Energy Bill Costs and Home Temperature Preferences in 2023

A toy house made out of yarn in a winter landscape

Over 1 in 3 Finding it Difficult to Pay for Energy Bills in 2023

A person’s home is their castle that can be any temperature they’d like it to be. While the outside air may be hot or cold, you can create a climate controlled paradise that suits your every preference. But it often comes at a steeper price than you might expect. We surveyed 900 Americans nationwide on their preferred home temperature, and how they’re cutting energy costs in 2023.

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Increasing Energy Bills and Utility Costs in 2023

Energy bills and cost cutting measures - new data by

According to a survey conducted by HOP Energy, the cost of living crisis leaves no stone unturned: 69% of Americans report higher energy bills in 2023 than in past years. Our survey found the national average of the most recent electric bill was $201 a month, whereas New England boasted a $245 bill – 22% above national average! For lower electric bills, move to the Midwest, where bills were10% below the national average at $180.

Nationwide, over 1 in 3 find it difficult to pay for energy bills in 2023. In the South, the number of people struggling to pay their energy bills in 2023 increases to 50% of those surveyed; not surprising given the record breaking heat and the demand on air conditioners and HVAC systems. Air conditioning is a wild card nationally: over half of Americans experience higher energy bills in the summer than they might expect, compared to 39% who underestimate their bills in the winter.

Nothing hurts more than a surprise expense, so it’s not shocking that over 2 in 3 Americans are trying to save on energy costs in 2023. The most popular cost-cutting technique is using energy efficient light bulbs, followed by unplugging items not in use (phantom energy is real), and setting the washing machine to cold. Other top methods include trying window fans in lieu of the AC and aligning the home temperature more closely to the outside air. 

Winter in the Home: Temperature Preferences and Winterizing

Winter thermostat temperatures and winterizing measures - new survey data by
One of the chief heralds of season change is the end of Daylight Saving Time, set in the spring and fall of every year. But Americans don’t like it, the survey revealed 71% would eliminate the time change if they could.

Americans keep their homes cozy during the winter–the national average home temperature during the cold months is 69 degrees. The Western U.S. keeps it the lowest, at 67.4 degrees, whereas the South maintains a balmy 70.1 degrees.

Many say they keep their homes at a different temperature to avoid higher costs; 56% said they keep their home temperatures lower than their preferred temperature in winter to save money. New England boasts the largest degree difference between desired temperature and actual temperature at 2 degrees. The South, meanwhile, is only a degree off from its temperature preference. One way to cope with this difference is bundling up –nearly 2 in 3 nationwide will layer with warm clothing rather than turn up the heat.

While nearly half of American homes are heated with a furnace, other top heating methods include boilers, heat pumps, and baseboard heat. It’s not all a vision of coziness, however: over 1 in 4 engage in a thermostat fight with others in their household over the temperature.

Many in colder climates winterize their home each year; nationwide, 28% plan on doing so. It’s not a small undertaking: costs can range from $181 in the Midwest to $605 in New England! For many, this involves inspecting the heating system, placing plastic on windows, putting in door sweeps, cleaning the gutters, installing weather stripping, and reversing ceiling fans.

Summer in the Home: Temperature Preferences and Keeping Cool

Summer temperatures and air conditioning preferences - new survey data by
We all know the heat of summer 2023 was one for the books, with many states incurring record heat waves. The average summer home temperature nationally is 72.4 degrees. While New England prefers a crisp 70.6 degrees–the lowest out of all regions–the Mid-Atlantic goes to the other extreme of keeping home temperatures at 75 degrees. This reflects a7.1 degree difference between the Mid-Atlantic’s preferred and actual home temperatures.

The survey found that every region kept their homes warmer than what they might prefer in the summer of 2023. More than half, 53% of Americans, intentionally said they kept their home temperature higher to save money on those pesky bills.

Nationwide, 74% of Americans have central air conditioning, and about 1 in 5 have window units. Only 6% have no air conditioning at all. May and June are the two chief months folks first turn on their air conditioning.

The heat certainly took its toll: 38% ran their AC more this year than years prior, and 43% found it difficult to keep their homes cool. The nation’s ideal temperature is a lovely temperate 71.9 degrees, while the West keeps it balmy at 74.5 and New England enjoys a brisk 68.6 degrees. All of these are certainly a far cry from summer 2023’s record heat!

These survey findings offer valuable insights for homeowners looking to make informed decisions about their energy usage. By understanding how different regions and households adjust their home temperatures during the summer to save on energy costs, readers can gain practical tips and strategies to keep their homes comfortable without breaking the bank. Whether it’s adjusting the thermostat, optimizing their cooling systems, or implementing energy-efficient practices, with every season change it’s important to ensure your heating and cooling systems are working at peak efficiency to cut costs. Make sure you schedule your oil and propane deliveries to avoid finding yourself unexpectedly cold this winter!

In August 2023 we surveyed 900 Americans nationwide on their preferences around home temperature in summer and winter as well as what steps they take to cut costs. Respondents ranged from 18-79 with an average age of 43. 50% were men, 48% were women, and 2% were non-binary or would rather not say. 56% identified their living area as suburban, 26% urban, and 18% rural.

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When using this data and research, please attribute by linking to this study and citing HOP Energy.

How Long Does Heating Oil Last? Estimating, Managing, and Conserving Energy

Heating oil is essential in residential heating systems, especially during the chilly months when a warm and comfortable home becomes an absolute necessity. Beyond just providing warmth, heating oil also has significant implications for energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and environmental responsibility. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the critical aspects of heating oil consumption, empowering you with the knowledge to estimate, monitor, and effectively manage your usage. From understanding the factors that affect consumption to implementing practical strategies, we’ll help you make the most of your home heating oil.

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a child holding a stuffed bunny looks out a window at the slow fall

Factors Affecting Home Heating Oil Consumption

Climate and Weather Conditions:
The weather has a significant impact on how much heating oil your household requires. Cold weather demands more energy to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature, inevitably resulting in higher heating oil consumption. To counteract this, it’s essential to focus on thorough insulation, and adjusting your thermostat settings according to the weather can make a remarkable difference in usage.
Size and Insulation of Your House:
The architecture and insulation quality of your home are direct contributors to heating oil consumption. Larger homes with inadequate insulation are more prone to heat loss, necessitating increased oil consumption to sustain warmth. Emphasizing proper insulation and weatherproofing measures can substantially mitigate this issue.
Efficiency of the Heating System:

The efficiency of your heating system can’t be underestimated in its impact on oil consumption. Older heating systems, especially those with lower efficiency ratings, tend to consume more oil to generate the same level of heat. Transitioning to a newer, more energy-efficient heating system, can lead to significant long-term savings.

Lifestyle and Occupancy Patterns:
The rhythm of your daily life and occupancy patterns is another variable affecting heating oil usage. A household with varying occupancy levels throughout the day might require adjustments to heating schedules or even the use of programmable thermostats to optimize energy consumption.
Other Heating Oil Consumption Factors:
Temperature settings, hot water usage, and the overall efficiency of appliances add nuances to your home’s heating oil consumption. By being mindful of these factors and making informed choices, you can effectively optimize your home’s heating system, leading to substantial energy savings.
a couple is reviewing their energy budget on a tablet device

Estimating Heating Oil Consumption

Calculating BTU:

To determine the heating oil energy requirement of your home, you need to understand British Thermal Units (BTUs), which quantify heat energy. Utilizing online BTU calculators allows you to calculate your home’s BTU requirements accurately.

Considering the Heating System's Efficiency Rating:

The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating serves as a key indicator of your heating system’s ability to convert fuel into heat. A higher AFUE rating signifies enhanced efficiency and correspondingly lower fuel consumption.

Estimating Annual Heating Oil Consumption:
Relying on historical data or average usage rates provides a foundational basis for estimating your home’s annual heating oil consumption. Consistently monitoring your usage over time facilitates the refinement of these estimates.
Measuring Heating Oil Usage:

Understanding Heating Oil Gauges: Your heating oil tank is equipped with a gauge to help you monitor oil levels accurately. Regularly checking the gauge and comprehending its readings are essential practices to prevent unexpected fuel shortages.

Regular Inspections and Maintenance: Consistent maintenance and thorough inspections are indispensable in identifying leaks, inefficiencies, or other issues that might lead to wastage or increased consumption.

a scale weighing heating oil versus costs

Managing Heating Oil Usage

Using Thermostats:
Leveraging the capabilities of your thermostat is a fundamental step towards optimizing heating oil usage. Tweaking thermostat settings for optimal efficiency and considering programmable thermostats and zoning systems can significantly curtail unnecessary consumption.
Adequate insulation and strategic weatherproofing measures act as effective barriers against heat loss, directly reducing your home’s heating demands. Improved insulation ensures better heat retention, ultimately translating into reduced oil consumption.
Regular Heating System Maintenance:
Committing to routine servicing and maintenance of your heating system ensures its continued optimal performance. A well-maintained system operates efficiently, leading to lower oil consumption and extending its operational lifespan.
two people keeping their feet warm next to the fireplace.

Lifestyle Modifications

Efficient Hot Water Usage:
By adopting mindful practices regarding hot water usage, such as shorter showers and utilizing cold water for laundry, you can contribute significantly to overall energy savings.
Alternative Heating Sources:
Exploring alternative heating sources like solar energy, geothermal systems, or the utilization of energy-efficient wood-burning stoves can further diminish your dependence on heating oil.
technician is inspecting an HVAC system

Tracking Heating Oil Usage

Using Apps:
In the era of digital convenience, various apps and online tools provide real-time insights into your heating oil consumption. Empowered with this information, you can make informed decisions regarding usage and budgeting.
Budgeting and Planning Oil Usage:

Keeping meticulous records of heating oil deliveries and consumption supports informed budgeting and pre-emptive planning for refills.

How HOP Can Help​

HOP Energy stands as an industry leader with an innate understanding of the intricate dynamics governing heating oil consumption. With a commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency, HOP Energy offers a range of solutions tailored to empower homeowners in making informed decisions about their home heating oil needs. From providing energy-efficient heating systems to offering advanced monitoring tools, HOP Energy is your ideal HOP Energy is your ideal partner in optimizing your heating oil usage for both your benefit and the environment’s.

a HOP energy delivery truck is in front of customers home delivering heating oil
In the quest to understand how long heating oil lasts and how to make it last longer, this comprehensive guide has illuminated the myriad factors that influence consumption. By diving into the specifics of climate, house size, heating system efficiency, lifestyle choices, and more, you’re now equipped to estimate, monitor, and manage your heating oil usage more effectively. By implementing these insights, you not only enhance your home’s energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness but also contribute to a greener, more sustainable future. Remember, with HOP Energy by your side, you’re partnering with a company dedicated to helping you make the most of your home heating oil while minimizing your environmental footprint.

The Right Time to Buy Heating Oil for Your Home

Heating Oil Truck

Are you a homeowner looking to optimize your heating oil purchases? Timing plays a crucial role in securing the best prices and ensuring you have enough fuel to keep you and your loved ones warm throughout the winter. In this blog, we will guide you through the process of choosing the right time to purchase heating oil for your home. We’ll explore cost-saving strategies, seasonal trends, and share expert tips to help you make informed decisions. Whether you’re a seasoned heating oil buyer or a first-time homeowner, this guide will equip you with the knowledge you need to maximize your savings and keep your home comfortable.

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Understanding Seasonal Demand and Price Fluctuations

Heating oil prices are influenced by several factors, including supply and demand dynamics, weather conditions, and geopolitical events. Generally, the demand for heating oil is highest during the winter months when temperatures drop, and homeowners rely on their heating systems extensively. Consequently, prices tend to rise during this period. On the other hand, during the warmer months, when the demand decreases, prices tend to be more favorable.

Monitoring Heating Oil Prices

To make an informed purchase, it’s crucial to monitor heating oil prices regularly. Several online resources and mobile applications provide up-to-date information on oil prices. By keeping an eye on market trends, you can identify favorable pricing opportunities and choose the best time to buy. Additionally, communicating with a reliable heating oil supplier like HOP Energy can help you stay informed about price fluctuations in your area.

Timing Your Purchase Strategically

While monitoring prices is essential, timing your heating oil purchase strategically can lead to substantial savings. Consider buying oil during the off-peak season or when demand is typically lower. This could be during the spring or early summer months when suppliers are looking to reduce their inventories. By planning ahead and making your purchase during these periods, you may take advantage of lower prices and avoid the peak season rush.

Planning for Seasonal Maintenance

Don’t overlook the importance of scheduling regular maintenance for your heating system. By ensuring your equipment is in top shape, you can improve its efficiency and potentially reduce your overall heating oil consumption. Plan maintenance visits well in advance, ideally during the off-peak season, to avoid scheduling conflicts and ensure your system is ready for the colder months.

Taking Advantage of Pre-Buy and Price Cap Programs

Pre-buy and price cap programs are valuable options to consider when purchasing heating oil. Pre-buy programs allow you to secure a fixed price for a specified amount of oil, providing price stability and protection against potential price hikes. Price cap programs, on the other hand, establish a maximum price you will pay per gallon, protecting you from unexpected price surges while allowing you to benefit from lower prices if they occur. These programs can be particularly beneficial when oil prices are expected to rise.

Smart Buying Tips for First-Time Homeowners

If you’re a first-time homeowner, buying heating oil for the first time might seem daunting. Here are a few smart buying tips to help you navigate the process:

  • Research and compare to find the best prices and service quality.
  • Consider joining a local buying group to leverage collective purchasing power and negotiate better prices.
  • Familiarize yourself with your heating system’s specifications, including tank size and oil consumption, to estimate your fuel needs accurately.
  • Seek advice from experienced homeowners or consult reputable heating oil suppliers like HOP Energy for personalized guidance tailored to your specific requirements.

Choosing the right time to purchase heating oil is crucial for homeowners seeking to optimize their expenses and ensure a warm and comfortable home throughout the winter. By understanding seasonal demand, monitoring prices, and employing cost-saving strategies like pre-buy and price cap programs, you can make informed decisions and maximize your savings. Remember to plan for seasonal maintenance, take advantage of off-peak seasons, and leverage the expertise of reliable heating oil suppliers like HOP Energy. Make the right choices and enjoy a comfortable winter while keeping your expenses under control.


At HOP Energy, we understand the importance of making the right heating oil purchase decisions. Contact us today to learn how our experienced team can assist you in navigating the process and providing you with reliable, cost-effective heating oil solutions for your home. Together, we’ll ensure your comfort and savings throughout the year.

What You Need to Know About Heating Oil Tanks

Heating Oil Tank

Heating oil tanks are an integral part of any home heating system. They store the fuel that keeps your home warm and comfortable during the colder months. Understanding heating oil tanks is crucial for homeowners to ensure proper maintenance, safety, and efficient fuel delivery. In this blog, we will provide you with essential information about heating oil tanks. From different tank types to maintenance tips and safety measures, we will equip you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions and maximize the longevity and efficiency of your heating oil tank.

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The Importance of Heating Oil Tanks

Heating oil tanks are essential components of home heating systems that store and supply the fuel needed to keep your home warm. They play a crucial role in ensuring a reliable and efficient fuel delivery process. Understanding the key aspects of heating oil tanks will help you maintain a safe and efficient heating system in your home.

Different Types of Heating Oil Tanks

There are several types of heating oil tanks available, including above-ground tanks and underground tanks. Each type has its advantages and considerations. Above-ground tanks are typically more accessible for inspection and maintenance, while underground tanks offer space-saving benefits and aesthetic advantages. However, underground tanks are no longer encouraged within the heating, financial, and environmental industries. Understanding the different tank types will help you choose the one that best suits your specific needs.

Choosing the Right Tank Size

Selecting the appropriate tank size is vital to ensure an adequate fuel supply for your home. Factors such as the size of your home, climate conditions, and heating system efficiency should be considered when determining the right tank size. Consulting with heating professionals or reputable heating oil suppliers like HOP Energy can help you make an informed decision.

Installation and Placement Considerations

Proper installation and placement of your heating oil tank are crucial for its efficient and safe operation. Compliance with local regulations, maintaining proper clearances, and choosing suitable locations are essential considerations. Professional installation by certified technicians is always recommended to ensure compliance and avoid potential safety hazards.

Tank Maintenance and Inspection

Regular maintenance and inspection of your heating oil tank are essential for its longevity and optimal performance. Tasks such as checking for leaks, monitoring tank and fuel levels, and cleaning filters should be performed periodically. Adhering to a maintenance schedule and being proactive can help identify and address potential issues before they escalate.

Signs of Tank Problems and Solutions

Being aware of common signs of tank problems is essential for early detection and prevention of potential issues. Signs such as corrosion, leaks, or fuel odors should not be ignored. Prompt action and professional assistance should be sought to address these problems effectively. Regular inspections and maintenance can help prevent such issues from occurring. Tanks should be replaced based on industry recommended standards.

Safety Measures and Regulations

Ensuring the safety of your heating oil tank is of utmost importance. Familiarize yourself with safety measures and regulations related to heating oil tanks, such as proper venting, fire protection, and spill prevention. Following safety guidelines and maintaining compliance will help safeguard your home and the environment.

Professional Heating Oil Tank Services

Engaging professional heating oil tank services can provide you with comprehensive solutions for tank installation, maintenance, and repairs. Reputable providers like HOP Energy offer expert assistance, ensuring the longevity and efficiency of your heating oil tank. Their experienced technicians can handle everything from tank installations to leak detection.

Understanding heating oil tanks is essential for homeowners seeking to maintain a safe, efficient, and reliable heating system. By familiarizing yourself with different tank types, choosing the right tank size, performing regular maintenance and inspections, and following safety measures and regulations, you can ensure the longevity and efficiency of your heating oil tank. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out to professional heating oil tank services like HOP Energy for expert guidance and comprehensive solutions tailored to your needs.


At HOP Energy, we understand the importance of heating oil tank maintenance and safety. Contact us today to learn more about our range of heating oil tank services, including installation, maintenance, and repairs. Our team of experienced technicians is here to help you ensure the longevity and efficiency of your heating oil tank, providing you with peace of mind throughout the year.

Common Problems Associated with Musty AC Units

Air Conditioners expert

Experiencing the unpleasant smell of a musty air conditioner? There’s no need to feel embarrassed or uncertain about reaching out to your local HVAC technician. In fact, the presence of an odor can serve as a helpful indicator in diagnosing issues with your HVAC system.

Frequently Asked Questions about Smelly Air Ducts and HVAC Units

Before we address common concerns related to your smelly air conditioner, it’s crucial to emphasize one scent that should never be ignored: natural gas. Often likened to the smell of rotten eggs, if you detect an odor reminiscent of sulfur, immediately contact emergency services by dialing 911 and vacate the premises. It’s important not to manipulate light switches, appliances, or windows, nor should you attempt to locate the source of the smell on your own.

While a musty odor emanating from your AC unit may cause some concern, it does not constitute an emergency. Nonetheless, ignoring the smell would be unwise as it signifies improper functioning of your AC unit.

Why Does My Air Conditioner Emit a Musty Odor?

Typically, musty smells from air conditioner units stem from the accumulation of water in drain pans, drip lines, or ducts. However, a dirty air filter can also be a contributing factor.

Possible Cause #1: Full Drain Pan

Your AC unit extracts moisture from the air within your home, with water droplets collecting in the drain or drip pan. Over time, these pans may become breeding grounds for mildew or mold. To eliminate the odor, consider replacing the drip pan located beneath your system’s evaporator coils.

Possible Cause #2: Blocked Condensate Drain Line

Situated next to the condenser unit outside your home, the condensate line serves to drain water from the drip pan. However, mold, mildew, and sludge can accumulate within the line, causing blockages. Once the blockage is cleared, the unpleasant smell should dissipate.

Possible Cause #3: Excess Moisture in Ducts

If a musty smell is emanating from your AC unit, it’s possible that your ductwork harbors mold or mildew, which then permeates through your vents. Scheduling routine cleaning can eliminate the musty odor originating from your ductwork.

Possible Cause #4: Blocked Air Filter Resulting in Frozen Condenser Coil

A dirty air filter can lead to water droplets accumulating on the evaporator coils. As the AC unit’s refrigerant cools the air, these droplets freeze. To restore maximum airflow, a professional HVAC technician must allow the condenser coil to thaw and replace the filters.

Can a Musty AC Make You Ill?

Exposure to mold can contribute to upper respiratory health problems. Therefore, if your air conditioner emits an unpleasant odor, it’s advisable to identify the cause and rectify the situation promptly.

How Can I Eliminate the Musty Smell from My Air Conditioner?

If your air conditioner consistently emits a musty smell, seeking assistance from a professional may be necessary. The HVAC technicians at HOP Energy can provide the help you need. While HOP Energy is widely recognized for its heating oil delivery service, we also offer comprehensive HVAC services, maintenance, and installations throughout the Northeast. When faced with a foul-smelling AC, simply complete the contact form on the HOP Energy website. We will identify the source of the musty odor, resolve the problem, and offer suggestions to enhance your home’s indoor air quality.

Key Takeaways About Air Conditioners

  • A properly functioning air conditioning unit should not emit a musty smell. The presence of such an odor indicates an issue with your air conditioning system.
  • Musty odors may result from a full drain pan, a blocked drain line, excess moisture in your air vents, or a clogged air filter. All these problems can be rectified by a reputable AC repair service provider.
  • Mold spores can pose health risks to both humans and pets.
  • HOP Energy offers professional AC repair and maintenance services.

Cleaning A Mitsubishi Mini Split Air Conditioner

Cleaning a Mitsubishi Mini Split AC

Cleaning a Mitsubishi mini split air conditioner is an essential task for homeowners who want to maintain optimal performance and indoor air quality. Mini split systems have become popular among homeowners due to their ability to provide precise heating and cooling control for individual rooms, along with potential energy savings. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your Mitsubishi mini split remains efficient and effective in keeping your home comfortable.

Step 1: Cut The Power

Turn off the system by turning off the circuit breaker for the indoor and outdoor units.

Step 2: Clean The Filters

Lift the front cover of the indoor unit and remove the filters. Vacuum the filters with a brush attachment. If the filters are heavily soiled, wash them with soap and warm water, ensuring they are completely dry before reinserting them.

Step 3: Clean The Heat Exchanger

Use the brush attachment of your vacuum to clean the delicate fins of the heat exchanger inside the unit.

Step 4: Clean The Fan

Remove the bottom cover and clean the fan blades, fan motor, and cooling coils using a vacuum. If there is visible dust, gently wipe the area with a dry cloth.

Step 5: Clean The Condensate Pan

Wipe up any moisture in the pan located at the bottom of the unit. Ensure the drain hose is functioning correctly. If there is standing water or blockage, use white vinegar to clear it.

Step 6: Remove Debris

To maintain the energy efficiency of a ductless system, you need to clean the loose debris from the indoor and outdoor units.

Step 7: Vacuum and Wash Grilles

Use a vacuum or dry cloth to remove dirt from the heat exchange grilles. If the grilles are heavily soiled, use liquid soap and a garden hose to wash them.

Step 8: Clean Inside Of Housing

Unscrew and remove the top of the outdoor unit, wipe down the fan blades, and vacuum the interior, including the condenser coils.

Step 9: Clean Condensate Pan and Hose

Wipe the drain pan with a cloth and address any mold growth with a bleach solution. Clean the hose with vinegar.

To ensure proper maintenance of all your HVAC systems, including your Mitsubishi mini split air conditioner, consider contacting HOP Energy. Our technicians can inspect your equipment and provide necessary maintenance recommendations. Simply fill out the contact form on our website to schedule an appointment.

Choosing Between a Heat Pump and a Furnace

Furnace Vs Heat Pump

When it comes to installing a new heating system in their homes, many homeowners find themselves comparing heat pumps and furnaces. To help you make the right choice for your home, let’s first define these popular heating systems.

What is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump serves as both an air conditioner during hot weather and a heater during cold weather. There are two main types of heat pumps. Air source heat pumps use outdoor air to heat and cool your home, while geothermal or ground source heat pumps collect and redistribute heat from the earth. Essentially, a heat pump works by constantly moving warm air from one place to another. In winter, it extracts heat from the air or ground and transfers it inside your home. In summer, it removes hot air from inside your home, resulting in a cooler indoor environment.

How Does an Oil or Natural Gas Furnace Work?

An oil or natural gas furnace generates its own heat. When indoor temperatures drop, the furnace receives a signal and sends fuel to the burners inside a combustion chamber. A pilot light ignites the burners, which heat the heat exchanger. A blower fan then circulates the hot air throughout the home.

Heat Pump vs. Furnace

Now that you understand how these systems generate heat, let’s discuss the pros and cons of each.

Energy Efficiency

Heat pumps are renowned for their energy efficiency, as they can transfer 300 percent more energy than they consume. However, comparing the efficiency of a heat pump to that of an oil furnace is more complex in colder climates. Most sources suggest that furnaces perform better in terms of heating efficiency, particularly in colder regions.


While both heating systems produce heat for your home, the air from a heat pump isn’t as hot as the air from a furnace. However, heat pumps circulate naturally humid air, which may reduce the need for a whole-house humidifier. Additionally, both systems can accommodate air cleaners to improve indoor air quality.

Lifespan and Maintenance

Furnaces, with proper maintenance, can last over 20 years, whereas the lifespan of a heat pump is typically around 15 years. Furnaces also have fewer mechanical parts than heat pumps, resulting in fewer potential malfunctions.

Choosing the Right Heating System for You

While reputable sources may suggest using a heat pump as the main heating and cooling source to lower energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it’s important to consider your unique situation. A heat pump may be suitable if you need to replace both your heating unit and air conditioner, live in an area with low electric rates and a mild climate, and are prepared for potentially higher installation costs.

The technology surrounding heat pumps is continually improving, making air source heat pumps more effective in colder temperatures. However, some recommend having a backup heat source when installing this system in Northern states.

An oil furnace may be the right choice for those living in cold climates. However, homeowners will need to purchase air conditioners or a separate cooling unit to address their summer comfort needs. As furnaces burn fuel and produce carbon monoxide, it’s essential to equip your home with carbon monoxide detectors for safety.

Learn More About Heat Pumps and Oil Furnaces from HOP Energy

We understand that you have many questions about which heat source is best for you. Instead of further delving into the heat pump versus furnace debate, we encourage you to schedule a free in-home consultation with a HOP Energy technician.

HOP Energy offers a variety of HVAC systems and brands and can answer all your questions regarding gas furnaces, oil-fired furnaces, or heat pump systems. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each option and determine whether your home is better suited for an indoor or outdoor unit. We’ll also explore which system can help you save money on your monthly energy bills.

In addition, HOP Energy provides heating and cooling system repair and maintenance services and can assist you in improving the air quality in your home. Fill out the contact form on our website to get in touch with us before the temperatures start to drop.


Why Having Sufficient Heating Oil Matters in Summer

Heating Oil in Summer

Once winter is over, it’s easy to forget about home heating oil. You might think that since the cold temperatures have passed, there’s no need to worry about it. Even if your tank is empty, it’s tempting to neglect refilling it during the summer months. However, an empty home heating oil tank can lead to problems. While running out of heating oil in spring and summer in Massachusetts won’t make you freeze, there are other important reasons to consider reaching out to Alliance Express for filling your tank during this time.

The Consequences of an Empty Heating Oil Tank

When you allow your home heating oil to run out during the warmer months, condensation can start forming on the interior walls of the tank. As water accumulates, it drips down to the bottom. Even if there is a small amount of oil left, the denser water sinks and creates an ideal environment for the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms.


Over time, these organisms build up and form sediment, which can lead to significant issues with your oil tank. Sludge can clog your fuel lines, causing your heating system to shut down. Keeping your heating oil tank full during summer prevents condensation from accumulating, saving you the hassle and expenses of repairs once winter returns. Neglecting this issue may even lead to tank erosion from the inside, resulting in a much larger problem that could have been avoided altogether.


Why You Still Require Oil in the Summer

Although your usage of heating oil decreases during the warmer months, it’s still necessary to have some in your tank. You may need oil to heat water for showers, baths, cooking, and household chores like washing dishes and clothes. Showers, in particular, account for the largest portion of hot water usage during summer. Even if you take quick showers, having hot water readily available is essential.


Hot water is also needed for effectively cleaning your dishes, whether by hand or with a dishwasher. Cold water won’t cut it when it comes to greasy and dirty pots and pans. Thus, hot water remains crucial for routine cleaning tasks and other household chores.

Advantages of a Summer Fill-Up of Heating Oil

Maintaining a sufficient level of heating oil in your tank during summer offers several benefits. Firstly, it helps reduce condensation and protects your tank from erosion. Additionally, having a full tank ensures you have the fuel you need whenever you need it. It’s never pleasant to be caught off guard by an unexpected cold snap. Furthermore, planning your home heating oil delivery becomes easier when it’s not an urgent matter, saving you from last-minute rush or costly emergency deliveries. At Alliance Express, we only charge you for the amount of oil we deliver, ensuring you pay for what you use.

Pay Only for What You Consume

With Alliance Express, your oil usage is monitored using computer systems, even during the summer months. This means you’ll only be billed for the actual amount of heating oil delivered to you.

Contact Us to Maintain a Healthy Tank

Keeping a sufficient level of heating oil in your tank prevents condensation and potential damage, ultimately saving you money on expensive repairs. If you receive Massachusetts heating oil on a delivery schedule, don’t skip the summer months. Alliance Express is committed to keeping your home and family comfortable throughout the year, offering automated oil delivery services as well as HVAC services. Ready to get started? Contact us today at 866-395-7220 to schedule your service.


The Basics of Heating and Cooling Systems

HVAC maintenance

Understanding the functionality of your HVAC system is essential for troubleshooting and maintaining optimal performance. We often take for granted the comfort provided by our heating and air conditioning systems, but let’s delve into the fundamentals of how they work.

Anatomy of an HVAC System

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are designed to regulate indoor temperature, humidity, and air quality. These systems operate based on principles of heat transfer, thermodynamics, and fluid mechanics. The components of an HVAC system can vary depending on whether you have an air conditioner with a furnace or a heat pump. Let’s break down the key elements.


The thermostat is the part of the system you interact with the most. You can manually set it to maintain your preferred temperature or opt for a programmable thermostat that adjusts the temperature even when you’re away, saving energy and reducing costs.


The burner component ignites the HVAC system when the thermostat detects a temperature drop, signaling it to start.


The furnace, located inside your house (commonly in a utility closet or basement), serves as the central hub of your HVAC system. It heats the air, which is then distributed to different areas of your home through ductwork or piping. Hybrid heating systems combine the efficiency of heat pumps with the powerful heating capability of a furnace for optimal performance in various weather conditions.


Boilers are heating systems that utilize oil to heat water, which turns into steam and travels to radiators. They are commonly found in multi-residence settings, such as apartment buildings, multi-family dwellings, and older homes.

Heat Exchanger

Situated within the furnace, the heat exchanger adds heat to the incoming air from the combustion chamber.

Air Conditioner

In central heating and cooling systems, air conditioning plays a vital role. Air conditioners draw warm air from the outside, remove its heat, and provide cool air through ductwork inside your home.

Condensing Unit

This unit, located outside your home, exchanges heat with the surrounding air. Depending on the season, it either releases or collects heat.

Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil, housed within the furnace, works differently from the heat exchanger. Filled with refrigerant, it absorbs heat from the passing warm air, transferring it outside. The cooled air is then blown into your home through the air ducts.

Heat Pump

While heat pumps cool your home similar to air conditioners in summer, they function differently in winter. They extract heat from the outdoor air or ground and distribute it indoors to warm your home.

Refrigerant Lines

These metal tubes connect the evaporator coil with the condensing coil, allowing refrigerant to flow between the indoor and outdoor units of your HVAC system.


Vents are outlets that distribute heated or cooled air from the duct system into various rooms of your home. It’s crucial to keep these vents unobstructed for proper airflow.

How Do These HVAC Components Work Together?

Air Conditioner

When the temperature rises in your home, the thermostat activates the air conditioning system. Warm air is drawn through the air return vents into the furnace, where it passes over the evaporator coil. The cold refrigerant in the coil absorbs heat from the air, transforming into vapor. This cools the air, which is then pushed through the ducts back into your living areas.

Simultaneously, the refrigerant is pumped to the outdoor unit, where the compressor pressurizes it, and it passes through the condenser coil. The heat is released outdoors with the help of a fan. Afterward, the refrigerant expands, returning to the evaporator as a cold, low-pressure liquid. This cycle continues until the desired temperature is reached, and the thermostat signals the HVAC system to turn off.

Furnace and Burner

To heat your home, the furnace heats air in one area and distributes it through a network of ducts and vents. When the thermostat triggers the furnace, the valve opens, igniting the burner component beneath the combustion chamber. The valve and thermostat work together to regulate the fuel flow. Flames from the burner heat a metal heat exchanger, circulating the heat through its tubes. A motorized fan then blows the warm air through the ductwork and out of the vents, effectively heating your home.

Boiler (Radiators)

Boilers transfer heat to water or produce steam to warm your home. When the thermostat detects a drop in temperature, the boiler turns on. Heat from the fuel source raises the water’s temperature inside the boiler. The heated water or steam travels through radiators, releasing its heat to warm the air. As the water cools or steam condenses, it returns to the boiler to be reheated and continue the heating process until the desired temperature is reached.

Heat Pump

Heat pumps can switch between air conditioning and heating modes by reversing the refrigeration cycle. This transformation switches the roles of the indoor and outdoor coils. Refrigerant flows through closed refrigeration lines, absorbing heat from the outside air at the condenser coil and releasing it indoors at the evaporator coil. A fan pulls air into the ductwork, and the refrigerant is pumped from the interior to the exterior coil, absorbing heat. The warmed air is then distributed through air vents in your home, raising the indoor temperature. This refrigeration cycle repeats until the thermostat’s desired temperature is achieved.

HOP Energy is a leading residential and commercial energy provider offering a wide range of heating and air conditioning equipment. Their team of HVAC experts can guide you in selecting the right system for your needs. With competitive pricing, 24/7 emergency service, and highly trained technicians local to your area, HOP Energy is the preferred choice for energy solutions.

Heating Oil vs. Propane: Differences, Benefits & Drawbacks

Heating Oil vs Propane

When choosing a heating system for your home or business, it’s important to consider more than just monthly heating costs. The fluctuating prices of heating oil, propane, and natural gas should prompt you to evaluate other factors. This guide will explore the pros and cons of heating oil and propane systems, compare the costs of oil and propane furnaces, and take into account the geographical influence on your decision. Let’s delve into the details of home heating oil and propane.

An Overview of Propane vs. Heating Oil

Both heating oil and propane are delivered to your location by truck and stored in on-site tanks. Heating oil is derived from crude oil, while propane is a byproduct of natural gas processing. It’s essential to understand these fundamental distinctions before weighing their merits and drawbacks.

Differences Between Heating Oil and Propane

Heating oil is a low-viscosity fuel oil derived from crude oil, primarily used in oil furnaces or boilers. On the other hand, propane is a liquified petroleum gas (LPG) compressed and stored as a liquid, produced from domestic natural gas processing.

Pros and Cons of Heating Oil

Heating oil offers several advantages, particularly in the Northeastern US. However, no heating method is perfect. Let’s examine the benefits and drawbacks of using home heating oil.

Benefits of Heating Oil

  • Heating oil generates more heat per gallon compared to propane.
  • It has a higher BTU output per gallon, resulting in better fuel efficiency.
  • Oil equipment generally comes at a lower purchase cost.
  • Heating oil is safe, vaporizing only at temperatures exceeding 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • It burns cleanly without producing soot indoors.

Drawbacks of Heating Oil

  • The price of heating oil is subject to international market forces and tends to be more volatile than propane.
  • Heating oil emits more carbon dioxide gas when burned compared to propane.
  • Oil furnaces require regular cleaning and maintenance.

Pros and Cons of Propane

Propane has been a popular heating option for decades, boasting distinct advantages over heating oil. However, it also has its limitations. Let’s explore the pros and cons of propane gas.

Benefits of Propane

  • Propane is generally less expensive per gallon than heating oil.
  • It produces minimal amounts of carbon dioxide when burned.
  • Propane furnaces require less maintenance.
  • Propane can power various home appliances.

Drawbacks of Propane

  • Although heating oil costs more per unit, its higher heat output means you’ll use less heating oil to warm your home compared to propane.
  • Propane furnaces come with a higher upfront cost compared to oil furnaces.
  • Propane is combustible, requiring careful handling and storage outside.
  • Unlike heating oil, propane tanks must be stored outdoors.

Cost of Oil Furnaces Vs. Propane Furnaces

Typically, oil furnaces have an initial cost that is approximately $1,000 lower than that of propane furnaces. Additionally, oil furnaces are easier to install and require less maintenance. However, propane furnaces offer greater heating efficiency, require less fuel than oil furnaces, demand fewer maintenance efforts, and have a longer lifespan. The optimal fuel choice for your home depends on your location and budget, as heating oil and propane prices can vary. Consulting local heating professionals can provide valuable insights before making a decision.

Uses of Heating Oil and Propane

Heating Oil Uses

Heating oil is a versatile resource with numerous applications. It powers industrial machinery, heats commercial buildings, and keeps homes warm during winter. According to the US Energy Information Administration, about 5.3 million US households rely on heating oil as their primary space heating fuel, with approximately 82% of those households located in the Northeast region.

Common Applications of Heating Oil

  • Home heating
  • Industrial uses
  • Backup generator power
  • Water heating equipment
  • Stoves, ranges, and boilers

Propane Uses

Propane serves beyond home heating purposes. It fuels commercial buildings, powers outdoor equipment like lawnmowers and chainsaws, and operates indoor appliances such as stoves, ovens, and dryers. Additionally, propane is commonly used in recreational vehicles (RVs) and for heating outdoor areas like decks and patios.

Common Applications of Propane

  • Heating homes
  • Fuel for outdoor grills
  • Powering outdoor equipment
  • Fueling recreational vehicles (RVs)
  • Heating indoor appliances

In Need of Propane or Heating Oil Delivery?

For reliable propane fuel and home heating oil delivery in the Northeast, turn to HOP Energy. With a state-of-the-art computer monitoring system, we track your energy usage and closely monitor local weather forecasts to ensure a consistent supply of propane or heating oil whenever needed. At HOP Energy, customers are billed only for the fuel they use. Contact us to learn more about our services in your area.