Saving energy means saving money. Our goal is to educate you as much as possible and to give you the facts about your home and what you can expect. Our industry has most people convinced they can save thousands of dollars with a few simple steps. This is not always true. 

  • The big myth: "Everyone should get off oil".
  • Why should I use Comfort Control Mechanical?
  • How do I find out about rebate programs?
  • Is it time to replace my equipment anyway?
  • Is this the only way I can save money on efficiency?
  • How will I know if my contractor is right for me?
  • What makes equipment efficient?
  • Now what do I do?

The big myth: "Everyone should get off oil". 
This is a big one. We have been doing the math for homeowners for awhile now. What we have found is surprising. On average if you have a home less than 1,200 square feet is is not worth switching. If your boiler is less than 10 years old is may not be worth switching. Here is the math to prove it:
A home that used 700 gallons of oil in 2011 produced 97,083,000 Btu's using an 80% efficient boiler means they used 77,666,400 Btu's to heat and the rest was wasted energy. The cost to do that with current average oil prices will be $2,723 for the year. 

So let's change this same house to propane.
They need 77,666,400 Btu's to heat. They have a 96% propane furnace. That means 4% is wasted. Now we need to produce 80,773,056 Btu's with this equipment. It takes 884 gallons of propane to do that. 884 Gallons x $2.75/gallon = $2,431.00. 
The same house on natural gas will cost $1,001.59 and so on. 

And now for the spoiler....the equipment is not free. Let's say it costs you $5,000.00 to convert to a new system. That's is a low average cost for conversion with new equipment. The oil to propane conversion will not save you money for 17 years. The oil to natural gas conversion will save you money in 3 years. That is a huge difference!

Now let's do the estimated math for a house that uses 2,000 gallons of oil a year at $3.85/gallon with a +15 year old boiler.

  1. Oil Heating with a 15+ years boiler: $7,700.00
  2. Oil Heating with 80% efficient boiler: $6,006.00
  3. Propane @ $2.75/gallon with 96% boiler: $5,2112.00
  4. Natural Gas @ $1.24/therm with 96% boiler: $2,146.26

"You cannot use a modulating boiler with baseboard heating.." FALSE!
Click this link to read an excellent article explaining why.
There are some other considerations and questions to factor in:
Your replacement costs depend on a lot of factors. Plan on spending some time going over several options. Pieces to consider:

  • What fuel do I want to use? 
  • Is Natural Gas available on my street?
  • Do I want to consider adding Central Air to my home?
  • Does anyone in my home have allergies or indoor air quality concerns?
  • How do I want to heat my domestic water?

**This information is general. The specifics of your circumstance will depend on your use and condition of your building. This is to be used as a general reference only and not individual results.

Why should I use Comfort Control Mechanical?
We truly are unique. We don't use catchy slogans or smoke and mirrors. We use data just like you read above. We use the facts to walk you through choosing your system. This way the choices are yours and you can make them from an informed place. We do the math with you and give you the options. We do an incredible amount of work for you before we even start your project. One on one contractor to customer communication, step by step. 

How do I find out about rebate programs?
We can help here too. We are a Quality Installation Verification Company trained by Cool Smart. We are deeply involved and connected to the ever changing rebate programs offered by Western Mass Electric, National Grid, Gas Networks, and Masssave. 
Oil, Propane, and Electric customers:
To start the process we will ask you to contact  and schedule a free Home Energy Assessment. This is the starting point to maximum rebates. 
Natural Gas Customers: Visit Gas networks by clicking here:

Is it time to replace my equipment anyway?
Unfortunately there is no clock or expiration date on heating and cooling equipment. There are some key signs. You should consider replacement if:

  • Your equipment is nearing 20 years of use.
  • Your equipment has not been taken care of properly.
  • Your energy costs are out of control.
  • You have upgraded your house with insulation, doors, windows, etc.Is this the only way I can save money on efficiency?

Absolutely not. In fact improving the conditions of your home are just as important if not more. Installing the most efficient equipment in the world is a waste of money if your home has a constant breeze of outside air.

Here are some tips:

  • Call Masssave for a FREE Home Energy Assessment. They are handing out money to upgrade YOUR home .
  • Use a programmable thermostat.
  • Use a whole house humidifier. Humidifiers increase the moisture content in your home during dry winter months. This makes cooler air feel warmer thus reducing the amount of heat your home needs.
  • Service your equipment. Just as you change the oil in your car and get tune-ups, your HVAC system needs attention too. We can "hit the reset button" on your equipment and get it back to it's maximum efficiency.

How will I know if my contractor is right for me?

There are red flags all over the place when it comes to choosing the right contractor. Plumbing companies, HVAC companies, and fuel delivery companies can all install heating equipment even though we all specialize in different areas. We do not deliver fuel of install drains. We specialize in Indoor Air Quality. This includes heating and air conditioning.

These are the red flags you should look for when selecting your heating or cooling contractor:

  1. Are they up to date and educated on the current rebates available to you?
  2. Do they work directly with you in a timely manner?
  3. Do they ask for your feedback? (We leave pre-paid post cards asking how we did...)
  4. Are they Q.I.V. Certified? Want to find out? Click here and look under "participating contractors".
  5. Are they offering ultra efficiency systems? Listen for key words like "modulating" or "variable speed". These are examples of high technology that create the maximum efficiency for you. If they don't install or offer these systems, chances are they don't really understand high efficiency equipment.
  6. Do they offer A.H.R.I. ratings? These are the facts about your system. Systems get matched according to these ratings. A 3 ton air conditioner will not produce 3 tons of cooling with just any system or equipment. They need to be matched for proper sizing.
  7. Do they listen to what YOU want or do they keep telling you what you need? This is important. There are a lot of options available to have installed with a lot of different features. Customizing the system to meet your needs should be their priority!
  8. What makes their equipment efficient? Equipment ratings can easily be misunderstood. An 80% boiler means that 80% of the fuel put into the boiler gets turned into heat. The other 20% is wasted. A great article on Understanding Efficiency ratings can be found here:

The distribution of your heating/cooling is just as important and can either keep your efficiency high or drop it significantly. Some examples of proper distribution that we follow are:

  • Insulated piping/ducting.
  • Properly sized equipment. Over-sized equipment does not run long enough to reach its highest point of efficiency. Under sized equipment is not able to properly keep up with the heat loss/gain and therefor struggles.
  • Unsealed ductwork. We want the air to come out only where we designed it to come out. Leaky ducts take in unconditioned air and waste air in unconditioned spaces. This can sometimes cost you 35% of your efficiency.
  • Properly sized pumps and flow. Too much circulation is worse than not enough. We want the heat to stay in the house and not circulate in and out of the boiler. The proper balance of 18-22 degrees between supply and return is critical to the equipment's ability run efficiently.Now what do I do?

The best part of our job is to sit with you face to face with your equipment and find out what your expectations are. Call us and set up an appointment. We will get the ball rolling with you to design the system you want. 
Call us today 413.269.3611 or email me directly:

The nature of HVAC consumes energy to give us a quality of life we desire. We can do our part by reducing the amount of energy we need...


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