The thought that the start of spring is just a week and a half away – at least theoretically – will be cold comfort to a lot of Nova Scotians, considering we’re still experiencing seasonal temperatures well below average.
It’s been the same story across much of the country: arctic air that settled in and hasn’t budged. More than mere discomfort when heading outdoors, it’s meant a heating bill that a lot of homeowners are struggling with, and some households are facing as competition with other needs.
Couple that with the highest prices we’ve seen for home heating fuel and it’s like your proverbial perfect storm.
Interestingly, as people muse on how better to stay warm at home and the options available, reports have arisen this winter about a sharp rise in price for natural gas. Speculation is that those increases should be temporary, reflecting a current shortage of supply. But still, as natural gas slowly makes its way toward being available domestically in Pictou County, people will take this year’s prices into account in making any future, long-term decisions on the home front.
In a brutal winter it’s hard to find a silver lining. But no doubt many people – cringing every time they hear the furnace kick in – will be coming ever more aware of the vulnerable spots in their homes, gaps that let heat escape or areas that could be insulated better.
Naturally, the warmer months are the time to tackle those jobs. A lot of people will be putting them on their to-do list for the summer, since we never know how frigid next winter will be. Insulation and any measures to slow heat loss, experts advise, offer homeowners the best pay-off.
People in the position to upgrade a heating system will likely be thinking about other options. And one thing – this could prove a bit of a silver lining – given the unforgettable freeze this season, we can expect the competition to line up with plenty a good array of alternatives.