If you’re among the many customers who visit our website, you may wonder why we post statewide oil prices there. Westmore Fuel is the only company in the area that we know of that provides customers with all this data. We do it because we want our relationship with you to be transparent—no games, no gimmicks. We believe that when you better understand how things work, you’ll feel even better about being a Westmore Fuel customer.
Whether you live in New York or Connecticut, we give you access to a wealth of information so you can understand how fuel prices work. You’ll find heating oil price reports, as well as easy-to-understand explanations of all the different factors driving price fluctuations—from such local conditions as seasonal demand and good old-fashioned competition to global affairs.
We believe that when we arm you with accurate, clear information, you’ll understand why our prices are more than just fair, they’re a great value. Plenty of discounters offer cheap fuel, but not much else. Meanwhile, other companies offer low introductory prices, but nickel-and-dime you for everything else.
We want you to use this pricing information to make choices you feel confident about. When you look at the numbers, and factor in the superior service we provide, we know you’ll find that our prices are particularly competitive.
Richard C. Bologna
Q Why do heating oil prices keep changing?
A Heating oil prices will always ebb and flow because lots of factors come into play. Everything from the weather to global politics can influence the energy markets and the cost of heating oil. Although they are related, it’s important to remember that heating oil prices will not move the same way as gasoline prices.
Q Is it simply a matter of supply and demand?
A Supply and demand is one factor affecting price, but almost as often we see big hedge funds trade commodities contracts, which can dramatically push prices up and down regardless of supply or demand.
It happened last summer, when Hurricane Harvey caused refineries to shut down briefly. There was market speculation about supply, even though it wasn’t an issue.
Q How does this affect me?
A Knowing what drives the price of heating oil —that it’s more complicated than competition between dealers, or supply and demand—helps you make smart choices and understand the value that Westmore delivers. There’s no way to control oil prices, but we offer ways to help give you a bit more certainty. Our storage terminal means we can buy in quantities to guarantee supply. And we provide a range of pricing plans that help protect you from big price spikes. It’s part of the Westmore Fuel advantage.
Every problem has a symptom, and frequently it is accompanied by something you see, hear, smell or even feel. Follow along as Shamus, the dogged detective, uses his enhanced senses to uncover common problems you might encounter at your oil-heated home.
Does it takes longer to heat water than it used to, or does it feel as if the water doesn’t get as hot? These are strong signs that you are ready for a new unit. Other trouble signs include a slow leak from your tank or rust on the tank or in your tap water. (A water tank rusts from the inside out.)
If you think your water heater is failing—the average water heater lasts anywhere from 7to 13 years—then please speak with us about your options in oil-fired water heaters.
Oil-fired water heating systems mean low-cost access to virtually unlimited amounts of hot water. That’s because their “recovery rate” is as high as 120 gallons per hour, versus a rate of about 40 gallons per hour for a standard electric water heater. (Recovery rate measures how many gallons of water can be heated in an hour.)
This means plenty of hot water for the whole family—something that less efficient gas and electric water heaters cannot provide.
If there are icicles hanging from your roof, then you could be facing a double whammy. First, there’s the safety risk of their falling. Second, icicles usually mean that you’re losing heat through your attic. Icicles form when a roof has “hot spots” (caused by escaping heat), that melt snow. The water trickles to colder spots on the roof and freezes. The water that drips over the eaves turns into icicles.
Eventually, mounds of ice can form and water trapped behind these ice dams can seep into your home, resulting in costly repairs.
The solution for heat loss and potential water damage is to seal air leaks in your attic and then improve the insulation. These steps will lower your heating costs—and reduce cooling bills in the summer because your attic will retain less heat.
Many of our customers now use their boilers not only to heat their homes, but to produce hot water for showers, hot tubs, washing machines, dishwashers—you name it. And they get it virtually free in the winter.
It’s called an indirect-fired water heater, and if you have a boiler, it can really be a phenomenal option.
Any time your boiler is heating your home, your indirect water heater works for free. A traditional stand-alone water heater has to use gas or electricity to keep that water hot. And that’s a huge waste of money.
If you have a gas or electric water heater that is 10 years old or older, start checking out an indirect—and less expensive—approach to heating your water.
Here are a few sounds and their possible causes. (Note: A correct diagnosis can only be made with an on-site visit by a service technician.)
Banging, whistling, howling or the sound of rushing water in your pipes. These are common symptoms of air in the pipes, insufficient water flow or a buildup of sludge.
Booming or rumbling burner. It’s normal to hear a burner “kick on,” but if it makes a loud boom, also known as a “hard start,” the burner is not igniting properly. It needs to be serviced as soon as possible.
Straining sound from fuel pump. This means that there is a clog somewhere in the delivery system— for instance, in a filter or a supply line.
Well, it could be the dog, but it’s probably caused by stagnant water—the most common source of bad odors because it often turns to mold. Look for water leaks in the roof, the foundation, or around sinks and other piping. Besides correcting water leaks promptly, you can keep indoor air virtually odor-free with correctly sized equipment, constant airflow I and air purification systems.
Other problems to sniff out Oil odors. If your system is working properly, you should never smell fuel oil. An oil smell could be caused by a leak, burner troubles, a heat exchanger failure or exhaust system problems. You should schedule service as soon as possible to correct this situation.
Smoky odors when your burner is operating. If a fireplace or exhaust fan is running at the same time as your oil burner, a smoky odor can result because a backdraft is pulling flue gases through the exhaust system and into your home.
We really appreciate all the great things everyone has been saying about us. We have 230 reviews on our website—and counting. Word of mouth is the best advertising, and as an independent, family-run business, we rely on good ratings and testimonials.
If you’ve had a great experience, or have been a Westmorecustomer for a long time, please let others know about it. You can let your friends and neighbors know by posting a review on Google or Yelp. Help spread the word, and thank you so much for your business!
These days, weather can be as big a threat to fuel supply as any other factor. Extreme storms create havoc in the heating oil supply chain.
That’s part of the reason that, in 1982, we purchased a 1.2-million-gallon marine storage terminal and made strategic supplier alliances that guarantee Westmore customers an uninterrupted supply of fuel.
No other dealer in the area has the storage capacity that we do—and when problems arise, as they did with Superstorm Sandy five years ago, some dealers ran out of fuel and couldn’t make deliveries. We make sure our terminal is safe from any storm surges, which also ensures that the surrounding environment is protected. In fact, last summer we invested hundreds of thousands of dollars on safety and containment measures.
As a Westmore Fuel customer, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that we will always have ample fuel stored to meet all your needs.
Fernando Rangel says he appreciates the seasonal flow of his job: fall and winter are always busy with service calls.
“It’s different every day,” he says.
Fernando enjoys solving problems; repairing boilers, furnaces and water heaters; and getting people’s heat up and running quickly.
“It’s nice, because when people lose their heat, they’re uncomfortable and upset. I get to make them happy and comfortable again.”
Fernando joined Westmore 16 years ago, and he says he’s stayed because it’s a great family-run company with nice people and good teamwork.
He is the proud father of a son who turns 24 in January, and a 10-year-old daughter. Being a parent takes up much of his free time, but Fernando gets to enjoy a game of golf now and then.