The days are becoming shorter, darker…. And colder! Here are some top tips to help prepare your home for the winter and also improve your energy efficiency.
Refresh external paint jobs and clean your windows
Now is an ideal time to refresh external paint jobs on front doors, window frames, fascia boards, sheds and fences. Clean windows on the outside to allow the maximum amount of winter sun to come in. The light will also expose your dirty windows. At the same time, check for any cracks in your mortar or brickwork.
Clear gutters and secure your roof tiles
Ensure your gutters and drains are clear of leaves or dirt. This will help prevent blockages and the unwanted build-up of frozen trapped water.
If it’s safe to do so, inspect your roof for missing or cracked tiles. A roof leak can be a very expensive inconvenience but can also be easily avoided. If you are unable to safely access your roof, you could call in a professional to check it for you.
Secure your garden and hold out for that last mow!
Tidy away and cover your garden furniture. If you have not done so already, clean off any dirt and grime. Remember to brush away any leaves or debris from the furniture first, to help prevent dampness or damage.
Cut back low-hanging tree branches which could be brought down by strong winds or heavy snow. Hold out the the last mowing of your grass – ideally the later the better. Also check that tools, such as forks and spades, are not left in the ground.
Improve your energy efficiency
We recommend setting your heating to 18–21°C and trying to find a comfortable temperature in this range. Rather than setting high temperatures for quick blasts of heat, it’s better to put the thermostat on earlier to maintain a steady temperature. According to the Energy Saving Trust, if you turn down the heat on your thermostat by just one degree you can save 10% annually!
Try to block draughts from windows, external and external doors, as well as loft hatches. And don’t forget to block your letter box and keyhole; this is an easy way to save a lot of heat cheaply. Similarly, drawing the curtains (the thicker the better) at dusk and keep the doors closed of unheated rooms.
It is vital to keep heating appliances or wood burners serviced, or your chimneys swept, in order to make sure that your fire burns efficiently and economically. Remember to only burn dry, well-seasoned wood that has been properly split. When your chimney is swept check it for lodged birds nests – these are a main source of pests.
Now is also a perfect time to bleed your radiators, ready for the autumn switch on.
The winter always coincides with a hike in home insurance claims, so it’s important to make sure you are fully covered for any winter-related damage.
In particular, check that your home insurance policy offers adequate protection against accidental damage or storm damage. Most home cover policies won’t include this as standard, so you may need to add it on.
Are you looking for a cheaper home insurance premium? Get a quote now