Archive for November 2013

Wednesday 27 November, 2013

Pros of Oil Heat

oil pumps on sunsetAccording to the United States Energy Information Administration, as of 2009 about 10% of homes (approximately 14 million total) in America use oil or propane to heat their households. You may often hear about the negative aspects of using either oil or propane. It is often portrayed as being expensive and bad for the environment, well here is a look at the pros of oil heating!

One of the biggest pluses to using oil heat is safety. A lit match dropped into your fuel tank will put itself out as it is only flammable in a vaporized state. Not only is it not explosive, if your furnace or tank is leaking, the oil fumes are generally not deadly. If the system is leaking carbon monoxide, homeowners will usually be able to tell far in advance that their system isn’t working properly with obvious signs like smoke, soot, and other types of odors.

Another great aspect to oil heat is that it puts out more heat (140,000 per British Thermal Unit/BTU for oil vs. 100,000 for gas) than any other heat source making your home more comfortable. Burning with the hottest flame of any other home heating source, your home will heat faster all while using less fuel. It is also a more reliable source in that you have your own supply stored in your home. You don’t need to worry about pipe pressure that could compromise the temperature in your home that can sometimes happen with gas heating.

Oil heat can also be economical. When upgrading to a newer heating system, oil furnaces are more reasonably priced than gas furnaces and will save you up to 40% on fuel costs over an older system. In addition, regularly maintained equipment will ensure that your system is running at its peak. Sterling Oil also offers financing in order to make sure our customers are able to heat their homes without worry this winter.

Finally, despite popular belief, oil heat is clean. If you have a newer oil burner, there is almost no smoke or debris from combustion. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, oil burners are one of the cleanest sources of combustion. There has also been a move to make heating oil better with the recent introductions of low sulfur oil options that use biofuel and burn even cleaner than natural gas. Home heating oil is also nontoxic, carcinogen free, and biodegradable!

 
 

Monday 25 November, 2013

Holiday Season Lynchburg Virginia 2013

Christmas background with ballsStores across the country seem to be preparing for the Christmas holiday earlier every year. In fact I saw Christmas trees replacing pumpkins at a local grocery store on Halloween day! Despite the stores each trying to get a jump on bringing in holiday shoppers, the city of Lynchburg thankfully waits until after Thanksgiving to begin its month long celebration. This year Downtown has a bunch of great activities for you and your family to enjoy.

The festivities begin December 3rd at 5pm with Yuletide Square. It is an open house event in Downtown with fifteen businesses participating. The trolley will be running for the length of the event, until 9pm, to help shoppers make it to all the participating shops and restaurants. This year’s Yuletide Square is being sponsored by The Clutch Guide and 93.7 KHF. Continue reading ‘Holiday Season Lynchburg Virginia 2013’ »

 
 

Wednesday 20 November, 2013

Natural Bridge Thanksgiving

natural-bridge-closeThe most wonderful time of the year is upon us with the approach of Thanksgiving in less than ten days. While many decide to spend the holiday with family, you might be thinking about a change this year. If this sounds like you, let someone else take care of preparing the Thanksgiving feast and look no further than National Bridge.

Just under forty miles from Lynchburg, the Natural Bridge Thanksgiving Buffet will be hosted by the Natural Bridge Hotel on Thanksgiving Day. In addition to a delicious dinner to satisfy any holiday appetite with turkey, prime rib, and catfish to name a few entrees, there will also be live entertainment to enjoy while you eat. Prices are extremely reasonable with admission set at $28.95 for adults and $12.95 for children ages 5-10. Reservations are required and are already being taken so make sure to call or book online to confirm a seat.

The best part about spending Thanksgiving at Natural Bridge is not just the food but the beautiful setting. If you find you have eaten too much, which is a certainty on Thanksgiving, you can take a hike on the Natural Bridge & Cedar Creek Trail which will be open until dusk. What better day to explore the Monacan Indian Village and see the preparation of a traditional Harvest Feast that was common in the 18th century than on a day the nation spends giving thanks. Continue reading ‘Natural Bridge Thanksgiving’ »

 
  • Posted by : Local
  • Written By: admin1
 

Tuesday 19 November, 2013

Furnace Replacement

furnaceOne of the easiest way to cut the cost of heating your home is to keep your heating system in tip top shape. This can be done by having your system serviced annually and keeping up on changing filters when needed on your own. Unfortunately there will come a time when your heating system needs to be replaced entirely. While this may be a big cost to you upfront, it will save you money over time as furnaces and boilers have continue to become more and more energy efficient.

There are many signs that it might be time to replace your old heating system. Age may be the first indication that you are in need of new equipment. Furnaces generally have a shelf life of 25 years and boilers may last up to 50 years. If your system is approaching these ages it will be time to upgrade sooner than later. Other indications that your heating system might be on its way out includes frequent calls for repairs or an unexplained increase in your energy bills. These are signs that your furnace or boiler are not as working as efficiently as they could or should be. Other less obvious signs include noisy equipment, rooms that may be too hot or too cold, a home that is too dry in wintertime, and/or excessive dust that can be distributed by leaky ducts.

Even if your system is not quite on its last leg yet, you may still want to consider replacing your existing system. Depending on when your system was built, it will score various ratings on the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) chart. Systems installed prior to 1970 will generally score a 65% or lower. This percentage number tells you how much fuel is actually being converted into heat, and a 65% means only that amount out of 100% is actually used to heat your home, the rest is turned into exhaust and is ultimately wasted. The highest efficiency equipment you can purchase on the market today has over a 96% rating, this is over 30% less fuel waste! You would see savings immediately if you switch from one of the older systems. Find out where your heating equipment stands in the ratings on the Department of Energy website.

Whether the time is right to replace your heating system put of necessity or if you are just weighing the pros and cons of simply updating your working but inefficient equipment, you will see significant cost savings immediately. So now might be the time to take the plunge, especially before the real winter weather sets in!

 
  • Posted by : Heating
  • Written By: admin1
 

Monday 04 November, 2013

Petroleum Products

overall view of oil and gas installationAt Sterling Oil Company we offer a number of different petroleum products such as kerosene, fuel oil, and various levels of gasoline. You hear of these products quite often in daily life but do you really know what they are? Here is a quick look at each of the petroleum types carried by Sterling Oil.

Probably the most commonly known petroleum product is home heating oil otherwise known as #2 Fuel Oil. The number ‘2’ is actually a class of oil rated by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) classification system. It is delivered in a low viscosity liquid (meaning it is not too thick) state and is used widely throughout the United States at just under 7 million households.

Sterling Oil also carries ‘Low Sulfur (LS)’, a cleaner alternative to #2 Fuel Oil. LS is marketed as such because its sulfur content, is at the most, 15 parts per million.  To obtain this lower sulfur standard additional steps are taken during the refining process. It is a big step in the effort to lower emissions and become more environmentally friendly.

Kerosene is probably one of the more versatile petroleum products but is generally associated with lighting (such as kerosene lamps), cooking, and heating. Did you know it is also used as jet fuel and as an ingredient in insecticides? Like #2 Fuel Oil, kerosene has a low viscosity and is derived through the distilling of petroleum. It was the first to be extracted for large commercial purposes in the mid 1800’s.

In addition to all the products above, we also carry three grades of gasoline – regular, midgrade, and premium. The difference in the grade is based on the octane rating of the three. The higher the octane content, the higher the grade. Gasoline with a higher rating is less likely to self-ignite and will burn more evenly. When you are at the gas pump, the gasoline rating of 87, 89, or 91 (sometimes 93) correlates to their level of octane.

Various fuels have been distilled from petroleum for over 2000 years, first discovered by Arabian scientists. Petroleum products are, in short, very complex mixtures. In fact, there are many products we come across in our everyday lives that we do not realize are derived from petroleum, such as linoleum, perfumes, soap, and even vitamin capsules. Sterling Oil is proud of the petroleum products we carry and are proud to be serving the beautiful city of Lynchburg.

 
 
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