Fall 2020 Newsletter - Westmore Fuel

Proud of Our Team


Dear Friends,

While no one knows what exactly is in store for fall, we do know it’s possible that we may face a resurgence of COVID-19 here, with all its attendant challenges.

I sincerely hope the disease has not taken any loved ones from you. I hope you, your family and friends are staying as safe as possible.

We are working hard in anticipation of and preparation for potential disruptions. We have an unbelievable team here, who make me proud every day with their willingness to take care of our customers when it matters most. They have been extraordinarily flexible and committed. I could go on for hours with stories of how they continue to put the needs of our customers first.

We ask that you look at the article about our safety protocols, so you can see how you can help our team work safely in your home.

We will all need to be flexible and patient with each other as we adapt to the new challenges we now face. I appreciate the trust you’ve placed in our family to keep you warm — more than words can convey.

Stay safe!

Richard C. Bologna

Protocols for Safety


When one of our technicians enters your home, we want both of you to feel as comfortable as possible. That’s why we follow these precautions:

  • We will call ahead to ask if someone in your house is ill, cared for someone with COVID-19 symptoms or has recently taken a COVID-19 test. If yes, we will postpone the service call for three weeks. We will keep that appointment providing everyone in the house has been symptom-free for one week, even if the call is for no heat.
  • If anyone in the house touched the emergency switch for the heating unit or reset the burner, we will sanitize those areas before working on your system.
  • Whenever possible, we will enter your home through a basement or side door.
  • We have provided our techs with disposable masks, gloves and foot coverings, and trained them on CDC-recommended safety precautions.
  • Our technicians have been instructed to stay home if they feel sick or anyone in their household has a fever or any other signs of illness.
  • Technicians will keep social distancing (at least six feet) from the customer when they are at the home.
  • Technicians will disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, follow proper hand hygiene and avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth.

You can count on us to be there for you, and to be safe. Please visit this page to read more about our response to COVID-19.

There’s No Place Like Home


Home is our haven, an escape from the turbulent outside world. That’s why we’ve filled these pages with information that we hope will make you as safe and comfortable as possible — all the time.

More Dangerous Than Poppies

The wicked witch attempted to use poppies to send Dorothy into a permanent sleep. Carbon monoxide (CO) can do that for real.

CO is created when any kind of fuel is burned, but it’s vented safely to the outside. That’s why it’s important to have all fuel-burning devices serviced regularly by a professional. This will ensure that your equipment is operating properly.

Because CO is a toxic, invisible and odorless gas, you should already have CO detectors installed around your home, especially near all bedrooms. Remember to test the detectors about once a month.

A faulty burner or furnace can cause a CO leak. Other causes of CO leaks can include:

  • unvented appliances running for long periods of time.
  • back drafts caused by pressure imbalances near the heating system.
  • a vehicle left idling in an attached garage.
  • a blocked flue.
  • a gasoline-powered generator left running in a basement or attached garage.

CO poisoning symptoms include fatigue, dizziness and nausea. If you suspect a CO leak, get fresh air right away by opening doors and windows and leave the house before calling for help.

Oilheat’s CO safety net

As someone who uses oilheat, you can feel better knowing that if your oil burner malfunctions (most often due to a lack of maintenance), the safety devices in the unit will typically shut the furnace or boiler off.

Plus, you will usually see smoke coming out of your boiler or furnace as a warning sign. In contrast, a gas heating system usually does not produce a visual warning sign if there is a carbon monoxide problem.

The Yellow Brick Road to Savings

Technological breakthroughs have brought in a new era of higher efficiency and tremendous savings for anyone who uses oilheat.

The combination of increasingly efficient oil heating systems and continuous improvements with ultra-low-sulfur Bioheat® fuel is the one-two punch that will help homeowners in the years ahead.

  • Some new oilheat systems have efficiency ratings in the 90%+ range, providing more warmth with less fuel.
  • Many new oil boilers now incorporate energy-saving controls that can reduce fuel usage by as much as 10% and provide a more even heat.
  • High-efficiency oil furnaces feature variable-speed motors that use as much as 80% less electricity.
  • The oil boilers and oil furnaces of today are about the same size as a three-drawer filing cabinet. Installing a new heating system can not only free up space, but will save you a lot of money on fuel.

Dorothy Was in Hot Water. Are You?

With hot water usage significantly higher in most homes this year, some people have found that their water heater is not capable of keeping up with the increased demand.

If it’s taking longer for your water to heat, the water doesn’t get as hot as it did before or you simply keep running out of hot water, you are probably ready for an upgrade. And if you notice a slow leak from your tank or rust on the tank or in your tap water, you definitely need a new water heater.

If you think your water heater is failing — the average water heater lasts anywhere from 7 to 13 years — please speak with us about your options in oil-fired water heaters. After installing one, you will benefit from low-cost access to virtually unlimited amounts of hot water.

That’s because the “recovery rate” is as high as 120 gallons per hour. (Recovery rate measures how many gallons of water can be heated in an hour).

This means plenty of hot water for the whole family — something that less efficient gas and electric water heaters cannot provide.

Take the indirect approach

Many of our customers now use their boilers not only to heat their homes, but to produce hot water for showers, hot tubs, washing machines, dishwashers — you name it. And they get it virtually free in the winter.

It’s called an indirect-fired water heater, and if you have a boiler, it can be a phenomenal option.

Anytime your boiler is heating your home, your indirect water heater works for free. A traditional stand-alone water heater has to use gas or electricity to keep that water hot. And that’s a huge waste of money.

If you have a water heater that is 10 years old or older, check out an indirect — and less expensive approach — to heating your water.

Preparing for Disruption


While few people could have predicted the massive disruption we have faced for the last six months, in some ways, we have been preparing our business for this for years.

We do not charge discount prices. This gives us the ability to reinvest in our company with the latest technologies, and has made it possible to service customers remotely during this crisis. We’ve never missed a beat. This year that investment has really paid off for our customers and team. Here’s how:

  • Our technicians all have handheld computers. They can be dispatched from home, and they have access to all customer records and service histories.
  • Our drivers have on-board computers that allow us to send delivery stops and routes electronically.
  • Our customers can look up account information online, pay bills with credit cards or by bank draft, choose paperless billing and more.
  • Our fuel storage terminal gives us unequaled access to supply in the event of shortages.

Feel confident that we are better positioned to meet the current challenge than virtually any fuel company in the area.

Please Be Patient About Your Tune-Up


As you know, for a few months, we were unable to do tune-ups for customers. Though we are working very hard to catch up, we anticipate continued delays in scheduling.

Fortunately, because we deliver a combination of Bioheat® fuel and ultra-lowsulfur fuel, our customers’ systems burn cleaner, enabling them to go longer without tune-ups.

Take advantage of contactless communication, including paperless billing and AutoPay.

Keep an Eye on Your Tank


Many of our customers have changed their fuel consumption patterns because of the virus. If you work from home and your kids are not in school full time, you’ll probably use more fuel than you did before.

This may throw our delivery projections off. If you are on automatic delivery, please contact us if you see your tank reaches 3/8 full.

If you call for deliveries, be more cautious about the amount of notice you give us for your delivery. Call us if you get to the levels cited above.

Snapshot


Some of you may already know Karon Legere — or at least recognize her voice. Karon is our newest customer service representative — she joined our office team in July. She brings to us 20 years of experience in the industry.

The bulk of her day is dedicated to providing friendly customer service over the phone, which includes scheduling service appointments and helping customers sign up for our pricing and service programs.

“I enjoy speaking with our customers, helping them with their needs and sharing my sunny personality with them,” says Karon, who grew up in Norwalk.

Away from work, Karon enjoys spending time with her 15-year-old son, who keeps her busy with his sports activities. They also enjoy outings, walks and bike rides.