As the nights get colder and longer, it is important to make sure that you have winter proofed your home to minimise any problems during a cold snap and to save yourself money.
1. Clear your gutters
Whilst not a popular job, clearing your gutters of any leaves or debris is essential to make sure that your water is flowing freely throughout the winter.
2. Service your boiler
Your boiler is your friend over the winter, so getting it serviced and carrying out any necessary maintenance or repairs is well worthwhile. This means that you can then relax over the winter knowing your boiler is in full working order and shouldn’t breakdown. Servicing your boiler will also mean that you are checking your family are safe from risks such as carbon monoxide poisoning.
The cost of having your boiler serviced is very minimal compared to the cost of a new boiler.
3. Inspect and insulate water pipes
If you have pipes in areas that are likely to be cold such as the garage, you might want to consider insulating these to reduce the chances of water freezing and having a burst pipe. You can insulate your pipes easily and cost-effectively by wrapping them in lagging. It is also worthwhile checking that downpipes are not cracked to avoid water leakages.
4. Upgrade your windows
If you only have single-pane windows, you might want to consider upgrading these to double or triple glazed. Whilst these have a relatively high initial cost, once they are installed, they will let less hot air out, keeping your home warmer and reducing your heating bills.
5. Check your radiators
If your radiators are hot at the bottom and cold on top, it means that there is air in the system and this is a sign that they need bleeding. Whilst is might sound complicated, it is actually relatively simple and there are plenty of how to videos like this one online.
6. Insulate your loft
Did you know that your loft can lose 25% of the property’s heat if not insulated properly? It is worth therefore checking that this is properly insulated.
7. Invest in a smart thermostat
Invest in a smart thermostat that will keep the heating at a lower constant temperature when you are out during the day and that then increases the heat just before you arrive home.
This will also allow you to turn the heating on for an hour or so each day for any periods that you are away to keep your boiler ticking over and pipes warm.
8. Look after your outdoor furniture
The cold, wet weather can cause metal outdoor furniture to rust and can lead to wood rotting. Make sure that you either cover chairs and tables with a waterproof protector or else bring them inside undercover. You might also want to consider moving potted plants indoors to protect them from frosts.
9. Find your stop cock
Whilst you hope that you won’t need this, it is always useful to know where your stop cock is! If your pipes freeze and burst, your stop cock allows you to turn your water off from the main which will help stop flooding.
10. Reduce drafts
Drafts allow the hot air to escape out of your house and the cold air to get in, so reducing these will help reduce your heating bill. Look for drafts around your window sills, the bottom of doors and around the letterbox – consider either filling these or buying draft protectors.
11. The chimney
If you have a fireplace that you use, then you will want to get your chimney cleaned before you start lighting fires. If there are any obstructions or blockages such as a birds nest, these could catch alight and cause a chimney fire.
So, there you have it! Eleven simple ways that you can winter-proof your home so that you can relax knowing you are unlikely to get caught out during a cold snap.