It’s a question we get a lot here at Burt’s Reliable: do I really need to get heating system maintenance every year? Our stock answer – most of the time, under most circumstances – is yes.
But not always.
Like a new car, your oil-fired furnace (or boiler, if you have baseboards and radiators) is part of a complex heating system that needs annual checkups and look-ins from a heating and HVAC expert; without those check-ups, your heating equipment’s efficiency will lag, its reliability will wane, and you could eventually end up on the wrong end of a no-heat emergency (we’re not really sure there is a “right” end of a no-heat emergency, but you get the point).
All of that vigilance assumes, of course, that you’re putting your heating equipment through the rigors of a long, hard, and full Long Island heating season; after working for six or even eight months straight, your heating system deserves a break and some TLC, don’t you think?
But what if you use your heating equipment for half that time – say, for example, in a seasonal, vacation, or second home?
This is the one circumstance in heating maintenance where less could be more for you – as in less money spent on maintenance leaves more money in your pocket for other fun winter stuff (like flying somewhere to escape winter in the North Fork or East End of LI, for example).
The bottom line: When it comes time to schedule your routine heating maintenance, think about how often you had that heat on in the last year. If you didn’t run it throughout heating season, you can get away with skipping a year.
Just remember: even though the heating system in your second home might not need annual maintenance, that doesn’t mean that you should forget about managing your heating oil deliveries to your offseason Long Island getaway.