Six Ways to Make Your House More Energy Efficient & Save Money This Fall

The Northeast is beautiful in the fall. This is the season of spiced pumpkin lattés, apple picking, and beautiful foliage. As the leaves begin to change and the temperatures begin to drop, it’s time to start thinking about how you can prepare your New England home for the cooler weather that’s on its way. By taking a few simple steps, you can make your home more energy efficient and save money this fall (and winter).

Getting Your Home Ready for Fall

There are several advantages to preparing your home now for the colder temps that are around the corner. First and foremost, because you’ll be increasing the energy efficiency of your home, you’ll see savings in your energy bills. Second, you’ll be taking important steps to prevent unwanted (and costly) surprises by making sure your heating equipment is in good working order and won’t fail when you need it most. Finally, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your home is prepared to keep your family safe and warm regardless of what the upcoming months have in store weatherwise.

Follow these steps to prepare your home for autumn and beyond:

  1. Reduce air leaks. Install caulk, weather-stripping, and/or door sweeps to help your home keep more warm air in and cold air out. (You’ll reap the benefits of this during the summer months as well because your AC won’t have to work as hard to keep your home cool.)
  2. Check to see that your home’s vents and baseboards are clear. Make sure your furniture, drapes, and rugs aren’t obstructing the flow of warm air into your living space.
  3. Use and appropriately adjust a programmable thermostat. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners can save up to 10% annually on their heating and cooling bills simply by adjusting their thermostat by 7 to 10 degrees for 8 hours a day.
  4. Check your filters and clean or replace them as needed. Clean filters are important to prevent your furnace from working harder than it needs to. This will save you money on heating fuel and maintenance costs.
  5. Check to make sure your heating system is working. It should start up after a few minutes if you raise the thermostat five degrees above the current room temperature.
  6. Schedule a service visit for your heating equipment. Regular maintenance on your heating equipment can save you from losing as much as 5% in efficiency every year. Increasing efficiency means more savings. So, losing efficiency means spending more money. Furthermore, during a maintenance visit your service technician will identify minor problems and address them before they become big or costly problems. At Hocon Gas, we sell, install and repair appliances and heating systems. We also offer a variety of Home Comfort Membership options that include regular inspections, monitoring, and tune-ups.

With six strategic locations serving Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York, Hocon Gas has grown to be one of the largest family-owned propane and fuel oil suppliers in the region. Let us provide your family with reliable service and competitive prices. Click here to find the branch serving your area.

Contact Hocon Gas today to take advantage of our exceptional service and competitive prices. Ask about our current special on propane water heaters. You could save up to $500.

9 Reasons to Opt for Propane in Your Home

Electricity gets a lot of buzz, but there are a number of reasons to choose propane over electricity in your home. Here are nine benefits to opting for propane over electricity in your northeast home.

  1. Propane is cost-efficient. Appliances run on propane are extremely efficient and therefore cost less to run. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save $174 yearly just by using a propane water heater versus an electric one. Propane water heaters can cost anywhere between 30%-50% less to operate than electric models.
  2. Propane is versatile. In addition to warming your home, it can power a wide variety of appliances such as ovens, clothes dryers, and water heaters. You can use it for backyard appliances such as grills, pool heaters, and patio heaters. Add warmth and atmosphere in your outdoor space with a propane fire pit or lighting. Whether you’re looking for a BBQ grill or patio heater, Hocon Gas offers an extensive line of residential propane appliances.
  3. Propane is dependable. When extreme weather (or any other event) causes the electric grid to fail, your access to propane won’t be affected.
  4. Propane is easy to store. Propane doesn’t degrade over time and propane tanks require very little maintenance and offer a lot of longevity. You can keep one in storage for up to 40 years!
  5. Propane is wherever you need it. Depending on where you live, accessing the electric grid can get expensive. However, the professionals at Hocon Gas offer reliable propane delivery in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. Regardless of weather or market conditions, rest assured that we’ll keep you supplied with all the propane you need.
  6. Propane gets the job done quickly. Propane water heaters work faster to heat your water than their electric counterparts. A propane water heater can produce twice the volume of hot water as an electric heater in the same time span. Propane clothes dryers can dry your laundry 25% faster than electric dryers and cause less static. Propane space heaters are also significantly more efficient than electric heaters.
  7. Propane is greener than you think. Propane water heaters produce roughly half the carbon emissions of electric water heaters with a storage tank. Because most of our electricity supply comes from coal-burning power plants, electricity is the second-largest greenhouse gas source in America (second only to transportation).
  8. Propane offers longevity. The average lifespan of a propane gas furnace is 20 years. For an electric heat pump, it’s just 14 years.
  9. Propane is efficient. It takes 27 kilowatt hours of electricity to produce the same amount of energy as burning one gallon of propane.

There are a lot of reasons to choose propane for your home, and Hocon Gas is here to take care of your propane needs.

Hocon Gas has six strategic locations that serve both commercial and residential customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. Click here to find the branch closest to you.

Contact Hocon Gas today to take advantage of our exceptional service and competitive prices.

Five reasons propane may be right for your home

If your current oil system has begun to fail and needs to be replaced, now is a good time to weigh the benefits of replacing it or switching to propane.

Heating oil and propane each have their advantages. How do you decide which is right for you? Here are some of the benefits to choosing propane for your northeast home.

  1. You’ll gain efficiency. A new propane furnace is at least 90% efficient. Older oil furnaces are sometimes only 60% efficient. Switching to propane will mean you’ll get more for your dollar.
  2. You’ll gain valuable space in your home once you remove your giant oil furnace. Think about what you could do with that extra room!
  3. Propane can do more than heating oil. In addition to warming your home, it can power a wide variety of appliances such as ovens, clothes dryers, and water heaters. You can use it for backyard appliances such as grills, pool heaters, and patio heaters. It can also power your generator, giving you backup power during the power outages that often accompany severe weather events.
  4. Propane tanks require very little maintenance and offer a lot of longevity. You can keep one in storage for up to 40 years! It’s also highly portable, so you can take it with you when you go camping.
  5. Finally, propane produces significantly less emissions than heating oil. It’s smaller carbon footprint makes it the greener choice.

If you’re considering making the switch from heating oil to propane, the professionals at Hocon Gas have you covered. Schedule a home visit, and we can walk you through all your home heating options and help you decide which is best for you.

Visit us online to find the branch closest to you. Hocon Gas has six strategic locations that serve both commercial and residential customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York.

Contact Hocon Gas today to take advantage of our exceptional installation and maintenance service as well as our competitive prices.

5 Advantages To Fueling Your School Buses With Propane Autogas

There are nearly 200,000 vehicles operating in the United States that are being fueled by propane, which is also referred to as Propane Autogas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Autogas is a common choice for fleet vehicles like school buses, taxis, and police vehicles.

In fact, since the year 2012, the number of school bus fleets using Propane Autogas has increased by more than 700%. What do all those schools know? They know the benefits of Propane Autogas: It’s safe, reliable, and cost-effective. As a Hocon Gas customer, you can take advantage of these benefits too.

Here are 5 reasons to choose Propane Auto gas for your school bus fleet:

  1. As opposed to the harmful cloud of carcinogens produced by a diesel bus, a school bus powered by propane has significantly less harmful emissions. All your young passengers will breathe easier, especially those with asthma.
  2. Although a propane vehicle can cost more upfront than a gas-powered one, propane is usually less expensive than gasoline, so it won’t take long for you to come out ahead in overall cost. Furthermore, propane vehicles are comparably priced to diesel vehicles.
  3. Additional savings come from the fact that Propane Autogas vehicles tend to have longer-lasting engines and lower maintenance costs, which makes it a great option for getting more longevity and value out of high mileage vehicles like school buses.
  4. Propane engines perform better and start more consistently in cold weather, and winter is just around the corner. Sooner than later, your fleet will be transporting students to and from their New England and New York schools during the cold winter months. If you use Propane Autogas to fuel your fleet, you can have peace of mind knowing that your school buses won’t let their young passengers and families down.
  5. Propane engines are significantly less noisy than diesel engines. This will improve the quality of life of your bus drivers, students, and community.

If you’re considering Propane Autogas for your school bus fleet, Hocon Gas can help walk you through the next steps. We’re here to help you convert your fleet, set up a fueling station, or make arrangements for Propane Autogas delivery. We can also help you determine if you qualify for cash incentives.

With six strategic locations, Hocon Gas serves both commercial and residential customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. Visit us online to find the branch in your area.

Contact Hocon Gas today to take advantage of our exceptional Propane Autogas service and competitive prices.

5 Reasons To Choose Propane Over Diesel or Gasoline

Propane, also referred to as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), is so versatile. It can warm your home, cook your food, and dry your clothes. Can it also fuel a bus, car, or truck? Yes! There are roughly 200,000 certified propane vehicles operating in the United States that use Propane Autogas.

You’ll commonly find propane used in fleet vehicles such as school buses, taxis, and police vehicles. You can purchase several propane-powered vehicle models from manufacturers and select dealerships. In addition, you can modify your engine or replace it with one designed to handle the higher temperature and lower lubricity associated with propane combustion.

To see a list of vehicle options, use the Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Search or check out the Alternative Fuel and Advanced Technology Vehicles list.

Why Propane Autogas?

Now you know that propane is an option for fueling your vehicles. It’s also important to know the reasons propane makes a great alternative to traditional fuels. Here are 5 advantages to putting propane in your fuel tank.

  1. Propane is largely domestically produced, and so it is a secure resource.
  2. Propane vehicles produce less air pollution and have a smaller environmental impact compared to conventional diesel and gasoline vehicles.
  3. While a propane vehicle can cost significantly more that its gasoline counterpart, since propane is usually less expensive than gasoline, it won’t take long for you to come out ahead in overall cost. Furthermore, propane vehicles are comparably priced to diesel vehicles.
  4. Propane vehicles tend to have longer-lasting engines and lower maintenance costs, which makes it a great option for getting more longevity and value out of high mileage vehicles.
  5. Propane engines perform better and start more consistently in cold weather. As a resident of New England or New York, you can have peace of mind that your engine will perform well during the freezing winter months.

Combine all these advantages with the fact that propane engines and conventional engines offer similar acceleration, cruising speed, and power. Why wouldn’t you consider using propane to fuel your vehicle?

With six strategic locations, Hocon Gas serves both commercial and residential customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. Visit us online to find the branch in your area.

Contact Hocon Gas today to take advantage of our exceptional propane autogas service and competitive prices.

Beat the Crowds Before Labor Day!

Believe it or not, Summer 2021 has passed the half way point here in Connecticut – which means it’s time to get serious about servicing your heating system for the fall and winter ahead.

Once we hit Labor Day, our maintenance calendars start to fill – which means it will get harder to find an appointment time that fits into your busy schedule.

3 Ways to be Ready for the Cold Season

Here are three things you can do for your heating system in the weeks to come:

  1. Schedule your routine maintenance – Getting your heating tune-up out of the way now means you’ll enjoy its benefits – more comfort and better efficiency – for a full heating season. It also gives you time fix any problems that a technician might find (see #2 below) without the threat of cold weather hanging over your head. If you discover that your heating system needs to be replaced, you’ll still have plenty of time to get it installed (see #3 below) before school starts.

  2. Repair leftover problems from last winter – Heating systems got a real work out here in Connecticut last year – chances are yours will need a little love and attention before getting back to work this fall. Our skilled technicians will spot any leaks, damaged parts, or other appliance repairs that will need attending to during your heating system tune-up.

  3. Upgrade your heating system – If you’ve been thinking about investing in a new heating system, summer is a great time to do it – prices are usually lower, technicians and appointment times are often available, and you’re not under any weather pressure to get your heating equipment installed.

    If your gas heating furnace is entering its second decade of use, an upgrade could help you save 30 percent on your monthly bills – enough to offset the cost of the upgrade in just a few years, while giving you better performance and more peace of mind in the meantime.

Did you know that our Warm Air Furnace or Boiler 17-Point Energy Inspection and Tune-up – one of five Hocon Home Comfort Plans – includes a 20 percent discount on repairs and parts, 24/7 priority service, and more?

Sign up for one today and stay one step ahead of the post-Labor Day crowd. Contact us today to learn more.

In part one of this blog, we talked about the things you will need to consider if you are installing a propane fireplace from scratch. But what if you have a masonry fireplace already in place? In that case, you will need to convert your fireplace by installing a propane fire log set or propane fireplace insert.

Why convert your wood-burning fireplace to propane?

Propane fireplace inserts and log sets: two great, hassle-free options

If you’re doing a propane fireplace conversion, you’ll have two basic options:

Not sure which way to go with your propane fireplace feature? We can help. Contact our propane hearth specialists or visit one of our Connecticut showrooms today to learn more.

Get all the benefits of a roaring fire with none of the hassles or mess. Contact us today for a FREE estimate on a propane fireplace insert or propane gas log set for your Connecticut home!

So many people forego the simple pleasures of a home hearth because they just don’t want to deal with the time consuming hassles of wood fire setup and cleanup – or the expense of installing a full-on masonry fireplace.

But what if you could get the benefits of a fire feature without those hassles?

You can – thanks to the power of propane.

Propane Hearth Basics

Propane hearth installations fall into two basic categories: standalone devices whose installation requires construction (propane fireplaces and cast iron stoves) and devices that you add to an existing wood-burning fireplace (propane fireplace inserts and log sets). In this first of a two-part post, we’ll focus on the former group; we’ll return to log sets and inserts in Part Two.

Propane Fireplace Consideration

If you choose to add a new propane-powered fireplace or cast stove in your Connecticut home, you’ll have to answer three basic questions:

  1. How should it be vented? – There are three basic ways to vent your fireplace or stove: direct venting (a sealed box that vents directly outdoors), natural (venting relies on a natural draft aided by a door that opens) and vent-free. The one that is safest and most practical for you will depend on your home, local code requirements, and your budget.
  2. How much space do I have? – Where gas fireplaces are concerned, size and power usually go together. You’ll need to know how much space you can spare for a fireplace, along with how much heat you’ll need to keep the room warm.
  3. What do I want it to look like? – There are many finishes and trim features and options for your fireplace – from simple modern to more classic designs.

Stay tuned for our next post on propane fireplace inserts and log sets!

Looking to add a propane fireplace or propane cast iron stove to your Connecticut home? We can help! Our experts can help get you on the road to your dream hearth, with great options from Enviro, White Mountain, Mendota, Regency, Napoleon, R.H. Peterson, Hearthstone and Monessen. Contact us today for a FREE estimate on a propane fireplace installation!

Propane is fast becoming a fuel of choice for smart fleet managers around the country. But how much do you know about this clean, green fuel?

Here are five facts about Propane Autogas that show why you should consider it for your light- to medium-duty fleet.

Propane Autogas is safe. Propane has been powering vehicles for more than 80 years, so it’s got a long and strong safety record. Just like other fuels, Propane Autogas is required by federal and state laws to comply with safety and emission standards – and agencies like the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency rigidly regulate the safe use and handling of the fuel.

Autogas vehicles are also full of safety features. Consider that:

  • Autogas fuel systems are equipped with an emergency shut-off valve that will automatically stop the flow of propane if the fuel line is damaged.
  • Propane Autogas tanks have built-in overfill protection devices, emergency shut off valves, and pressure relief valves.
  • Autogas won’t ignite until it reaches a temperature of 920°F – gasoline (495°) and diesel (410°F) have much lower ignition temperatures.
  • if Propane Autogas leaks, it will escape as a vapor, dissipating into the air without harming the environment.
  • Propane Autogas is infused with an odorant, making leaks easy to detect.

Autogas fuel tanks are strong. Propane tanks are made of puncture-resistant steel, making them much stronger than gasoline or diesel tanks. They’re built to handle with ease any conditions, pressures, or weather conditions they encounter on the road.

Refueling with Autogas is easy. Refueling with Autogas isn’t much different than filling a tank with gas – you’ll just need a few minutes to train your crew in safety precautions and you’ll be on your way. Propane Autogas refueling stations are located throughout the country – see this locator to find more 2,500 stations across the country.

Autogas is economical. The price per gallon of propane has historically been lower – sometimes much lower – than that of diesel and gasoline. But that’s not the only way Autogas saves money: since it burns cleaner, Autogas leaves fewer deposits on engines – meaning that your vehicle won’t suffer as much wear and tear. Using Propane Autogas also eliminates the need to use additional fluids and filters that are needed to operate gasoline and diesel engines, saving you money on parts.

Autogas is reliable in cold weather. Propane Autogas has a boiling point that’s colder than any temperature we’ll encounter in Connecticut (-43.6°F), so it’s the perfect cold weather fuel – good news for fleet owners in New England.

Did you know that Hocon has an Propane Autogas dispensary and re-fueling station in Hartford, CT? Besides servicing cars and trucks with gasoline and diesel fuel, the site includes EV stations, a hydrogen fueling station, two quick fueling EV stations for non-Tesla vehicles and a Propane Autogas fueling station.

It’s an exciting time for Hocon – and for fleet managers! Contact us today to talk more about Propane Autogas fleet conversions in CT!

Sprucing up your outdoor living area with propane appliances is a great way to fight cabin fever in your Connecticut home at a fraction of the cost of a home addition – and now is the perfect time to do it.

An investment in your outdoor space will help you improve your summer quality of life while also giving your home greater curb appeal if you choose to sell it – to say nothing of what it will do for your energy bills if your family spends more time outside your home than in it.

Imagine what you could do with an outdoor space packed with the many of the home comforts you know and love. Consider these propane possibilities for your outdoor space:

  • Propane pool heaters – Why limit your swimming to hot summer afternoons? Get a high-efficiency propane pool heater and you can swim in the morning, at night – even in September.
  • Propane patio heaters – Stay comfortable on cool evenings with a propane outdoor space heater. Perfect for patio, porch, or pergola.
  • Propane mosquito magnets – Imagine mosquito protection without the noxious smells or obnoxious sounds of sprays and zappers. That’s what you’ll get with a propane mosquito magnet (here’s how it works).
  • A propane grill – Make a propane barbecue grill the centerpiece of your outdoor kitchen, or upgrade your charcoal grill to a propane portable model.
  • Propane lighting  – From tiki torches to modern fixtures, propane gas lamps add an inviting ambiance to any outdoor space.
  • Propane fire pits and fire tables – Imagine sitting fireside under the stars without leaving your backyard, and without the setup and cleanup hassles of a wood fire. That’s what you get when you install a propane fire pit or fire table.

Power your outdoor fun with propane – delivered when and where you need it from the pros at Hocon. Contact us today to learn more about reliable propane deliveries in Connecticut, or to get a no-obligation estimate on propane outdoor living appliance installation in CT.

Propane achieved another significant win in the clean energy debate with the opening of a multi-fuel travel center in Hartford, Connecticut on June 18, 2021. 3 years in the making, this is the only multi-alternative fuels travel center in the United States.

Propane autogas refueling infrastructure and a dozen propane-powered vehicles featured alongside electricity and hydrogen underscores the vital position our energy has in achieving America’s net-zero emissions goals.

Dave Gable, president of HOCON Gas, was instrumental in making propane autogas a part of Pride Travel Center with his company designing and installing the refueling infrastructure and now supplying the fuel. The 18,000-gallon tank and dispenser include SES software that tracks data like driver and vehicle identification, mileage and gallons pumped, providing a convenient experience for fleets.

Having propane autogas at Pride Travel Center will provide the opportunity for more fleets and schools in Hartford, Conn., to experience the benefits of propane and to help improve air quality and reduce emissions in the surrounding area. In addition to being a low-carbon energy source, today’s propane autogas ultra-low nitrogen oxide (NOx) engines are 90 percent cleaner than Environmental Protection Agency standards and reduce NOx emissions by 96 percent compared to the clean diesel engine.

More than 70 people attended the grand opening event, including numerous media stations, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Congressman John Larson, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes, Dave Gable, NPGA’s Michael Baker, PERC’s Tucker Perkins and Stephen Whaley, and additional propane industry members.

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