+1.877.388.5034 info@knappenergy.com

FAQs about propane

What are your office hours?

Our Kalamazoo, MI office is open weekdays 7 AM to 4:30 PM

What if I have a problem after office hours?

Call our main telephone number (269) 388-5034. We have an answering service that will pick up 24 hours a day after our office hours.

What do I need to have done before I can have service?

You need to have a 3/4″ in diameter black pipe stubbed out of your home/building that is 18″ above ground and stubbed out 3″. (This is usually done by a licensed and insured heating contractor). If you are building a new home, the propane tank will come after the furnace and all appliances that will use propane are installed.

What is the price of propane?

Propane prices vary just like gasoline and natural gas. Knapp is always very competitively priced, so give our office a call to check the current price per gallon.

What are my payment options?

Based on a credit report, you may pay your bill within 30 days from the date of delivery with a check, money order, cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover; or you may choose to be on our Budget Plan. Our Budget Plan starts in July and ends the following year in June. Each customer pays a different amount per month based on previous and projected usage, so please call our office to see what is best for you. Or, if the account is set up as Cash-on-Delivery, we do require the payment to be ready to be paid prior to dispatching the propane delivery order.

How do I know when I need more propane?

There is a gauge on the top of the tank under the lid, which shows the percent of propane remaining in the tank. If you are on our Automatic-Fill program, we use a Degree-Day system, which allows us to forecast when to make a delivery. Our Delivery Drivers generally come to refill your tank when the gauge reads from 20% – 30% full.

What if I suspect a leak?

You will definitely know if your tank is leaking by the pungent, “rotten-egg” smell of propane. (An odorant is added to propane just for safety reasons). If you think your tank may be leaking:

  1. Put out all smoking materials and any other open flames.
  2. Do not operate any appliances, switches, or thermostats.
  3. Get everyone outside and away from gas equipment.
  4. Shut off the gas supply using the shutoff valve at the tank or cylinder (turn clockwise to the right).
  5. Call us: 1-269-388-5034. – Use your neighbor’s phone or your cell phone away from the house if gas smell is in the house. Our on-call representative will be paged and return your call to coordinate emergency service.
  6. Stay outside and leave the gas off until the leak has been found and fixed.
Do you offer pre-buy or fixed price options?

Yes! Each year in June we offer Pre-Buy and Fixed Price options for our customers using more than 700 gallons of propane per heating season (September-April). The Pre-By program allows you to purchase at least 700 gallons of propane before July 31st of the current year at a very competitive price, whereas the Fixed Price program allows you to pay a fee to lock in your price for the current heating season.

How many gallons of propane are in my tank?
If you know the size of your tank (generally 120, 320, 500, or 1000 gallons), you may take the percent reading on the gauge and multiply it by the tank size. Example: Your 500 gallon propane tank’s gauge reads 25%, you have approximately 125 gallons of propane remaining in the tank (500 x .25 = 125). Please keep in mind the gauges can vary 5- 10% due to the temperature (i.e. if it is hot outside or if the tank is in the sun, the gauge will read higher than if it is cold outside).
How much will it cost me to heat my house?
Energy prices vary daily. As a result, every year is likely to be different. Even in recent years of so called “peak oil” use, prices have gone down as well as up. According to 2009 statistics, typical houses in the Greater Kalamazoo area will use $900 to $2400 per year for heating, taking into consideration all types of heating sources. A well-maintained oil heat system can save versus the average. It pays to keep your heating system maintained.
Is it true that burning wood in a fireplace will make your home-heating energy costs go up instead of down?

According to Marilyn vos Savant of Ask Marilyn fame, “Yes. A fire needs air to burn, so it draws already heated air from the rest of the house. That action, in turn, pulls cold outside air into the house wherever it has leaks. Some of the warmth from a fire radiates into the room, but most of the heat goes up the chimney. The best use of a fireplace is for enjoyment.”

FAQs about heating oil

What are your office hours?

Our Kalamazoo, MI office is open weekdays 7 AM to 4:30 PM

What if I have a problem after office hours?

Call our main telephone number (269) 388-5034. We have an answering service that will pick up 24 hours a day after our office hours.

What Is the difference between “Automatic” delivery and “Will Call”?
“Automatic” delivery means that we will automatically determine when a customer needs fuel by using degree-day monitoring. The customer does not need to place a call to us for a delivery. We will automatically deliver fuel on a regular basis and the customer is assured of never running out of fuel. “Will-Call” means that a customer will monitor their own consumption and “will call” the dealer when a delivery is needed.
My tank sounds empty, is it?

Not necessarily, tapping on an oil tank is not an accurate method of determining the level of oil in it. Tanks are too thick and a tank with 100 gallons of oil in it may sound the same as an empty tank.

How much oil is in my tank?

Based on a 275 gallon tank:

  • ¾ full is 206 gallons.
  • ½ full is 137 gallons
  • ¼ full is 69 gallons

Gauges in these tanks are not overly accurate. If you do not want to be on automatic delivery, it is best to order oil when your gauge reads ¼ full.

Where is my reset button?

It is located on the control on your burner and is usually red.

What Is The Difference Between a Furnace and a Boiler?

To heat your home, a furnace uses air and a boiler uses water. A furnace uses the flame from the oil burner to heat air, which is distributed throughout the house. A boiler uses the flame to heat water that is either sent around the house in pipes to radiators, or is sent to a fan coil unit that heats air.

I have an outside oil tank. What can I do to prevent winter problems?

Outside oil tanks are subject to climate changes that can cause the formation of condensation (water) within the tank. When enough water accumulates it can sink to the bottom of the tank and get into the oil line causing freeze-ups. The addition of a product like Hots 4 in 1 Oil Treatment can help by absorbing water. If you use that product follow the instructions on the label. In some cases steps can be taken to minimize condensation:

  • Don’t let snow and ice build up on the tank.
  • Keep the tank out of direct sunlight.
  • Paint the tank a light or reflective color.
What should I do if I don’t have heat or hot water?

Before you call for service, check:

  • Your thermostat. If not set properly, increase by five degrees and see if heater starts.
  • Make sure all electrical switches are on.
  • Your fuse or circuit breaker. Replace blown fuses carefully. Do not increase the amperage.
  • Your oil tank. Be sure you have enough oil and that the oil valve is open.
  • The level of boiler water on steam systems. If low, open valve and fill boiler to proper level. Close valve tightly when proper level is reached.
  • Press reset button on stack control once, if everything else is in order. If burner starts and runs only momentarily, turn burner off.
How many gallons of oil will I use in a month? A year?

A typical round number of gallons for mid-winter use during the three frigid months of December, January and February will be about 100 gallons per month (about 3 gallons per day). The other nine months of the year will use about the same heating dollars as the three coldest winter months.

Is there a best time of year to purchase heating oil?

It is best to fill your tank before the heating season begins. Keeping your tank full or at least mostly full in the summer will help prevent water buildup in your tank due to condensation.

Is there a time of year when heating oil prices are lowest?
Sometimes the prices are lower in the summer. However, over the last dozen years or so, worldwide market forces have been a bigger influence on energy costs than the season. That makes the concept of price timing a dicey game. Watching the diesel prices at the gas station is one way people can see pricing trends in heating oil. Local prices of heating oil are often different than the national scene. You are always welcome to track heating oil prices by calling us.
What happens if I run out of oil?
Your furnace will stop running and you will need to order more oil. Restarting the furnace is usually as simple as pushing the reset button on the oil burner.
Is it hard on my furnace to run out of oil?
It’s better for your heating system NOT to let it run out, but it seldom causes damage. Refill your oil tank before it gets much less than a quarter full for best results.
What if my pilot light goes out?
There is not a pilot light in an oil furnace. That’s a good thing. It means you are not using any energy when the furnace is not producing heat for you. This is another way that oil furnaces save money, energy and the environment.
Is oil heat clean?
Oil heat is as clean as any other energy source for home heating. A properly maintained oil furnace will not put out any visible smoke from the chimney and there will be no dust, soot or smell inside either.
What do I do if I have a smell or soot?
All furnaces and furnace types will need annual “tune-ups” to keep them running clean and efficiently.
Is oil heat safe?
Yes, oil heat is very safe. Many say it may be considered the safest type of heat because it will not explode nor will it get so hot as to catch anything on fire. Yet oil heat is the warmest heat coming out of a heat vent. Thus it warms your home quickly, safely and cost effectively.
Is it OK to burn diesel fuel in my oil furnace?
Yes. Heating oil is diesel fuel. It is dyed red to indicate that it is not legal to burn in a diesel vehicle because the red dye indicates that there were no road taxes paid with it. Putting diesel fuel into your oil tank is good way to get yourself through an otherwise cold night and morning in the case that you let yourself run out when a truck cannot get to you till the next day. Better yet, ask us about our Automatic-Fill program.

Contact Us

Knapp Energy, Inc.
3808 North Pitcher St.
Kalamazoo, MI 49004

Phone: +1.877.388.5034

Email: info@knappenergy.com

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