit of water.
To check your fuel level,
- Fill a small bucket with hot tap water.
- Pour the water down the side of the tank.
- Run your hand along the side of the tank and feel for a cool spot.
The top of the cool spot is the fill level of the tank – it’s cool because liquid propane inside the tank is absorbing the heat from the water, which makes the metal wall of the tank cool to the touch. Once you know the level, estimate how much of your tank is filled with fuel and multiple the 18 to 20 gallons by that number.
Method 2: Weighing The Tank
Most propane grill tanks come with two numbers stamped on the handle – the water capacity (“WC”) and Tare Weight (TW – the weight of the tank when it’s empty). Most grilling tanks weigh about 17 pounds when empty and hold about 20 pounds of gas.
To measure how many pounds of propane is left in your tank, simply weigh it on a scale and subtract the TW number. For example, if a tank weighing 27 pounds has a TW of 17 pounds, there are about 10 pounds of gas left – a little more than half a tank.
Method 3: Installing An External Gauge
External propane tank gauges come in several different forms, including:
- Inline pressure gauges install between the gas line from the grill and the cut-off valve on the tank, measuring pressures to determine how full the tank is.
- Analog propane scales look like luggage scales and are pre-set to take your tank’s TW into account.
- Digital propane tank scales provide a digital readout of remaining cook time and gas fill percentage. Some even come with smartphone apps.
Choose the device you like and you’re good to go!
Don’t grill blind – try these tips to know how much gas is left in your tank before your next grill-a-thon. If you run out, no problem – just fill up your tank at the Holden Oil Filling Station in Peabody, MA!
» Fixing Hot And Cold Spots In Your Home
Many of us experience hot and cold spots in our home, whether it’s from one room to the next or from one level to another.
If you don’t want to resort to adding or subtracting layers of clothing as you move around the house, you’re going to have to get at the root of the issue. Let’s look at some common causes of uneven temps in your home.
Reasons For Uneven Heating And Cooling
Hot and cold spots in your home are typically caused by three factors: inadequate airflow within your HVAC system, insufficient insulation, or air leaks.
More specifically, causes of hot and cold spots include:
- Poor airflow between the furnace or A/C and its vents
- Leaky or poorly installed ductwork
- A mis-sized HVAC system
- Drafts around windows and doorways between conditioned and unconditioned spaces
- A thermostat giving inaccurate readings (often due to placement)
As you might imagine, these problems aren’t always easy to diagnose without the right tools and training. A well-trained HVAC professional can help you identify the real cause of your heating and cooling issues and determine the best way to solve the problem.
Six Solutions To Hot And Cold Spots
If you’re experiencing uneven heating and cooling in your home, here are some possible solutions an expert might suggest, in order from the simplest to the most complex:
- Close unused vents – If you have a forced-air system, redirect conditioned air to rooms you use most.
- Check your air filter – In a forced-air system, a blocked air filter will make it difficult for your blower to force air through your ductwork; reduced airflow means less warm air in winter and less cool air in summer reaches your living space. Try replacing your air filter before moving on to more substantial measures.
- Seal air leaks – Caulk leaky window and door frames, install door sweeps, and add weatherstripping to door jambs to reduce drafts.
- Take care of your ducts – As much as 15 percent of the air you paid to heat or cool could be lost via cracks in your ducts before it ever reaches your living space. If you notice steadily rising bills, consider investing in a professional ductwork inspection – since many leaks are located behind walls and in hard-to-reach spaces, it’s not a DIY job.
- Service your equipment – Uneven heating and cooling could be a sign of a larger problem with your HVAC system, so make sure a heating and cooling expert takes a good look during his annual heating and cooling inspections.
- Add supplemental heating and cooling units – If you have a larger home with problem areas, it might make sense to supplement your central HVAC unit with a mini-split ductless heating/cooling system. Mini-splits provide targeted high-efficiency comfort year-round without the need to connect to your central duct system. They’re easy to install, run quietly, and work great!
Experiencing uneven heat in your home? Holden’s expert technicians can help. Contact us today to learn more about heating system service in the North Shore!
» Why Tackle Heating Maintenance Now?
Most people don’t think a whole lot of time thinking about their furnace or boiler once the calendar turns to April here in Massachusetts– they’ve already fast-forwarded to planning their garden (or working on their tan, if they REALLY want to put the cold weather in their rearview).
4 Perks Of A Spring Heater Tune-up
But spring is actually one of the best times of year to take care of your heating system for several reasons. Here are four big ones:
- Scheduling routine maintenance is easier – There’s a practical reason for scheduling a heating tune-up in the spring: fewer people are doing it, which means qualified HVAC technicians will usually be available. Expert heating technicians are in high demand during the coldest and hottest months; getting an appointment during the “shoulder seasons” (early spring and early fall) is usually easier.
- It’s not frigid – If you get your heating maintenance in the spring, it won’t be a problem if you have a little heating system downtime while you wait for a replacement part or appointment.
- It’s a time to get things done – Spring is all about renewal, which is why so many people spend a good part of their springtime in cleaning mode. Rather than leaving grit on the moving parts of your heating equipment all summer, give your heating system a once over in the coming weeks. If you have a forced-air system (one with vents, not baseboards), don’t forget to change your air filter –and consider a professional duct cleaning, especially if you’ve got funky smells coming from your vents.
- It’s the best time of the year to upgrade – Spring is the best time to take care of any major upgrades to your heating equipment: prices are typically lower than at other times of the year, incentives are more common, and top-notch heating installation technicians have more open appointment times.
After a long heating season, it’s time to give your heating system the attention it needs; the work from our expert technicians will pay for itself with increased efficiency and fewer repairs. Contact Holden Oil today to sign up for a Holden Service Plan for your heating oil- or propane-fired equipment, or to get a FREE, no-obligation estimate on heating system installation in the North Shore!
» Why Choose Holden Oil As Your Diesel Supplier?
Having a reliable supply of diesel fuel can make or break your North Shore business – which is why it’s so important to choose a diesel supplier in MA that can get fuel to you when and where you need it.
That company is Holden Oil.
Whether you need on-road diesel or off-road diesel delivery for your construction company, farm, or warehouse, or to power generators for your hospital, school, nursing home, or critical care center, we have the fuel you need and the reliable fleet of modern delivery trucks to make sure it gets to you.
Choose Holden Oil and you’ll get:
- Premium fuel – Every gallon of diesel fuel that Holden Oil sells is ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) that meets or exceeds EPA standards. Our fuel can be used with any diesel engine in use today—from farm equipment, bus and truck fleets to generators, pumping stations, boats and more.
- A long record of reliable diesel delivery – At Holden Oil, we’ve been serving local commercial diesel customers for decades. While we may not be able to predict New England weather, we can assure you that our delivery crews will reliably deliver the fuel that will keep your business up and on the road.
- A problem-solving partner – As a company with roots that date back 90 years, we understand the needs of our North Shore neighbors – and know what it takes to be a problem-solving partner for your business. Our staff and crews will guide you through every delivery and question, taking the stress and guesswork out of commercial fuel deliveries by making ordering easy and hassle-free.
For premium diesel fuel delivered to your business, job site, or farm – with excellent service at the lowest prices around – trust the pros at Holden Oil. Contact us today to learn more, or to become a Holden Oil customer!
» How To Descale A Tankless Water Heater
Do tankless water heaters need to be flushed, even though they don’t have a storage tank? You bet they do! Lime scale builds up on the heat exchanger of a tankless water heater, the same way it does on a conventional water heater. Even a thin layer of scale could drop your efficiency by as much as 30 percent, essentially negating the advantage of using a tankless vs tank system.
While this may sound like a serious problem, descaling your tankless water heater is not that complicated a procedure.
Before you try it yourself, always read the instructions the manufacturer gave you first! While the procedure detailed below is fairly standard, there might be slight but important variations based on your particular model. If you’re not comfortable tackling this procedure, don’t worry – we can take care of it for you. Just give us a call!
Tankless Water Heater Descaling Guide
What You’ll Need
- A tankless water heater flush pump
- Rubber or washing machine hoses to attach to the valves
- A water collecting bucket
- Vinegar or a tankless water heater descaling solution
- A channel lock wrench
Typical Steps To Descale A Tankless Water Heater
- Before you begin, set your temperature to 150°F and let hot water run through the heater for about a minute.
- Shut off all the power to the water heater.
- Close the incoming and outgoing water isolation valves. If your unit doesn’t have isolation valves, then you can buy some and install them yourself.
- Have a bucket ready to collect water as it drains. There will be about a liter of water or so in the pipes of the tankless heater.
- Drain the unit and connect hoses to the drain ports of the isolation valves “A” and “B”.
- Dump this bucket or have another bucket ready to go with a solution to be pumped through the heater.
- Fill an empty bucket with a mix descaling solution and water. About a half a bucket of water will do the trick.
- Open the isolation valves A and B.
- Turn on the circulation pump. Let the solution circulate through the tankless water heater for at least 30 minutes, but an hour is better.
- Drain the descaling solution from the heater and flush fresh water through the heater by closing valve “B”.
- Open up valve “A” with a hose leading to an empty bucket.
- Open up the inlet water valve to let fresh water flow through the unit and empty into the empty bucket to get all of the solution out of the heat exchanger.
Descaling is not the only maintenance your water heater needs! Be sure to contact a pro a minimum of once every two years for a conventional water heater, and once a year for a tankless water heater, to keep it running at its safest and best. Contact Holden today to learn more about water heater maintenance in the North Shore!
» Help – The Pilot Light Went Out On My Furnace!
If you have a gas furnace – especially an older model – one problem you may encounter over the course of a long winter is an extinguished pilot light.
Many older gas furnaces (and some new ones) are ignited with a pilot light (many newer models use an electronic ignition for better efficiency). One of the main reasons a propane gas furnace stops working is because that pilot light goes out.
Possible Causes Of Pilot Light Issues
Pilot light failure can happen for a number of reasons, including:
- A clogged intake valve – A buildup of dust or debris can cut off oxygen to the pilot light chamber, making it difficult for its flame to “breathe.”
- A damaged thermocouple – A thermocouple is an electrical switch that varies its output when temperatures change – on your gas furnace, it’s used to cut off gas supply as a safety measure. A qualified technician must repair or replace a damaged thermocouple; it’s not a DIY job.
- A slow leak – Insufficient fuel reaching the pilot light can cause your flame to glow yellow rather than blue – a yellow pilot light flame usually indicates a leak somewhere in your system. Your furnace responds to that leak by automatically shutting down for safety reasons. Do not attempt to repair heating system leaks yourself – contact us for service.
- Drafts – Most pilot lights simply blow out. Luckily, this is one of the easiest problems to fix. Follow these steps to reset your pilot light:
- Step 1: Always follow manufacturer’s instructions first (see the side of your furnace unit or your owner’s manual for details).
- Step 2: Find the gas valve in the pilot light assembly; it typically has “on,” “off,” and “pilot” settings.
- Step 3: Turn the valve to the OFF position and wait three minutes or more for It to reset.
- Step 4: After three minutes, turn the valve to the PILOT setting and hold a lighted match next to (not inside!) the pilot light opening. While holding the match, push and hold the reset button on the pilot control panel until you see the pilot light ignite, then set the valve to the ON position.
- Step 5: If the pilot light doesn’t light after several attempts, contact us for service.
Need expert heating service in the North Shore? Trust the pros at Holden Oil. Contact us today to learn more!
» Avoid Late Season Heating Problems This Winter
Well, so much for our mild winter.
Now that the polar vortex has paid us an unexpected visit here in Massachusetts, your furnace or boiler will be put to the test in earnest for the first time this winter. Of course, the harder your equipment works, the greater the chance that you’ll encounter a problem that will require a heating professional’s touch to fix.
Heating System Warning Signs To Keep An Eye (And Ear) Out For
Here are some things that may indicate that your heating system may need professional service or expert heating repairs:
- It’s making unusual noises (grinding, knocking, etc.)
- Your vents are not blowing hot air, or your baseboards are not heating up
- Your utility bills are rising compared to last year, despite comparable use
- If you have a gas furnace with a pilot light, the pilot light is burning yellow
- Your furnace won’t turn or stay on
- Your furnace won’t shut off
Maintenance: The Key To Avoiding Breakdowns
The key to preventing potentially costly heating equipment repairs and breakdowns is to be proactive about scheduling heating service, whether or not your system is showing signs like the ones we described above. An annual heating tune-up will help identify and address any issues that could get worse down the road.
If your heating oil or propane equipment already needs a repair, it’s still better to catch the problem sooner than later – the more you wait, the greater your chance for a no-heat emergency or a safety problem with your heating equipment. If the worst happens and you need to replace your heating system, we can help you there, too, with expert boiler and furnace installations in the North Shore.
Avoid late season heating problems with expert heating service in the North Shore from Holden Oil. Contact us today to schedule a heating repair or heating maintenance from our pros!