There is nothing like autumn in Connecticut, and it serves as a gentle reminder that winter is on its way. Which means it’s time to plan ahead for your home heating needs. Homeowners should consider a few important things before choosing a local heating oil company:
Two Types of Heating Oil Companies
– Full-Service Fuel Oil Companies – Full-service companies typically sell fuel oil and also offer a wide range of services, including automatic delivery, 24-hour emergency service, market-rate or fixed price programs, budget plans, equipment maintenance, service plans and installation of new equipment.
– Discount Fuel Oil Companies – Unlike full-service companies, most discounters do not maintain the heating unit or offer any other protective services. Their exclusive function is to deliver oil – in many cases on a ‘cash on delivery’ basis.
A few phone calls and some investigation can go a long way when looking for a reputable and reliable fuel oil company in your area. Google and Facebook are wonderful tools to help gain insight into how customers feel about the service they receive. Also important to know is how long a company has been in business, how many customers they serve, and if they currently serve any of your neighbors. Your neighbors will typically have similar needs as you and live in a similar home. If they are satisfied with their oil company, it is likely that you will be too.
While doing your research looking at an oil company, take into consideration what additional services they make available to you. Some fuel oil companies offer plans to provide service and protective maintenance for heating equipment for a certain time period (usually 12 months). A service plan usually covers emergency service, an annual tune-up, as well as replacement of all working parts specified in the plan document.
Service Department Hours
Your equipment does not take breaks and neither should your oil and service company. Some companies close up shop when the sun goes down, while others are available 24/7 all year round. All it takes is for the heat to go out at 2:00 AM to appreciate the value of a high-quality service department. If you are ever in a position where your heating equipment is not functioning properly, or you are without fuel, 24/7 emergency service from a full-service provider can bring a technician to your door to offer same-day solutions, no matter how severe the weather.
In-House Licensed Technicians
Working on HVAC equipment requires a license in the state of Connecticut. Some fuel oil companies subcontract their service work, while others have a full, in-house staff of licensed technicians. Working with a single company to handle both your service and fuel oil needs is best for a holistic, higher quality of care for your home.
Automatic fuel oil delivery gives homeowners peace of mind that they will not run out of fuel. Most full-service companies monitor the oil levels in your tank. They track your home’s usage and schedule your delivery when appropriate, so the responsibility doesn’t have to fall on you.
Family Owned or Conglomerate
Your local fuel oil company will likely fall under one of two categories: Family-owned or a larger conglomerate. With a family-owned company, you are likely to receive friendlier customer service, more involvement in your community, and have direct contact with the people who make the decisions in the business. Conglomerates can sometimes provide more options like additional products and/or financing but you generally sacrifice working with a local company.
Who knew there would be so much to think about when choosing a local heating oil company? If you are looking to simplify the decision, give Levco a call and one of our knowledgeable, friendly customer service experts will be happy to assist you.
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