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FAQ’s2017-05-02T10:55:59-04:00

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What percentage of BioFuel does Brideau Energy deliver?2019-02-26T10:49:35-04:00

As of 2018 our fuel is blended with an average of 5% biofuel.  We are expecting our average biofuel blend to increase to an average of 15% by spring of 2019 as a part of our commitment to be as green as possible.

How long has Brideau Energy been using BioFuel?2019-02-26T10:49:57-04:00

We have been delivering a BioFuel blend since 2018, and all customers receive this same blend.

Are there any tax incentives for a consumer using biodiesel in their heating oil?2019-02-26T10:50:09-04:00

Currently in Massachusetts there are no tax incentives for homeowners or businesses using biodiesel/BIOHEAT.

Where does biodiesel come from?2019-02-26T10:44:04-04:00

The feed stocks to produce biodiesel that meets ASTM specifications comes from soy bean farmers across the United States, from used cooking oils from restaurants and other establishments, and other operations that generate recycled, organic oils and fats.

Does biodiesel make heating oil more expensive?2019-02-26T10:37:35-04:00

The cost of a traditional gallon of heating oil versus a gallon of heating oil that is blended with biodiesel is comparable in price at this time. Blending biodiesel in heating oil has not resulted in significant price swings in the cost of the fuel.

Do all retail heating oil companies sell BIOHEAT?2019-02-26T10:36:45-04:00

As cited, because of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, heating oil may contain a small amount of biodiesel. However, many heating oil companies in Massachusetts are offering their customers BIOHEAT that contains blends of biodiesel at B10 (10%) and B20 (20%)

Does every gallon of heating oil contain a blend of biodiesel?2019-02-26T10:35:56-04:00

Under the federal government’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which encourages the blending of renewable biodiesel in home heating oil and diesel fuel throughout the United States, heating oil may contain small amounts of biodiesel. (Retailers are encouraged to contact their wholesale suppliers to determine if they are or are not blending biodiesel at any given time.)

Is there an acceptable blend level of biodiesel in heating oil?2019-02-26T10:35:15-04:00

Following extensive testing and research, ASTM, with support from the heating oil industry and the National Biodiesel Board, has set two standards for recommended percentage blends of biodiesel in heating oil. These percentage blend specifications are up-to B5 (5%) and B6 to B20 (6% to 20%). The heating oil industry along with the National Oilheat Research Alliance and the National Biodiesel Board are committed to introducing higher blends of biodiesel into the heating oil marketplace and these organization are conducting ongoing research on higher percentage blends of biodiesel in heating oil.

What are the benefits of biodiesel/BIOHEAT?2019-02-26T10:34:14-04:00

The environmental benefits of biodiesel (BIOHEAT) are significant. First, depending on the blend level, biodiesel lowers the carbon content of heating oil. Secondly, biodiesel is made from renewable, organic sources such as the oil from soy beans and used cooking oils. And research conducted by leading authorities such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the California Air Resource Board indicates that biodiesel/BIOHEAT reduces Greenhouse Gas emissions (sulfur oxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide) from 50% to 86% compared to traditional heating oil or diesel fuel.  Additionally, research conducted by the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) indicates that when ultra-low sulfur heating is blended with biodiesel at 20% (B20), this BIOHEAT fuel significantly reduces Greenhouse Gas emissions making BIOHEAT cleaner than natural gas.

Is biofuel the same as biodiesel and BIOHEAT?2019-02-26T10:33:12-04:00

No, the biodiesel blended into heating oil to create BIOHEAT must meet rigid specifications set by the American Society of Testing & Materials (ASTM). These specifications are ASTM D396 – Standard Specifications for Fuel Oils and ASTM 6751 – Standard Specification for Biodiesel Fuel Blend Stock (B100) for Middle Distillate Fuels. Biofuel is a broad term that can include various products including biodiesel, ethanol, renewable hydrocarbon diesel, and raw vegetable oil known as RVO or LR100. Raw vegetable oil does not meet ASTM specifications, is not biodiesel or BIOHEAT and is not suitable for home heating oil use. The heating oil industry is committed to offering BIOHEAT that is only blended with feedstocks that meet the ASTM specifications.

What is BioFuel, BioHeat and BioDiesel?2019-02-26T10:24:33-04:00

Bioheat – the industry’s official registered name for the fuel blend – is a blend of ultra-low sulfur heating oil with renewable biodiesel made from organic and recycled products such as soybean oil, used cooking oils, inedible corn oil, canola, tallow, fats and algae. These renewable products are defined as “feedstocks” for producing biodiesel. Blends of biodiesel in heating oil are designated in percentages. For example, a 5% blend of biodiesel is defined as B5. B10 refers to a 10% blend, while B20 is a 20% blend. The National Biodiesel Board has trademarked the term BIOHEAT which includes the following categories: Bioheat – blends up to 5%; Bioheat Plus – blends 6-20%; Bioheat Super Plus – blends 21-100%.

How will I know if I should repair or replace my old heating system?2017-04-28T05:05:31-04:00

The frustration of an equipment breakdown can make it tempting to solve the problem with a quick fix that doesn’t cost you a lot of money. That way you can get on with your busy life in relative comfort. But while a quick fix may be the least expensive solution in the short run, it may not give you the most value in the long run. It’s a fact of life: Older systems are more likely to break down. That means greater chance of emergency service calls and repairs—and paying for them.

There’s also an ongoing cost factor. Repairing an old system can restore it only to something less than its original level of efficiency. After you’ve recovered from the repair bill and the frustration of a system breakdown, you’ll still be battling high energy bills. What’s more, even a system that doesn’t break down loses efficiency as it ages. A 15-year-old system doesn’t operate anywhere near the efficiency it had when it was new!

Plus, when compared with modern, technologically advanced equipment, 15-year-old systems are considered inefficient by today’s standards. The average homeowner can save up to 40% on energy costs with new high-efficiency equipment.
Here are some rules of thumb to help you decide whether to replace or repair your system:
Replace your system if:

  • It is more than 10 years old and only in average condition.
  • It does not keep you as comfortable as you would like.
  • It breaks down frequently.
  • You will be living in your home for at least five more years.

Repair your system if:

  • It is less than 10 years old and in good condition.
  • Your cooling costs have been acceptable.
  • You’re pleased with your level of comfort.
  • Its performance is reliable.
  • You will be moving within the next five years.
  • It is still under warranty.
Where will you install my new above-ground oil tank?2017-04-28T05:05:48-04:00

Because heating oil is biodegradable and safe to store inside the home, you can put your new leak-proof tank in a basement, closet or garage. You can also put it outside, near your house or garage or anywhere in your yard.

Are underground oil tanks regulated by the federal government?2017-04-28T05:06:12-04:00

No. At this time there are no federal laws governing active, underground, home heating oil tanks.

What steps should I take to maintain my water heater?2017-04-28T05:05:57-04:00

In order to maintain your water heater, you can take the following steps:

  • Every three months, drain a gallon of water from the tank. Do it every month if you have hard water. This reduces the amount of sediment collecting in the bottom of the tank, which can make the burner or heating coils work harder.
  • • Every year have your water heater inspected by a service technician to keep it in peak operating condition.
I have heard that oil fired water heaters provide a more reliable supply of hot water – is that true?2017-04-28T08:15:39-04:00

Heating oil produces the hottest flame of any home heating fuel. This means that an oil-fired water heater heats water fast. How fast? On average, oil-fired units heat water three times faster than gas heaters and five times faster than electric units.

What is an indirect fired water heater?2017-04-12T10:08:58-04:00

In an indirect-fired water heating system, the domestic water is heated by hot water from the boiler. A typical design is a water tank with coiled pipes inside. These coiled pipes connect to your boiler. Hot water from the boiler passes through the coil, which heats up the domestic water surrounding it.

Is a cooling system tune-up really necessary?2017-04-28T08:17:09-04:00

An air conditioning tune-up and inspection will help catch service problems before they get you hot under the collar. Many breakdowns occur on the hottest day of the year—because that’s when your air conditioning system is under the most stress. And because a tune-up ensures that your system will run at peak efficiency, it will lower your electric bills. A system that’s running efficiently can save you as much as 10% on your cooling costs.

My house doesn’t have forced air heating or ductwork. Will it still be possible to get central air conditioning?2017-04-12T10:07:32-04:00

Today simple, ductless air conditioning options make it possible to install a quiet, efficient air conditioning system in your home even if it doesn’t have ductwork.

Ductless air conditioning systems consist of one or more indoor air distribution units linked by refrigeration lines to an outdoor compressor. These flexible “hoses” can be positioned inside your walls and ceilings with a minimum of inconvenience. Installing ductless air conditioning costs a little more than standard central air systems, but much less than the cost of installing ductwork and a central air conditioning system.

My house has a furnace but we don’t have a cooling system, can we add central A/C?2017-04-28T08:17:42-04:00

Yes, we can mount a cooling coil on top of the furnace and install a condensing unit outside. For a no-obligation evaluation and FREE estimate, contact us today.

Is it OK to mix different components from different air conditioning systems?2017-04-28T08:18:01-04:00

It’s never a good idea to mix and match air conditioning components of different SEERs. You might save money initially by replacing your outdoor unit with a unit that has SEER of 13 (now required) or higher, and hooking it up to your 10 to 12 SEER indoor unit. However, it just doesn’t make sense in the long run. You’re just not going to get your money’s worth in terms of comfort and efficiency. You’re better off paying a little extra up front and save a lot more over time. At Brideau Energy, we have the expertise to help you choose the right efficiency system for your home. For a no-obligation evaluation and FREE estimate, contact us today.

What does SEER mean?2017-04-12T10:02:14-04:00

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It is used to indicate the efficiency of air conditioning systems. The higher the SEER number, the more cooling you get per unit of energy. As of January 2006, only units with a SEER of 13 or higher can be sold in the United States. Today’s cooling units are up to 40% more efficient than those made as recently as 10 years ago.

Can I get a quote over the phone?2017-04-12T10:01:43-04:00

We can give you a ballpark estimate if we have enough information, but it’s hard to determine a good estimate without physically seeing your current equipment and understanding all the variables of your property.

How much does it cost to install an air conditioning system?2017-04-12T10:00:09-04:00

There are many factors that come into play when determining the cost of your central air conditioning system. When it comes to an air conditioning system, aside from choice of the unit, model and size, and important factor is to have it installed properly in order for it to work as it should.  Contact us today and get a FREE estimate.

Should I install a programmable thermostat?2017-04-12T09:58:33-04:00

Absolutely! We highly recommend installing a programmable thermostat.   They are especially useful for people who are away from home at regular intervals. They allow for customized comfort settings around the clock, and they can cut heating and cooling costs by as much as 10%!  It also just simplifies your life!

Is there an ideal temperature to set my thermostat?2017-04-12T09:56:38-04:00

Different people feel comfortable at different temperatures. Pay less attention to the number on the thermostat display (or the position of the temperature indicator on a nondigital display) and more to how comfortable the room feels to you. When you feel comfortable, check the setting. That’s the right temperature for you.

What is a high efficiency heating system and how do you determine the efficiency of a system?2017-04-12T09:55:58-04:00

One indicator is Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). All heating equipment manufactured after 1980 is required to have a label indicating its AFUE. The AFUE ratio is a measurement of a heating system’s seasonal efficiency, taking into account how well the system performs over an entire season of starts and stops. Modern heating systems can range in efficiency from 81% to 95%. If your system’s AFUE is lower than this range, we recommend that you contact us to talk about your replacement options.

On warmer days my heating furnace turns on and off, and my home alternates back and forth from hot to cold.2017-04-12T09:54:57-04:00

Installing a new furnace with two levels of heat and a variable speed motor is a good solution. These “smart” motors automatically adjust the volume and speed of air based on your home’s temperature requirements.

What is a cracked heat exchanger?2017-04-12T09:52:54-04:00

The heat exchanger is the main component of your furnace. If the heat exchanger has a crack or a rust hole, combustion fumes (including carbon monoxide) can contaminate the air in your home. This is a potentially deadly situation and should be addressed IMMEDIATELY. A cracked heat exchanger usually requires replacing the entire furnace. If you suspect that you might have a cracked heat exchanger, or a carbon monoxide problem caused by your furnace, turn the system off immediately. Then call Brideau Oil right away for service.

How does my furnace produce heat?2017-04-12T09:52:06-04:00

Heat is generated by burning oil, natural gas or propane inside the furnace. This happens in the combustion chamber, which gets very hot. Air absorbs this heat in the furnace’s heat exchanger. Next, the blower sends the heated air through a system of ducts, and warm air circulates through the home.

What should I do if my heating system isn’t working?2017-04-12T09:51:33-04:00

 

Before you contact us, we can give you some tips to make sure a service call is really needed. This could save you the cost and inconvenience of an unnecessary service visit. Plus, it will ensure our technicians are working where they are most needed.

Make sure the thermostat is set above room temperature or in the “heat” position. If it’s a digital thermostat and the display screen is blank, you either need new batteries or the power supply has been interrupted.

  • Check for a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse.
  • Look to see if the power switch for your heating system is turned on. Sometimes, these get turned off accidentally.
  • Check your tank to see if you have heating fuel.
  • If you have an oil heating system, press the reset button on th burner relay—ONCE ONLY. If your system doesn’t start after you push the reset button the first time, do not push it again. Pushing this button more than once can cause your heating system to flood. Too much oil will get pumped into the combustion chamber, resulting in a lengthy and costly repair.e
  • If at this point you still don’t get heat, call us immediately.

When a service technician arrives, let him know everything you did to the system before he begins working on it. You should also let him know if anything out of the ordinary happened, like an unusual noise, a strange smell or smoke. In many cases, this will help the technician find the problem—and get your heat back on again—faster.

If I choose to go on a budget plan, how do you determine my monthly payment?2017-04-12T09:49:13-04:00

We take the number of gallons you used last year, multiplied by projected prices for the coming season, apply any credit balance on your account and divided the total by 12 months.

Are fuel prices going to go up (or down) this season?2017-04-12T09:48:24-04:00

We wish we could tell you, but we have no idea. There are so many factors that could send prices up or down at any time. Just look at 2008, when many analysts were saying oil could go up to $200 a barrel, but then it dropped to $50 a barrel instead. In two of the last four years, prices dropped during the heating season. There’s really no way to predict fuel prices.

How are your prices compared to other oil companies?2017-04-12T09:46:48-04:00

Our prices are always competitive. One of the things that allows us to be competitive is our storage capacity. We buy in larger quantities than some fuel dealers, which means a lower cost for us and a lower price for you. It’s also important to remember that as a full-service fuel company our prices may not always be the lowest in our market. But we offer you advantages that fuel discounters don’t—like budget and payment plans, and a dedicated team of highly trained technicians, some of whom are always on call for you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How do I know what system size I need?2017-04-12T09:44:30-04:00

The easiest way is to have one of our experts visit your home and assess your systems, and calculate your heating and cooling “loads.” They will then be able to recommend a system that is the correct size and model to meet your home’s requirements. For more details, just contact us.

How critical is it to get the annual maintenance service done?2017-04-12T09:40:47-04:00

Quite important. In our area, heating systems work hard. When anything is operating virtually nonstop for months on end, it needs regular maintenance—just like your car. Without the regular maintenance of a tune-up, you lose efficiency and money. In addition, regular maintenance can extend the life of your equipment.

How long does it typically take to install an new heating system?2017-04-12T09:38:56-04:00

Although every job is different and some take longer than others, it usually takes one day.

Do you have your own people, or do you hire subcontractors?2017-04-12T09:37:50-04:00

We use only our own certified technicians to install new heating and air conditioning systems. We never hire subcontractors. Our technicians are among the most highly trained in the industry.

In the event of an emergency, how long will it take for you to get to my home?2017-04-12T09:30:25-04:00

Our average over the years is 2 hours.   The time it takes to get to a property depends on many other variables, like weather, distance from our office, emergency workload, and the day of the week.  We do strive to get to any emergency as fast as possible because we know how important it is stay warm (or cool)!

Do you provide 24 hour service?2017-04-11T13:15:26-04:00

Yes, we offer our customers emergency service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.