There are few disasters that can occur in your home worse than a “puff-back” from a fuel oil heating system which puts a sticky, powder like substance on EVERYTHING in your home. A puff-back is no laughing matter and can cost tens of thousands of dollars to clean, normally by a professional cleaning company and painting crew. A puff-back can occur in your home if you have oil heating and can happen on a small scale, possibly contained to the furnace room or basement or can be wide spread through your entire home.
A puff-back can be caused by a variety of reasons, but it all boils down to lack of maintenance or improper repairs to your fuel oil fired heating system. A faulty ignition switch can be a typical culprit when it fails to properly ignite the incoming oil. The oil and fumes build inside the combustion chamber, not going out the chimney or vent. If the ignition is delayed long enough, it’s possible that a small explosion will occur as the oil finally ignites causing every bit of dust and soot that lives in your furnace or home’s duct work to get the sooty residue attached to it – spreading through your entire home quickly. Expect to see it on walls, drapes, carpets, furniture, bricks, morter and every item everyplace between.
The soot is a black and sticky. This dirty residue needs to be cleaned from every inch of your home as soon as possible since the odor will penetrate deeper the longer it stays on surfaces. The odor is difficult to remove and often requires professionals to come in and get it out of the house. A professional certified home restoration company that is experienced in restoring homes from smoke damage should be called in. Often they will use a process called “thermal fogging” which must be done by professionals.
This situation can also be caused gradually over a longer period of time. You will notice the black, sticky soot accumulating on walls, carpets or heating duct louvers.
There is no 100% guaranteed way to be sure you’ll never have a puff-back, but proper annual maintenace by a qualified, trained service provider that has continual training and modern electronic calibration testing equipment to make sure your heating system is running at optimal efficiency. Long gone are the days where the do-everything plumber could “tune-up” your heating system by using his eye and experience. Today’s heating systems require training and very often the capability of plugging in a portable laptop computer & electronic combustion analyzer that makes sure you’re getting the most heating from every gallon and cuts down the risk of costly problems in the cold winter ahead.
CES has been servicing heating systems for over 45 years (fuel oil, kerosene and propane gas) with an experienced staff that gets continual training all year and have the most up-to-date testing & calibration equipment on the market. There’s a reason why thousands of area residents trust CES to keep their family warm & safe – we do things right!
How often do you use your wood burning fireplace? All the time as supplemental heat or rarely because of the mess and hassle? Maybe you’re somewhere in between. What if you could use it as often as you wanted for both supplemental heat AND atmosphere but not have to deal with wood? Intrigued? Read on!
Raise your hand, who likes:
- The mess of dealing with cleaning the ashes;
- The wood mess left over;
- The smell of smoke inside the house if someone messed with the damper; and
- The threat of a fire from an ember popping out or just as bad – a deadly chimney fire that you don’t even realize your attic or wall is on fire? Anyone? I didn’t think so.
Gas “fireplaces” come in many choices including:
- Free standing cast iron or decorative heating “stoves” that can be installed in almost any room.
- Direct vent gas fireplace with the mantel finish of your choosing on any outside wall.
- Gas log set – installed in your EXISTING wood burning fireplace.
- Corner mounted direct vent fireplaces.
- Fireplace inserts for your existing wood burning fireplace for maximum efficiency.
- “See-through” units that can be installed between your living space & patio / deck or bedroom.
- Gas fire pits and table fire features for patios or the back yard.
- Full line of wall furnaces, floor furnaces, home heating & air conditioning systems available.
Gas fireplaces are a safe, efficient way to not only provide the great atmosphere that only a nice fire can provide but saves your heating money since your home’s heat doesn’t go up the chimney. With a wood fireplace you must leave the fireplace chimney damper open to let the smoke out — and that just sucks the heat out of your home until you remember to close it the next day if you’re lucky. With a gas fireplace, once the fire is out, there’s no need to leave a damper open. Better yet a variety of fireplaces, stove and heaters don’t require a damper at all!
Today’s gas fire places can be turned on manually from a valve on the unit itself or more conveniently with a wall switch, thermostat or a remote control. And no more cleaning ashes – maintenance is simple and can be provided by our trained staff of service technicians any time.
Gas fireplaces vs pellet stoves: Practicality, Reality… do you really want to do it? Pellets might seem like a good solution, BUT – are you the type of person that doesn’t mind moving 50 lb. bags of pellets around, stacking them in your garage or shed, then dragging them into the house all while hoping none of them break open? What if they get wet? This causes the entire stock to absorb moisture and end up a big mess of waste. Then loading the stove, cleaning, buying more pellets. If you’re a busy person that doesn’t have time to dedicate to this life style, don’t waste the money since you’ll be selling that stove in three years from now on Craigslist. Whether wood or pellets – you must be honest with yourself as to if you or your spouse is cut out to do the work involved with burning either product. These are truly “life style changes” and in today’s busy world, we find that more and more consumers are realizing that gas is the efficient, common sense choice for the way they live.
Choices of gas fireplace & heating stove manufacturers: NEVER BUY FROM A BIG BOX STORE since often even the name brand manufacturer makes a run of lesser quality units just for the low-price demand of the big box store – leaving you with an inferior product that you can’t get parts for later. We are proud to service every unit we sell which you can’t get that guarantee from the box stores or worse, the internet sellers. (try getting the internet vendor to remedy your product’s problems…good luck with that!).
At Combined Energy Services we’ve been selling and installing brands such as Empire, Regency and other popular names for over 40 years. There’s no better way to enjoy winter heating than to gather around a gas fireplace which is safe, neat & clean, energy efficient and adds value to your home, while simply heating the room you’re really using.
For more information, feel free to click here for a no obligation quote, fill out the form below or give us a call: 800-874-1975.
Recently, we’ve had quite a few customers come into our various locations to fill out-of-date propane tanks. There are both state and federal laws that dictate the filling and transportation of tanks. Another common issue is when customers come in with tanks that are either too large for the vehicle to safely transport or they are unable to secure them in a vehicle that can. We continually hear – “We’ve gotten them filled at other places. Why won’t you fill them?” Some retailers are willing to take the chance and try to avoid the fines or the risk of injury to a customer, but we aren’t.
From the mom coming in with the minivan full of kids, who has a 100 pound tank lying across the back seat to the Department of Transportation inspector trying to catch us filling a 100 pound tank lying down in the back of a pick-up, we’ve seen it all.
Below are a few of the rules that Combined Energy Services follow that govern safe filling and transportation of propane tanks. These are either state or federal regulations, not something that we just made up because we don’t want to fill your tanks.
- Consumer propane tanks from 4 to 40 pounds are required to be equipped with an overfill protection device (OPD valve).
- All propane tanks have a manufacturer’s date. A tank is good for 12 years from the date of manufacture and if recertified, every 5 years after that. What this means is that CES will not fill a tank that is out of date.
- National Fire Protection Administration (NFPA) 58 (Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code), Section 9.3.2:
- Propane tanks must be placed in an upright position and properly secured to prevent damage to the valves and fittings.
- 100 pound tanks cannot be transported lying down or in an enclosed vehicle. They must be upright and secured.
- Fines for filling and allowing the transport of out of date tanks is outrageous! CES can get a $10,000 dollar fine for filling an out of date tank or allowing one to leave our premises laying down/ or inside a vehicle as noted.
- CES recycles old propane tanks. We evacuate the gas and remove the valve. Please note that it is dangerous and illegal to throw propane tanks in the garbage. Old tanks can be dropped off at any CES location for free. The small 1 lb “Coleman” style portable tanks can be recycled for $1 each. See a Customer Service Rep for details.
We care about your safety, please don’t ask us to violate the law to fill your tanks.
One of the best things about being a local family-owned business is that you know the businesses you support. Helping organizations that help animals is something that is close to the Combined Energy Services’ heart. Pictured are Tracy Derr and Marla Donald from CES along with PCHS Executive Director Barry Heim. Barry brought along a few furry friends to watch over that check and one can’t help but show Tracy the love!
This is our 4th year in a row donating $1,000 worth of oil to the Pike County Humane Society (PCHS). They are a non-profit, no kill shelter that operates solely from donations, and every little bit helps. This January will mark their 21st year of operation. Remember they not only take in and care for pets but they also are able to respond to cases of abuse. Consider visiting their website and making your own donation or when looking for a new fur baby, visit them at 189 Lee Road, Shohola during operating hours. #AdoptDontShop
In light of the recent media coverage on another regional fuel supplier’s mishandling of consumer funds, CES has been receiving calls from our customers wanting to know how we handle their money. Rest assured that we are above board. Don’t believe us, look for yourself!
Combined Energy Services offers free online account access. It shows exactly what transactions have occured within your account. It is free and easy to enroll. Visit combinedenergyservices.com In the top right side of our home page, you can click on the red My Account button. From there, if you are not registered, you will need to click on the register tab.
Once you create your account and login, you can view and verify all the transactions on your account. You can even pay your bill online!
If you don’t have computer access, please contact on of our helpful customer service representatives at 80-874-1975. They can provide you with detailed information regarding your account transactions.
Combined Energy Services is a family owned local business that has been serving the community since 1968. We take pride in serving our customers with the utmost integrity. CES has worked hard over the years to earn our customer’s trust. It’s not something any of us take lightly.