Ductless mini-splits offer long-lasting, efficient, zoned cooling.

ductless ac long island, ny When you own a rental property, your primary concerns are your tenants’ comfort and keeping your expenses down. As summer starts heating up, both considerations become extra challenging — especially if your property has no ductwork.

Before the 1960s, central air conditioning was less common than it is today. Many households we service on the North Fork and East End of Long Island were built without ducts and use a boiler in the winter.

Some property owners think the only solution for a home without ductwork is a series of window A/C units. This isn’t the case, and window units are not a great option for comfort or affordability. They can’t cover a large cooling area. They’re loud and horribly inefficient. Plus, window A/C units block your tenants’ views.

For older Suffolk County homes without ducts, we recommend that homeowners install ductless mini-splits.

What are ductless mini-splits?

Ductless mini-splits are ingenious long-term cooling options that don’t require the invasive and costly installation of new ductwork. Mini-split systems consist of two main components: an indoor air handler and an outdoor compressor. They connect through thin lines in your walls, and several indoor units can connect to a single compressor.

The air handler draws in warm air from a room, and the system expels the heat outside. Then, refrigerant lines return cooled air back to your rooms.

How mini-splits help save money & ensure tenants’ comfort

We cannot overstate how beneficial a ductless ac system is for you and your tenants. Consider these advantages:

  • Easy installation. Unlike the extensive and pricy process of installing a complete central A/C system from scratch, mini-split installation requires only minor drilling to run lines and hang equipment. We can often complete the work in one day, so you don’t need to relocate your tenants.
  • Zoned cooling. With central A/C, you need to keep all your rooms at the same temperature, but the air handlers in a mini-split system work independently. You can leave unoccupied zones warmer and lower your electricity costs considerably.
  • No cool air is lost in leaky ducts. The Department of Energy has found that over 30 percent of a home’s A/C-related energy consumption can be attributable to duct loss. Ductless mini-splits don’t have this problem.
  • Longer service life. When properly maintained, mini-splits can last more than 20 years, way longer than central A/C or window units.
  • Mini-splits are infinitely more attractive than window units. No more ugly A/C equipment hanging out open windows. These indoor air handlers are sleek, compact and can be positioned out of sight.

Trust Burt’s Reliable for your ductless mini-split installation!

For over 100 years, eastern Long Island households have trusted us for home comfort services. This is true of full-time residents, vacation homeowners and rental property owners. As a Fujitsu Elite Contractor, we can provide expert installation of a top-of-the-line ductless A/C system for your rental home.

See all the state-of-the-art cooling products Burt’s Reliable offers. Contact us today for more information.

Adjust your A/C temperature to balance comfort & energy savings.

thermostat energy saving long island, ny Spring offers some truly lovely days on Long Island’s North Fork and East End. Some days, the temperature is so nice that it’s easy to forget how much we depend on heating and cooling equipment for much of the year.

But if you ignore your thermostat setting, you could end up running your home’s air conditioning equipment far more than you need to. You might also wake up on a slightly chilly morning with the furnace or boiler burning fuel to heat your home unnecessarily. This can lead to lots of money wasted on electricity and fuel.

Burt’s Reliable has been keeping Suffolk County households comfortable for over a century. We can give you some guidance on finding that “just right” temperature in the spring and summer.

What is the best temperature for hotter days?

When it comes to running your A/C in the late spring and summer, you want to find the balance that minimizes how often the equipment runs while keeping you and your family comfortable.

We’ve found that 78 degrees Fahrenheit strikes this balance for most families. You might find that the people in your home may need the temperature to be lower. The important thing is to choose a setting and stick with it. This prevents people from cranking the thermostat down when the house feels warm, causing spikes in energy use.

What is the best temperature when it’s cooling in the spring?

If temperatures take an unexpected dip in spring, you might find that your heating system is turning on again. You can minimize this by setting your heat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit on cooler days.

How can you save money on energy this time of year?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save up to 10 percent a year on heating and cooling expenses by turning your thermostat back 7 to 10 degrees from its standard setting for 8 hours a day. The ideal time for you to do this is when everyone is asleep or out of the house.

We recommend that you install a programmable thermostat that allows you to set and forget these temperature adjustments. Even better, you can invest in a smart thermostat like the Ecobee products we sell and install. Smart thermostats make energy-saving adjustments when you are not in the house.
It would be best if you place your thermostat on an interior wall near the center of your home. Preferably, it should be in a room people often use.

Burt’s Reliable can help you find the ideal home comfort solution.

The team at Burt’s Reliable works every day to safeguard the comfort of the households we serve — and save them money in the process. If your HVAC system hasn’t received service in a while, get in touch with us this spring. A tune-up will do wonders for your heating and cooling efficiency. You’ll spend less money on energy and stay totally comfortable.

Our team members are standing by to help. Contact us today for a service visit.

We create on-site diesel plans tailored to your agricultural needs.

farm fuel supply long island, ny If you run a farm, orchard, vineyard or another type of agricultural business in Suffolk County, you know there is no substitute for high-quality diesel fuel. According to the Diesel Technology Forum, this fuel powers 75 percent of America’s farm equipment and 90 percent of the transportation that moves agricultural products.

The agricultural businesses of Long Island’s North Fork and East End need a reliable source of diesel for their tractors, combines, generators, irrigation pumps and a variety of other crucial farm equipment.

The commercial fuel team at Burt’s Reliable is always available to help you develop and implement a diesel delivery plan so that you can maintain an on-site supply of this vital fuel.

What to consider when securing diesel for your farm.

Every week, we speak to New York business owners who are frustrated and anxious about their diesel supplies. Here are some crucial considerations when buying diesel for your farm:

  • Keep an eye on the market — Like every energy source, diesel is susceptible to ups and downs in global energy markets. Unfortunately, there is not really an “off” season for diesel, and businesses across the globe count on it to operate. In times of peak demand, refineries sometimes can’t keep up, leading to price spikes.
  • Buy in bulk, whenever possible — An excellent way to lower your costs is to buy large quantities of diesel in advance when prices are low. But you need to consider how quickly you use your fuel. Diesel has a shelf life of about a year, but that drops in sustained hot weather.
  • Maintain your tank storage — Fuel tanks are durable, but when they spring a leak, the results can be horribly expensive. Keep an eye out for damage and corrosion, and make sure to get regular service for your tanks.
  • Track your fuel expenses — Keeping close tabs on what you’re spending for diesel will help you plan and find efficiencies. Your partners at Burt’s Reliable can help you find cost savings, too!
  • Find one trusted fuel supplier and stick with them — Fueling even a moderately-sized farm can become a full-time job. If you’re juggling providers or counting on employees to purchase fuel and submit receipts, you might end up pulling out your hair. Choosing one trustworthy fuel partner simplifies everything.

Burt’s Reliable can be the only farm fuel provider you need!

At Burt’s Reliable, we deliver premium on-road and off-road diesel to farms throughout our service area. Our ultra-low-sulfur fuel burns cleanly and reduces wear and tear on your equipment. And with over a century of service in the community, we know how to help farms keep diesel costs down. We will develop an on-site fuel delivery plan that simplifies your life immensely. No more lining up at the rack or at service stations, and no more reimbursing workers and endlessly reconciling accounts. We’re your one-stop shop for farm fuel.

Take diesel off your to-do list and let Burt’s Reliable handle the planning for you. Contact us today.

plumbing long island, ny Whether your preferred summer activity is surfing some waves or enjoying a glass of local wine on a cloudless afternoon, the warm weather is a welcome arrival. Soon, countless vacation homes in Suffolk County will be lighting back up after months in hibernation.

Unfortunately, vacation homeowners in Long Island’s East End and North Fork too often return at the start of the warms season to find that their property had a plumbing emergency. Suddenly, they can’t enjoy any summer fun. They’re too busy dealing with the damage.

The Burt’s Reliable plumbing team is here for any repairs and maintenance you need, but we’d much rather help you address potential plumbing problems preemptively. That way, your vacation home will be nothing but delight and good memories.

Plumbing considerations for empty vacation homes

Here are a few precautions you can take to safeguard your vacation home’s plumbing while you’re away.

Pools and spas

Even though it marginally bumps up your electric bills, you should continue to run your pool’s pump if there’s water in the pool. Otherwise, your pool might develop algae. You can check your pump’s settings, though, and set them as low as possible while keeping your water clean. Also, be sure to turn off the heat to your spa while you’re not around.

Water heaters

Today’s water heaters have a “vacation” mode that reduces how often the unit runs while you’re gone. This will significantly lower your energy bills while you aren’t in the vacation home. It’s also a good idea to flush your water heater before leaving for the season. This will reduce the sediment in the tank, which can cause corrosion.

General plumbing

A great way to avoid ice in your pipes or other potential damage to your vacation home’s general plumbing is to turn off the water at the main shut-off valve. Of course, you can’t do this if you need the water from the main for a sprinkler system or pool.

You should also never entirely shut down your home’s heating when leaving for the winter. Instead, set your thermostat no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This will keep pipes from freezing during a cold snap.

For extra peace of mind, you can ask a neighbor to periodically check in on your home while you’re away and confirm that there are no plumbing issues.

Burt’s Reliable can be your trusted vacation home partner.

Over 2,000 homeowners in Suffolk County depend on Burt’s Reliable to take care of their vacation properties while they’re not home. They feel comfortable enough with us to leave their house keys in our office.

From multi-generational family homes to rental properties, we look after all kinds of Long Island houses with our Vacation Home Maintenance Program. We winterize your home — including shutting down the water, if necessary — and make sure it’s ready for you before you return in the spring.

The Burt’s Reliable team is ready to take care of your vacation property. Get in touch with us to discuss your home comfort and maintenance needs.

hvac tune up Riverhead, ny Temperatures are rising, and the sunlight lasts through dinnertime. Can you feel summer around the corner?

We know it’s a relief to be able to turn off your boiler or furnace at the end of the heating season. But there’s one more heating system task you may want to consider before busting out the swimsuit and sunscreen: an end-of-season tune-up.

In Southold, Riverhead, Wading River and other Suffolk County communities, homeowners are seeing the benefits of an HVAC tune-up from Burt’s Reliable.

Why is a heating system tune-up helpful?

When you bring in a service technician, your boiler or furnace will thank you. Here are some significant benefits you’ll enjoy:

Increased efficiency

When you get an end-of-season tune-up, you’ll ensure energy savings the following winter. The cleanings and calibrations lead to better efficiency. According to the Department of Energy, proper heating system maintenance and upgrades, combined with insulation, air sealing and thermostat settings, can lower your energy bills by 30 percent!

Fewer repairs

When a Burt’s Reliable technician performs a heating tune-up, they can identify and fix minor issues before they turn into full-fledged breakdowns. This also extends your boiler or furnace’s lifespan.

Keeping your manufacturer’s warranty in effect

Many homeowners are unaware that the manufacturer’s warranty on their new heating equipment requires annual maintenance. If you skip a tune-up and your system breaks down, you might end up paying in full for a repair that the warranty typically covers.

Do you need a tune-up every year?

Not necessarily. Burt’s Reliable customers receive some of the cleanest heating oil in New York. Our Natural Heating Oil® (also called Bioheat® fuel) has a 20% biofuel blend and burns incredibly cleanly. It leaves less than a tablespoon of soot per year! This means our customers don’t always need a tune-up every year. (Though you should get one if your warranty requires it.)

Not only that, but you qualify for a 20-cent per gallon tax credit through the state of New York!
Feel free to contact us if you are unsure if you need a tune-up this season.

Why is spring a good time to arrange heating system maintenance?

Spring is one of the best times to get a tune-up because you have the largest selection of appointment times. In winter, our technicians are booked from sunup to sundown with no-heat repairs and other urgent calls. In spring, you can have your pick of service appointments.

Spring tune-ups are also more convenient for homeowners because you don’t need your equipment to heat your home while we’re working on it.

And don’t worry — a heating system tune-up won’t “wear off” between now and next winter. Your equipment will be ready to heat your home efficiently when the mercury drops again.

Burt’s Reliable — dedicated to your comfort since 1917!

For over a century, we’ve been keeping eastern Long Island homes comfortable and safe all year round. You are our top priority. If you have any questions about how to better maintain your heating or cooling equipment this spring, we’re here to help.

Contact Burt’s Reliable today to schedule your end-of-season HVAC tune-up!

central air service wading river, ny Have you considered upgrading a tired central air conditioning system that can’t keep up with the heat? Did you recently move into a home and want to replace the cooling system before summer arrives?

Some of our North Fork and East End customers have asked if trying a do-it-yourself A/C installation is a good move.

While installing your own air conditioning is possible, it’s not a great idea. Today’s air conditioning systems are complex, and installation can be time-consuming and stressful. Hiring a professional team like the one at Burt’s Reliable will save you a lot of headaches and guarantee that your system operates well for years to come.

The risks of handling your own A/C installation

Taking on a DIY air conditioning installation comes with a fair share of hazards, and you may end up spending more money than you would with a professional installation.

Time lost in research and securing equipment

Before you can get going with your installation, you must identify and acquire the A/C equipment. A professional cooling technician will be able to look at your home’s space and ventilation and offer some products to match it. With a DIY option, you have to do a lot of that research on your own.
Established companies like Burt’s Reliable also have good relationships with equipment suppliers. This is vital in an age of supply chain delays and product shortages.

Permits and other paperwork

There can be Equipment Use Permits associated with installing a central air conditioner, so you’ll have to navigate bureaucratic red tape. If you’re replacing an old system using R-22 refrigerant, there are additional requirements for its removal and disposal. Professional HVAC technicians have certifications and training to handle this.

Risk of injury

Simply put, A/C installation is strenuous and can also be dangerous. The equipment is bulky and heavy. You might need to pour concrete or upgrade electrical wiring. Depending on the project’s complexity, you could be in for significant physical labor and injury risk.

Maintenance issues

There’s an old seeing, “Nothing is more expensive than something free.”

While you might save money on the upfront labor with a DIY installation, your work may need to be updated or fixed to get the new cooling system working at peak performance. Even a minor oversight or poor calibration can cause severe maintenance issues.

On the other hand, if you bring in an established HVAC professional, they will stand behind their work and fix any problems that might crop up.

Burt’s Reliable takes the stress out of A/C installation.

When it comes to A/C installation, just about no one does more for homes in eastern Long Island. If your cooling equipment is over 10 years old and not keeping you reliably cool in the summer, we can help you choose a replacement and install it right the first time!

We also offer A/C service plan coverage at a reasonable price. These plans guarantee yearly maintenance and keep your equipment working efficiently for a long time.

Why wait for your current cooling system to fail? Reach out to us for a free estimate on new equipment.

diesel prices long island, ny Most motorists only notice the price of diesel when they see it listed alongside unleaded gas at the pump. The price is always higher — sometimes significantly so.

But if you’re a business owner who needs diesel to fuel a construction site, farm or vehicle fleet, the price and availability of this fuel are crucial to your bottom line. Last year saw both diesel and gasoline prices surge, particularly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Though gasoline is getting closer to normal levels, diesel prices remain stubbornly high.

Why is diesel so much pricier than gasoline?

The team at Burt’s Reliable delivers diesel to businesses and vehicle fleets throughout Suffolk County. We can offer some insight into the differing trends, regulations and production processes that lead to diesel being more expensive.

The difference between diesel and gasoline

Diesel and gasoline are both distillates of crude oil, but they have some significant physical differences. Here are some notable ones:

  • Diesel is a denser fuel. Gasoline evaporates in the open air, but diesel does not.
  • Diesel is combustible but not flammable. You need to apply pressure and heat to ignite it. Gasoline only requires a spark to combust.
  • Gasoline has a much shorter shelf life than diesel. Gas will start to deteriorate in three to six months, while diesel can last a year or more.
  • Diesel produces 10 to 20 percent more energy in combustion than gasoline. As such, diesel engines get better mileage than gas engines.

Why diesel is generally more expensive

Three main factors contribute to diesel costing more than gasoline.

1. Taxes

On-road diesel is taxed much higher than gasoline. The federal motor fuel excise tax is 18.4 cents per gallon for gas. It’s 24.4 cents per gallon for on-road diesel. There are state taxes too, which hit diesel harder than gasoline on average.

2. Production costs

In the early 2000s, diesel was actually cheaper than gasoline. But then the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) changed emissions standards. The EPA required diesel to significantly lower its sulfur content. Today, pretty much all diesel is ultra-low sulfur —only 15 parts per million. While this is great for its performance and environmental impact, it has significantly increased its production costs.

3. Supply and demand

Business runs on diesel. It’s an essential fuel for construction sites, large vehicles, trains and many other commercial uses. And the refining math is unforgiving. One barrel of crude oil only yields about 11-12 gallons of diesel, while that same barrel can produce 19-20 gallons of gasoline. Right now, there are just not enough refineries to meet global demand.

Burt’s Reliable is the North Fork’s commercial fuel leader.

Many commercial ventures count on diesel to stay productive and profitable. And Burt’s Reliable is the most trusted diesel provider on the North Fork and East End. If you’re sick of having your drivers line up at the pump, then give us a call. We can set up a customized diesel delivery plan (both on-road and off-road) to ensure you’re never without the fuel you need.

Let’s get started today — contact Burt’s Reliable for more information.

Our wireless tank monitors make runouts a thing of the past

fuel monitor app long island, ny At this time of the year, running out of heating oil is more than an inconvenience. It can be downright dangerous. The North Fork and East End of Long Island can have brutal winters. You don’t want to be without heat or hot water.

But if you’re still checking your own fuel levels and calling us every time you run low, you’re vastly increasing the risk of running out of fuel. Luckily, Burt’s Reliable has solutions to reduce the stress of constantly checking your oil tank and minimize the chance of needing an emergency delivery.

Stop calling for heating oil — go Automatic!

Most of our heating oil delivery customers take advantage of automatic delivery.

When you’re on automatic delivery, we shoulder the burden of planning your fuel deliveries — or rather, our advanced computerized system takes care of it.

Our system uses your customer history and weather forecasts to determine how quickly you use heating oil. When we estimate that your tank is about one-quarter full, our delivery team springs into action and gets you your fuel right away.

Automatic delivery is 100 percent free. You don’t need to order more heating oil to participate. It’s the most stress-free way to keep your home warm and safe all year round.

Enjoy total confidence with an oil tank monitor.

While automatic delivery is a fantastic way to ensure you get the heating oil you need, it nevertheless relies on estimates based on accurate information. There are changes to your household that can significantly throw off our calculations, including:

  • The arrival of a new child
  • A newly constructed addition to the house
  • Older relatives moving into your home
  • Making a transition to remote work

If we aren’t aware of these changes, the result could be a heating oil runout. So, how can you ensure complete confidence in your fuel supply? The answer is a wireless oil tank monitor.

These technologically advanced devices attach directly to the heating oil tank. They use wireless technology to transmit real-time data about how much fuel you have.

Both you and Burt’s Reliable have access to this data. You can track your tank levels from a free smartphone app. Wherever you are, your fuel info will be right at your fingertips. For the Burt’s Reliable team, this monitor removes any remaining uncertainty from your automatic delivery schedule. We’ll know the precise moment when you need a delivery.

Do you own a rental property or host guests through Airbnb? What about a vacation home that sits empty during the coldest months of the year? Perhaps you arrange fuel deliveries for a relative. An oil tank monitor means you don’t need to access the house to ensure it has enough fuel.

If you’re interested in a tank monitor, we can set it up for you in a matter of minutes. The process is smooth and non-disruptive, and you’ll enjoy 100 percent peace of mind going forward.

Get in touch with Burt’s Reliable today to set up oil tank monitoring. We’re always ready to help!

Burt’s Reliable provides Eastern Long Island’s most reliable kerosene delivery

kerosene uses long island, ny Long Island’s East End and North Fork can get frosty cold this time of year. Owners of mobile homes and households with outdoor fuel tanks can’t always rely on heating oil when nighttime temperatures are in the teens or lower.

That’s why many Burt’s Reliable customers count on us for kerosene delivery. Plenty of fuel companies consider this fuel to be an afterthought. We understand how vital it is for families and businesses in our region of New York.

But what exactly is kerosene, and how is it different from other fuel oils?

Kerosene is a distillate of crude oil produced at extremely high temperatures. It burns hotter and does not freeze or “gel” as quickly as other fuels. Let’s get into some more detail about this valuable, versatile product.

The history of kerosene

The distillation process for creating Kerosene has existed for centuries, primarily for use as lamp oil. You can find references to it in a 10th-century Persian book, and the Chinese have been creating a kerosene product at least since the Ming Dynasty — potentially even earlier.

During the Industrial Revolution, chemists began creating kerosene-like distillates from coal oil and coal tar, although they never achieved the same popularity as whale oil for producing light.

It’s worth noting that this fuel product was never called kerosene in all these hundreds of years. That changed in 1846 when Canadian geologist Abraham Gesner created his own process for distilling coal oil and gave the fuel the name we use today. He patented it in 1853. Not long after, he opened a kerosene factory on Long Island!

Kerosene’s contemporary uses

In the 20th century, electricity dethroned kerosene for lighting, and natural gas, heating oil and other fuels became America’s preferred ways to heat homes and cook. Kerosene fell out of wide use. But it hasn’t disappeared completely.

Kerosene is still widely used for:

  • heating and cooking for mobile homes and houses with outdoor fuel storage
  • industrial cleaning and lubrication
  • jet and rocket fuel
  • live performances, including fire breathing, fire juggling and fire dancing!

Kerosene vs. heating oil

Kerosene and traditional heating oil are both distillates of crude oil, but they cannot be used interchangeably.

Kerosene is a “light” fuel that burns at a much higher temperature than heating oil. You can store kerosene in the same kind of tank as heating oil, but it can damage boilers, furnaces and other equipment that is designed to burn heating oil. You need specialized equipment designed to burn kerosene.

The main difference between heating oil and kerosene is that kerosene can sit in sustained freezing temperatures longer without solidifying. Generally speaking, you use kerosene (or a blend of kerosene and other fuels) if your tank is outside, and you use heating oil if your tank is inside your home.

If you aren’t sure which type of fuel your system needs — or if you’re looking for a reliable kerosene provider — the Burt’s Reliable team can help. Get in touch with us today.

The average Burt’s Reliable customer saves $150 on their taxes!

tax credit new york What does the start of the year mean to you? New Year’s resolutions? Lots of holiday leftovers in the fridge?

We know that many homeowners on the North Fork and East End of Long Island start fretting about tax time as soon as the calendar year flips over. And after months filled with record-high inflation and painful increases in energy prices, the prospect of ponying up a tax return payment is less than pleasant.

Luckily, Burt’s Reliable heating oil delivery customers can look forward to a bit of relief in the form of a clean heating fuel tax credit.

What is this tax credit? It’s a way to reduce the New York income tax burden for Empire State residents that use eco-friendly Bioheat® fuel —the product we deliver to your home!

Why does New York offer this tax credit?

New York’s government has an ambitious goal to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030, with an 85 percent reduction by 2050. One way they’re encouraging decarbonization is by incentivizing the use of clean-burning biofuel in heating and hot water systems. Biofuel is a gallon-for-gallon substitute for petroleum heating oil that’s produced from recycled and organic products.

So, New York state offers residents an income tax credit for purchasing biofuel-blended heating oil.

How do I calculate my income tax credit?

You can claim a credit of one cent per gallon multiplied by the percentage of biofuel in your heating oil.

Burt’s Reliable customers receive Natural Heating Oil® at a 20 percent blend, also called B20. This entitles our customers to a 20-cents per gallon tax credit. The average customer, using 750 gallons of heating oil annually, receives a $150 tax credit. That’s nothing to sneeze at!

Will Burt’s Reliable help me figure out my total clean heating fuel credit?

Homeowners must have proof to back up the clean fuel tax credit they claim. And we provide it to our customers each year.

At the beginning of the year, we send you a summary of all the fuel deliveries you received for the prior year, including the dates and the number of gallons purchased. We send this annual summary via “snail mail” or email, depending on whether we have your current email address on file.

With the statement, you or your tax accountant can quickly calculate your state income tax credit for the year.

Burt’s Reliable — Committed to your comfort and the environment

Many of our competitors sell a much lower biofuel blend for their heating oil. We opt for a B20 — among the highest blends available — because it’s much better for the planet and your home.

A B20 Bioheat blend burns cleaner than natural gas, and you don’t need to modify any of your equipment. You’ll receive the same robust heat as traditional heating oil, plus Bioheat fuel leaves fewer deposits in your system. This means you’ll need fewer cleanings and less maintenance!

Before you file your income tax returns, be sure to confirm your New York clean fuel credit.