Mysteries of Home Comfort, Solved!

Every year, customers try to find solutions to their home comfort problems — from simple to complex. We offer some advice to help you avoid problems from happening. 

The truth about propane vs. electricity

Electrification advocates claim that electricity is the only sustainable energy solution. That is far from the truth. Propane-heated homes are generally more energy-efficient, with a small overall carbon footprint. 

Consider these facts when deciding whether electricity or propane is better for your home. 

1. Electricity might not release greenhouse gas emissions in your home, but many of the power plants producing it do. Today, 63% of electricity comes from burning coal and natural gas, and electricity production releases the second-largest share of emissions. 

2. Propane is one of the cleanest energy sources, producing 43% fewer emissions than the equivalent amount of grid-generated electricity. 

3. Electric-heated homes are often inefficient. It requires 27 kilowatt-hours of electricity to produce the same amount of energy as a single gallon of propane. 

4. Full electrification will badly overburden the power grid, increasing the risk of prolonged blackouts. 

5. Converting a home to electricity is extremely expensive, a burden on Pennsylvania homeowners. 

The simple truth is that propane is a more sustainable, affordable, and efficient energy solution than electricity for homeowners. Visit for more information. 

Are you protected from carbon monoxide?

Because carbon monoxide (CO) is a toxic, invisible, and odorless gas, that cannot be smelled, you should already have CO detectors installed around your home, especially near all bedrooms. 

Aside from heating system issues, causes of carbon monoxide leaks can include:  

  • running a gasoline-powered generator in a basement or attached garage
  • operating unvented appliances for long periods
  • leaving a vehicle idling in an attached garage
  • back drafts caused by pressure imbalances near the heating system
  • running a gasoline-powered generator in a basement or attached garage 
  • blocked flue 

Symptoms of CO poisoning include fatigue, dizziness, and nausea. If you suspect a CO leak, get fresh air immediately by opening doors and windows. Then leave the house right away and call for help.

How do I know if I need a new water heater?

If your old water heater is running out of hot water more frequently, it may be reaching the end of its life span, which ranges from 7 to 13 years, depending on the quality of the water in your area and other factors. 

Here are three more signs that it may be time to replace your water heater: 

1. Higher bills — If your bills keep getting higher even though not much has changed in your household, your water heater is probably overworking to do its job — and suffering from inefficiency as a result. 

2. Leaks or rusty water — A puddle of water under your tank — or rusty water coming from it — indicates that your water heater could be corroding from the inside out. 

3. Unusual noises — Growling or gurgling sounds in your storage tank are usually a sign of sediment buildup — a problem that, if unaddressed, eventually leads to costly water heater repairs or a premature replacement. 

Once you have a new water heater installed, you will have one less thing to worry about. Depending on the system you have, you can install either an indirect-fired oil water heater, a direct-fired oil water heater, or a propane-fired one!

Finding the best temperature setting

One common household debate around this time of year involves thermostat settings. How low can you go and how much can this save you on your heating bill? 

While finding a balance between comfort and savings is not easy because every family and home is different, the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) offers these guidelines: 

Save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68°F while you’re awake and at home. Set it to about 60°F while you’re asleep or away from home. Don’t go below 60°F or you’ll run the risk of freezing your pipes. 

Why you’ll save 

According to the USDOE, the lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss. With that in mind, the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you’ll save because your house has lost less energy than it would have at the higher temperature. 

The USDOE concludes that you can save as much as 10% a year on annual energy costs by simply lowering your thermostat by 7° to 10°F for eight hours a day from its usual setting. 

TIP: An easy way to control your temperature settings is to invest in a smart programmable thermostat.