As the darker evenings draw in and temperatures drop, its time to embrace all things winter. We can’t quite believe that we’ve almost reached the festive period already, but it does mean it’s time to begin preparing for the harsher weather conditions. To give you a head start, we’ve devised a comprehensive guide to getting your home ready for winter, so keep reading to find out more!
Getting Your Home Ready For Winter In 8 Easy Steps
While there is nothing better than the festivities of winter, it does mean that we have to face freezing temperatures, lack of daylight and rainy conditions; all of which can have a detrimental impact on our homes. Luckily, there are a plethora of different ways that you can prepare your home for the colder months, from booking your annual boiler service to insulating pipes.
Book A Boiler Service
The boiler is a necessity throughout the winter months, keeping your home cosy on even the coldest of days. The last thing you want to be dealing with during plummeting temperatures is broken central heating. With this in mind, if you are yet to have your annual boiler service, then there is no better time than now to schedule an appointment. Always ensure that you book your service with a registered Gas Safe engineer, who will assess the condition of your boiler and determine any arising issues. The Gas Safe Register website allows you to search for local engineers using your postcode, making sure that you only book with those who are legally certified to carry out boiler servicing.
Not only is an annual boiler service vital in ensuring that your system can withstand the winter months, but it also reassures the safety of your property. Failing to spot potential issues runs the risk of a carbon monoxide leak, which can prove fatal to anyone exposed to the dangerous gas. More reasons as to why an annual boiler service is essential can be found on Plumbcare.com.
Clear Gutters & Drains
The Autumnal months may come alongside stunning rustic shades and ever-changing coloured leaves, but it does mean that your gutters and drains will build up their fair share of debris. Leaves, mud and moss, can all quickly accumulate, creating a barrier meaning that rainfall can no longer filter through. Although clearing gutters and drains may not be at the top of your ‘to-do’ list, leaving debris to build up for too long will increase the risk of a leak. Water damage can quickly begin to appear on both the roof and wall, creating expensive repair jobs.
Drains are relatively easy to clean through DIY methods. You’ll need to pick up a drainage rod from a hardware store such as Screwfix to unblock the drain, then a bucket and hose to clear debris. Homecure has put together a handy guide on how to clean drains in six steps.
When it comes to clearing gutters, the task does become a little more tedious. We highly recommend enlisting the help of a professional, who will have all of the appropriate equipment to complete the maintenance job safely and efficiently. With years of experience, our team at Far Reach provide cost-effective gutter cleaning in Milton Keynes. Our easy to book services means that you can schedule an appointment that fits with your schedule, causing minimal disruption. For gutter or fascia cleaning in Milton Keynes, Buckingham and Leighton Buzzard, please do not hesitate to contact us!
Draught-Proof Your Property
According to the Energy Saving Trust, those small draughts that you feel seeping into your home can be costing you an extra £20 a year in energy bills. Opting to thoroughly draught-proof your home can not only save money but also help towards keeping rooms cosy during the festive period. So, how do you draught-proof your property? Take a look at the top tips listed below:
- Windows – With age, small gaps can form between panes of glass and their frames, which means you’ll need to seal any openings. Self-adhesive foam strips are the most affordable option; however, they are less durable. Metal or plastic strips, on the other hand, are incredibly long-lasting but have a slightly higher price tag.
- Doors – There are many small gaps on doors which can be culprits of heat loss, including the letterbox, keyhole and gaps around the frame. To ensure that your home is protected against cold outdoor air, we suggest investing in a keyhole cover, letterbox brush and similarly to windows, add draught excluding strips around the doorframe.
- Chimneys – While there is nothing better than sitting by the fireplace in the winter, when your chimney is not in use, it can let a cold breeze into your home. This issue can be solved by fitting a chimney draught excluder, along with a chimney pot cap. Remember to remove both before lighting your fire!
Check Outdoor Lights
As the winter draws in, the sun rises later and sets earlier, making the mornings and evenings darker than ever – this makes fully functional outdoor lighting an essential. Not only will outdoor lighting make stepping out the house in the mornings just that little more manageable, but it also means that you’ll avoid safety hazards. Lack of light increases the risk of tripping, slipping and falling, even more so when the ground becomes icy. As you notice the winter approaching, be sure to double-check whether your outdoor lights still work and whether you would benefit from replacing bulbs. If you’re yet to install exterior lighting, head over to lights.co.uk for a generous selection of options!
One of the most common winter-related problems is frozen pipework, which can lead to burst pipes and water leaks. As water freezes, it begins to expand, which means that the metal or plastic will start to crack. While, if caught before pipes burst, ice can be thawed out with heat, it is highly recommended to implement preventative measures before temperatures begin to drop.
The most effective way to avoid frozen pipes is through insulating the pipes with a sponge cover. Pipe insulation can be picked up from retailers such as B&Q for less than £5 and come in an array of different sizes to fit with your property. There are also both straight sponge covers, along with curved alternatives for corners.
Bleed The Radiators
As mentioned previously, there is always a heavy reliance on central heating during the colder months, making functional radiators a necessity. With time and constant use, air can become trapped in radiators, meaning that heat can no longer circulate. This causes the top and bottom of your radiator to feel cold at all times, regardless of how high you turn your heating up. If this occurs, your central heating will no longer be able to heat your home fully, and it will take considerably longer to feel the warmth.
If you spot that your radiator has cold areas, even when the temperature of your central heating is high, then it is an accurate indication that it needs to be bled. While bleeding a radiator does take a little extra patience, it is relatively easy to do through DIY methods – there is no need to call in a professional. All you will need is a radiator key and old cloth to avoid water from damaging your flooring. SSE has put together a great step-by-step guide on how to bleed a radiator, which will give you all of the information you’ll need to solve the problem successfully!
If you haven’t already thoroughly insulated your home, particularly the loft, then this should most definitely take priority on your ‘to-do’ list. Not only will insulation help to trap all heat in your property, but it can also save a substantial amount of cash. It is thought that installing a combination of loft and cavity wall insulation can save a vast £310 – as featured in an article by Green Match.
Through adequately insulating your entire home, your property will remain a comfortable temperature all year round. It will avoid warm air from escaping during the winter and heat from seeping in throughout summer. Together, this will also help to make your home considerably more environmentally friendly, reducing your carbon footprint and boosting efficiency. The type of insulation that you opt for will vary based on your property size, configuration and age. If your home is relatively modern, then it is more than likely that it would have been built with a high standard of insulation. Older homes, on the other hand, usually require a lot of work to ensure that the walls and roof are sufficiently insulated. If you’re unsure on the best type of insulation for your home, take a look at The Home Depot.
Schedule Any Property Repairs
If you know that your property requires repairs, whether this may be small tasks such as fixing a broken fence or a large-scale project like replacing roofing, then these should most definitely be scheduled before the winter approaches. Attempting to carry out any repairs or renovations to your home throughout the colder months will prove considerably tricker. Not only will the days be shorter, but it becomes impossible to protect your property from harsher weather conditions. For example, if you were to fix roofing at the end of the year, you would not be able to shield your home from rainfall. It also means that you will lose a substantial amount of heat, making your home an uncomfortable temperature and increasing energy bills. Be organised and schedule any work on your home before the winter kicks in.
Winter – We’re Ready For You!
Begining your winter preparations in advance is guaranteed to save both time and money. No longer will there be the worry of a potentially broken boiler or frozen pipes, all components of your home will be ready for even the most adverse of weather conditions. It is always recommended to schedule any repairs or updates to your property as early as possible. Not only will this be one less task to tackle over the festive period, but it also means that you’ll be able to spread payments over a number of months.
We hope that you’ve found our guide to winter preparations helpful, if so, why not share on social media?