You can often wait until you’ve used 1,000 gallons of heating oil

heating system service new yorkWith summer drawing to a close and cold weather on the horizon, we are starting to get more calls about scheduling annual tune-ups. The early fall is an excellent time to schedule yearly service for your boiler or furnace. The colder the weather gets, the faster our time slots fill up. If you schedule your tune-up now, you’ll have the best choice of appointments.

The question remains — do you need to schedule a heating system tune-up every year?

The answer depends on your circumstances.

The benefits of annual maintenance

We always tell customers that their heating system is an investment in their family’s comfort and their home’s value. Additionally, an oil-fired furnace or boiler is a pricey purchase, so you absolutely want to give your heating equipment the best protection possible. An annual tune-up is a great start. For example, regular maintenance can ensure that:

  • Your system is less likely to break down. Four out of five heating problems could have been prevented with routine service. Our technicians identify lingering issues that can lead to breakdowns.
  • You’ll spend less money on fuel. A well-maintained boiler or furnace will run more efficiently, burning less oil.
  • Your equipment lasts longer. Proper maintenance adds years to your system’s life, which pushes off the unpleasant task of replacing it.
  • Your house will be safer. Our tune-ups include safety checks to ensure your system is venting correctly and no dangerous fumes are accumulating. We’ll also check your filters and clean your burners, improving indoor air quality.

When to schedule annual maintenance … and when to hold off

As you can see, your heating system can benefit significantly from a tune-up. Scheduling equipment maintenance every year is often the best course of action, but that’s not always the case.

Here’s a rule of thumb: schedule a tune-up when you’ve burned about 1,000 gallons of heating oil. On average, a 2,500-square-foot home in the Northeast will use just under that amount of oil in a year. So, for many homeowners, it just makes sense to tune up your heating system annually.

But if you have a vacation home in Suffolk County that’s not occupied full-time in the fall and winter, your fuel usage might be low enough that you can hold off. You might also have a little wiggle room because the B20 blend Bioheat® fuel we deliver is so clean burning that it leaves minimal deposits in your equipment.

You should also consider that the manufacturer’s warranty for your furnace or boiler might require you to get a tune-up every year. If that’s the case, you don’t want to skip service, or you could end up paying for a repair your warranty would typically cover.

We also recommend that you sign up for Burt’s Oil Heat Service Plan. This coverage includes a complimentary annual tune-up. It also provides discounts on repairs and guaranteed priority service.

Contact us to schedule your tune-up or learn more about our service plans.

New study finds widespread benefits of the biofuel we use in our heating oil

safety of bioheatAs we often tell new customers — the fuel we sell is not your grandparents’ heating oil. The soot and black smoke you might recall from older oil-fired furnaces and boilers are relics of the past. Today’s heating oil has never been cleaner or more energy efficient.

As it turns out, this heating oil is better for the health of our valued Long Island customers too! A recent study supported by the Clean Fuels Alliance America determined the health benefits and potential economic savings of converting from petroleum-based diesel to 100 percent biodiesel (also called biofuel).

Astonishing benefits of biofuel

This study focused on 13 sites and communities across the country, chosen because of their high rates of air pollution attributable to the large-scale burning of petroleum diesel. The research showed that converting the area’s petroleum to organic biofuel would lead to:

  • 340 fewer premature deaths
  • 46,000 fewer lost workdays
  • $3 billion in avoided health care costs

“These immediate and substantial emissions and health benefits can and should be an important part in any state, regional or national climate program as our nation moves toward decarbonization through advanced alternative fuels like biodiesel and renewable diesel,” said Donnell Rehagen, CEO of the Clean Fuels Alliance America (formerly known as the National Biodiesel Board).

Burt’s Reliable is already leading the way with biofuel

If you are one of Burt’s Reliable’s heating oil delivery customers, you already enjoy many of the health and financial benefits of this study. You see, Burt’s has been delivering a B20 Bioheat® fuel blend for years.

Bioheat fuel is a blend of ultra-low-sulfur heating oil and biofuel. Biofuel is produced using organic and recycled ingredients like:

  • soybean oil
  • used cooking oils
  • inedible corn oil
  • canola
  • tallow
  • animal fats
  • algae

Our blend contains 20 percent biofuel, which has fantastic benefits for your home and the planet.

  • B20 Bioheat fuel burns cleaner than natural gas, with fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
  • You can use Bioheat fuel in oil-fired heating equipment without modification, producing the highest Btu heat content of any alternative fuel.
  • Bioheat fuel leaves fewer deposits in your heating equipment than traditional heating oil, meaning you’ll need fewer burner cleanings. This also extends your heating system’s life expectancy!

If all of these benefits weren’t enough, New York residents also receive a tax credit for heating their spaces and water with biofuel.

New York’s Clean Fuel Credit is applied to your income taxes. Your benefit depends on the biofuel blend of your heating oil. As a Burt’s Reliable customer, you are eligible for a 20¢-per-gallon credit on your New York State income taxes. Our average customer sees a $150 reduction on your state taxes each year! Our team will provide you with an annual statement to apply for this credit at tax time.

Are you interested in enjoying to health, financial and comfort benefits of B20 Bioheat fuel? Contact us today to become a Burt’s Reliable customer.

For centuries, kerosene has been used for heating, cleaning, and lubrication

kerosene delivery new yorkYou might have heard the term kerosene, but you might not know precisely what it is.

Kerosene has been around for centuries and can serve a similar purpose to heating oil. While it’s fallen out of favor as a home heating fuel, kerosene is still used by many homes and businesses on the North Fork and East End of Long Island. We’re happy to deliver it!

Here’s a primer on the history and many uses of kerosene.

What is kerosene?

Kerosene is produced by distilling crude oil at extremely high temperatures. This creates a fuel that burns incredibly hot and has a lower “gel point” than diesel, meaning it can withstand sustained freezing temperatures.

Although kerosene was trademarked in 1854, the process of making it has existed since the 16th century. Before electricity, people used it for lamp lighting. It served many purposes in homes and farms. Kerosene is mentioned in classic novels by Ray Bradbury, John Steinbeck, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Jack Kerouac.

As electricity, natural gas, No. 2 heating oil, and propane became more widely available to American homes in the 20th century, kerosene usage declined.

How is kerosene used today?

People still use kerosene for heating and fueling stoves in homes with outdoor oil tanks. It’s also used in mobile homes. While kerosene can be stored in the same kind of tank that holds heating oil, only specialized equipment can burn it because of its incredibly hot flame.

Kerosene has many commercial uses — primarily as a solvent and industrial lubricant. It also fuels jets and rockets!

Burt’s Reliable can fill your kerosene needs!

Burt’s Reliable has been heating eastern Long Island homes and businesses for over a century. We have a dependable supply of kerosene for all your residential and commercial purposes.

Since vacation homes are so prevalent in this area of New York, we can ensure that your tank has an adequate amount of kerosene in the frigid winter months — all part of our comprehensive service!

Looking for a dependable kerosene supplier that also offers full-service help with HVAC systems and plumbing? Become a Burt’ Reliable customer!

Customers qualify for an average income tax credit of $150 each year!

fuel tax credit new yorkYou might have heard that heating oil distributors in New York state now have to put a minimum amount of organic biofuel in the product they deliver. Here are the new benchmarks:

  • a 5 percent biofuel blend, starting this past July
  • a 10 percent blend by 2025
  • a 20 percent blend by 2030

At Burt’s Reliable, we think incorporating biofuel is a great idea. We’re already delivering a 20 percent blend to North Fork and East End homes! We know this is the right thing to do for our customers and the planet.

Our B20 Bioheat fuel is some of the cleanest heating oil available in the U.S. It’s actually cleaner-burning than natural gas in the blend we deliver. Our fuel combines ultra-low-sulfur heating oil and biofuel made from organic and recycled products, including soybean oil, used cooking oils, inedible corn oil, canola, tallow, fats and algae.

This fuel produces significantly fewer carbon dioxide, sulfur oxide, particulate matter and mercury emissions. It also leaves almost no deposits in your heating equipment, reducing wear and tear and extending your system’s lifespan.

And every year at tax time, you can enjoy the financial benefit of the Clean Fuel Credit.

How the Clean Fuel tax credit works

New York State offers residents who heat their homes with renewable energy an excellent income tax incentive. The Clean Fuel Credit applies to state income taxes — a $.01/gallon credit per percentage point of biofuel.

While our competitors may settle for the regulatory minimum 5 percent blend, Burt’s Reliable’s B20 Bioheat fuel earns you a $0.20 credit for each gallon of heating oil you purchase. That really adds up. A customer who ordered 750 gallons over the course of the year — the average for our area — gets a $150 credit at tax time!

Applying for this tax credit

Once the year is through, we’ll send customers an annual usage statement. This lists all deliveries, including the gallons delivered. With this statement, you can apply for your Clean Fuel Tax Credit.

Of course, tax time isn’t here, but you can still bone up on the filing process here.

If you aren’t a customer yet and want to take advantage of our clean-burning, super-efficient B20 blend heating oil, contact us today.

Install a New Fuel Tank Before the Cold Weather Arrives!

oil tank installation new yorkWhen did you last replace your heating oil storage tank? Given how long tanks last, there’s a good chance you’ve never had to do so.

But oil tanks wear out eventually. Time, wear and condensation can all lead to internal corrosion and deterioration. As a result, your oil-fired system might not work as effectively. You’ll require more heating oil to keep your house warm and water hot.

Even more unnerving, an older, corroded tank is a risk for an oil leak. Cleaning up a serious leak isn’t cheap.

With colder weather only a couple of months away on Long Island, you need to start thinking about getting your heating system ready. While the weather is still warm, it’s a smart move to bring in the Burt’s Reliable expert technicians to inspect your oil tank.

Is your old oil tank in trouble?

Oil storage tanks have long lifespans, often lasting 30 years or more. But it’s not always easy to see with the naked eye whether something is wrong with your tank. After all, most corrosion occurs inside it. Here are a few warning signs you can check for:

  • dents in your tank
  • seeing or smelling oil near your tank
  • wet spots on your tank
  • rusting or peeling paint
  • pinhole leaks
  • unstable tank legs
  • broken or malfunctioning components (vent alarm, fuel gauge, oil lines)
  • cracking or splitting oil lines
  • unexplained increases in fuel usage from prior years

if you notice any of these issues, please contact us right away.

Burt’s is here to help with your oil storage concerns

Our technicians have the training and experience to quickly and thoroughly assess your tank’s condition. While some of the issues above can be repaired, others might signal that your tank needs to be retired. Especially if your current tank is approaching 30 years of service, a new one is probably the best call.

Today’s oil tanks — like the Granby Ecogard aboveground tank we install often — are lightyears more advanced than the models of even 20 years ago. They feature corrosion-proof materials and double-wall construction, making them much less likely to leak.

Are you concerned about your oil storage tank’s health? Don’t wait to get in touch with us. We want to help you as soon as possible!

Burt’s Reliable offers ultra-low-sulfur diesel for on and off-road use

commercial diesel new yorkHomeowners throughout Long Island’s North Fork and East End know Burt’s Reliable as the area’s most dependable heating oil, kerosene, HVAC services and plumbing provider. But we also provide services to farms and businesses.

Burt’s Reliable is the most trusted retailer for on and off-road diesel. Our high-quality, low-emissions fuel can help your fleet of vehicles and equipment run smoothly.

The Cleanest Diesel Around

Burt’s Reliable supplies on and off-road diesel to:

  • farms
  • delivery companies
  • caterers, event planners, and florists
  • food service providers
  • moving companies
  • warehouses
  • shuttle bus companies
  • landscapers

These customers trust us because of our proven reliability. We always show up when we promise and deliver the best product in the region.

We exclusively deliver ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel, which contains 15 parts per million (ppm) or less of sulfur, compared to 5,000 ppm for standard petroleum-based fuel. Using this product reduces sulfur dioxide emissions, known to cause acid rain and respiratory ailments.

We sell both red-dyed off-road diesel and undyed road diesel. Please remember that you can receive a fine for using off-road diesel in an on-road vehicle tank.

A Note on Diesel Prices

We don’t need to tell you that energy prices are currently high. Ever since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the price of crude oil has been in record territory.

For retailers of heating oil and diesel, there’s the additional challenge: these products are in short supply right now. The rate for diesel on commodities exchanges is actually lower than we can get from suppliers, which pretty much never happens. This phenomenon is called “basis blowout” — it reflects a disconnect between the markets and supplies.

However, this low supply also indicates something hopeful. It means that a lot of suppliers expect oil prices to drop in the near future. So, they’re hesitant to purchase a lot of fuel that may fall in price soon.

Even so, no one really knows what will happen in energy markets in the weeks and months ahead. But you can be confident that we’re always working to supply your diesel at a fair price, no matter the short supply or pricing challenges.

If you want a diesel partner who truly values your business, become a Burt’s Reliable customer.

Choose the Best Cooling System for Your Home

ac options new yorkIs it hot enough for you?

If your Long Island home relies on an old, inefficient air conditioning system or ineffective window units, the July heat might be too much to handle. Burt’s Reliable can help you upgrade to a long-lasting, energy-efficient cooling system that will keep your whole home comfortable.

With that in mind, let’s discuss the difference between central air and ductless mini-split systems.

Central Air Conditioning

Central air conditioning requires ducts, so either you need to have existing ductwork in place, or we’ll install it.

If your home has forced air heating with a furnace, it’s probably a good candidate for central air. Installation of these systems requires several days, but it can take longer if we need to add ducts. Benefits of central A/C include:

  • It’s less expensive to install than ductless mini-splits.
  • You can control it from a single thermostat.

Burt’s Reliable sells, installs, and services central A/C equipment from leading manufacturers like Trane and Rheem.

Ductless Mini-Split Systems

As the name might suggest, ductless mini-splits don’t need ductwork. They consist of two pieces of equipment: a condenser outside your home and a wall-mounted cooling head inside your living space. These two components connect via a thin pipe through your wall, and multiple heads can attach to one condenser. We can situate them throughout your home, so they cool the maximum amount of space and stay out of sight.

If your home has radiators or baseboards heated with a boiler, a ductless mini-split like the Fujitsu units we install could be an ideal A/C solution.

Here are some benefits of mini-splits:

  • We can install them in a day or two.
  • They are generally less expensive to run.
  • You can set up zoned cooling for different spaces with mini-splits to cool different rooms at different temperatures.
  • Ductless systems last longer than central air equipment — often longer than 20 years!
  • They provide supplemental heating in milder months.

Mini-splits are also excellent solutions for hard-to-cool rooms, like finished basements, sunrooms and guest houses.

Do you need help choosing the best cooling solution for your home? Contact Burt’s Reliable to arrange a consultation.

Vacation Homes Require Special Attention — Even When They’re Empty

vacation home service new yorkWhen the summer it’s at its height, it’s hard to imagine ever wanting to leave this part of the North Fork. Every day is an opportunity to relax by the water, sip local wine at a vineyard or have a cookout with family and friends. Can you believe that, in only a couple of months, people will start packing up and saying goodbye to their vacation homes?

We don’t want to kill your summer vibes — we just want your home to be safe while you’re gone. It’s not too early to think about the cooler months ahead. Many homes in Eastern Long Island sit empty for months, opening them up to plumbing and heating issues.

Happily, Burt’s Reliable is here to help!

Planning for Long Absences

Right now, there are three simple steps you can take to guarantee a worry-free off-season for your summer home:

  1. Make sure your home’s fuel tank isn’t low. Keeping your tank mostly filled throughout warmer months lowers the potential for internal corrosion. It also ensures you have sufficient fuel to keep your home warm enough to prevent frozen pipes in the winter.
  2. If you haven’t already, arrange a tune-up for your heating equipment. This reduces the chances of a winter heating breakdown and will lower your heating season fuel usage.
  3. Contact Burt’s Reliable to set up wireless home comfort options for your vacation property.

We Keep Your Off-Season Safe and Secure

Being away from the house doesn’t mean you need to be out of control. Burt’s Reliable has a variety of products to help you keep track of your vacation property all winter. This includes the Gremlin™ tank monitor, which tracks your fuel tank levels and tells us exactly when you need a delivery. We can also install an Ecobee smart thermostat, which allows you to monitor your temperatures from your smartphone and make adjustments as needed.

Finally, our team can always help you with an emergency repair or delivery. Many customers even trust us enough to leave their keys with us. Contact us to discuss how Burt’s Reliable can be of assistance. We can take care of it!

Thank You for Helping the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

charityIn May, Martin Romanelli, the President of Burt’s Reliable, was named the 2022 Long Island Man of the Year by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This honor was in recognition of his campaign to raise more than $100,000 for this important foundation.

In the end and with help from so many generous Long Islanders, we smashed through that goal, raising over $109,000!

A Huge Thank You

All of us at Burt’s Reliable are genuinely humbled by the incredible kindness and selflessness of our customers and neighbors. Having served families on the North Fork and East End of Long Island since 1917, we know that this region has a big heart. We’re also mindful that cancer has touched so many lives — most of us have seen its toll personally, with a family member, colleague, or friend.

Even so, we’ve been floored by how generous you all were. The money you contributed to this campaign will make a huge difference.

About the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) works tirelessly to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma. LLS also works to improve the quality of life for blood cancer patients and their families. A big part of this work involves getting patients access to the latest innovative treatments, with a particular focus on underserved communities.leukemia and lymphoma donation new yorkIn the 73 years that LLS has existed, it’s funded research that has benefited treatments of cancer and auto-immune disorders. It has invested $1.5 billion to date, and that number keeps growing. The generosity that our community showed in 2022 certainly helped LLS’s mission. We should all be incredibly proud!

Although our fundraising push has reached its conclusion, the fight against blood cancer continues. Every three minutes, someone is diagnosed with a form of blood cancer; every 10 minutes, someone passes.

We strongly encourage you to donate to LLS’s vital mission if you can.

Finally, as we enter summer, Burt’s Reliable is there to help with all your home cooling needs. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our dedicated team!

The Latest News About Heating Oil Prices and How We Can Help

oilheat prices new yorkThe recent surge in energy costs across the board has many heating oil customers wondering when this will all end. We understand the concern, and at Burt’s Reliable, we want to keep customers in the loop as much as possible, even though the situation remains very fluid.

In May 2022, our fuel suppliers once again raised prices over 65 cents per gallon over a few days. The reasons for this are complex, and they seem to affect heating oil and diesel much more than gasoline.

The driving factor is that heating oil in the North Fork and East End of Long Island is in abnormally short supply. In fact, the rate for heating oil on commodities exchanges is a dollar less than we can get from our suppliers! That never happens. This phenomenon is called “basis blowout” and reflects a disconnect between the markets and supplies.

There’s Good News and Bad News

There’s actually some good news in this situation: the shortage indicates that markets expect heating oil prices to drop over the next several months. Fuel suppliers don’t want to purchase fuel now and be stuck with the higher-priced products when prices decline.

The bad news is that it’s causing prices to be artificially higher right now — and no one knows for sure what will happen in the near term with the war in Ukraine. It’s worth noting that natural gas and electric costs are similarly inflated.

How Burt’s Reliable Can Help

We’re holding off on making deliveries except to households who seem to be running low. It didn’t help that we had an unusually cold spring, causing people to use their heat later in the year than usual.

Beyond that, we want to urge people to get on E-Z Pay, our monthly payment plan. E-Z Pay allows us to spread your fuel payments over 12 months. If prices stay high next year, it will be much easier to manage your bills if you don’t have to pay for all your deliveries in just five months of fall and winter. With this budget program, your heating season expenses are cut virtually in half!

E-Z Pay has always made sense. With prices so high now, it is essential!

And don’t worry — if the actual cost of the heating oil you receive is more or less than what we estimate, we’ll adjust your billing accordingly. In the end, you only pay for the fuel you receive at the price on the dates it was delivered — not a penny more.

If you have any questions or wish to enroll in E-Z Pay, please contact us. We want to help.