How to prevent heating breakdowns and frozen pipes while away
When the weather turns frigid on the North Fork of Long Island, it’s natural to want to hop a plane for warmer climates. But you don’t want to come home to a burst pipe or an empty oil tank. If you plan to leave town for an extended period this winter, be sure to protect your home’s heating system from breakdowns and deep freezes.
While you’re packing your snorkeling gear and tanning oil, take these four simple precautions for your heating system.
1. Invest in a wireless smart thermostat
A wireless smart thermostat like the Ecobee 3 lets you use your phone to monitor home temperatures while you’re away. You can boost your heating remotely to prevent freezing pipes. It even alerts your mobile device when temperatures get too low!
Even better, a smart thermostat allows you to preprogram lower and higher temperatures throughout the day. Its motion sensors reduce heating in unoccupied rooms.
These features are helpful year-round. The US Department of Energy says most households can save 10% in annual heating and cooling costs by lowering their thermostats by 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day!
2. Get a Home Emergency Contact
A lot can happen while you’re away from home. It’s always a good idea to ask a friend or neighbor to check in on your home periodically. During sustained freezing weather, your home emergency contact can check for icing and other home heating issues.
It’s also a great idea to provide Burt’s Reliable with your friend’s contact information so we can contact them directly for important updates about service or delivery. They can work with us if we need to respond to an emergency.
3. Keep Your Property Clear for Delivery
The last thing your want when you’re away is to run out of heating oil back home. Fortunately, Burt’s Reliable offers several ways to ensure your tank never runs dry, even when you’re out of town.
Our automatic delivery customers never need to check their tank levels. We calculate it based on past usage and how cold it is outside and deliver oil when we estimate the tank is 25% full. Many Burt’s Reliable customers have a Gremlin tank monitor, enabling us to track their fuel use in real-time!
With automatic deliveries, you should arrange to have your driveway plowed and a pathway cleared of snow and ice so our technician can access your fill pipe. Our drivers can quickly fill your tank while you enjoy your vacation.
4. Schedule a Tune-Up for Your Heating System
The best way to prevent a heating emergency while you’re on vacation is to get a service check on your equipment either before or after the heating season. Performing maintenance on your boiler or furnace keeps its efficiency high and catches minor issues before they become big problems.
For even more security, consider signing up for one of our service plans. They include an annual tune-up on your equipment.
Burt’s Reliable has served Long Island’s North Fork and East End for over a century. If you’re leaving your home for an extended period and need peace of mind that it will be safe and sufficiently warm, give us a call to discuss automated fuel deliveries and smart home features.