As the cold weather begins to set in, there’s never been a better time to start to get your home ready for winter. Because, let’s face it, nobody wants to wrap up in a coat, hat and gloves to climb up a ladder and clear the gutter in the middle of January. Or, worse than that, nobody wants to have made it through the cold weather and then – just as the sun comes back out – get hit with a massive energy bill.
As the winter kicks in and weather gets colder, it’s easy to end up spending lots of money just on staying warm – but these 5 easy tips can help you get your home ready for winter without breaking the bank and without the nasty energy bills.
Bamboo’s Top Tips to get your home ready for winter
Clear your guttering
This is one of the easiest ways to get your home ready for winter and – best of all – it’s free. It might not be the most glamorous job in the world, but it can save you a lot on your heating bills and make your house feel much warmer. All you have to do is get up a ladder, get your hands dirty and clear out all the leaves, moss and dirt that has found its way into the gutters over the course of the year.
After you’ve done that, make sure that all the drains are connected together (without gaps) and that the shoe (the bit that the water runs out of) points away from your wall. These things make sure that cold water from the guttering doesn’t run down the wall of your house, making the house colder.
For more quick tips on winter proofing your house, why not check out our guide?
Check to see if you’re eligible for free insulation
A few of the big energy companies offer free insulation for eligible homes, even if you’re not a customer. The eligibility isn’t means tested either, so you don’t have to worry that you earn a bit to much to get stuff for free. Not only can insulation make houses considerably warmer (which is exactly what you need over the next 4 months) but can save you lots of money on your energy bills. Result.
To see if you’re eligible, call the Energy Saving Trust and answer a few basic questions: You can call 0300 123 1234 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland or 0808 808 2282 in Scotland.
Consider switching energy provider
If you’ve been with your energy provider for a while, it might be time to consider making the switch. Customers regularly save themselves over £300 a year by switching to a different energy provider. Plus, the best thing about switching is that there’s no real difference to your life – your water is still hot, your gas still works and all your devices still have power. You just have an extra £300 in the bank. Not bad!
We recommend using uSwitch or Comparethemarket.com to look for the best tariff and energy provider for you.
Time to dig out your jumpers, slippers and blankets
If you can wrap up warm and resist turning the heating up (or – if you’re particularly hardy – even resist turning the heating on) then you’ll be able to save yourself a small fortune on heating bills over the colder months.
However, don’t forget that you should have your heating on regularly over the winter to stop your pipes from bursting. Not only does your heating keep the house warm, but you also avoid the very costly price of fixing burst pipes (the average price for fixing burst pipes can be anywhere up to £4,000).
Create the illusion of warmth
Bear with us on this one, OK? You know those great winter days, when it’s raining outside and warm inside – you’re sitting on the sofa, hot drink in hand and a film on the TV? Perhaps you’ve even got a cake or dinner in the oven, the smell wafting through the house. How do you feel when you think of this? Warm, right?
Well, this illusion of warm cosiness isn’t hard to replicate during the winter – just grab a few blankets, dot a few candles around the room, use lamps instead of the main light (the yellow glow of the lamp tricks our brains into feeling warm, while the white light of the main lights feels cold), put a stew in the oven or slow cooker, make a hot drink and curl up on the sofa. You’ll feel much warmer and – importantly – it’ll help fight off those winter blues.
Have you got any clever tricks that you use to get your home ready for winter? If so, let us know in the comments below. Alternatively, if you’re in the mood to save money this winter, why not check out our quick guide to saving money on your heating bills?