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Don’t let a runout ruin the cookout!

propane refills maineOne of the best things about summer is all the outdoor grilling and dining we get to do! There are quick weeknight dinners, leisurely weekend dinners, and cookouts with family and friends.

Whether you’re grilling burgers and hot dogs for a crowd, making grilled fish for a low-carb supper, or barbecuing ribs or brisket, propane makes grilling fast and easy without the smoke, wait, and hassle of a charcoal grill!

To make sure you can enjoy your grilling, you need to have enough propane in your propane cylinder. Because if you run out of propane, the cookout is coming to a screeching halt and your only options are to run out and get another cylinder or call for takeout.

There are ways you can check on how much propane is in your tank so you can avoid this. Let’s run through them.

The hot water trick

This method is as easy as 1-2-3! Here’s what you do.

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. You can use this method to gauge how many of the original 18 to 20 pounds are in the tank.

Weigh the tank

Two figures are usually stamped on the handle of a propane grill tank – the water capacity (WC) and Tare Weight (TW). When empty, most grilling tanks weigh about 17 pounds and hold 20 pounds of gas.

To figure out how much propane is left in your tank, simply weigh it on a scale and subtract the TW number. Here’s an example of how that works: If a tank weighing 25 pounds has a TW of 17 pounds, there are about 8 pounds of gas left. That’s a little less than half a tank.

Use an external pressure gauge

There are several options for an external tank gauge to choose from. They’re available online, or at your local home improvement, grill, or hardware stores. Options include:

Attach a grill box

Another option would be to have a grill box attached directly to your existing bulk propane tank. Never have to go to get a refill or exchange and never run out in the middle of cooking dinner. Ask us about installing a grill box to provide continuous fuel to your gas grill.

For the most reliable propane delivery in Central Maine, count on Murray Heutz! Become a customer today.

Keep your home and loved ones safe with these tips

propane storm safetyA hot, muggy day here in Maine can trigger severe weather. We’re also vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms.

With so much potential for severe weather, it’s important to know all there is to know about propane safety so you can protect your family and home no matter what hits us next.

We’ve put together some important information and tips, so you are able to take care of things in the event of an electrical storm. 

Before a storm

Pay attention for any propane leaks. When you notice the distinct rotten-egg odor of propane, it’s an indication that there is propane gas leaking. Small propane leaks, particularly in inclement weather, can become worse and more dangerous.

Be informed and prepared. Every adult in your house should know how to turn off the gas main at your propane tank. It must be done if you need to evacuate your home. Shutting off the gas prevents any damaged tanks from causing a dangerous leak that could ignite.

During a storm

Be careful. While the storm hits, stay inside and as far away from electrical lines and conductive metals like your propane tank as possible. If you’re outdoors and a storm occurs, avoid areas under trees, poles, or other tall and conductive objects or structures. Pay attention to instructions from local authorities on possible evacuations.

After a storm

Inspect your property. If you can, go out of your house and check for trees or large limbs that have fallen. Keep an eye out for downed power lines that might damage your propane tank or put you and your family in danger.

Inspect propane appliances. Check for any damage, leaks, or other problems. When inspecting your propane appliances, don’t use candles because they might ignite the propane if a leak has occurred.

Contact us if there’s a problem. If you have any concerns about your propane tank, gas line, or propane appliances, contact us IMMEDIATELY. Our experienced service technicians will carefully inspect and test everything to make sure all components are working safely. If you smell gas, follow these propane safety directions without delay. 

Become a Murray-Heutz customer for safe and dependable propane delivery and service!

Use your savings for fun on your trip!

home energy tips maineAre you taking a vacation trip this summer? You’re not alone.

According to Forbes, six out of 10 Americans are planning to travel at least once this summer, in spite of inflation and gas prices.

If you’re worried about costs for your summer vacation, we’ve put together five tips that can cut your energy costs so you can worry less and enjoy more.

Let the A/C have a vacation, too

Cooling accounts for about half of your home’s energy costs during the summer. By turning your air conditioning to 85º while away for more than a day will help cut those costs! Don’t forget to also set your smart or programmable thermostat to go back to your preferred temperature several hours before you return home so it will be cool when you arrive. Closing curtains and blinds can help keep your home from overheating. Another benefit of doing this is that it prevents people from peeking into your home when you’re not there.

Disconnect the energy vampires

What are energy vampires, and how can they be dealt with? Computers, TVs, media players, ovens, gaming systems, coffeemakers, toasters, multicookers, blenders, electric toothbrushes, and phone chargers, are examples of energy vampires. These items are named that because they’re always sucking up energy, even when they’re not used. Unplug or power off any you can before you leave. 

Turn down the water heater

Most modern water heaters include a vacation mode. This lowers the temperature setting so that the water heater doesn’t operate as frequently while you are away, but is able to quickly heat up when you reset it after your return.

Set your water heater to low if it doesn’t have a vacation option. Heating water accounts for around 20% of your home’s energy consumption, so doing this can help you save money.

Continue saving money when you get home by setting your water heater to 120˚ Fahrenheit rather than the manufacturer’s setting of 140˚. Your water will still be hot, but you can save up to 10% on your water heating energy expenses. The lower temperature reduces the risk of scalding as well.

Notify Murray-Heutz

If you’re an Automatic Delivery propane customer, please let us know whether you’ll be away from home for more than a few days. When we schedule your propane delivery, we consider your usage history. Notifying us you’ll be away may keep us from making an unneeded propane delivery.

Use your smartphone

The days and hours right before you leave for a vacation can be busy with getting packing done and loading the car.

All of these tasks may cause you to forget if you completed essential tasks before leaving, such as our suggestions for conserving energy. This advice gives you piece of mind about your energy savings and the safety and security of your home.

First, create a checklist on the phone covering energy-saving tasks to do before leaving for vacation. Check them off as you do them, so you don’t forget.

Do a tour of the home with your smartphone right before you depart. Take pictures of all the rooms with the lights out, appliances unplugged or shut off, the water turned off to your washer, doors locked, and windows closed and locked. If you’re concerned about whether you left a light or appliance on while traveling, check the photographs from your phone for assurance.

Become a Murray-Heutz customer and get the most reliable propane delivery and service in Maine!

Explore the benefits of clean-burning, versatile propane!

is propane efficient maineThere has been a strong push in recent years to make electricity Maine’s primary energy source based on the false belief that it is the greatest way to reduce our carbon footprint.

When you look closer, however, you’ll realize that propane is the energy source to help us towards that goal of a zero-carbon future in many ways.
  

Get cleaner, greener energy with propane

You may believe that electricity is “cleaner” than propane. However, this is not the case. About half of all electricity generated in the United States comes from coal-fired power stations that increase greenhouse gases and cause acid rain. Propane, on the other hand, is so clean burning it produces close to zero greenhouse gas emissions! 

Electricity transmission is extremely inefficient. When electricity passes from the power plant through the power lines to your residence, it encounters resistance, resulting in a loss of energy. It takes three units of source energy to produce one unit of electricity in your home. To provide us with electricity, therefore, more coal has to be burned, producing more carbon and CO2.

Because propane is right there at your home, there is virtually no loss of energy from the tank to your appliances. 

Propane: Better efficiency and comfort

Propane is a better alternative to electricity for many appliances, which means you can reduce your environmental impact even more. Propane water heaters heat more water faster than their electric counterparts and do it with about 30% less cost. Propane clothes dryers get your laundry dry about 25% faster than comparable electric dryers.  

When it comes to reliability, propane is king. Electricity cannot compare to the dependability of gas. If your home is heated by electricity and there’s a power outage, you have no heat. But because your propane supply is right at your home, you’re not dependent on a utility grid for your heating, water heating, cooking, and more. 

How renewable propane creates a greener tomorrow

Renewable propane is the next step towards a zero-carbon future.

Molecularly, renewable propane is identical to conventional propane. It’s made from non-fossil fuels like animal oils, plant oils, biomass, and other triglycerides, which are sustainable resources.

As the renewable propane sector expands, more and more Mainers will be able to use it to reduce their environmental impact even further.

Become a Murray-Heutz customer and get reliable delivery of efficient, versatile propane!

Get efficiency and comfort with Murray-Heutz!

water heater options maineIf your home’s water heater is nearing the end of its lifespan and becoming less efficient and reliable, thinking about shopping for a new water heater may be intimidating. But it does not have to be a hard process!

Murray-Heutz is here to help with expert water heater sales, installation, and service. We can also assist you with securing financing and any rebates your new water heater is eligible for. We’ll help you through every step of the process, starting with three things to think about that will help make your decision easier. 

Which energy source should I use for my water heater?

Is your present water heater powered by electricity? If it is, this is a perfect time to switch to a propane water heater!

Propane water heaters give you more comfort for less money.

Propane water heaters cost about $25 less per month to operate than electric water heaters, cutting the operating costs for your water heating by close to one-third. 

A propane water heater will save you up to $4,000 over the typical 10-year lifespan of a tank-style water heater from a comparable electric model because to its exceptional energy efficiency.

The energy efficiency of a propane water heater is great in other ways. Its recovery rate is twice as fast as a comparable electric water heater. The wait for hot water to take a shower will be dramatically reduced.

What kind of water heater should I get?

You have a choice when it comes to propane water heaters.

The traditional storage water heater with a tank has several benefits. A 40-gallon propane water heater model generates the same amount of hot water as a 50-gallon electric unit and does so much faster. It’s also cheaper to buy, install, maintain, and repair.

On-demand propane tankless water heaters provide limitless hot water. Furthermore, because it only heats water when you need it, your energy expenses will plummet significantly. When you consider that water heating takes up roughly 20% of your home’s energy consumption, that is a significant amount of money saved.

How do I know a water heater’s energy efficiency?

Look for the Energy Factor (EF) rating while comparing water heaters; this indicates a water heater’s overall energy efficiency based on how much hot water is generated per unit of fuel consumed over a normal day.

The higher the EF, the more efficient the water heater is. Here is what goes into the EF rating: 

Recovery efficiency: How efficiently the heat is applied to the water

Standby loss: The percentage of heat loss per hour of the stored water 

Cycling loss: The loss of heat as the water circulates through the unit

Contact us to get started on upgrading to a new, high-efficiency water heater!

Keep your home’s indoor air cleaner

home air quality maineThere are so many things to love about pets. They give us love. They entertain us. They’re there for us.

However, they can also shed dander and fur, which can exacerbate allergies and other breathing problems. The fur and dander may also be carried into your home’s HVAC system.

Pets shed more during the warmer months. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of suggestions to help you keep your pets and HVAC system happy while also maintaining your home’s comfort.

Brush, brush, brush

Brushing and combing your pet on a regular basis helps to minimize shedding. Consult with your veterinarian about the best approach to brush and groom your pet’s breed.

Keep an eye on your filters

Pet fur and dander can get in your home’s air, and from there it travels into your HVAC filter. When the filter gets clogged, your HVAC system has to work harder. This can lead to higher energy costs and equipment failures. Check your HVAC air filter once a month, or more often if someone in the home suffers from allergies or a breathing illness such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). If your HVAC system can use them, consider using HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters.

Take care of your vents

Hair and dander from pets can also get into your vents. The easiest method to keep it from happening is to vacuum your vents on a regular basis and clean them with a damp microfiber cloth. Dust, dander, and fur are attracted to and trapped by flooring, carpeting, and rugs. Vacuum them at least once a week.

Take care of your HVAC system

Annual HVAC maintenance by Murray-Heutz service technicians helps assure that your HVAC system is in top form. It also allows us to determine whether your pets’ fur and dander are the source of any issues, allowing us to address them before they get worse.

Clean the ductwork

When your ductwork collects a lot of fur and dander as well as dust, it can become a breeding ground for germs and viruses. Have your ductwork cleaned by an expert every three to five years.

You can trust Murray-Heutz for all your HVAC needs! Contact us today to learn more about our equipment services.

Enjoy convenience and delicious food!

grilling tips maineHave you been enjoying all the grilling that comes with warmer weather here in central Maine?

If you’re looking to upgrade your grilling game, a propane grill is the way to go. Propane grills can be customized to have features like a side burner, multiple levels of grilling surface, a smoker attachment, a rotisserie, and more!
 
You can connect your propane grill to your home’s propane tank to enjoy grilling without worrying about if your propane cylinder is low. With reliable propane delivery from Murray-Heutz, you’ll always have the propane you need to make your backyard a cookout destination!

Speedy suppers

Life is busy enough without the work and wait of grilling with charcoal. It starts with lugging out the bag of charcoal and filling the grill or chimney. Once you start the fire, you could be waiting a half-hour for it to be ready for grilling.

That’s only the beginning. Once your meal is done, you still have to deal with the messy removal of the ashes that will likely get soot on your hands and clothes.

It’s also simpler when you use propane to grill with. Simply turn on the supply valve, turn on the burners, press the igniter, and it’s ready to go! It is ready for grilling in just a couple of minutes. Cleanup is also much easier. When you’re done grilling, turn everything off, quickly clean the grates, and you’re done. 

Unrivaled control

No other charcoal grill can match the capabilities of a propane grill: it gives precise and immediate temperature control. With only the turn of a knob, you can adjust the flame to suit the food you’re grilling.

Tasty food

When it comes to the food coming off the grill, propane beats charcoal in two ways.

Because you have precise temperature control, your results will be superior. Your steak will be that ideal medium rare. The pork tenderloin will be cooked to a safe temperature without being dried out.
Grilling with propane allows the flavors of your food stand out instead of overwhelming them with smoke. Seasonings and flavors in fish, fruit, and other dishes are more vibrant.

Propane can do a lot for your outdoor living. Contact us to learn more!

We know many of you are looking at energy cost increases and wondering when this will end, and we don’t blame you. Our goal is to keep you in the loop as much as possible, even though the situation remains very fluid.

Last week, our suppliers again raised prices by more than 65 cents per gallon over a few days. The reasons are complicated and seem to be affecting heating oil and diesel fuel much more than gasoline.

The driving factor is that heating oil in our area is in short supply now. In fact, if you look at prices on the commodities exchanges, they show heating oil at a dollar less than we can get it! That never happens. It’s called “basis blowout” and reflects a disconnect between the markets and actual supplies.

Good News and Bad News

The good news is that the supply issues are happening because the markets expect heating oil prices to go lower by a fair amount over the next several months. Fuel suppliers are reluctant to purchase fuel now and get stuck with higher-priced product. The bad news is that it is causing prices to be artificially higher now, and no one really knows for sure what will happen with the Ukraine war. By the way, we are seeing the same kind of surges in natural gas and electric costs.

What we are doing about it

We decided to hold off most deliveries except for those customers who seemed to be running low. It didn’t help that we’ve had an unusually cold spring, and people are still using their heat. Beyond that, we want to urge people to get on our budget billing program, which allows us to spread your fuel payments over 11 months. If prices stay high next year, it will be much easier to manage your bills if you don’t have to pay for all of your deliveries in just five months of fall and winter.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call our office. We are here for you.


Shocking Spike in Fuel Prices

updated March 11, 2022

Unsurprisingly, we’ve been getting many calls around two connected issues: the surge in fuel prices and supply concerns. People are astounded by how much prices have risen and how fast. So are we. They are also concerned that there will be interruptions in supply that will cause them to run out of fuel. 

The Russian invasion of Ukraine shocked energy markets, sending crude oil to record territory and spiking all energy prices. We’ve had increases from our heating oil suppliers of over $1.25 per gallon in less than a week. Propane prices have been better but still increased over 40 cents per gallon. And the situation remains very fluid.

What’s Coming Next?

We don’t know where things will go from here. One thing we can tell you is that we hate this as much as you do. Some people are under the misconception that when prices rise, we make more money. The opposite is true. People cut back usage. They have trouble paying their bills, and our receivables skyrocket. It is an awful mess for everyone.

One thing you can count on is that we will not let you run out. We have been in business for many years and have very strong relationships with suppliers and financial institutions. We are already getting calls from customers who are with other companies that can’t say the same. These customers are unable to get deliveries for 20 days out. You don’t have to worry about that with us.

If you are having trouble paying your bill, talk to us before it becomes a problem. Many times, we can work out something to give you more time, especially if you’ve been with us a while. We can also set you up on a monthly payment plan.

Nothing will make us happier than when prices start dropping. Until then, trust us to look out for you, and let’s pray for the people of Ukraine.  

Steve Temple
General Manager

Skip the line with these Murray-Heutz services!

fuel payment options maineYou may know Murray-Heutz for outstanding fuel delivery and equipment service. But our special programs take our service to the next level.

Several of them allow you to skip the wait and worry for your heating oil or propane delivery and equipment service, giving you peace of mind.

Automatic Delivery

This is the ultimate in personalized service when it comes to getting your home’s propane and heating oil. That’s because Automatic Delivery is tailored to your needs. We use your fuel usage history and current weather conditions to accurately predict when you’ll need more heating oil or propane. With that data, we schedule your propane delivery early so you don’t have to worry. Your spot on the delivery schedule is reserved.

Service plans

Murray-Heutz’s affordable service plans are another way you can be a priority customer. For starters, each of our service plans comes with an annual tune-up included. And if something does go wrong, service plan customers like you get priority emergency service, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even if your heating system conks out at 3 a.m. on Christmas morning, one of our skilled and experienced service technicians will be there on the double!

Pricing and payment options

You can kiss big delivery invoices and yo-yoing monthly fuel costs goodbye when you enroll in our popular pricing and payment options.

Our monthly Smart Pay payment plan gives you stability when it comes to how much you’ll be paying for your propane or heating oil each month because your costs are spread out over 11 easy and affordable payments.

You’ll never worry about your statement getting lost in the mail when you enroll in paperless billing! That’s because we send your statement to your email inbox.

With Auto Pay, there’s no need to write a check, find a stamp, put your payment in the mail and cross your fingers that it will get to us before the due date. We do the work for you! That’s because Auto Pay automatically deducts your monthly payment from your checking account or credit card. Your payment is always on time with Auto Pay!

Contact us today to learn more about and enroll in these programs so you can enjoy premium service!

Murray-Heutz makes it easy

heating service maineWith Spring in full swing here in Maine, we’re looking ahead to clambakes and cookouts. But before that, contact Murray-Heutz to get your home’s heating system its annual maintenance tune-up.

You are likely thinking, “Why would I need to get the tune-up now when I don’t have to turn on the heat again until fall?” There’s solid reasoning behind this suggestion.

One of the most popular reasons is convenience. In the HVAC business, this is referred to as a “shoulder season.” Our service department isn’t receiving calls for furnace or boiler repairs because heating season has ended and air conditioning season hasn’t begun yet. We can arrange your maintenance tune-up for a day and time that is convenient for you thanks to a more flexible schedule this time of year. If an issue is discovered by our skilled experts, it may be repaired quickly.

Another advantage is that you don’t have to worry about next heating season. In mid-fall, cold snaps can catch you by surprise. Having your heating or boiler maintenance service now will ensure that it is ready to use whenever you need it. It will also run at its best possible efficiency, resulting in lower energy costs.

This is also an excellent time to fill your heating oil tank if you use heating oil. Condensation forms in empty space in your tank, causing corrosion. Sludge build-up or tank failure can occur as a result of corrosion.

Murray-Heutz service plans: A smart investment

Did you know that our heating system service plans can cut your heating costs by up to 10%? That’s because a well-maintained furnace or boiler operates more efficiently than one that hasn’t gotten regular maintenance. 

An annual maintenance tune-up is included in each of our affordable service plans. Regular maintenance is also an investment in your heating system since it extends the life expectancy of your furnace or boiler.

Our service plans come with a lot of extra features, such as 24/7 priority emergency service. We’ll be there for you right away if you lose heat. You also get almost parts and repair coverage for the majority of your home’s heating system. That may save you a lot of money in the event of a repair.

Get in touch with Murray-Heutz today to schedule your heating system’s annual maintenance tune-up and enroll in one of our service plans! 

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Your Go-To Company for Warmth, Safety and Savings

If your car needs a repair, it’s a good feeling knowing “you’ve got a guy” who can be trusted to get the job done right—at a fair price. Many Mainers feel the same way about their home comfort needs. They want to be able to say, “I’ve got a guy” who will: Murray-Heutz does all of that—and much more—for you!

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