Getting your home winter ready
Some of us may already be thinking ahead to a long winter, the nights are drawing in and the temperature will soon be dropping as autumn gets in full swing. We round up a few of the key tasks that should be tackled now to keep you warm and safe during the winter months.
Introducing insulation to walls (both solid or cavity), under floors and most importantly in lofts will have a direct and significant impact on energy bills, especially during the winter months. The majority of heat loss in a property is through the loft and roof, and according to the Energy Saving Trust, loft insulation can last for at least 40 years. And don’t forget to insulate your water tank if it’s not already.
Check your water pipes
Likewise, checking that water pipes and tanks are properly insulated to prevent them freezing or bursting during icy cold weather. Some insurance companies will not cover water damage so make sure they are all in good health before winter.
Another relatively straightforward measure is to replace single glazed windows with double, or even triple glazed windows. This again reduces heat loss and will retain heat within your home for longer, whilst cutting down on external noise. Make sure you research the options available, and keep in mind that properties within Conservation Areas or that are listed, may require new windows that are sympathetic to the character of the building. For a quick fix, thick curtains with black out or thermal linings will cut down on some heat loss from windows and doors.
Check your boiler
An efficient and well maintained boiler will cut down your heating bills. All boilers should be serviced annually to make sure they are ready for the extra use during winter and to avoid any time without central heating should it break down. Consider investing in boiler cover if you haven’t already, which ensures that a qualified engineer will fix any problems as quickly as possible.
Clear gutters and drains
To avoid leaf and moss debris blocking drains and gutters potentially leading to water ingress through walls and roofs, make sure that they are clear from any build up.
Sweep your chimneys
If you have a fireplace or wood burner, it is vital to get this done before the bad weather starts.
Bleed your radiators
If air is trapped in your radiators, they will not heat up properly so you may find yourself turning up the thermostat to compensate, which costs more especially during really cold weather. It is very easy to bleed radiators, so if you hear a clunking noise when you turn the heating on, it may be worth investigating.
Compare energy tariffs
It pays to regularly check that you’re on the cheapest energy tariff, especially before winter arrives where consumption goes up. Comparison websites can show you the best deals in your area based on your property size and previous usage.
Maybe wait until spring before embarking on an extension or loft conversion!
Whilst it is possible to protect your property from rain, wind and snow, it can leave a property exposed and draughty if you remain living there during the works. And spare a thought for the workers who will be outside in all weathers!