Whether as a pure backup fuel for a production facility, school, hospital or other critical application or to obtain much better utility rates through an interruptible rate agreement, your boiler system must be ready to quickly change fuel sources.
The Northeast can get some brutal temperatures in the winter season. For many of us, the cost of Natural Gas is held lower because we have a stand-by fuel, like Heating Oil, to take advantage of the interruptible rate offered by the utilities.
While the frequency of curtailment is uncertain, it remains important that you be ready. You need to be fully prepared to burn your stand-by fuel or your Natural Gas price per unit will go up by as much as 10 times when you are burning gas during curtailment.
If fuel oil is your standby energy source as it most often is, get your boilers ready to run on oil today:
- Check your oil. Is the tank full? Oil tanks are not fully resilient to water with condensation and rainwater. Check for water, make sure only oil is in your tank. If there is water present, follow the proper environmental steps to dispose of the water-contaminated fuel properly.
- Open and check all the Oil Strainers. Clean the Strainers and change any Filters.
- Operate the Oil Pump. Make sure the seals are not leaking and the Piping is dry.
- Check to make sure the Oil Pressure and Vacuum Gauges are in place and working.
- Inspect your Oil Nozzle. Make sure it is clean and the opening does not show any damage such as nicks or scratches. Remember, some Oil Nozzles have filters too. Remove the nozzle to make sure that the filter is clean. If you have any concerns, replace the nozzle.
- Atomizing media. If your burner has compressed air for an atomizing media, make sure the oil level in the air pump is at operating level. Make sure the intake filter is clean. Ensure all the pressure gauges on the compressor are working and accurate. Make sure the compressor runs and is generating pressure.
- Most importantly, start the boiler on oil to make sure it is operational on oil. Check the combustion and make sure it is tuned up and ready to go.
Don’t wait until you get the curtailment call to find out there is something preventing you from firing a backup fuel! Take steps now, before the true winter cold arrives and gas company curtailment happens, to avoid potential curtailment penalties and emergency service costs.
Stay ready, stay warm, and contact us if you need assistance or have any questions.