Cooler temperatures are on the way and in some chilly spots, the leaves are already donning some bright colors. It may be hard to say goodbye to Summer and embrace readiness for Fall and Winter weather, but paying attention now could save you costly repairs and aggravation later, not to mention improve the efficiency of your equipment.
Our top 5 tips for winter readiness
1. Heating Equipment and Chimney Maintenance – Do it!
- Have your heating system cleaned and tuned annually. This is the best advice we have – it will ensure your equipment operates safely and efficiently in the months to come.
- Check the chimney and fireplace. If you have a wood fireplace or woodstove and use it with some regularity, have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional once a year.
2. Seal up those drafts! Clear the gutters! Clear those vents!
- Reinforce windows and doors. Remove screens and install storm windows and doors if you use them. Check caulk and seals around all doors and windows.
- Feel for drafts around the edges of windows and doors. A good tip is to use a lighted candle and if the flame flickers, there’s most likely a draft – or a stick of incense will show you as well. If necessary, replace seals and repair caulking around window and door frames. Consider buying heavier or insulated drapery for especially drafty windows.
- Once the leaves are down, clear your gutters – to ensure proper drainage away from your home and foundation.
- Now, and throughout winter, keep your vents clear of ice and snow – dryer vents, fuel fill vents, plumbing vents, and exhaust vents for your heating equipment.
3. Embrace technology
- Install a programmable thermostat, if you don’t have one. If you already have one, check the temperature settings. Setting your thermostat to lower the temperature automatically at night and when you’re not home, can result in substantial cost savings.
- Consider investing in high-efficiency heating equipment. A new heating system combined with insulation efforts can significantly reduce your fuel bills.
4. Get ready for the snow and ice.
- Service your snow blower and make sure it is ready to go and/or connect with whoever plows your driveway. Remember, if your driveway is impassable due to snow and ice, we will not be able to make your fuel delivery.
- Confirm you have snow shovel(s), roof rake, and other snow clearing tools at the ready – they could be in short supply or hard to acquire when we get a big storm.
- Test your generator. If you have an emergency generator for power outages, give it a test, and make sure it’s in good working order.
- Buy extra gasoline. Purchase extra gas to have on hand for use in your snow blower or generator, so you’re prepared for emergencies. Make sure you store gasoline in tanks away from fire sources and out of children’s reaches.
5. Plan for your fuel bills and start earning Loyalty Points
- Put a CAP on your cost of fuel and participate in our Price Protection program. Price program customers never pay more per gallon than the quoted cap price. When prices fall below the quoted cap price, your per-gallon cost will follow the market down.
- Get on a budget plan for your fuel and get control of your expenditures. It is not too late to sign up for our Budget Plan which divides your estimated annual fuel costs into even monthly payments. Budget Plan customers also benefit from our Price Protection Program.
- Sign up for our rewards program and start earning loyalty points for every dollar you spend. All our residential customers are invited to sign up for our Loyalty Program which automatically assigns rewards points whenever you pay for our products and services. Points are redeemable for valuable discounts, credit on your account, or leveraged gifts to community organizations. Join our Loyalty Program now and immediately earn 2500 points as a sign-up bonus!
As you’re enjoying the last blast of summer, make sure that your home is prepared for the coming seasons. Preventative maintenance now will save money on expensive emergency repairs and wasted energy costs. Properly maintaining your home also enhances its value and appeal and is less effort than managing a crisis later. When the chilly weather approaches you and your home will be ready.