Preparation is key to tackling 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.