Prepare Your Home for Winter
Winter is coming and forecasters are predicting a cold one. So with the temperatures set to drop, it's time to start thinking now about what you can do to prepare your home.
Prevent Burst Pipes
An amazing property of water is that it expands as it freezes. If it didn't, it wouldn't float, and that would be devastating for life on Earth. All very well and good, but this is the very reason why pipes are prone to burst in the cold winter months. At least they do if they're not insulated. Pipes that are located in the attic, or in other cold areas of the home, are particularly susceptible to freezing, so consider insulating them with lagging or even several layers of newspaper as an economical solution. You might want to consider keeping outside taps turned on ever so slightly just so a trickle of water can find its way out. That way, if the pipe freezes, pressure is released through the tap thus preventing costly repair bills.
Ensure Your Roof is Good in Repair
Broken and missing tiles are a surefire way to invite the winter into your home. For a superficial examination, you could simply survey your roof with a pair of binoculars from the ground. If there are any missing tiles, seek to replace them or at least use a piece of roofing felt to cover the hole as a temporary measure.
Keep Gutters Clear
Gutters are often overlooked during winter preparations. When they get clogged with autumn leaves, the consequent build up of water can find its way seeping down your walls and eventually bleeding into the brick. Pay particular attention to downpipes. Loosen stubborn dirt with a wire coat-hanger when dealing with awkward angles. If possible, fasten leaf guards into the top of the down-pipe to prevent any future buildup. If you're petrified of ladders, then ask your window cleaner if he wouldn't mind clearing them out for an agreed price. Most do it as an additional service. Also, consider getting your roof insulated. Although it will initially mean spending, it will save you cash in the long run. There may even be government grants available. It's worth checking.
Keep Draughts Out
Check your home for places where draughts can enter such as around doors and windows. An effective way to locate vulnerable spots is by using a lit incense stick and to hold it near any suspicious areas on a windy day. Any place where the draught finds its way in will disturb the smoke plume. You can just use the toy style woolly snake draught excluders if you don't want to spend too much cash. In addition to investing in draught excluders, think about getting some heavy curtains, particularly if you've got large French doors.
Bleeding Radiators and Boilers
Your radiators will have to work harder at keeping your home warm if air is trapped inside, which will cost you more on energy bills. By bleeding your radiators you ensure they will be running at optimum performance thus keeping those bills down. Similarly a boiler that's not working as it should will also be a drain on your wallet. Getting the boiler serviced will not only ensure it's running at its best, but will also give you peace of mind regarding the risk of a carbon monoxide leak.
These are just a few things you can do to prepare your home for winter. You could also call your energy supplier to try and negotiate a better deal. It all helps to keep your place warm and cosy as the temperatures fall outside this winter.