FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – HEATING SYSTEM SERVICES:
Q. My hot water heater needs to be repaired/replaced. Can you help with this?
A. Unfortunately, no. This program addresses heating issues only (even if you get your hot water from your heating system).
Q. I am a tenant and my heating system needs repairs. Can you help?
A. If your landlord is also LIHEAP eligible, we can assist with repairs to your heating system. If your landlord is NOT LIHEAP eligible, then we are unable to repair your heating system. Your landlord is responsible for providing you with a safe and working heating system.
Q. I have been on Fuel Assistance in the past, but did not apply this year. Can you still help me with heating system repairs?
A. No. You must apply for and be certified eligible for Fuel Assistance before we can provide heating system services.
Q. Will you pay for my heating system to be cleaned?
A. Possibly. The first priority of our program is to address heating emergencies during the heating season (November-April). If there are funds available after the heating season is over, cleanings will be done on a first-come, first-served basis. Please call us in the spring to see if a cleaning program is available. It is generally recommended that oil systems be cleaned annually and gas/propane systems be cleaned every three years.
Q. Do you pay the entire cost of heating system repairs/replacements?
A. While every effort is made to access all available funding, there are limitations on how much money is available. If you will be required to contribute towards the work done in your home, we will let you know in advance the total cost, BCAC contribution and what the balance is that you will have to pay.
Q. What if I have a heating emergency when your office is not open (nights/weekends/holidays)?
A. Please see the list of contractors who work with BCAC. Call one of these contractors and let them know that you are a BCAC client. Ask if they would be willing to provide service. It is possible that they may ask you to pay for the service, but perhaps they would be willing to hold your check until you can contact BCAC on the next business day for a work order. We cannot guarantee payment. It depends on the service provided, funds available and if you have been certified eligible for Fuel Assistance.
Q. What are some things I should look for before I call for service?
A. Do you have fuel? If your oil or propane tank is empty (or extremely low), your heating system will not work. Call your fuel supplier for a delivery. You must have fuel in order to have your heating system repaired or cleaned.
Did you check your Emergency Switch and service switch? Perhaps someone has inadvertently flipped the switch into the off position. (Your Emergency Switch should have a red switchplate cover and your service switch should look like a regular light switch on or near the heating system)
Did you hit the reset button? If not, try this to see if your system starts. (Look for a red button on the burner – it is not recommended that you do this more than once)
Did you check your circuit breakers? It is possible that the breaker/fuse for your heating system needs to be reset/replaced.
Q. I’ve been told that my home is not in compliance with codes regarding smoke and CO detectors. Can you provide and install these?
Q. My regular heating contractor does not contract with BCAC, can I still use them to service my heating system?
A. BCAC is unable to pay for service done by any contractor who is not contracted with our agency. Please note that even if they provide you with fuel through BCAC, they are not necessarily contracted with us to do service. Please check the list.
Q. I have been informed by my oil dealer that my oil line needs to be upgraded. Can you help with this expense?
A. Yes. Please call us to arrange for an oil line replacement.
Q. My oil dealer says that my tank needs to be replaced. Can you help?
A. We will send a member of our technical staff to your home to evaluate the condition of the oil tank. If they believe the tank is in need of replacement, we have funds available to assist. NOTE: There is a dollar limit for oil tank replacements and you may have to contribute towards this work.