Below are some tips to help prepare you and your home for winter. Always be prepared!
Check your home for any gaps where chilly breezes could sneak in. The most likely places are around doors and windows, loft hatches and pipes that lead outside.
To help avoid messy bursts and leaks, get your pipes and water tanks insulated. And if your home’s lacking in padding don’t wait for the temperature drop before getting it done. Check out our advice on insulating your home, or find out about energy grants that could help you to get your home ready for winter.
Bleed your radiators
A great way to warm up your home is to bleed your radiators. This releases any trapped air, allowing hot water to fill every part of your radiator and warm your home more efficiently.
Get a boiler service
Arrange for your boiler to be serviced every year. As everyone starts to switch on their central heating, the surge in gas consumption can lead to a big increase in boiler breakdowns.
Find your stopcock
Make sure you know where your water stopcock is located. If you suffer a burst pipe you’ll be happy you found it in advance!
Create a power-cut kit
Power cuts during the Winter months can be a particular problem. Here are a few tips to ensure you’re ready for whenever you lose power:
- Keep a torch with fresh batteries in an easy-to-find place.
- Turn off electrical appliances and lights, but leave one light switched on so you know when the power is back on.
- Be careful if you use other forms of heating and lighting (like paraffin heaters and candles).
- Remember that your doorbell probably won’t work (unless it runs on batteries), nor will an alarm system (unless it has a battery back-up).
- If your electrical supplier forewarns you of the power cut, boil some water and keep it in a thermos flask. You can use it to make hot drinks or fill a hot water bottle if it’s cold.
- Remember to reset electric timers, alarm clocks and so on when the power comes back on.
- Food in the freezer should keep for about eight hours without power. Don’t open the freezer doors unless you have to. Check that food hasn’t thawed when the power comes back on. If it has, throw it away – don’t refreeze it
Clear out your gutters
In Autumn, leaves can collect in gutters and drains, leading to blocks and overflows, so it’s best to clean them regularly. Consider investing in gutter leaf guards to help prevent your gutters becoming blocked in future.
Sweep your chimneys
If your chimneys are in use, make sure that they get swept every year. This will remove the build-up of dirt and grime from your chimney walls.