What’s New in 2019?
We’re excited about all that is going on at Burt’s Reliable in 2019 — and how we are raising the bar on service for you. We have fully embraced social media now, and you can visit our Facebook page to read more posts than ever before. These include energy-saving tips, safety advice, community news and much more. Please visit Facebook and “like” us so that you can keep up with the latest buzz.
We will continue to make improvements to our website in order to keep the content up to date and relevant. Speaking of which, our new account portal has been getting a great response from customers, who really appreciate how it makes doing business with us more convenient than ever.
Of course, we also plan to keep a lot of things the same. We have the best team of technicians on the North Fork and the East End, and we invest in making sure that they’re trained and certified to handle any job that comes their way, whether it’s a repair, a maintenance check or an equipment installation.
Whatever the rest of the season brings us, we’re looking forward to taking care of all of you, from our thousands of residential customers to our many commercial customers who serve the community. We’ll be here to make sure you always stay warm and comfortable.
Try It, You’ll like It!
Have you tried out our new account portal? It’s easy: Just click the “Pay Online” or “My Account” links at the top of our page — and you’ll be directed to a convenient way to do business with us. Here are a few examples of things you can do once you’ve registered your account:
- Make secure online payments
- View deliveries and service calls
- Review statements and payments
- Retrieve or change your password
- Update your contact information or credit card details
Give it a try — we think you’ll like it. And if you have any questions, you can contact us directly through our website!
In the News: Edwin Moran
Our heating and air conditioning technician Edwin Moran was featured in the Suffolk Times’s “The Work We Do” column in October. Edwin has been with the company for 18 years, and we’re proud of the way he represents the whole team here at Burt’s: He’s hard-working, caring and, well, reliable!
Edwin came here from Guatemala after high school to learn a trade, and that’s when he found us. In the news article, he talks about how he loves the variety of his work, why he enjoys being able to help customers, and how much he appreciates the support he has received from us. We’re so glad he’s part of the team!
Visit our Facebook page to read the full article about Edwin.
Feel Safer at Home
Being safe at home becomes a lot easier when you rely on oil or propane heat — and us! To keep you even safer this season, we offer some advice.
Power outage = no heat
During power outages, we receive many calls from customers who have fuel but can’t get heat. Unfortunately, your heating system will not run without electricity — no matter whether your fuel is heating oil, natural gas, propane or, obviously, electricity. (Only some very old heating systems can operate without power).
If your home is without power for an extended period of time, unplug appliances and turn off circuit breakers. This will prevent surges when the electricity returns. Before restarting your system, check that the system’s power switch and circuit breakers are back on. Do not press your unit’s reset button more than once.
Once you have power back, make sure that there is no standing water in your basement. If your system requires service to get it started again, for safety reasons it cannot be worked on when water is pooling around it.
If flood water reached your heating system, call us to do an inspection before you restart it. The valves and controls are vulnerable to water damage — even if it cannot be seen. Corrosion begins inside the valves, and damage may not be apparent when the outside is clean and dry.
In this digital age, the initial response to solving a problem is to go online and do research. That’s why do-it-yourself (DIY) projects are such a big trend these days. It seems as though people of all ages and skill levels are checking out YouTube videos for a quick-fix way to heal whatever ails their home.
But what those videos usually don’t show is what happens when that amateur repair doesn’t go as planned. Over the years, we’ve seen some costly — and even dangerous — consequences. That’s especially true when someone starts fiddling around with complicated heating systems.
Repairing a heating system presents unique challenges that more often than not require extensive training and expensive diagnostic equipment to assess and fix.
The bottom line: If you need a heating system repair, don’t attempt to do it yourself — call us. Our certified technicians have the training, experience and tools to find and fix your problem quickly, correctly and safely so you can focus on the things that matter in your life — like having fun with your family.
Leave your troubles behind you
If you’ve gone away on a winter vacation in the past, you know how important it is to have someone check your home on a regular basis. That person can contact us if there’s a problem and give us access. (You may also want to consider a lockbox.) But you can do more.
You can add a temperature sensor to your home’s central alarm system. Another option is to install a wireless remote smart thermostat. Once you register the thermostat online, you can use your phone to access it from any location to monitor or adjust the temperature. Some models will even send out an immediate alert if the heat stops and the temperature falls below a certain point.
For added protection, we recommend our automatic delivery service to eliminate the chance of your tank going dry while you’re away. If you already receive your deliveries automatically, please let us know when you’ll be away so we can adjust your “burn rate.”
Lastly, remember to keep your home temperature no lower than the 60°–65° range to reduce the risk of frozen pipes. During extreme cold spells, we recommend setting the thermostat a little higher than that.
With more people relying on both portable and permanent generators than ever before, it’s important to share the following emergency generator safety tips:
- Installed whole-house generators should have a transfer switch to ensure a smooth transition when the lights go out. A transfer switch cuts electricity flow to the grid while the generator is on. This prevents the power in the generator from “back-feeding” into outside power lines and potentially injuring utility crews.
- Never operate a portable generator in an enclosed or partially enclosed space; keep it outside, at least 10 feet from your home and away from windows and doors.
- If your generator is not connected to a fuel tank, be sure to store its fuel in a properly labeled container.
- Always use a grounded extension cord with the proper power rating.
- Have your generator checked and adjusted annually for safety and efficiency.
Don’t Forget Your Clean Fuel Tax Credit!
If you bought fuel from Burt’s in 2018, the New York State Clean Heating Fuel tax credit lets you take 1¢ for each percent of biodiesel blended with conventional heating oil you buy.
Because Burt’s blends its heating oil with 20% biofuel (the cleanest burning fuel available), you’ll qualify for the maximum 20¢-per-gallon tax credit. Thanks to this credit (and to our commitment to offering clean-burning, efficient fuel), a typical Burt’s customer can save about $150 per year.
In January, we mail customers an annual summary of deliveries by date and number of gallons purchased. (If you didn’t get yours yet, give us a call.) You can download and print the tax-credit claim form and instructions found here.
David Lawrence, who joined our team of drivers last July, has been around either trucks or fuel his whole life. His father was a sales manager for Mack Truck in Mineola and Hicksville, and David has been working in the oil business for about 40 years. In between, he operated a charter fishing boat and refueled jets at JFK Airport.
“I’ve worked for most of the major heating oil companies around here, but I wanted to downshift toward retirement by working for a family-owned company,” says David. “The environment is completely different, because you feel more appreciated for your work. We have a real good team here who really care about keeping our customers warm and safe.”
When he’s not out on the road in his delivery truck, David enjoys golfing and working on home-improvement projects.
What Is the Burt’s Difference?
A big part of the Burt’s Difference is that you can always count on us to come through for you, no matter what. When the weather turns really cold or big snowstorms blow in, our team works extremely long hours — including weekends — so that our customers will not be left out in the cold.
As a full-service company, we not only provide you with fuel, we install and service the equipment that heats and cools your home. We are also licensed plumbers, and we’re ready to handle problems big and small.
If you have a heating emergency, you can reach us by phone 24 hours a day — and we always have a technician on call. Our staff is courteous and professional, and our technicians are knowledgeable.
We back this all up with more than 100 years of commitment to our customers.