Previously we looked at five ways that you can prepare your home for winter. This week, we look at your next list of things to do to help save energy and keep your home warm, even on the bleakest of winter days.
1. Check Your Guttering
Guttering is something that homeowners rarely think about, until it goes wrong! Over the summer and autumn, guttering can become blocked by birds building nests and leaves falling from trees. This isn’t a problem until you get heavy rain. Throughout the autumn it is a good idea to check your guttering for blockages – check your drain pipes, too to make sure water is draining out of them. If you are uncertain about using a ladder at heights, you can employ a local handyman. While you (or your handyman) are up there, take a look at the guttering for any obvious wear and tear, such as splits, cracks, missing panels or missing screws. If you notice anything, get it fixed before it becomes a problem.
2. Tidy Trees
With the British winter comes sudden storms and strong winds. If you have trees on or around your property, it is worth checking them for dead or broken branches before a storm hits. Falling branches can damage property and even cost lives. What’s more, if you trim back your trees so that they don’t overhang your home, your guttering is less likely to get blocked: a win-win situation! If you are concerned about the condition of a tree on your property, contact a local tree specialist.
3. Check For Draughts
Houses are designed to “breath”, without a certain level of ventilation you will experience condensation and could develop a mould problem. However, draughts can also add a distinct chill to your home; the trick is to get the balance. If you notice draughts under doors, invest in draught excluders or draught strips; if there are gaps in your double glazing, check that your hinges don’t need tightening. If you notice damp or condensation, you may need to ease up on the draught strips to let some air out!
4. Get Your Chimney Swept
Regardless of how often you use your fireplace or wood burner, it is essential that you get your chimney swept at least once a year by a reliable, certified chimney sweep. If you have a fire and you haven’t had your chimney swept, your insurance may be invalid.
5. Check Your Insurance
Make sure your insurance covers you for floods and storm damage. If you have recently had a wood burner installed, make sure that you have informed your insurance company; failure to do so could render your policy invalid. While you’re at it, check that your insurance is the best value for money; if it’s not, switch it and save some money to spend on winter treats!