Here’s what to do when your heating oil tank runs dry.

heating oil Nassau County, NY Imagine this: You wake up to find your Nassau County home has gone cold — really, really cold. You adjust the thermostat, but your heating system still doesn’t kick in. You feel a pit in your stomach. Have you run out of heating oil? Hopefully, this doesn’t happen to you. But if it does, we can break down what happens and how to navigate this frosty predicament.

1. Check Your Heating Oil Tank

Before you really panic, make sure that you really are out of heating oil. First, head down to your heating oil tank. Most tanks come equipped with a float-style gauge. Look for the red disk inside the plastic vial. If it’s above the 1/8 mark, you might still have some oil left. If not, proceed to the next step.

2. Arrange a Heating Oil Delivery Immediately

Don’t wait a minute longer. It’s time to order heating oil. Contact OSI Comfort Specialists ASAP and let us know that you need an emergency delivery of heating oil. We’re here around the clock for our customers.

3. A Dash of Diesel

While you wait for your oil delivery, you might have an option to get your system running temporarily so you don’t suffer in the cold. Add 5 or 10 gallons of diesel fuel to your tank. It won’t make your home as warm as heating oil would, but it’ll keep the chill at bay until the cavalry arrives. It’s not just for your comfort. You also want to avoid frozen or burst pipes.

4. Restart Your Burner

If you’ve had a full heating oil run-out, you’ll need to restart the oil burner on your furnace or boiler. This process involves priming your burner, which bleeds the air out of the oil line and clears any sediment from the filter, nozzle and oil pump. Customers can handle this themselves by following the instructions on their heating system’s owner’s manual. If you’re uncomfortable priming your burner yourself, we can handle it for you,

The Bottom Line

Running out of heating oil isn’t likely to cause permanent damage to your boiler or furnace, but you could end up with sludge or sediment in your filters, fuel lines or burner. That can reduce the efficiency of your heating system or even cause it to break down. By keeping enough oil in your tank, you can avoid some very costly problems as well as a no-heat emergency.

Remember, being without heat during the cold months isn’t just inconvenient; it’s downright risky. So, keep an eye on that oil gauge, order promptly, and stay warm! Better yet, sign up for the OSI Comfort Specialists’ automatic heating oil delivery program and eliminate the chance you’ll run out of heating oil. We’ll track your heating oil usage and current weather conditions and accurately schedule a heating oil delivery to your New York home before you run too low.

Choose OSI Comfort Specialists for your Heating Oil Delivery.

OSI Comfort Specialists has been providing safe, reliable heating oil delivery since 1936. Our delivery drivers are courteous and trained, and they respect your home. Our customer service representatives are respectful as we work to meet your needs. We treat our customers like our neighbors (because you are) with 24-hour emergency heating oil delivery for customers on our automatic fill plan so that you won’t be left out in the cold.

Contact OSI Comfort Specialists today to learn more or to start getting reliable heating oil delivery for your home. We’re there when you need us.

Best practices for your gas-powered home generator

generators queens, ny In a world where our electric grid is becoming less and less reliable, a gas-powered standby generator is a trustworthy backup power source that provides peace of mind to Queens families.

Just look at the devastating power outages that New York has seen in recent years, from Superstorm Sandy to the Upstate grid collapses following blizzards in December 2022. Blackouts aren’t merely inconvenient — they are frequently a risk to safety.

OSI Comfort Specialists installs and services standby generators that are crucial during these emergencies. They connect directly to a natural gas line or home propane tank and switch on automatically when your home loses grid power. For total peace of mind, you need to prioritize proper generator maintenance. Let’s unpack the essential factors involved in keeping a standby generator running at its best.

How Long Do Gas-Powered Standby Generators Last?

The longevity of the gas-powered standby generators we install typically ranges from 25 to 30 years, depending on a range of factors, including usage hours and maintenance schedule. A well-maintained, periodically-used generator is more likely to reach the upper end of this life expectancy.

What Should You Do to Maintain Your Generator?

Here are some simple steps you should take to ensure your standby generator is ready when you need it most:

In addition to these DIY maintenance jobs, it’s crucial to arrange a more thorough annual service visit with one of our technicians.

How Often Should You Arrange Generator Maintenance?

Manufacturers’ recommendations for professional generator maintenance tend to range from every six months to every year. The frequency of maintenance depends mostly on usage.
While your personal maintenance tasks go a long way to safeguarding your generator’s reliability, professional inspections are essential. These tune-ups typically involve an oil change, as well as more in-depth assessments of the mechanical and electrical components.

Professional technicians like the team at OSI Comfort Specialists have the expertise to detect issues that may not be apparent to the untrained eye and have the tools and experience to fix them.

Protect Your Generator with OSI Comfort Specialists.

As an OSI Comfort Specialists customer in Queens, Nassau or western Suffolk County, you can enroll in a service plan for your gas-powered standby generator. A tune-up is included with the plan, as are discounts on parts and labor and priority service.

A little bit of preventive attention goes a long way to ensuring your household’s electrical security. Reach out to our team for generator service.

We can improve your home’s electrical capacity in Queens and Nassau counties.

electrician Nassau County, NY We rely on the electrical capabilities of our homes more than many people realize, and the extent to which we use electricity is not constant. With spring upon us and summer soon to arrive, households in New York will soon be switching over from oil and gas-powered heating systems to air-conditioning equipment that needs a lot of electricity.

Between A/C, home electronics, lights and countless products drawing power from your home’s wiring, your electrical panel may be feeling the strain.

What is an electrical panel?

The electrical panel is essentially the connector between the electricity coming into your home (generally from utility wires) and all the wiring inside your home. It routes power to outlets, systems, applications and fixtures throughout your house.

You may know your home’s electrical panel as the circuit box that you use to kill power to certain rooms. There’s also a main breaker on this box that can cut off electricity to the whole home if that’s needed.

Your panel is designed to handle a certain amount of electricity. If too many products are drawing power for it, it can become overloaded.

What are the signs that your electrical panel is overloaded?

Here are some common indications that your electrical panel is overloaded:

  1. Your breakers are tripping frequently. Breakers work as a safety mechanism to prevent dangerous power surges. If your breakers are constantly tripping and knocking out power to certain rooms, there could be an overloading issue.
  2. Hot wires and breakers. It’s not necessarily uncommon for an electrical panel to be warm, but if you’ve noticed a hot panel or wires, that is a cause for concern.
  3. Damaged wires. If the electrical wires coming from your breaker box are frayed or cracking, it could be a sign that they are overheating. This could also be everyday wear and tear. Either way, it’s a good idea to contact an electrician.
  4. Sparking, smoking and buzzing. Your electrical panel should not make noise, and it definitely should not spark or smoke. Please turn off the panel and contact us immediately.

As you might imagine, an overloaded electrical panel can present a significant safety issue. It’s essential that you respond quickly.

How can you fix an overloaded electrical panel?

The first thing you need to do is reach out to a licensed, insured and certified electrician like the team at OSI Comfort Specialists. We can look at your electrical panel and the number of appliances, systems, lights and outlets drawing power from it. There are several ways to address overloading, including the following:

While replacing an electrical panel might be the priciest option, it can often have the best results. Upgrading your home’s electrical capacity will ensure you can run all the electronics you need without dangerous power surges or service interruptions. This can be especially important if your household has students or remote workers.

Are you due for an electrical upgrade? Contact OSI Comfort Specialists to discuss our top-tier electrical services.

We’re here to get your pipes, water heater and appliances in working order.

plumbing Queens, NY If you recently purchased a new home in Queens, Nassau or western Suffolk County, we first want to say congratulations!

Owning a home can be a rewarding and nerve-wracking experience. Having the opportunity to grow a personal space for you and your loved ones (plus growing your equity, too) is immensely satisfying. The maintenance challenges that invariably crop up can make you want to tear your hair out.

Unfortunately, even if you purchase a newly constructed home, there is a distinct possibility that it could have plumbing issues. Happily, the licensed and insured plumbers at OSI Comfort Specialists are at your service to address them. Here are four common plumbing problems in new homes.

1. Blocked Pipes

How, you may ask, can a new home possibly have clogs in the plumbing? The simple answer is that pipes are typically installed way before construction is completed. This can give environmental factors like tree and shrub roots time to obstruct your plumbing. A professional plumber can assess the cause of the blockage and resolve it promptly.

2. Slow Drains

Home construction involves a lot of materials that can seep into pipes and harden. These include paint, spackle, joint compound and stucco. If these materials find their way into your plumbing, they can narrow the pipes and slow down the drains in your sinks and tubs. Depending on the nature of the material, we might be able to clear it, or it might be best to replace a length of pipe.

3. Leaky Faucets

One of the most common — and annoying — plumbing issues is a leaking faucet. But that drip is more than an aggravating sound. It wastes water and can lead to discoloration and wear on your fixtures.

During construction, workers move fast. A misaligned O-ring or an incorrectly sized washer can cause a leak. Luckily, a trained plumber can remedy the problem pretty quickly.

4. Water Heater Issues

The water heater is one of the most crucial pieces of equipment in your home. If yours is malfunctioning, you could face lukewarm showers and lots of wasted energy. There are multiple potential issues with water heaters. Yours could be improperly sized for your home. It could have a faulty thermostat. These are just a few possibilities. Not only do the plumbers at OSI Comfort Specialists know what to look for, but we also carry top-quality products from leading manufacturers like John Wood, Bock and Bradford White.

OSI Comfort Specialists — Your One Call for Plumbing Services

At OSI Comfort Specialist, we know New York homes. Whether yours was built in the 19th century or last year, our plumbing services team can identify and resolve just about any issue you have. We are always prompt in responding and transparent in our pricing and the work we do. We’ll assess the plumbing issues you have and come up with a workable solution to get things moving again.

Are you dealing with a home plumbing issue? Contact us to arrange service.

Today’s heating oil is safe, effective and greener than ever!

heating oil Nassau County, NY New York homeowners have plenty of ways to heat their houses now. How do you think home heating oil stacks up to other energy sources?

Unfortunately, too many folks in Queens and Nassau County think that oil heat involves a lot of ash and black smoke, the way it sometimes did in the mid-20th century. But the fact of the matter is that today’s heating oil is light years more refined, efficient and eco-friendly than it used to be. But it still provides dependable, robust heat whenever you need it.

Here are four reasons that heating oil is still a fantastic home heating fuel.

Heating oil produces lots of warmth.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a single gallon of heating oil can generate an amazing 138,500 Btu of heat energy. You’d need about 41 kilowatt hours of electricity or 134 cubic feet of natural gas to produce that much heat.

Heating oil is a tried and tested method for warming homes during icy New York winters. You can be confident your oil furnace or boiler will get the job done.

Heating oil equipment is more efficient than ever.

With modern boilers and furnaces, you can rest assured that almost all the energy generated from your heating oil is going to keep your loved ones comfortable and safe. Very little energy is wasted. That’s because today’s oil-fired heating equipment can have a fuel efficiency rating of 90% or higher. These oil furnaces and boilers consume, on average, 500 fewer gallons of fuel annually than they did in the 1970s.

Heating oil is clean and green.

For some time now, petroleum-based heating oil has been ultra-low-sulfur. This has been excellent for reducing its emissions, but at OSI Comfort Specialists, we go a step further by delivering Bioheat® fuel. This product is an eco-friendly blend of ultra-low-sulfur heating oil and organic biodiesel. Our fuel reduces sulfur dioxide emissions by 80%, nitrogen dioxide emissions by up to 30% and carbon emissions by 20%.

That’s great for the environment and your equipment because Bioheat fuel leaves fewer deposits in your heat exchangers. You’ll need less maintenance, and your heating equipment will last longer.

Heating oil is safe.

Oil heat is just about the safest way to heat your home. Unlike natural gas or propane, heating oil will not explode in its liquid form. A lit match dropped into a bucket of heating oil would go out immediately. Your equipment turns it into vapor and superheats it to make it combust.

Plus, modern heating oil tanks have double wall designs and other safety features to make them virtually leak-proof!

Trust OSI Comfort for heating oil delivery.

Households in our region know they can count on OSI Comfort Specialists for dependable heating oil delivery. We offer free automatic delivery of our premium Bioheat fuel. Our computerized system will track your fuel usage, so you can be confident you’ll never be without the fuel you need.

Reach out to us today to become an OSI Comfort Specialists customer.

Deciding how old is too old for a heating system.

furnace queens, ny Have you ever experienced the unpleasant feeling of waking up in your bed on a winter morning in a cold, unheated room? Why didn’t your furnace keep your house warm all night? Do you need to start the day indoors wearing thick socks and a coat, calling someone for a heating system repair?

An unreliable furnace can be especially bad if you have a young child or an older relative living in your home. These people need more consistently warm indoor temperatures. Waking up in a frigid home can present real health problems.

At OSI Comfort Specialists, we help households in Queens, Nassau and western Suffolk counties stay warm and safe no matter how icy it is outside. We’re here to fix or, if necessary, replace your older heating oil or natural gas furnace.

What’s the lifespan of a furnace?

Typically, you can expect a furnace to operate for up to 20 years with proper maintenance. We’ve even seen furnaces last for 25 years or more. That said, older heating systems lose efficiency, making your operating costs and fuel spending rise over time. If your furnace is over 15 years old, you might be better off replacing it.

How can you tell if your furnace is failing?

We recommend that you start thinking early about a furnace replacement. Don’t wait for your current heating system to fail, or you might be left without heat for several days in the coldest weeks of the year.

Beyond the age of your equipment, here are some early signs that your furnace is struggling:

If your furnace is over 15 years old and needs a repair that costs more than 30% of the expense of a new furnace, a replacement is a better idea.

Will upgrading your furnace save you money?

Installing a higher-efficiency furnace to replace older equipment can save you significant money on heating oil and natural gas expenses. A 15-year-old furnace’s fuel efficiency may have deteriorated to 60% or lower. Nearly half the money you’re spending on heating fuel is wasted!

By contrast, many of today’s furnaces have fuel efficiency ratings well over 90%. You’ll spend much less on fuel each year, not to mention a significant reduction in the amount of service calls you’re making.

OSI Comfort Specialists knows furnace installations!

Are you dealing with a struggling furnace right now? Don’t wait for it to break down — reach out to OSI Comfort Specialists to get a head start on upgrading your home heating system. We install and service top-quality products from Energy Kinetics, Peerless and Burnham. Our HVAC technicians will treat your home with respect and complete your furnace installation quickly and correctly.

Now’s the time to upgrade your winter comfort. Contact OSI Comfort Specialists for a FREE estimate.

Five ways to get your oil-fired heating system running — without a service call.

boiler service nassau county, ny We know that it can be unnerving, even frightening, when the heat in your Nassau County home won’t come on during a frigid winter evening. You can be confident that the OSI Comfort Specialists team is on call 24 hours a day to respond to our customers’ emergency no-heat calls.

That said, we would much rather help you troubleshoot your boiler issues yourself. There are many circumstances when you can fix a heating problem without needing to bring in a professional HVAC technician. This can help keep some money in your pocket.

If your radiators, baseboards or radiant floor systems aren’t heating up, try these five simple boiler troubleshooting tips.

1. Check your thermostat.

First, we suggest you make sure your thermostat is set to “heat” or “auto” and that you’ve set it to at least 5 degrees above your current room temperature. If it isn’t, adjust your thermostat settings and see if your boiler comes on.

2. Confirm your boiler is receiving electricity.

Pretty much all heating systems, including today’s oil-fired boilers, require electricity to work. Check that the power switch is set to “on.” If it is but your boiler isn’t working, check your home’s breaker box. The circuit breaker that powers your boiler may have tripped.

3. Check your heating oil tank levels.

The gauge on top of your heating oil tank is a clear glass or plastic vial with numbers similar to a car’s gas gauge: F, ¾, ½ and ¼. A disk in the vial tells you how full the tank is. If the disk is at or near the bottom of the vial (or you can’t see it at all), you may have run out of fuel. Reach out to OSI Comfort Specialists for an immediate heating oil delivery.

You can avoid fuel run-outs in the future by signing up for our free Automatic Delivery service. Our computerized system tracks your heating oil use, and we arrange a delivery right when you need more fuel.

4. Look at your boiler’s water levels.

Steam boilers must maintain a stable water level to work effectively. You can check your boiler’s water level by looking at the glass gauge on the equipment. This tube should be at least half full of water. If it isn’t, open the valve feeding cold water to your boiler and increase the water level.

5. Reset your boiler’s burners.

As a final troubleshooting step, you can press and hold the “reset” button on the boiler’s burner for 3 seconds. If your system does not start after you press this button, do not press the button again. Doing so can flood your heating system, and you could end up with a costly repair.

The OSI Comfort team is here for your boiler repair needs.

When DIY troubleshooting doesn’t work, OSI Comfort Specialists is here for New York families. We perform boiler repairs and other heating system services. Our technicians are highly trained, extensively experienced and always courteous. We don’t consider our job done until your heating is restored.

Trust to the pros at OSI Comfort Specialists. Request service today.

Easy tips to lower your heating oil usage this winter.

home heating queens, ny You might find yourself wearing thick socks in the morning when you come downstairs for breakfast or ticking up your home heating thermostat once the sun sets. Winter is officially here in Queens, Nassau and western Suffolk Counties. Unfortunately, that doesn’t just bring holiday cheer. It can also usher in higher energy expenses.

Luckily, the team at OSI Comfort Specialists is here to help you make your New York home more energy-efficient this winter. Try these five simple tips and see your heating oil expenses drop.

1. Plug the air leaks.

For a heating system to warm your home efficiently, you need to keep heat inside. A good starting place is to prevent heat from escaping your house with weatherstripping and caulk. Check windows and doorframes for drafts and apply weatherproofing materials where you feel cold air.

Attics, crawl spaces and basements are notorious for letting heat escape. You can add insulation with a high R-value (the measurement for heat flow reduction) to these areas and generate huge savings. Even recently built homes can benefit from insulation upgrades.

2. Use high-quality Bioheat® fuel.

At OSI Comfort Specialists, we proudly deliver Bioheat fuel, a blend of ultra-low-sulfur heating oil and organic biodiesel. Not only is this fuel more eco-friendly, but it also helps lower your HVAC maintenance costs. Bioheat fuel burns cleaner than traditional heating oil, leaving fewer deposits in your equipment, reducing wear and tear and extending your heating equipment’s lifespan.

Arranging heating oil delivery from OSI Comfort Specialists can save you money on system upkeep.

3. Take advantage of sunlight.

You have a free heating source outside your windows. When there’s a sunny winter day, open the blinds and shades. The sunlight will warm up your home, meaning that your boiler or furnace won’t need to cycle as often.

4. Get smart with your thermostat.

Did you know that the U.S. Department of Energy has found that turning your thermostat back 7 to 10 degrees from its standard setting for 8 hours daily can lower annual heating and cooling costs by 10 percent? With a programmable thermostat, you can preset these adjustments for when you’re asleep or away from home.

Even better, you can invest in a smart thermostat that makes additional energy-saving adjustments when it determines you are out of the house.

5. Arrange your annual home heating tune-up.

Perhaps the best investment you can make in efficient home heating is to arrange annual heating maintenance. For the relatively low cost of a tune-up, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  1. More efficient home heating and lower heating oil consumption
  2. More reliable heat all winter long.
  3. Lowered chance of a boiler or furnace breakdown (and a pricy repair visit).
  4. Extended service life for your home heating system.
  5. Continued coverage from your manufacturer’s warranty (which typically requires annual maintenance from a professional technician).

OSI Comfort Specialists offers affordable service plan coverage to protect your home heating equipment. These plans include complimentary tune-ups, priority service and discounts on repairs. It’s like health insurance for your boiler or furnace!

If you’re interested in enrolling in a service plan or scheduling your yearly heating system maintenance, reach out to our team today.

Ensure maximum comfort and fuel efficiency with a heating oil system.

oil-furnaces queens, ny Your home’s heating system is one of the priciest items you own — and also one of the most essential.

When temperatures plummet in Queens and Long Island, homeowners need to know that their furnaces can meet the challenge of keeping their families safe and warm. Additionally, heating makes up a significant chunk of the average U.S. home’s energy spending. The Department of Energy (DOE) found that heating and cooling account for 55% of the average home’s energy consumption.

So, the question arises: How efficient are today’s oil-fired furnaces?

Let’s start with AFUE.

When thinking about home fuel efficiency, the natural starting point is your heating system’s Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE.

This metric tells you how much of the heating oil your furnace consumes is directed toward producing heat for your house. If your system has an AFUE of 84, then 84% of the fuel it burns heats your living spaces, while the rest goes out the chimney or flue. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the system.

Today’s oil-fired furnaces can have AFUE ratings in the 90s, which means that virtually all the heating oil you’re consuming is doing its job, and very little is wasted. Indeed, oil furnaces have made a huge leap forward in efficiency. They consume, on average, 500 fewer gallons of fuel annually than they did in the 1970s.
It’s also worth noting that an older heating system will lose efficiency — often quite a bit. If your oil-fired furnace is over 15 years old, its efficiency could have dropped into the 60% range or lower. Arranging a new furnace installation could boost that efficiency by 30 percent or more. That can really slash your annual heating oil expenses!

Also consider heating oil’s Btu generation.

While AFUE is an important tool for assessing your furnace’s efficiency, it’s also important to consider heating oil’s superior heat generation. According to the DOE, one gallon of heating oil will generate 138,500 Btu (British thermal units) of heat energy. To produce that amount of heat, you would need about 134 cubic feet of natural gas or 41 kilowatt hours of electricity.

As you can see, heating oil has a distinct edge over these other popular energy sources in terms of efficient heat production.

Trust OSI Comfort Specialists with your heating needs.

If your New York home relies on a heating oil furnace, you can count on our team to keep your family warm and safe all winter. Our free automatic heating oil delivery is the most reliable way to receive fuel in the region. We also deliver eco-friendly Bioheat® fuel. This blend of ultra-low-sulfur heating oil and organic biodiesel burns cleaner than traditional heating oil, which slows wear and tear, improves heating system performance, reduces breakdowns and extends the equipment life expectancy.

Do you want to receive Bioheat fuel at your Queens, Nassau or western Suffolk County home? Become an OSI Comfort Specialists customer today!

We sell and install dependable standby generators for New York homes.

generator options Nassau County, ny Living in Queens and Western Long Island comes with its share of unique challenges, and power outages are certainly in the mix. Superstorm Sandy, for example, knocked out power to almost 800 thousand homes and businesses in New York City and Westchester.

Losing power is never pleasant. It can often be dangerous. In December 2022, a massive blizzard caused power outages in upstate New York, and dozens lost their lives. Most home heating requires some form of electricity to continue running. If you rely on home medical equipment or electric mobility products, you can’t afford to be without power for long.

At OSI Comfort Specialists, we proudly sell and install top-of-the-line standby power generators from Generac. We can help you find the perfect generator for your home.

What is a standby generator?

A standby generator is a permanent appliance that’s installed outside your home. It typically runs on natural gas or propane and comes on automatically when it detects that your home has lost utility power. A standby generator is intended to power all or most of your home and can typically run for days or even weeks at a time.

These models have some significant benefits over portable generators, which run on diesel or gasoline:

  1. Standby generators power your home without your needing to do anything. You can be out of town, and the generator will keep your home’s heating and security system running through a blackout.
  2. You need to refuel and position a portable generator to get it going. This may be hard in the weather conditions that lead to a grid outage.
  3. Portable generators must be kept outside your home as they generate considerable exhaust, meaning you’ll need to run extension cords outside.
  4. If you run out of gasoline or diesel for your generator, you may not be able to get more during a grid outage.

How do you decide what size generator to get?

When deciding what size of standby generator your home needs, you can calculate your home’s voltage using its size and the number of appliances you need to power. It’s generally a good idea to add 20 percent to your voltage calculation, accounting for any appliances or systems that need to recharge fully once the generator comes on.

You also may not need to power every outlet and light fixture. A load management system can limit how many rooms and appliances access the generator.

Generac offers an excellent generator sizing calculator to help you in your search.

Trust OSI Comfort Specialists for your generator installation.

We want to help you protect your home and family during a power outage. When you come to OSI Comfort Specialists for your generator installation , we’ll discuss your home’s backup power needs and identify a Generac product that meets them. Our team of technicians has years of experience finding the right placement for generators. We can get them up and running quickly and safely. Plus, we’re always here if you need generator maintenance.

Winter is just about here. Reach out to OSI Comfort Specialists and put your home power fears to rest.