Newsletter

Reliable Service, Reliable Advice

Martin Romanelli

Dear Friends,

We chose Reliable as part of our company name because we want you to know that you can always count on us for dependable and prompt fuel service. But our name also implies that you can rely on us for honest advice and accurate information when it involves maintaining, repairing or replacing your heating and cooling equipment.

For example, some companies may try to persuade you that a 10-year-old heating system is badly out of date and that the best thing to do is to invest in the newest, ultra-efficient equipment. We don’t do that. We know that a boiler or furnace can perform efficiently much longer than a decade, as long as it has been maintained properly.

Contractors may follow a similar pattern with your central air system. Sure, you can purchase a new A/C with the highest energy rating available, but that’s overkill — particularly for second homes. In the end, if you go to the top of the line in cooling efficiency, you probably won’t save as much as you were promised. The main issue these days is replacing older A/C systems that use R-22 refrigerant, which is being phased out.

The bottom line: we are always willing to work with you to make your home more comfortable and save you money on heating and cooling. But we will never sell you something you don’t need. Feel free to call us and tell us what you’re looking for, and whenever possible, we’ll take care of it.

Warmly,
Martin Romanelli


Pay the E-Z Way

Elderly couple

Our E-Z Pay Plan lets you spread your fuel costs out over the course of the year instead of paying us in full every time you get a delivery. You can make bill-paying even easier by opening an online account, registering for paperless billing and making automatic payments. Go to our Payment Options page for more details.

Enrollment in E-Z Pay ends soon. Please contact us today!


Lessons Learned From This Winter

  1. If you call in your fuel order, you run the risk of running out, especially during super-cold temperatures when you burn through much more fuel than normal, and everyone is calling in at once. Instead, sign up for automatic deliveries or install a Gremlin™ tank monitor. We’ll know when you need fuel and can adjust your schedule with the weather forecast.
  2. During bad weather, it’s important that we be able to reach you with advisories and updates. So please make sure we have your current email address and mobile number. Follow us on Facebook, too. That way, in emergencies we’ll have multiple means of getting in touch. We will not share your contact information with anyone else. It’s just between us.
  3. When the going gets tough, discount fuel companies go into hiding, because they don’t have the resources to handle the crush of calls that come in. In January, we helped a ton of people who couldn’t get a delivery from their discount oil dealer. When you’re a Burt’s customer, you can always rely on us.

Staying Comfortable — Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Modern technology allows us to find new solutions to old problems. Every year, we see new products and materials that help lower energy costs and improve home comfort. Take a look at where we’ve been, where we are and where we may go next.

A/C keeps getting greener

The extended phaseout of R-22 — the refrigerant used in older home air conditioning systems — has been going on for decades now. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandated the phaseout because R-22, when released into the atmosphere, harms the earth’s ozone layer.

That’s why all A/C systems made since 2010 use a greener refrigerant called R-410A. Of course, R-22 is still being used as a refrigerant in older equipment. There’s no law that says you can’t. But as the availability of R-22 has gotten more limited, it has become more expensive. In less than two years, R-22 will no longer be manufactured at all.

That’s a big problem if your old A/C system leaks R-22 refrigerant and you need to find more.

what you can do

Staying comfortable

One option is to have us retrofit your existing R-22 system to make it compatible with the newer refrigerant. If your system is beginning to wear out, however, it makes more sense to replace it entirely.

If you’re not sure what type of refrigerant your air conditioning system has, please contact us. All of the A/C systems we install use economical and environmentally friendly R-410A refrigerant instead of expensive and scarce R-22.

efficiency matters too

Besides the refrigerant issue, keep in mind that all new air conditioning systems are many times more efficient than models available even a decade ago. Upgrading to a higher efficiency cooling system can save you a lot of money over the long run on utility bills and repair costs.

welcome to the modern comfort zone

Newer homes have a lot of open space, with multiple levels and large windows that bring in natural light. But this modern design presents comfort challenges if there are only one or two thermostats in the house. Rooms with direct sun exposure or those on the upper levels will get too hot. Rooms that are located too far from the thermostat may get too cool. Keeping a consistent temperature in every room presents a challenge.

That’s why the introduction of zone control systems has been a game changer. Basically, more thermostats are added and the ductwork is modified to create additional temperature zones. This allows the heating and cooling systems to provide better temperature control. With zoning, you can heat or cool only the rooms you want, when you want. Besides providing great comfort, a zoning system saves a lot of energy and reduces utility bills dramatically.

what’s ahead?

Ductless mini-split systems — which let you heat or cool virtually any space without installing ductwork — will continue to grow in demand.

Internet of things

There will be more widespread use of smart devices for the home, including programmable touch-screen thermostats with Wi-Fi capability. More people will use apps that let them analyze the energy usage in their home. It’s estimated that 26 billion smart devices will be connected to the Internet of Things by 2020.

Consumers will continue to embrace mobile technologies to set up preventative maintenance and request other home comfort services.

The emphasis on green building design will continue with a strong focus on indoor air quality throughout. This includes a technique known as demand-controlled ventilation, which reduces energy consumption while maintaining proper indoor air quality.

Integrated controls — combining heating, cooling and indoor air quality with electronic air filters and zoning — will become more common.

Recognizing the needs of today’s technology-driven consumers, smart HVAC companies will keep building their online reputation through customer reviews; they’ll also stay connected with younger consumers via social media.


Snapshot

Catherine Terry

Between all those nor’easters in March, we bade farewell to our customer-service representative Catherine Terry, a beloved member of our team for 20 years.

“It’s a bittersweet feeling. I’ll miss my coworkers and all the customers I’ve helped over the years,” Cathy says. “But I’m also looking forward to spending more time now on my farm.” During her time with us, nothing was too small or too big for Cathy to handle. We love her, and our customers do, too. She’s a gem and will be missed!

While we were sad to see Cathy go, we are happy to welcome Kristine Vibert, a mother of three who brings to us many years of customer-service experience in the banking industry.


We Love It When You “Like” Us

Thumbs-up

Facebook now has more users than the population of the United States, China and Brazil — combined. More than two billion people!

We can absolutely see its power in expanding our lines of communication, as it was especially helpful during the extreme cold wave we had last winter. If you haven’t “liked” our page yet, please jump in. We promise it’s not heavyhanded advertising. It’s a way for us to engage with you, have some fun, share some things we think are interesting about our area, and occasionally give you information that would be valuable to you as a homeowner, such as service alerts.

We also run specials and contests that are only available on Facebook. If you’d like to read what your fellow customers are saying, go to our Facebook page today!


Why Worry About Deliveries?

Happy family

Most of our customers are on an automatic heating oil delivery schedule. Why not join them? Our computer system can track how much heating oil your home will typically use, based on how cold it is outside. We will deliver fuel automatically, usually when your tank reaches one-quarter full.

Gremlin tank monitor

We also embrace the latest technology for predicting and determining customer demand, including the Gremlin™ tank monitor. This tracks your actual usage and alerts us when it’s time to fill your tank. The Gremlin is a perfect solution for customers who have less predictable fuel usage, especially those with second homes or ancillary heat sources.

As long as your Wi-Fi is turned on, we can track your real-time fuel usage via an encrypted connection, and then deliver fuel when you need it — eliminating the hassle of run-outs. You can monitor your tank levels as well, via an easy-to-use mobile app.

Call us to see if you qualify for a tank monitor, which we can install in just 15 minutes!

Ecobee thermostat

Now is a great time to install an Ecobee thermostat.
Read more about the Ecobee here.