What We Can Do—and What You Can Do Too!
During the cold weather seasons, most vacation homes on the East End and North Fork are either lightly used or closed up completely. For the sake of convenience, many customers (about 2,000 strong) trust us with their house keys so we can gain access to their home in the event of an emergency during the fall or winter. This saves them from the burden of going out on a cold night and making a long trip out to their vacation home.
Besides “taking care of it” if there’s a problem in your home, the expert team of Burt’s Reliable can also prevent many emergencies from happening in the first place by doing the following:
- make sure your home’s heating oil and/or kerosene tanks always have enough fuel to keep the home heated in the home during winter. (You cannot shut the heat off entirely or you risk frozen pipes.)
- winterize your home by shutting off the water, tuning up the equipment and generally keeping your home ready to go when you return in the spring.
If you are an automatic heating oil delivery customer, please let us know if you’re leaving until spring. Your delivery date is based on an estimate of your past heating oil use. If you aren’t around and heating oil consumption is much less, that estimate will be off, and you’ll get an unnecessary delivery. We can also take care of any plumbing issues before you go.
What You Can Do
Here’s a list of actions you can do yourself to protect your home when you’re away.
To protect against potential damage caused by winter power outages, unplug all of your appliances. This prevents electrical surges from occurring, which can damage your appliances when the power comes back on. This will also lower your risk of a fire. Plus, by doing this, you’ll save money on your electric bills because many appliances still draw energy even when they are shut off.
Adjust Your Thermostat, But Don’t Go Too Low
It may seem like a waste to heat a vacant home but what you’re really doing is lowering your risk of frozen pipes. A second problem with setting the temperature too low is a buildup of condensation inside your home. Condensation occurs when moist air comes into contact with a cold surface; the cooler the air in your home is, the less moisture it can hold.
A buildup of condensation can damage your wood floors, furniture, and electronic equipment, so it’s definitely something you want to avoid.
We recommend turning down your thermostat to 60 °F. but remember, don’t turn it completely off. You’ll also want to set your thermostat to “auto” instead of to “on” to prevent your blower fan from running all of the time. For peace of mind, your home should have a smart thermostat. You can remotely monitor your home’s temperature anytime and from anywhere with your mobile phone. You can also receive low-temperature alerts. Learn about the Ecobee smart thermostats we install.
Shut Off the Main Water Valve
By shutting off the main water valve in your home, your pipes won’t freeze because there’s no water in them. After you close the main valve, open up all your faucets to drain the water that remains in your pipes so you avoid any pressure buildup. (That pressure is one of the reasons why pipes burst.) If you have an electric water heater, shut it down at the circuit breaker so it’s not keeping your reserve hot water warm when you don’t need it.
If you need someone to look after your Eastern Long Island vacation home this winter, put your trust in Burt’s Reliable. Nearly 2,000 customers leave their keys with us so we can look after their home during the off-season.
Burt’s Reliable is unmatched when it comes to our long history of providing reliable fuel delivery, quality equipment service and courteous service to our customers on the North Fork and the East End. When we say, “We’ll Take Care of it,” we really mean it.
Go here to become a Burt’s Reliable customer and rest a little easier this winter.