Ask the Experts: Preparing your home for winter
When the leaves begin to turn, it’s a sign that winter is right around the corner. The best way to keep our families warm is to be ready. We reached out to an expert to learn how to best prepare for the coldest months of the year.
Charlie Ermer, vice president of Business Operations, Palmer Gas & Oil.
What cost-saving measures can I take to lower my expenses?
Ermer: “Be sure to get your furnace or boiler serviced prior to the start of the heating season, and consider replacing older heating systems with newer, more efficient models. Be sure to use a reputable company like Palmer Gas & Oil for your sales, service and installation needs.
“Once your heating system is serviced, Palmer Gas & Oil’s Price Protection Programs are always a great way to budget for the fuel season. Whether you pre-buy your seasonal fuel, lock in a price-per-gallon, or set up a budget plan these programs are designed to take the uncertainty out of the heating season.
“Working from home? Kids not in school this fall? Extra family members sharing your home? Be sure to let your provider know that you have the potential to burn more fuel this season. You’ll want to take that into consideration when determining your price plan. Also, if you are a will-call customer, consider moving to automatic delivery. We can manage your delivery schedule to prevent run outs — it’s one less thing for you to worry about.”
What landscaping tips should I follow for the fall/winter?
Ermer: “The No. 1 tip that every household should abide by, whether a renter, an owner or a couch surfer is to make sure that the furnace vents outside your home are clear of snow, ice and debris. Blocked vents can decrease the efficiency of your heating system, cause furnaces to shut off completely, or allow carbon monoxide build to build up in your home. During particularly heavy snowstorms, it’s important to check vents frequently to ensure they are clear.
“It’s important for us to easily and safely reach your fuel tank at all times to avoid service interruption. Please make sure that there is a clear path to your tank from your driveway, and that your driveway is clear enough to accommodate our fuel truck. Along the pathway to your tank, trim back branches and shrubs, keep the area clear of toys and bikes, unlock gates and fences, and keep dogs contained.
“In the winter, keep both your driveway and the path to your tank shoveled and clear of snow and ice. Our delivery team does not carry the tools to dig out tanks and driveways, and unfortunately, if we can’t navigate your driveway we might have to reschedule. At Palmer Gas & Oil, we offer an email and texting service, so you know exactly when we are due to arrive.”
How can I prevent a freeze-up of my water pipes?
Ermer: “Keep the heat on and don’t run out of fuel. We recommend that you stay on automatic delivery during the winter to avoid fuel run outs. Even better, let us install a tank monitor to ensure you always have enough fuel to keep your home free of freeze-ups. If you’re away, it’s always a good idea to have a trusted friend or family member check on your home to make sure your equipment hasn’t malfunctioned.”