5 Steps to Preparing Your Home for Winter

Brace yourself, winter is coming.

The reference may have come from Game of Thrones, but you don’t need to be a fan of the show to notice the cold weather. With temperatures in Norwalk, Connecticut recently dropping into the 30s (and 20s!!!) overnight, it is clear that winter is right around corner.

Here are five ways to get your house prepared:

  1. Seal air leaks around the home. Simple air leaks around the house can reduce your heating efficiency by up to 30%. Grab a caulking gun and some weatherstripping and set off to seal the leaks in your home – common problem spots include windows, doors, and areas where two surfaces meet: such as corners, chimneys, and piping.

  1. Install storm doors and windows. Have you ever heard the expression “throwing money out the window”? Well that’s exactly what you are doing during the winter months, when heat from your home escapes through poorly insulated windows and doors. Put down your glass storm windows to add an extra layer of insulation and help prevent heat loss.

  1. Clean your rain gutters. Not all of the leaves that fall from the trees end up in your lawn – a lot of them get lodged in your rain gutters. If you don’t clean them out before winter, they can prevent melting snow from draining away from your roof, which can lead to ice dams and ceiling leaks.

  1. Reverse your ceiling fans. Did you know that most ceiling fans allow you to change the direction of the blades? There is typically a switch at the base to do this – set it to counterclockwise during the summer, and clockwise during the colder months.

  1. Have your heating system serviced. Take the time to get your heating system serviced now so that it doesn’t break down in the middle of a cold snap. A professional technician should come to your house to clean, test, and lubricate the various components of your furnace to help it run more efficiently and prevent future breakdowns.

Residents of Fairfield County can depend on Devine Bros. to keep warm all winter long! We offer a variety of heating services to homeowners in the Norwalk, Connecticut area such as oil delivery and heating equipment installation and repairs. Visit our website for more information or call us at 203-866-4421.

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4 Things to Consider When Replacing Your Heating System

During this time of the year, few things are more important than your home’s heat supply. If you recently turned on your furnace only for it to turn back off, or noticed the same model for sale on the antique show that you watch, it might be time for an upgrade.

Furnace shopping isn’t easy, and it can be intimidating for a first-time buyer. Don’t worry, the experts at Devine Bros. are here to help you. In this article, we will break down the four main factors you should consider when choosing a new furnace.

1. Heating Capacity

Conditions such as the size of your home will directly limit your selections when shopping for a new heating system. Larger systems generally cost more money, but if you own a big house, you don’t have much of a choice. A certified contractor should survey your house and tell you what system size you need (measured in BTUs) based on things such as square footage, insulation, orientation, etc.

2. Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficiency should be a key consideration because your new furnace will continue to drain your wallet for as long as it operates. You may think you are saving money by purchasing a system which is not as efficient, but you will end up spending much more over the years. If energy efficiency is important to you, look for models with an Energy Star label – these have been scientifically tested and proven to yield significant energy savings.

3. Fuel Source

Furnaces can be powered by fuel sources such as heating oil, propane, natural gas, or even electricity. Chances are good that your current furnace already uses one of these fuel sources. It would be easiest to buy a new heating system that uses the same type of fuel as your current one, but this may be an opportunity to consider alternative fuel sources.

4. Installation

The best furnace in the world won’t be able to properly heat your home if it isn’t correctly installed. As a homeowner on a budget, you may be tempted to hire the cheapest contractor you can find, but we strongly advise against that.

If you are looking for someone to install a new heating system in your Norwalk home, look no further than Devine Bros. For almost 100 years, residents of Fairfield County, CT have depended on us to keep warm. From furnace installation to repairs to oil and propane delivery, turn to us for all of your home heating needs. Visit our website for more information or call us at (203) 866-4421.

3 Benefits of Programmable Thermostats

If you are looking to make your home “smarter”, a programmable thermostat is a great place to start. Programmable thermostats allow you to preset your temperature preferences hours, or even days, ahead of time. Some of the more advanced models allow for recurring temperature settings, so all you have to do is set it and forget it.

Besides the luxury of added convenience, programmable thermostats offer some real benefits to everyone in the house. Here are three that we could think of:

Energy Savings

Programmable thermostats allow you to save a significant amount of money on heating and cooling costs, making them a good investment. Keep your house a few degrees cooler in the winter or warmer in the summer when you aren’t home – you will never notice the difference until you open your utility bill. In fact, these thermostats can pay for themselves in just a year or two with the year-round savings they provide!

Improved Comfort

In an effort to save money during the colder months, many families will turn their thermostats down when everyone is at work or asleep. The problem is nobody wants to wake up or come home to a cold house. With a programmable thermostat, you can still achieve these energy savings, but have the heat kick on an hour or two before the house is inhabited – it’s the best of both worlds!

Peace of Mind

Has your vacation ever been ruined because you can’t stop stressing over whether or not you remembered to turn the heat off before you left? If this sounds all too familiar, you will take joy in knowing that this problem is now a thing of the past! Many programmable thermostats have WiFi connectivity and smartphone apps, meaning you can control your temperature from halfway across the world.

The HVAC experts at Devine Bros. know a thing or two about home heating, that’s why residents of Fairfield County have trusted us to stay warm for almost 100 years! We provide oil delivery, propane, and heating equipment installation and repair services to Norwalk, Connecticut and beyond. Click here to visit our website or call us at (203) 866-4421 to learn more.

About Our Home Heating Oil Pricing Programs

Nobody can predict the future, and with Devine Bros., you don’t have to.

With heating oil prices fluctuating every day, it is impossible to set aside room in your family’s budget. What if there was a way to pay the same amount for your heating oil every month, even if the market price drastically rose? Devine Bros. is here for you, and your dream is now a reality!

Devine Bros. currently offers three pricing plans for our home heating oil delivery, offering maximum flexibility for you and your family. Choose the option that suits your needs, and stay warm all winter long – it’s that simple!

Our pricing plans are as follows:

  • Market. The price of fuel at the time of delivery is contingent on the daily cost of fuel in our inventory. This number can go up or down on any given day.

  • Fixed. The price of fuel at the time of delivery is agreed upon in advance between Devine Bros. and the customer. This number will remain the same, regardless of market value.

  • Capped. The price of fuel at the time of delivery is based off of a predetermined agreement. The price can drop if inventory costs permit, but it will never exceed the price in the agreement.

For more information, please click here to visit our website or give us a call at (203) 866-4421.

For almost 100 years, residents of Norwalk, CT and beyond have depended on Devine Bros. to stay comfortable all year long. Our services include oil and propane delivery, heating equipment repairs, air conditioning tune ups, and more. If you live in Fairfield County and need any of these services, call us at 203.866.4421. You can also join the hundreds of others who have connected with us on Facebook.

4 Things to Look for in an Oil Delivery Company

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Brrrr! After a warm week that saw temperatures climb to almost 80° Fahrenheit, southern Connecticut is back to where it should be in mid-October. Norwalk residents probably woke up to frost on their cars this morning, and that is pretty much what we can expect from here on out.

With overnight temperatures dipping into the 30s in Fairfield County, it’s time to fire up those furnaces and crank up that thermostat. Where is your heat coming from this winter? If you are one of the millions of people who use home heating oil, this is a great time of the year to re-evaluate your supplier. Are they getting the job done? Is there someone better you can turn to?

If you are having trouble answering these questions, here are four things to look for in your heating oil delivery service. If your supplier doesn’t have all four of these qualities, it may be time to find a new one.

Experience

Heating your home is important, and you shouldn’t trust just anyone to get the job done. In matters as essential as staying warm, you want a company with a proven track record. Fairfield County residents have depended on Devine Bros. to keep warm for almost 100 years, who else can say that?

Emergency Service

When it comes to heating emergencies, time is of the essence. If you run out of heating oil on midnight on a Friday, you can’t wait until Monday morning for a refill – your family needs to stay warm. Give yourself peace of mind by choosing an oil delivery company that offers 24/7 emergency services; like Devine Bros.

Price Protection

With the prices of heating oil changing every day, who knows what the future holds? When making your household budget, how are you supposed to account for fluctuating home heating oil prices? With Devine Bros, you don’t have to. We give you the safety and security you deserve with our fixed cost pricing plan.

Equipment Service Plans

During your search for a heating oil delivery company, give extra points to those who provide additional services, such as heating equipment service plans. If your furnace is malfunctioning, do you really want to worry about finding another company to come and fix it? Devine Bros. is one company that you can trust for all of your heating needs: from oil delivery to equipment repairs and installation.

What are you waiting for? See what Devine Bros. can do for you! If you live in Norwalk, Connecticut or in the surrounding Fairfield County area, call us today at (203) 866-4421.

4 Benefits of a Furnace Tune Up

As autumn weather begins to settle in across New England, Devine Bros. wants to take the time to remind everyone to schedule a professional tune up for their home’s heating system. An annual furnace tune up from the heating experts at Devine Bros. can provide you with the following benefits:

Lower Energy Costs.

A tune up from Devine Bros. will get your heating system operating at maximum efficiency. If you have noticed a steady increase in your heating bill over the past several years, it could be due to inefficient components in your home’s furnace. Our technicians will clean or replace dirty or broken components, allowing your heating system to operate better while using less energy.

Improved Comfort.

Because your furnace will be operating at full capacity, it will get your house to your desired temperature faster and maintain it with less effort. Don’t sacrifice your family’s comfort – a freshly tuned up furnace will be able to warm up your house on even the coldest winter days.

Future Breakdown Prevention.

Part of our tune up includes the inspection of all of the different sub-parts within your heating system. We will closely examine each component and look for signs of potential problems, helping to save you from a breakdown in the dead of winter – the busiest time of the year for heating companies.

Keep Your Warranty.

Many furnace manufacturer’s state that in order for their warranties to stay valid, annual maintenance by a certified HVAC professional is required. If you fail to meet these requirements, your warranty could be voided, meaning you will have to pay for any future repairs out of your own pocket.

Interested in scheduling a heating system tune up for your Norwalk, Connecticut home? Fairfield County residents have depended on Devine Bros. to stay warm for almost 100 years! Visit our website for more information or give us a call at (203) 866-4421.

Storm Preparation Tips

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When you live in New England, severe storms are a year-round threat. Hurricane season takes up half the year, running from June 1st through November 30th, and you still have to worry about heavy snowfall and spring thunderstorms during the offseason.

No matter what season it is, you can stay safe and comfortable throughout the storm with a little bit of preparation. Here’s some tips to help you out:

Prepare Your Family

When there is a severe storm on the horizon, the safety of yourself and your family should be at the top of your priority list. Here is how you can keep everyone safe in the event of a storm:

  • Stock up. If you have ever been to a grocery store before a storm, you know how hectic it can be. Get there as early as possible and buy a week’s-worth of food for everyone in the family. Don’t rush for the bread and milk – worry about water and non-perishables. You should also restock on medication and other essential needs.

  • Have a plan. In the event of evacuation, you need an escape plan. Make arrangements ahead of time for transportation, lodging, what to do if you become separated.

Prepare Your Property

While your home is sheltering you from the harsh weather conditions, it is taking a beating of its own. Here are some tips to minimize damage inflicted to your home:

  • Clean your yard. This is more for hurricanes and other storms with strong winds. If you have lawn decorations or furniture, the last thing you want is for them to come flying through your window.

  • Board up. Again, this one is more for hurricanes than anything else. Windows can shatter from the force of high winds; you don’t want that broken glass being turned into a projectile weapon. If you are expecting severe winds, be safe and use hurricane shutters or just board up your windows.

  • Insulate. During severe snow storms, you could be without heat for multiple days. Keep your house as warm as possible by insulating your windows and pipes with store-bought insulation, newspaper, or blankets.

Prepare for a Blackout

Whether rain or snow, power outages are a very real possibility. Make sure you are prepared for an extended blackout by following these instructions:

  • Light the way. Besides entertainment, finding an adequate source of light is one of the problems we must face during a power outage. The sun will be sufficient during the day, and you can use candles, lanterns, or flashlights at night – just make sure to have a reserve of batteries.

  • Protect your food. It doesn’t take food in the refrigerator very long to expire during a power outage. Having two coolers fully stocked with ice is your best bet to save your food if the power does go out; if you don’t have a cooler try lowering your thermostat all the way at the beginning of the storm and minimize how many times you open the fridge throughout.

  • Invest in a generator. The best way to prepare for a full-blown blackout is with an automatic backup generator. These units will automatically detect when the power is out, and supply enough energy to power your entire home until it is restored.

Interested in investing in an automatic backup generator for your Norwalk home? The professional technicians at Devine Bros. can have one up-and-running in no time! We install generators throughout the entire Fairfield County area, click here for more information.

The Right Way to Remove a Window AC

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It’s that time of the year again – time for pumpkin picking, football watching, and preparing your home for the cold season. With overnight temperatures dropping into the 40s around the Norwalk area, it is fair to say that Fairfield County residents can safely remove their window air conditioners for the season.

If you have a window AC, it is recommended that you put it into storage during the cold months for two reasons. First off, leaving your air conditioner exposed to snow and freezing temperatures is not good for the unit. If water were to freeze on the coils, they could potentially suffer permanent damage. Secondly, it is not good for the energy efficiency nor the comfort of your home. Leaving an air conditioner in the window gives the warm air in your home a chance to escape, which raises your heating bills and leaves you with a very chilly draft.

So how can you safely remove your air conditioner for the winter? Follow these steps:

  1. Unplug the air conditioner from the wall.

  2. Remove the filter and wash it with soap and warm water.

  3. Clean the front of the air conditioner with a wet sponge.

  4. Place a towel on the floor under your window to catch any water that may leak out.

  5. Remove any tape from the window sill that may be used as a seal, and unscrew the AC from the window frame, if necessary.

  6. Carefully open the window. Pick up the air conditioner, and place it on the towel below. Have a friend or family member assist you with this step if necessary.

  7. Clean the fins on the back of the unit by vacuuming them with your cleaner’s brush attachment.

  8. Thoroughly dry the air conditioner and place it back in its original box, if available. If not, use another box of similar size.

  9. Store the air conditioner upright in a dry place. Storing on its side or back can damage the compressor.

Need a hand preparing your Norwalk home for the heating season? Residents of Southern Connecticut have trusted Devine Bros. to keep them warm for almost 100 years! From heating oil delivery to furnace tune ups and installation, we have you covered. Visit our website for more information or give us a ring at (203) 866-4421.