As we prepare for the first frost and many people have lit their fires or put their heating on for the first time, it is worth taking some time to get your home ready for winter. You are probably aware of the standard autumn to-do list, which will include jobs such as mowing the lawn for the last time and putting away garden furniture. But there may be some things that you just haven’t thought of yet. Here’s your must-do checklist for autumn.
- Repair, replace, repaint. As we put our summer essentials – hot tub, garden furniture, outdoor games- away for the last time this year, it can be tempting to just chuck them in the shed and not think about them until next year. However, the wise move is to make some time to repaint, repair and clean down any summer accessories so that when you get them out next year, they will be ready to go. If you don’t have the time, skill or inclination to do it yourself, find a good local handyman to spend a day sprucing up your garden furniture for you.
- Clean your summer cooking equipment. Whether you have a firepit, a barbecue or a pizza oven that is used only during the summer, it can, again, be tempting to wheel them away before the first frost and forget about them. However, giving them a good clean will help them to last longer, and mean that they are ready to fire up as soon as the temperatures rise again and you are ready for some al fresco dining.
- Get your boiler serviced. When it comes to boilers, you are much better off planning a service, which could prevent a full boiler breakdown, than burying your head in the sand. Particularly if you have an older boiler, you don’t want to risk going without hot water or heating on the coldest day of the year. If you haven’t already booked your boiler service, get one in the diary now.
- Get your chimney swept. A surprising amount of debris can build up in a chimney over the summer months. Before you light your fire, get your chimney swept by a professional sweep.
- Check your exterior. Give your home a once over, paying attention to paintwork and tiles. If your paintwork is looking old or flaky, get it done before the rain starts; a local painter and decorator should be able to schedule in on drier days.
- Check your insulation. Insulation helps to keep the cold air out and the warm air in. If you are not sure what insulation you have got, take a look or get in touch with an insulation specialist; the right insulation could save you a large amount on your heating bill.