Preparing for Winter during a Pandemic: Are you putting all your eggs in one basket?
When we hear the news out there, it is so hard to tell what is honest and what is hype. Tad and Carol (owners of Mace Energy Supply) are not ones to use scare tactics or high-pressure sales styles, but we do want to ask you to do one thing for us:
Have an open conversation in your home about planning for the what-ifs!
With the current health concerns that are impacting us all on so many levels and with no clear end in sight, we just want to pass forward some of our industry chatter, some professional wisdom and insight for your consideration for the coming winter ahead of us all.
And so, here’s the proverbial “Putting All of Your Eggs in the Same Basket” discussion…
The two buzz words that we want to put forward here are “Self-Reliance” and “Peace of Mind.”
- Let’s start with the easy one – “Peace of Mind” for your family’s comfort this winter. Living in our area, we all know that winters are just plain erratic. Sometimes it is a rough one and then again, sometimes it is really mild all the way through. We have always been able to count on our homes being a warm and comfortable place to be with our families during the winter.
So, let’s play the What-If Game for a second:
What if there is a fuel shortage, or limits on heating oil, propane or rolling brown-outs set in motion for all of those resources? Think back to the days of no toilet paper, cleaning supplies and empty shelves that seemed to be drained overnight with unknown timelines of resupply. Now think about it again in terms of how you heat your home.
- The second buzz word is “Self-Reliance.” We all would like to think that we are in that sturdy class of folk. True self-reliance in this situation is put simply: I heat my house on my own terms with my own fuel that I have plenty of already in store on the premises. I do not have one worry and feel peacefully prepared for whatever type of winter lies ahead.
Do you know how much fuel you need for the upcoming winter, regardless of the type, to keep your home warm plus have some to spare?
Are you okay with those What-If’s that we just talked about? If the What-If’s became a reality, how would you and your family be impacted?
Benefits of Wood Fuel
Most conversations about self-reliant heat seem to hover over things like core wood, pellet fuel and coal. So, let’s talk about those things for a second. If you plan to purchase core wood for your wood stove – do so now. When they tell you it’s already seasoned – make sure YOU check it with a moisture meter before you buy it (kits available in our showroom). The bark may look dry – but it is the center of that wood that needs to be checked. That is why we cut our firewood into “quarters” – so that the center core has a chance to really dry out properly for about a full year. The number one job of bark is to keep moisture in the tree and bugs out. Green wood on the inner core spends most of its energy evaporating that moisture when being burned rather than heating your home. Also, it really adds to the creosote burden in your chimney, in other words a heightened possibility of chimney fires.
Benefits of Pellet Fuel
After talking at great length with one of our pellet manufacturers – and I mean THE guy at the top of the food chain over there, he had some very insightful things that he felt was important to share with you. Things like:
- American sawmills and wood-crafting factories have been closing left and right in the past 6 months – 22 sawmills in his local area just in the past 3 months! Closed for good. Not coming back.
- Most of our furniture factories are now overseas, and that is where the raw dust stays – in those countries, not shipped back home to us. Canada still has its borders closed, which is where lots of our raw lumber comes from. Factories that create the dust that makes the pellets may or may not be functioning if things go from bad to worse – in other words, no dust, no pellets!
So, what can you do? Buy all the pellets you need NOW so that your family will not even bat an eye when everyone else is struggling to find decent pellet fuel at fair prices this fall and winter. And prices will most definitely go up, not because the companies selling it are greedy, but because scarcity drives the price up long before it gets shoveled into those pellet bags at the mill and shipped to us dealers.
Don’t Take the ‘Wait and See’ Approach
The last item on our mind to share with you for your conversations around your own dinner tables is TIMING. If you take a “Wait and See” approach, that may not turn out as well as what you hoped it would. Remember when the virus started getting heightened attention, businesses reacted and began to shut down. Factories were one of those ‘businesses’. There are only so many hearth stoves and inserts out there in active stock. Most dealers are not as fortunate as we are at Mace Energy to have such a big warehouse to store supplies, so they order in on a ‘job-per-job’ basis. So, when the factories close, those dealers can’t fulfill the ‘jobs’. And again, when scarcity increases, so does the cost of those scarce products including the parts that are used by the factories to build them. A stove is nice – but you also need the liners and the other parts required by building safety laws to exhaust them correctly and safely.
Don’t Be Scared, Be Prepared
As you can see, there are so many layers to be considered when considering the “What-If’s.” So, all we are simply suggesting is to begin thinking and talking about it NOW while you still can select from the best appliance options and supplies available to you within your budget. Let us help you and your family be “Self-Reliant” and give you the “Peace of Mind” you need for an uncertain winter and business environment. Click here to take advantage of our Summer Specials on Wood and Pellet Stoves.
One final thought – feel free to share with those in your circle of family and friends who may also benefit from this information. Give them the chance to be truly self-reliant with you!