Don’t know where to start when preparing your home for winter? Well, we’ve all been there, and there always seems to be something we’ve overlooked until it’s too late. Here, we’ve shortlisted ten of the best tips to stop a small disaster or, at the very least, a small yet ultimately unnecessary injury. Without further ado…
Organise your thermostat.
Even if it’s just a case of organising it during the week, set your thermostat to important hours of coverage to avoid the prospect of you switching it on when you need it, then leaving it on. We recommend 6:00am to 8:00am, 7:00pm to 9:00pm, and then an hour at around 11:00pm. You’ll be warm on both sides of sleep – perfect.
Bleed the radiators.
Radiators are terrible if they aren’t full – and you can usually tell if one needs bleeding by the amount of colder metal towards the top. Bleed them with a radiator key (but be sure to put down towels – that’s when you know it’s full again!).
Check pipes – and wrap them if necessary.
Do you have a basement, or at least an area susceptible to cold where pipes are? Make sure they’re wrapped. The last thing you need is a pipe cracking in freezing temperatures, sending a jet of water across a room.
Cut back in the garden.
Dead branches are a regular occurrence once the leaves have dropped from the trees and hedges, but they can be extremely troublesome in high winds, should they come detached from their former homes and batter your house. Cut them down and bin them – you could save yourself a cracked window.
Clean the gutters.
With winter comes rain and snow, and the accumulation of leaves and general mess from the autumn will only block your drains to stop them from syphoning this water away from your roof and ledges. If you don’t clean this out, your drains could come crashing down – or worse, leading to nasty damage to your house.
Check fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
You rely on your boiler much more in winter, so ensure it’s in tip-top shape by having the right detection measures in place. A leaky boiler could spell seriously bad news – don’t let yourself get caught out.
Get the throws and blankets out.
Aside from keeping you warm in situations where you may not necessarily need to use heating, blankets and throws also make naturally cold furniture (e.g. leather couches) a little more hospitable.
Clean the paths.
Autumn leaves embedded into the path can make for a slippy walk to the front door. Clean them away and save yourself the embarrassment – or worse – of an early morning tumble.
Cast an eye over roof tiles.
Has your roof seen better days? Make sure it’s cosmetic and not serious – a loose or broken tile could spell a leak and a ceiling collapse in a heavy storm over winter.
Check your home insurance policy.
Finally, yet perhaps most importantly, check the caveats of your current house (and buildings) insurance. Is it covered against floods and storms? This is extremely important if you’ve just moved house, as for all you know, you could be on an up-and-coming flood plain.