Save money and stay safe this Winter
Don't wait until it's cold to plan for Winter. Be more like the humble squirrel and you could save yourself some money as well as keep your family safe.
Below are some helpful tips for getting ready for Winter and save money on your heating bills. Here they are in a nutshell!
Get your chimney swept in Summer
Check your logburner for wear and tear
Stock up on fuel and kindling in Autumn
Check your carbon monoxide alarm is working
Buy fuel from local suppliers before it gets cold
We would love to hear your own tips. Visit our facebook page and let us know what squirrel-like behaviour you undertake to get ready for Winter.
After you stop using your fire, soot remains in the chimney and starts to mix with the water in the atmosphere rather than getting burnt off. This can cause your bricks and mortar or expensive chimney lining material to corrode. Getting your chimney swept in the Summer months helps avoid this damage and also saves you the stress of finding a chimney sweep in the busy months leading up to Christmas. Sweeps are quieter in the summer months and often will offer a discount to attract your business.
The fire service recommend that you get your chimney swept annually (at least) as this helps prevent dangerous chimney fires.
Your wood stove will save you money on gas and electric bills if you look after your appliance. Wood burners need a little bit of attention every year to keep them running optimally. Check that...
the grate and fire bricks that line the walls inside of the stove are not damaged.
the glass and rope around the door seal. If damaged or frayed, too much air will enter and unnecessary fuel will be burnt.
Check your fire proof gloves are still intact. Buy one here.
Clean the glass and check for cracks. Buy glass cleaner here.
You could also consider buying a stove pipe thermometer as these are an excellent visual guide to help you keep your fire burning at its most efficient temperature.
Autumn is a great time for collecting dry twigs that have fallen off the trees. These make excellent and free kindling so stock up early. Also keep a store of newspapers and old bills, so that you can burn them to start off your fire.
Logs also have been known to rise in price after the burning season starts so fill up your log store early. It's important to burn seasoned wood only, as wood that has not dried out properly will coat your chimney lining with flammable residue that can cause a chimney fire.
Ask your supplier to prove the moisture content is below 20%. Look for the 'ready to burn' logo. If you have a lot of wood that you have been storing and are unsure as to whether it is 'seasoned' yet, invest in a moisture meter to be safe. [top]
Blockages in chimneys can cause carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO is a poisonous gas that has no smell or taste. Breathing it can make you unwell, and can kill. Every year in the UK, over 200 people go to hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, which leads to around 40 deaths.
It is a legal requirement to have a CO detector located near any wood, log or solid fuel burning stove. It is recommended to also have one in every bedroom in use. Check that yours is working, that it is correctly positioned and conforms to the British Standard. We will install one as part of your installation if you do not already have one.
You should also check your smoke alarms at the same time as you should have both kinds in your property. To book a free home fire safety check visit www.fireservice.co.uk.
Log burners and multi-fuel stoves produce much less polution and harmful emissions than open fires so it makes sense to also buy coal and smokeless fuel from a local company to reduce damage caused by transportation of the coal.
Unbelievably coal mined in the UK can be more expensive than coal shipped from the other side of the world but if customers insist on buying it then suppliers will have to provide it.
...from retail outlets as they usually have a high moisture content which means they burn inefficiently, add to pollution and fill your liner with corrosive soot. They also will have travelled hundreds of miles to get to your stove.
Here are reliable local companies that will deliver seasoned logs from the local area to your door, that we use ourselves.
Phillip Allen; Tree Surgeon in Arlesey. Call 01462 834411 to arrange for a delivery of logs to your house.
Mr Goddard in Pirton. Call 01462 712692 for competitively priced logs and kindling delivered to your door