Martin Romanelli

Dear Friends,

The winter of 2013 –14 was one of the most challenging in many years. The most obvious problem was the record cold temperatures, which were about 30% colder than last year.

Despite the challenges, our employees worked nonstop to keep up with your fuel needs. On many occasions, we got frantic calls from people who couldn’t get fuel from their regular suppliers. Unlike many other dealers, we had plenty of supply in storage to meet customer demand during the bitter cold winter.

The last few months gave us an opportunity to prove that you can count on us around the clock no matter what the weather. It’s just a reminder of the way we do business all year round.

With spring now here, our service technicians are already out in force helping customers get their cooling systems in shape for the summer heat. We’ve also rolled out our new Air Conditioning Comfort Plan.

There are many other ways we can help. Because we exclusively deliver a 20% biofuel blend to everyone, you qualify for a 20-cent-per-gallon credit on your state income taxes. (I hope you took advantage of this!) It’s also a great time to enroll in our E-Z Pay Plan. And finally, I encourage you to go to our website and open an online account with us. You’ll love the convenience!

As always, we thank you for your business — we wouldn’t be here without you.

Martin Romanelli

Will your air conditioner be ready to chill when the weather starts heating up? We can guarantee you a cool summer of comfort once you enroll in our Air Conditioning Comfort Plan.

You can depend on us to:

  • get to you fast if you have a problem
  • fix your equipment right the first time
  • tune up your system to keep it running at peak efficiency
  • give you priority service if you lose your air conditioning
  • save you money with discounts and guaranteed repair pricing

Learn more about all of our service-plan options — including heating service plans — then contact us to enroll.

Based on your requests, we’ve made changes to our website so you can now pay your bill, view your account history, request service or a delivery and so much more!

All you have to do is set up an online account with us. It’s easy! Just click on My Account to get started. You can rest assured that our website is encrypted for your safety and security.

1. Don’t Neglect Your System

You need to notice me.

Pay attention to your system. If it is not keeping your home as comfortable as before and your electric bills have increased dramatically, you may be making the biggest mistake of all: failing to have your system serviced on a regular basis.

Over time, dirt and debris build up inside a system, lowering efficiency. Not only will your home become uncomfortable, but you will spend a lot more money on electric bills. You also risk a costly repair and the loss of your manufacturer’s equipment warranty, which can be voided if a proper maintenance schedule is not followed.

Be sure to ask us to inspect your air conditioning system at least once a year. On your own, you should change or clean the system’s air filter about once a month to keep your system running as efficiently as possible.

2. Don’t Overcool Your Home

I can’t take the ups and downs.

Some people turn off their cooling system when everyone leaves the house for the day. When they get back home, especially on a hot day, they will turn the thermostat as low as possible to speed up the cooling process.

But this won’t cool your house any faster! It just keeps your system working longer than necessary and will cost you money, especially if you forgot to reset the thermostat to an energy-saver mode.

The best advice is to program your thermostat at a set level; the “sweet spot” for most people is 76° to 79° Fahrenheit. The setting is important because studies have shown that every degree represents a difference of about 7% in power consumption. So keeping your thermostat just a little higher can make a difference in your electric bills.

You should also consider upgrading to a wireless thermostat. This lets you view and change temperature settings, check indoor humidity levels and more, all from your smartphone, PC or tablet device. You can even receive alerts when you’re away from home to let you know if there is a sudden or drastic change in temperature or humidity that could indicate a breakdown.

3. Don’t Overwork Your System

I’m doing all the work.

Don’t make the mistake of leaving any windows or doors open when your air conditioning is running. You’ll force your a/c unit to work harder to keep you comfortable. You should also limit your use of exhaust fans in the kitchen or bathroom. Running these fans will pull cool air out of your house.

Something you should do is to run ceiling fans when your air conditioning system is on. This will move cool air more efficiently around your home, creating a wind-chill effect. (Air movement evaporates moisture on the skin and makes you feel cooler in the summer.) Using ceiling fans allows you to keep your home comfortable at higher room temperatures.

4. Don’t Obstruct Your System

I need my personal space.

Setting boundaries in the space around your outside air conditioning unit — with flowers, shrubs or other objects — is important. Make sure there is 18–30 inches of clear space around the unit to allow it to “breathe.” This helps it run more efficiently.

Don’t stack anything on top of the unit, like garden hoses or landscaping tools and products. When mowing the lawn, position the mower away from the unit. This will help you keep grass clippings and other debris from getting blown into your system and reducing its efficiency.

Even small amounts of dirt that work their way into your condenser can dramatically affect cooling performance. This results in higher energy bills.

5. Know When It’s “Over”

I just can’t do this anymore…

Breaking up can be difficult. Thankfully, today’s systems are far more efficient than systems installed just 12 to 15 years ago. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, even if your cooling system is only 10 years old, you could save 20% to 40% on your air conditioning costs by replacing it with a newer and more efficient model.

You will also avoid the high cost of adding expensive Freon to your aging system. Older cooling systems use Freon, which will no longer be manufactured after 2020. Freon is considered a greenhouse gas and harms the environment when released into the air.

Because of the impending phaseout, less Freon is being made. This has resulted in rapidly dwindling supplies — and skyrocketing prices.

All the a/c systems we install use an economical and environmentally friendly refrigerant instead of expensive Freon.

Record cold temperatures remind us that winter fuel bills can be tough to tackle. Perhaps that’s why so many of our customers have enrolled in the E-Z Pay Plan, which spreads your annual fuel costs out over up to 12 months, allowing you to pay one level amount each month — no matter how much fuel you use. It doesn’t cost you anything to join E-Z Pay!

We calculate your monthly payment by estimating your annual heating costs, based on your past fuel use during an average winter.

You can enroll in the E-Z Pay Plan this spring and lower your heating bills next winter.

Make it even easier

Enroll in E-Z Pay Plus and your monthly payment will be automatically applied to your credit card. We’ll also stop sending you statements or payment envelopes in the mail; instead, we’ll email you an invoice each month for your records.

Peter Last

At Burt’s Reliable, we have put together an extremely talented team of home comfort experts. Every member is committed to one goal: designing the perfect comfort system for each individual home. Peter Last, who joined us last year, is a valued member of that team.

Peter says the best part of the job is meeting with customers and helping them lower their annual heating and cooling bills while improving their comfort.

“We always recommend a system that we feel is best for our customer,” says Peter, who has 15 years of experience in the heating oil and air conditioning business.

Off the job, Peter enjoys family time with his wife, Heidi, his 6-year-old daughter and his 4-year-old son.

Bruce Barlett

Q: How do I know whether I should repair or replace my central air conditioner?

A: If the repair involves replacing major expensive parts, your system is at least 15 years old and your summer electric bills are higher than in the past, investing in a new system is usually the better choice. If your system is less than 15 years old you can avoid expensive repairs and keep it running efficiently with our Air Conditioning Comfort Plan.

Q: How much can I expect to save with a new system?

A: On average, people save about 30% on their annual cooling bills with a new system. You may find your replacement system could easily pay for itself with the money you’ll save on electricity, not to mention repair bills. A new system also helps you avoid the rising cost of Freon, which is being phased out and no longer is used in new air conditioning systems.

Please contact us if you would like a FREE estimate on a new system. We have many options to fit your budget.