Squirrels begin shopping for and storing winter food in the summer. When Fall’s cooler temperatures arrive, a squirrel’s winter shopping spree intensifies. They hoard their food and mark their scent using their memory and amazing sense of smell that can detect its food through 30 cm (1 foot) of snow. They also prepare by increasing their food consumption and body mass. They basically get fat.
Squirrels Do Not Hibernate in Winter
Once the frigid winter temperatures become unbearable, squirrels will burrow into a warm, seclusive place and sleep (a lot). They hunker down in their den opting to stay warm with their buddies rather than galavanting in the snow. Science Alert: Squirrels keep their body temperatures stable (within homeostasis) by sleeping in a communal arrangement. This is a form of conduction, in which heat can be transferred between the two squirrels that are touching.
When its warm enough, they will venture out and cash in on the food they saved during the Summer and Fall. It is estimated that a squirrel hoard 3 years worth of food!
This Winter Get Prepared Like a Squirrel
Prepare for winter by making sure your heater is working properly and that your oil tank will never run out of heating oil. For many people, this is a stressful chore. That’s why Hillside Oil Heating & Cooling has created our Worry-Free Winter Packages. We’ll take care of your heating system, your fuel deliveries, and help spread out the cost of heating oil.
Choose one of our Worry-Free Winter packages. We will make sure your heater is working properly and that your tank will never run out of heating oil.
Was your outdoor heating oil tank a victim of the recent cold weather?
When the temperature outdoors gets to a severe low, the heating oil in your tank may thicken. What happens is a gelling process where heating oil doesn’t freeze but thickens or gels like a soft wax-like material, the reason being that the paraffin or wax in heating oil starts to crystallize, separating itself from the oil compound. The recent cold snap was the coldest it has been in years. The heating oil in our region is now ultra low sulfur, and we are not sure how these changes to the actual fuel are impacted by severe cold weather. Our local refineries “winterize” fuels based on our region, and this recent cold was not the norm for our region.
With above-ground outdoor tanks, heating oil gelling is common with very low temperatures. If a homeowner isn’t aware of that potential issue and the steps they need to take to prevent it, the gelling or thickening of the heating oil in the tank can cause clogs in fuel filters and lines and also result in less heating oil going to the oil burner.
1. You can purchase fuel additive from us and we can add it during your oil delivery or it is also sold at hardware stores and you can add it after a heating oil delivery. This can prevent fuel gelling.
2. For improved oil flow to the oil burner consider installing a fuel line with a larger diameter. You can also wrap any pipes and fuel lines that are outside with a heat tape material. Make sure that all openings are well sealed in order to prevent contact with the cold air and/or ground surface.
3. Change or have your oil filter changed annually for best performance and make sure it is installed indoors which is the norm for most heating system installations. If your oil filter is outdoors the chances for it clogging and freezing are far greater. It is best if the filter is indoors close to the furnace or within a heated shed.
As always, Hillside is here to help.