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Prepare for the Freeze: Essential Winter-Ready Home Checks

Recently updated on April 22nd, 2024 at 08:03 am

Winter is coming soon, and preparing your home for the cold weather is essential to avoid any unpleasant surprises. With a few necessary checks, you can ensure that you’ll stay cozy and warm throughout the winter decor season. First, ensure your furnace filter is clean and in good condition. Before lighting your first fire, clear out any debris from your fireplace and chimney. Seal any cracks or gaps that lead into the house to prevent cold air from sneaking in. It’s also important to insulate your pipes and let faucets drip during extreme cold weather to prevent them from freezing. By taking care of these essential winter-ready home checks, you can avoid headaches and extra costs in the future. So, prepare your home for winter now and enjoy a comfortable and stress-free winter season.

With the current cost-of-living situation, there’s no time quite like the present to do a few checks to ensure your home is ready for winter. Being proactive in this way helps to keep your bills down as much as possible.

Windows & Doors

A lot of heating can get wasted through windows and doors in winter, even when they’re shut. Crack out your handy toolbox and fill in any gaps. Insulate your windows too, if needs be. As well as restoring or replacing the windows, you can boost their energy efficiency further with some energy-efficient curtains.

Opt for thick, tightly woven fabrics such as cotton, polyester, velvet, or wool for better insulation and blocking out cold drafts in winter. Choose ones with thermal linings or backing, usually made of foam or fleece, to enhance their insulating properties and maintain a stable indoor temperature. Ensure tthey’re long enough to reach the windowsill and extend beyond the window frame on all sides to minimize air leakage.

Winter Ready Home Checks: Gutters

The weather that batters our homes in winter can fill the gutters with all sorts of leaves and dirt. If you don’t clean this out, the gutters could fill to the brim with water and then snap from the pressure. In low temperatures, the water in clogged gutters can freeze completely. This means that additional rainwater will seep into the shingles instead, and that’s not good. Safely inspect the gutter and use thick gloves and long sleeves when cleaning out your gutter. Pick the unwanted objects out with a scoop and bucket or blast it clean with a hose pipe. Check out more gutter cleaning tips from a professional.

When cleaning your gutter, several signs can indicate if it needs repair. Look for any gutter sections that are sagging or pulling away from the house, which could indicate a lack of support or there’s a buildup of debris weighing it down. Check for signs of water damage on the exterior of your home, such as peeling paint or water stains, which cause ineffective water channelling away from the house.

While cleaning the gutter, if you notice water overflowing or spilling over the sides, it may indicate a blockage or insufficient capacity to handle the water flow. This can also suggest that the gutter needs to be sloped correctly. Pay attention to areas where water leaks or dripping from

The Central Heating

There’s never a good time for a boiler to break down, but winter in particular is not the one. Keep an eye on your boiler pressure, as you need it to be stable for it to function best. Generally, this should be between 1 and 2 bar. Your boiler needs servicing once a year, so if you’ve not had this done yet, don’t delay! Check the radiators. Are they cold at the top but warm at the bottom? If so, this could be a sign they need bleeding because the air is trapped. You’ll need to fetch a jug or tray, an old towel and a radiator bleed key to do this, and you should make sure the heating is off when you do so.

Winter Ready Home Checks: Insulation

Don’t have enough insulation? The price of getting this installed pays for itself when you of how much heating you could be losing without it. Loft insulation can last for up to 40 years, so that should help put it in perspective! The government recommendation for the thickness of your loft insulation is between 250mm and 270mm as a minimum.

Plan B – A Power Cut

Winter storms can lead to unexpected power cuts. Whether this affects you for half an hour or a longer period, sitting in the dark isn’t fun. Keep a few vital supplies close to hand in case you get caught out. Tealight candles and a set of matches should always be in the house. With these, you can light the house and perhaps light the gas hobs on your oven too, should you need to use it. A power cut is also likely to impact your central heating. So a stash of warm blankets is a must! Doing these checks methodically is crucial if you want to save energy and prevent havoc as the colder weather sets in.

Final Thoughts

It’s vital to ensure your home is ready for winter. This weekend, Take some time to review each room and ensure everything is in working order. This will help you save money on your utility bills and give you peace of mind when the temperatures drop and snow starts falling. Once you have completed your checks, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy all the little moments that winter brings – hot cocoa by the fire, movie marathons under blankets, and waking up to a world covered in white. The cold weather will be here before you know it, so it’s better to be prepared now and make the most of this magical time of year. Remember, the preparations are worth it. Stay warm!

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