COVID19 and Heating Oil – What to Know, and What to Do

It’s March 25, 2020, and we’re three days into the State of Connecticut’s order for non-essential businesses to send everyone home. Schools have been closed for almost two weeks now, and isolationism has become the new norm. Thank you all for doing your part to help flatten the curve and get through this pandemic.

We wanted to take a moment and highlight what steps Heating Oil and HVAC companies are taking right now, and what you can do as a homeowner to help. Rest assured, you will still be able to heat your homes during these difficult times. But with cases increasing rapidly, companies are making changes to curb the spread. What can you do? Make sure you order your heating oil online to reduce the burden on office staff. Pay with a credit card to eliminate interaction with the drivers. And reschedule any non-essential HVAC work for a later date.

Heating Oil – An Essential Business

Essential businesses have been defined in a variety of ways, and include must-have services, such as utilities and mail. Heating Oil and Propane delivery are included as essential, as we all need to heat our homes. In addition, with everyone home during the day, heating oil consumption has gone up in many homes.

While it is OK for the trucks to still make deliveries, many companies have started to implement changes to their operations, including:

  • Many have elected to forego ‘topping off’ tanks at this time, focusing instead on making sure no one runs out.
  • Driver head count has been reduced, with anyone who has been exposed to the virus or feeling even slightly ill being asked to self-quarantine for several weeks.
  • Some dealers are no longer leaving delivery tickets, or are leaving the ticket in a plastic bag by the mailbox instead of at the door.
  • Office staff are either sent home, or working at a very limited capacity.
  • Many dealers are NOT taking cash or checks (credit card orders only) to limit interactions with the homeowner.
Heating Oil Truck Making A Delivery.
Heating Oil Delivery Drivers Are Taking Extra Precautions During the COVID19 Pandemic.

HVAC Service – Also Essential

If you are having trouble with your heating system, rest assured that technicians are standing by. These are the steps HVAC companies are taking at this time:

  • Most, if not all, non-emergency service work is being postponed for the time being.
  • Technicians are wearing gloves and sanitizing all surfaces they come in contact with at a residence when performing service work.
  • Employees are practicing social-distancing, maintaining 6′ of separation from others.
  • Technicians are interviewing homeowners before entering the home, to confirm no one in the house is sick.

Smart Oil Gauge Keeps Property Managers Home

While we are not an ‘essential business’, we made sure to build up enough inventory over the past several weeks to get through this. I am personally shipping products out of my house while the whole team works remotely. Not surprisingly, we have seen an increased demand from property managers lately. They are using the Smart Oil Gauge to eliminate in-person visits to check on oil levels at various buildings.

What You Can Do As A Homeowner

Helping to curtail the spread of this virus is imperative at this time. Here are a few steps you can take as a homeowner:

  • Avoid scheduling any non-essential service work at your home at this time.
  • ONLY order heating oil online. This means using a site like FuelSnap and paying with a credit card. Buying heating oil online reduces the strain on office staff who otherwise would have to answer the phone and process the orders manually.
  • ONLY pay with credit card for your service work or Heating Oil. Handling checks and cash only puts the drivers and office staff at risk. Ordering oil online ahead of time eliminates cash and checks from the equation.
  • If you must have a technician in your home, sanitize all doorknobs and surfaces BEFORE and AFTER the technician performs the service.
  • Give plenty of space – 6′ minimum – to anyone who enters your home.
  • DO NOT go outside to greet the delivery driver as you may be accustomed to doing.

Stay Home, Stay Safe

Thank you again to everyone making sacrifices as we get through this unprecedented time. We will continue to provide support for anyone who needs it – don’t hesitate to reach out anytime.

Stay safe,