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Weighing the Costs & Benefits

central air installation new jerseyNo one wants their air conditioning to break down in the middle of a sweltering New Jersey summer. Luckily, the professionals at Dixon Energy can handle any cooling repair there is. But are there times when it makes more sense to replace an A/C instead of repairing it?

Here are some factors to consider when deciding between repairing cooling equipment and upgrading to a new system.

How Long Do A/C Systems Normally Last?

The lifespan of a central air conditioning system is generally between 12 and 15 years. However, you can expect your equipment to lose a fair amount of efficiency after a decade. Once your A/C crosses the 10-year mark, you’re on borrowed time.

For this reason, it’s essential to pay attention to your cooling system’s performance as it ages. If it’s struggling to keep your home comfortable, breaking down repeatedly or using more electricity to cool your living space, it might be worth considering an update.

Does It Make More Sense to Repair or Replace an Old A/C?

Of course, every home and every family is different, but there are three scenarios where it almost always makes more sense to replace your A/C equipment:

  • The repairs it needs cost more than half the cost of new equipment.
  • Its efficiency rating is lower than 13-SEER.
  • It uses Freon (also called R-22), which is no longer produced. Parts for R-22 systems and the refrigerant itself have become quite expensive.

If it looks like it’s time to replace your aging A/C, get in touch with Dixon Energy’s HVAC experts. We’ll find the perfect cooling solution for your home and get it installed promptly and correctly.

How Can You Protect Your Equipment in the Future?

Whether Dixon Energy installed your cooling system or someone else did, it’s a good idea to protect it with a Cool Comfort service plan. This affordable coverage includes:

  • a comprehensive annual tune-up
  • 15 percent discount on parts and labor
  • 15 percent discount on diagnostic fees
  • priority service
  • up to 10 percent off on a heating and/or water heater service plan when you bundle coverage

Regular maintenance is the best way to ensure that your air conditioning works at peak efficiency for the longest period possible. Our service plan guarantees that your equipment gets the maintenance it needs.

If you think your cooling system could use a tune-up, Dixon Energy is ready to help. Reach out to us today for service.

Lower Your Energy Bills While You’re Away

energy saving tips new jerseyWe’re now into the thick of summer, and for many Northern New Jersey families, that means a vacation is in the cards.

Whether you’re headed to the beach, on an exotic overseas adventure, or at a cherished family reunion, you should take a few steps to reduce your home’s energy usage while you’re away. At Dixon Energy, we have experience helping families make their homes more energy-efficient. Here are five easy tips to lower your energy bills while on vacation.

Raise Your Thermostat

You don’t want to waste air conditioning on an empty house, so set your thermostat to 85 degrees before hitting the road. Even better, with one of the smart thermostats we install, you can pre-program your home temperature and reset it to a more comfortable level before you pull back into the driveway. If you forget to raise your thermostat before leaving, no worries — our smart thermostats can be controlled via a smartphone app!

Put Your Water Heater on Vacation, Too

Believe it or not, hot water heating accounts for around one-fifth of a home’s energy costs. But you won’t be needing hot water while you’re away, so reset your water heater to vacation mode (or somewhere between 50 and 70 degrees). The money you save could buy you a souvenir beach towel!

Adjust the Fridge

You can also adjust the internal temperature of your refrigerator while you’re gone. Of course, you don’t want to turn it off all the way, but your food will still be safe to eat if you set your fridge to 42 degrees and your freezer to 5 degrees.

Unplug Those Vampires

Vampires belong in October — not the summer. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, everyday household appliances that suck up electricity just by being plugged in can add 10 percent to your monthly electric bill.

Before leaving home, unplug your television, game system, internet equipment, washer and dryer. And don’t forget the kitchen. Coffee makers, toasters and slow cookers drain energy too!

Put Lights on a Timer

Many homeowners leave lamps on while they’re on vacation, so their house is less appealing to criminals. This is a good idea, and you can do it more frugally by putting those lamps on a timer. While you’re at it, you can replace any older lightbulbs with more energy-efficient LEDs or halogen incandescent ones.

Dixon Energy can help you make your home comfort equipment even more efficient with expert maintenance. Contact us to set up service today!

Heating Oil is Still a Smarter Bet than Converting to Natural Gas

energy prices new jerseyAs you might imagine, we have received a lot of calls lately about the spike in fuel prices. There’s no getting around how painful these price increases are for consumers. They’re hard for us too.

Though many people think we make more money when energy prices go up, we make less. Customers cut back on usage and fall behind on their payments. But we still need to pay our suppliers promptly at higher rates. This is a horrible mess for everyone. The sooner prices go down, the happier we will all be.

But it isn’t just heating oil that’s more expensive now. All energy prices are surging. This includes natural gas prices, which have more than doubled this year and are likely to climb another 25 percent over the summer.

Even electricity hasn’t been spared. Electric production relies heavily on natural gas, so these rates tend to track each other.

Facts about Natural Gas Conversion

With energy prices spiking, we aren’t surprised that some customers consider a natural gas conversion.

We understand the desire to seek a more affordable home comfort solution — and if you decide to convert to natural gas, we can help you. Still, this isn’t a decision you should make lightly.

In our area of New Jersey, converting a home to natural gas generally costs between $6,000 and $13,000. It will take time to recoup those expenses, and no one knows where energy prices will go in the future.

We can tell you that you will sacrifice heating efficiency by converting. Heating oil burns much hotter than natural gas, which allows you to warm your home and water faster with less fuel.

And heating oil is only becoming cleaner-burning and more efficient. The fuel we deliver contains eco-friendly, domestically-produced biodiesel made from recycled material like vegetable oil, animal fats, used cooking grease and algae. This heating oil burns cleaner and leaves minimal deposits in your equipment. This reduces wear and tear and saves you money.

Dixon Energy is Here to Help

While we all hope that the current price surge will end soon, we’re looking for ways to save you money. One of the best ways you can control your heating oil costs is with our E-Z Pay budget plan.

E-Z Pay shields you from fluctuations in your fuel billing. Instead of getting hit with several large delivery bills right before and after the holidays, you divide your payments evenly over 11 monthly installments. Your winter expenses are cut in half.

This also removes uncertainty from your household budget since you don’t have to worry about how much your next delivery will cost.

And if the actual cost of your heating oil is higher or lower than we anticipated, we’ll adjust your plan accordingly. You will only pay the cost of the fuel you received at the market price on the days it was delivered — not a dime more.

However you decide to fuel your home heating and appliances, Dixon Energy can help. Contact us today to discuss your home comfort options.

Dixon’s Team Can Service Your A/C or Help You Finance an Upgrade

home cooling service new jerseyNow that the weather’s warming up in New Jersey, you might be making big plans for the summer ahead: trips to the shore, weekend cookouts, or maybe a tropical vacation.

One thing that can throw a huge wrench in your plans is an unexpected HVAC repair. If your air conditioning breaks down in the middle of a sweltering summer, you could end up shouldering some expensive, inconvenient service.

The friendly, experienced technicians at Dixon Energy can assess your cooling system’s health and tell you if it needs a repair — or if it’s on its last legs. If you need a new A/C, we can help you secure financing.

Here are five warning signs that you should call our service team.

Your A/C Cycles Frequently

Does your cooling system turn on and off multiple times throughout the day? This could be an indication that your A/C is not the right size for your home or that you have a thermostat issue.

You’re Noticing Weird Sounds, Smells or Fluid Leaks

Healthy A/C equipment should not grind, clank or squeal. If yours does, it might have a worn or loose part. You should also remain alert for burnt or sour smells. These can indicate electrical or mold issues.

If you notice fluid near your A/C, that could indicate a refrigerant leak or excess condensation. These are potentially serious problems that need immediate attention.

You’re Getting Warm or Inconsistent Airflow

Warm air might signal that your A/C is low on refrigerant or has a malfunctioning compressor. Inadequate or inconsistent airflow might also mean compressor problems — or it could be a ductwork issue. A Dixon Energy service technician can diagnose the specific problem.

Your Cooling Equipment Is Old

Central air conditioner systems have a lifespan of 12-15 years, but any system over a decade old will have significantly reduced efficiency. It will cost more to cool your home, and you might want to consider replacing it with a more efficient model. Modern A/C systems are efficiency-rated 13-SEER and higher.

Also, if your system uses R-22 refrigerant (also called Freon), it’s not a matter of if you should replace it — it’s a matter of when. R-22 is harmful to the environment and has been phased out. So, it’s becoming more expensive to maintain and repair equipment that uses it.

Your A/C Needs Lots of Repairs

If you need to bring in a technician every season to repair your A/C, it could be time to replace it. A new system will use less energy, and you can stop paying for constant service.

Here’s a rule of thumb — if the needed repairs cost more than half the replacement cost, you should replace your air conditioner.

If you need to replace your cooling system, the technicians at Dixon Energy can help you find a replacement that fits your home and budget. Plus, we can help you finance it. Dixon Energy partners with National Energy Improvement Fund (NEIF) to secure low-rate loans for our customers.

Dixon Energy is the most trusted provider of HVAC services in Morris, Union, Somerset, and Sussex Counties. Please get in touch with us if you think your cooling system needs service. We’re ready to help!

Get a tune-up now for peace of mind all summer long

home cooling service new jerseyHere in New Jersey, it’s not yet air conditioning season, but it soon will be.

That makes now the ideal time to get your home’s air conditioning system its annual maintenance tune-up from the skilled, experienced service technicians at Dixon Energy.

With heating season thankfully over and the rush for A/C service not yet begun, we’re more open in terms of appointments for service. You’ll be able to get a date and time for your home’s A/C tune-up that suits your schedule.

Why is annual air conditioning maintenance important?

Would you drive your car for years without getting a tune-up, or even an oil and filter change? We hope that you wouldn’t!

If you don’t give your home’s central air conditioning an annual maintenance check, it’s essentially the same as neglecting your car’s upkeep. Inadequate maintenance might result in additional breakdowns, higher repair costs, and a shorter A/C lifespan.

Annual checkups have several advantages. They aid in the efficient functioning of your air conditioning system. As a result, you will not have to use as much energy to keep your house cool. And with the way energy costs have been lately, that could save you a whole lot of money!

To preserve your air conditioning system’s warranty, you may need to have it maintained by an HVAC professional once a year. Annual professional tune-ups could come in handy if you ever need to use the A/C’s warranty.

Preventative maintenance is important for your air conditioning system so that our skilled experts can inspect it thoroughly, spot and correct issues before they get worse and cause the air conditioning to break down.

Protect your home’s A/C with a Cool Comfort service plan

Our affordable Cool Comfort service plans help you ensure that your home’s air conditioning runs properly, as each plan includes an annual tune-up.

You are also protected when it comes to repair costs, as Cool Comfort plans also cover many parts and labor costs in the event your air conditioning breaks down.

Contact Dixon Energy today to schedule your annual air conditioning maintenance tune-up. And don’t forget to ask about our Cool Comfort service plans!

Save on heating and cooling costs

programming thermostat new jerseyWireless technology has changed so much about our lives. Thanks to it, we can keep in touch with loved ones no matter where we are, work at home or in the local coffee shop, and stream our favorite TV shows and movies to enjoy both home and away.

There’s another benefit wireless technology has give us: the ability to better control our home’s HVAC system and energy costs with RedLINK from Honeywell smart thermostats installed by Dixon Energy!

You get to monitor and control your home’s heating and cooling system on your smartphone or tablet from anywhere you get a wireless or cellular signal thanks to the user-friendly app that comes with your new smart thermostat.

Benefits of smart thermostats

Save on heating and cooling costs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, using programmable thermostats may save you 10% or more on your heating and cooling costs. Given that half of your home’s energy expenses are spent on heat and air conditioning, that’s a significant amount of money!

Peace of mind. You no longer need to worry that you might have forgotten to set the thermostat when you left the house, and thus increasing your heating or cooling costs. You can check your thermostat settings from the app and adjust if needed and leave those worries behind!

Better performance. Controlling your HVAC temperature settings is just the beginning of what a RedLINK smart thermostat can do for you. It also monitors the air quality in your home, adjusts your temperature settings when energy prices are higher to help you save on energy costs, and monitors your HVAC system’s performance and alerts you when you need service, need to change the air filter, and need to schedule your maintenance tune-up with Dixon Energy.

Smart thermostat setting tips

You don’t have to give up comfort while using your smart thermostat to save on your home’s cooling and heating costs. These guidelines from the U.S. Department of Energy are designed for an optimum balance of comfort and savings.

Warmer weather:

  • When you’re home and awake, program air conditioning to 78°F.  
  • Turn your air conditioning setting 7 to 10° higher for when you’re asleep or away from home.  

Colder weather:

  • When you’re at home and awake, set the thermostat for 68°F.  
  • Lower temperatures by 10° for the hours you’re asleep or out of the house.  

Other tips:

  • Set the temperature to drop or rise 30 minutes before leaving home every day. Set the thermostat to return to normal comfort levels 20-30 minutes before you arrive home.  
  • Set your thermostat to the desired temperature 60 minutes before going to bed and return it to normal comfort levels 30 minutes before waking up. 

Get energy savings and convenience with a smart thermostat installed by Dixon Energy! Contact us today to get started.

Understanding energy markets and price fluctuations

fuel prices new jerseyWhen confronted with rising energy costs, remember that propane and heating oil are both highly effective and safe methods to heat your home and water while also cutting carbon emissions.

Furthermore, as far as price is concerned, what goes up generally has to come down. It’s simply a question of when. For all of us, the sentiment is that the sooner the better.

What can impact global energy costs?

When war, geopolitical conflict, political upheaval, or natural disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes, and cyclones strike anywhere on the globe, they can influence crude oil and natural gas pricing. Propane is a by-product of both oil and natural gas, thus increasing costs for these commodities has a cascading impact on propane.

Before the start of the war in Ukraine in late February, energy costs had been on the rise as traders anticipated potential measures against the Russian energy sector if Russia went ahead with its plans to invade Ukraine.

Because it is the world’s third-largest petroleum and liquid fuels producer, behind only the United States and Saudi Arabia, Russia has clout. It exports both crude oil and natural gas in significant amounts.

Even the prospect of a supply interruption will have an impact on commodity traders’ purchases and sales. This is referred to as the fear factor in the high-pressure worls of investment.

When Russia invaded the United States and imposed a ban on Russian oil and petroleum products, as other countries did, we knew there would be a significant energy gap to fill. Those who make their money in the oil markets dislike uncertainty. This includes speculators who are betting on price fluctuations, as well as hedgers, who are protecting their clients who are invested in either the creation or use of oil.

Other factors that impact fuel prices

The balance between supply and demand is the most significant factor that determines where prices go. Weather conditions also have an impact.

When a scarcity develops in an environment of high demand, such as the winter months, the market price rises. When a severe cold spell or persists for an unusually long time, this scarcity gets worse.
People may start to panic buy. An everyday example of how that works is what we saw at the start of the pandemic with the toilet paper shortage.

Other issues and costs have also arisen recently and they have an impact on fuel costs

  • the actual cost of delivering fuel has risen.
  • new expenses have occurred because of COVID-19 related workforce issues.
  • supply chain problems have caused shortages, resulted in shipment delays and inflated prices for supplies, parts, tanks and other materials.

So, what happens now?

We’re not sure where things will go from here. We can tell you that we are as concerned as you are.

Some individuals believe that when fuel prices go up, our profits increase. The reality is the opposite. People cut back usage when their propane and heating oil costs go up. Some customers delay their payments and our receivables climb. We must also pay our vendors on time, usually within 10 days of delivery. We must borrow more money from the bank in order to keep going. It’s a complete mess for everyone involved.

You may always count on us to keep you supplied with the propane and heating oil you need to keep your home safe and comfortable. We have been in operation for many years and have excellent relationships with suppliers and financial institutions.

At Dixon Energy, we are working to reduce America’s dependency on foreign oil with our blend of heating oil and Biodiesel. Using renewable resources like Biodiesel means less crude oil needs to be imported, which can help stabilize heating oil costs down the road.

If you are having trouble making your Dixon Energy payments, please contact us before you fall behind. We frequently can come up with a solution, especially if you’ve been with us for a while. We can also set you up on our E-Z Pay Budget Plan, where your propane or heating oil costs are spread out over the year into easy, affordable payments.

We can’t wait until fuel prices begin to drop. Until then, trust us to look out for you and let’s all pray for the people of Ukraine.

Do you have questions about our payment and pricing options? Get in touch with us and we’ll be glad to help in any way we can.

Take charge of your fuel costs with E-Z Pay!

fuel payment options new jerseyDixon Energy has been in business for more than 100 years, and we’ve never seen a time with this much anxiety over fuel costs. We understand how the current price volatility for heating oil and propane is costly and worrying for so many of our customers.

Situations like this are one of the many reasons why, years ago, we created pricing and payment options like our E-Z Pay Budget Plan. Not only is E-Z Pay free, but people who enroll get a discount of 3 cents per gallon for their propane and heating oil!

How does E-Z Pay work?

Our calculation of your monthly payment starts by reviewing your past fuel use. Then:

  • We multiply your annual fuel use by this year’s projected price 
  • That figure is then divided into 11 lower, even monthly payments 

Rather of spending hundreds of dollars every delivery, you may save more than 50% on your winter fuel payments! If your actual bills are a little greater or lesser than we projected, we’ll change your payments as needed all through the winter.

Many customers have recently signed up for our E-Z Pay Budget Plan since they recognized it to be an efficient approach to make a bad circumstance easier to handle.
 
Consider it from this perspective: You wouldn’t want to make mortgage payments for five months rather than twelve. Many people, on the other hand, pay for 80% of their fuel costs in only four or five months. This naturally leads to significant winter payments.
 
Enrolling in E-Z Pay does not impact how much propane or heating oil you use.  You don’t use more fuel than you normally would. 

The biggest impact is that your bills are more predictable and manageable at a time when fuel prices are fluctuating like crazy. Even if it’s very cold one month and you get two deliveries, you still only pay your one monthly payment. You won’t need to worry about a big fuel delivery bill at a time when you have other expenses like the holidays or tuition payments.

We’re on Your Side

Our goal is to provide you with the best fuel pricing we can while still providing you with dependable heating oil and propane delivery that keeps your home comfortable.

Many of you have been our customers for a long time. It’s frustrating to have to charge these fuel prices. Unfortunately, the costs imposed by our suppliers restrict our options. You can trust that we are doing all possible to assist you through these trying times.
 
We appreciate your understanding and promise to do all possible to look after your family, no matter what happens with the price of propane and heating oil. If you are having difficulty with your Dixon Energy payments, please reach out to us before you fall behind so we can work out a solution. 

Enjoy Dixon Energy’s biggest savings of the year!

spring appliance rebates new jerseyAt Dixon Energy, we’re so excited that Spring is here that we created a wonderful promotion in its honor.

Our Spring Ahead for Savings promotion offers opportunities to upgrade and maintain your home’s HVAC and comfort equipment so you can enjoy better comfort and energy savings for years to come.
These are great deals, but they’re only available for a limited time. The offers expire May 31, 2022, so hop to it!

Save on an A/C tune-up

In the summer, about half of your home’s energy expenses are due to air conditioning. A well-maintained air conditioner operates at peak efficiency, helping you keep energy costs in check without sacrificing comfort.

With our Spring Ahead deal, you can pay just $99 per unit for an air conditioning tune-up, a savings of $60!

This is the ideal time to get your air conditioning its annual tune-up, as heating season is winding down and cooling season hasn’t started. You will be able to schedule an appointment at the best time for you. And if there are problems, they can be dealt with now before you turn on the air conditioning. 

Save on a new heating oil tank

Our Sunny Days deal helps you save on a new heating oil tank that will give you peace of mind for years to come! You’ll save $250 on the installation of a new double-walled Roth heating oil tank. Superior materials and construction mean your home will be better protected against costly and potentially dangerous heating oil tank leaks.

Save big on heating and comfort equipment

Did you get queasy over your heating costs this winter? Maybe it’s time to upgrade to a new, high-efficiency heating system. With our In Bloom and Full Blossom deals, you’ll be able to do that and save some big bucks!

With In Bloom, install a qualifying oil-fired furnace and you’ll get an instant rebate of up to $250. You can also get affordable, transparent financing through the National Energy Improvement Fund. Add a qualifying air purifier or humidifier and get a 5% discount. Finally, you’ll get 50% an air cleaner with installation of a new furnace or central air conditioning!

Our Full Blossom deal gives you an instant $250 rebate when you install an oil-fired durance and central air conditioning system at the same time. You’ll also get a FREE whole-house air cleaner worth $1,200! The great financing through NEIF can be applied here as well.

Improve your home’s energy efficiency and comfort with great deals on high-efficiency equipment from Dixon Energy! Get in touch with us now before these deals spring away!

Fuel Rates Are Surging but Dixon Energy Is Here to Help

rising fuel prices new jerseyEverywhere you look these days, prices are going up. However, energy prices are surging faster than they have in years. U.S. oil prices recently reached their highest level in over a decade, and wholesale propane prices have hit their highest weekly average levels in seven years.

Many factors contribute to energy price increases like these, including global supply and demand, geopolitical events and even the weather. It’s important to note that these factors affect almost all forms of energy. Because the electric grid relies on gas-fired power plants, electricity costs are surging as well.

We know how badly rising prices affect our customers, and we want to do everything we can to help.

How Dixon Energy Is Responding to the Market

Firstly, we want to assure you that Dixon Energy continues to have an ample supply of fuel for our customers. We will continue to be able to deliver propane and heating oil promptly when you need it — even if our competitors can’t.

Also, please know that we will be as relieved as you when energy prices go down. Contrary to what some people think, small fuel distributors like us don’t make more money when rates increase. We make less.
Please get in touch with us as soon as possible if you are having trouble with your bills. We’re normally able to work with customers who reach out to us early before falling behind.

What You Can Do for Your Bottom Line

We can also help you find ways to reduce your overall energy use at home. While none of us know precisely when energy rates will go down, these actions can bring down your bill totals:

  • Schedule a tune-up for your heating and cooling equipment. Efficient equipment uses less energy, saving you money.
  • Keep the heat and air conditioning inside your home with adequate insulation and weather stripping. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, insulating your home effectively can save you up to 20% on heating and cooling costs.
  • Invest in a smart thermostat, which will adjust the temperature in unoccupied rooms.

These are just a few actions you can take to reduce your fuel use without sacrificing comfort. Rest assured, we are always available to help you reduce your energy costs and handle payments more efficiently.

As always, thank you for your understanding and loyalty during these challenging times, and don’t hesitate to reach out it us.