Prepa­ra­tion is key to tack­ling win­ter

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - PREPARING FOR WINTER -

PRE­PAR­ING for win­ter can mean many things to many peo­ple. But one thing we all need to do is stack up on win­ter fu­els like coal, turf, bri­quettes, home heat­ing oil and tim­ber blocks are items high on the agenda of many con­ver­sa­tions right now.

Some peo­ple pre­fer to have a lo­cal sup­plier de­liver fuel on a weekly or fort­nightly ba­sis, which is hand­ier if you hap­pen to live in an ur­ban area. While oth­ers will pre­fer to or­der solid fuel in bulk and have it de­liv­ered in one go. The lat­ter op­tion might be more ex­pen­sive, but it’s bet­ter to have a few months’ sup­ply to hand.

You could also get fuel de­liv­ered in two stages. For ex­am­ple, be­tween now and De­cem­ber is a time when dark­ness de­scends pretty rapidly, although it can some­times be very mild. How­ever, it’s the post- Christ­mas pe­riod and months’ Jan­uary, Fe­bru­ary and March that re­ally bring in some of the year’s most se­vere spells of weather with cold, wind and rain much more in­tense. It can be worth­while struc­tur­ing your fuel sup­plies with this in mind.

Of course all the pru­dence in the world when it comes to buy­ing fuel won’t mat­ter a zilch if you have a home where drafts are al­lowed to rob you of your pre­cious win­ter heat. ‘Drafty’ homes are in some cases re­spon­si­ble for up to 60 per cent of heat loss dur­ing win­ter time and this, if you’ll par­don the pun, is just reck­lessly burn­ing money. Ill-fit­ting win­dows and gaps around doors are the main cul­prits; how­ever, what you sim­ply MUST not do is at­tempt to block ven­ti­la­tion grills. Ven­ti­la­tion grills are there to al­low fumes gen­er­ated from burn­ing solid fu­els to es­cape.

Also, look out for value when it comes to solid fu­els. The lo­cal pa­pers will of­ten ad­ver­tise fuel sup­pli­ers in your area and it pays to phone around and check out who’s of­fer­ing the best deals. This ap­proach works re­ally well if you’re think­ing of order­ing in bulk. Home heat­ing oil sup­pli­ers are also com­pet­i­tively priced and here again it pays to pre-check prices. It’s a long win­ter ahead so make the best of it by pre­par­ing in ad­vance…not dur­ing.

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