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Preparing your property for the onset of winter

POSTED ON 05 OCTOBER 2018

After a gloriously sunny and hot summer, it is nearly time to dig out the woolly jumpers and thick coats from the back of the wardrobe now that winter is approaching

Before winter strikes, it is important to prepare yourself and your home before you are left with any nasty or stone-cold surprises. As the saying goes: “the time to fix the roof is when the sun is shining,” and whilst the summer has reached its end, we may still be able to squeeze in a few more sunny days before the cold weather really kicks in. Here is your checklist for your home winter MOT.

Check Your Heating

The chances are you have had your heating off for a few months since the beginning of Spring. Even though the temperatures have dropped, some people are refusing to turn the knobs on the thermostat, still hoping that the summer may make another appearance.

However, if you leave the heating until the temperatures drop to a mighty low, you might get a nasty surprise if they don’t work. Turn all radiators on, bleed them if necessary, and then turn them off, safe in the knowledge they will be ready to go when you need them.

Boiler Maintenance

Experts advise that a boiler should be serviced every year in order to keep it running smoothly and efficiently. If you haven’t had your boiler serviced recently, it would be a great idea to do this before the cold weather starts. Boiler technicians are usually well booked up over the winter, so it’s best to book an appointment now before it’s too late! Also, if your home is powered by oil central heating make sure you have plenty to see you through the coming months.

Chimney Sweeping

Sitting in front of a roaring fire with a hot chocolate at night time is one of the best things about winter. It is important, however, to sweep your chimney frequently before setting fire to any logs or coal. A used working fireplace left unswept can result in a build-up of soot – leading to a blockage in the chimney. A well-maintained fireplace can be a great source of heat throughout the colder months and can also add character to any room, air cleaning is beneficial.

Insulation

According to energy advice service, The Green Age, about 25% of the heat in a house escapes through the loft and about 35% through the walls. Proper insulation can significantly reduce this. Cavity wall insulation can help to stop heat escaping the house by filling the gap between the two walls. Newer homes should already have cavity wall insulation but if yours doesn’t, it’s worth getting it fitted.

Installing cavity wall insulation in your home will not only help to decrease your heating bills by saving energy lost through the walls, it will also help to reduce your carbon footprint by limiting the amount of CO² and other greenhouse gases emitted from your property.

Stock Up on Winter Supplies

Last winter saw most of the country left stranded due to snow; not to mention the inevitable power cuts which occur during the harsh weather. Prepare yourself for these situations by filling your home with basic store cupboard ingredients and UHT milk. And fill your freezer – in case you can’t get to the shops! Stocking up on candles, matches and board games will also be useful for entertaining family or guests during a power cut.

Check Your Roof

While you’re sorting out the gutter, take the time to look at the state of the roof. If you have any loose tiles repair them now before a nasty storm or particularly strong winds, make the problem much bigger – and much more expensive – to remedy. Remember, your insurance policy is unlikely to pay out for storm damage if the roof was not in great shape to begin with.

Get the Right Cover

Energy and gas fuel prices usually shoot up in the colder months, therefore it’s a good idea to switch tariffs before the winter to ensure you are getting a good deal. Price comparison sites make it easy for anyone looking to change energy and fuel providers.

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