Preparing your home for winter is something that now many people do however it is something that can really help with both how cosy your home will feel all winter and your heating bills. Following through this guide will give you some great ideas of how you can get your home ready for the winter season.
1. Bleed your radiators
Bleeding your radiators is something that you should be doing every year to ensure that they are working as efficiently as they should be and fully heating up. If you have turned your radiators on yet there are still patches that are remaining cold, this is a sign that your radiators desperately need bleeding. It’s a simple task and doesn’t require much equipment to undertake as all you need are a radiator key, a cloth or oven glove, some old towels and a container to catch any liquids that come out of the radiator. If bleeding a radiator is something you have not done before there are many guides online.
2. Clean out your gutters
Making sure you are looking after your home on the outside as well as inside, is very important, especially in winter. Cleaning out your gutters is essential at least twice a year but especially after autumn, as your gutter could be full of fallen leaves. Meaning that during winter when it rains or snows your gutter will be clogging up because of these fallen leaves. This will mean that your draining system could not be working correctly and cause more problems later. Cleaning your gutters out is easy enough to do and just requires a ladder and some gloves or a leaf blower to get all the fallen leaves and other debris out of your gutters.
3. Invest in a new boiler
While it may seem like a huge home improvement to invest in a whole new boiler for winter, if you’ve found that for the past couple of years you’ve had trouble with your heating and your heating bills keep increasing then it could be time to invest in a new boiler. If you’re living in a property with a boiler older than ten years then chances are you could be missing out on as much as 30% of energy that is generated by your boiler, which is a huge amount of energy to be missing out on. When you compare this to a more modern boiler where the most energy, you will be losing is 11%. This is a huge increase in energy saved and a huge reduction on your heating bills, with people saving on average up to £250 a year! A new boiler will also make sure your home is properly heard and there is less risk of an unexpected breakdown in the middle of those chilly months.
When it comes to choosing a new boiler, it is always best to make sure you do some research rather than diving straight in as each home requires a different boiler type. For example, a large home with multiple bathrooms could not use a combi boiler as it would not generate enough hot water for all those bathrooms, just like a home with one bathroom would not need a large system boiler. When you’ve done your research it’s time to decide which boiler you want to go with, while this is totally down to deals and what you like the look of etc there are some great and trusted brands such as Ideal Boilers, Vaillant Boilers, Worcester Bosch and Heatline Boilers.
4. Draught proof your home
There is nothing worse than getting your home nice and cosy to then start feeling a cold wintery draught from somewhere, which is where draught proofing your home comes in. Draft proofing your home is something that can be done in a day or two and will cost no more than £80 for all the materials needed.
5. Draughts from the inside
When it comes to blocking draughts from inside your home it is simple and easy. All you need is a draught excluder, which you can purchase from most online stores from as little as £2. Or if you want to be super savvy you could even use an old towel instead of a draught excluder. You will then want to place these at the bottom of a door when you are in a room to stop the heat you have already generated escaping that room.
6. Draughts from the outside
When it comes to excluding draughts from the outside, it is a little bit different to laying down a draft excluder at the bottom of the door however it is very simple. To begin with you will need to buy some self-adhesive strips from your local DIY shop and then you can start sealing up those cracks that bring in those winter draughts. You will also want to buy a brush strip to attach to the bottom of your front door.
Starting with your windows is always a great idea. To begin with you will want to place the adhesive strips all around the space between the window and the frame, which will seal these gaps and stop both heat escaping and draughts getting into your home.
When moving onto your front door you will want to use the same self-adhesive strips around the sides and the top of your door, sealing those gaps there. You’ll then want to measure the distance at the bottom of your front door once it is closed, you can then attach a brush strip to the bottom of your door to stop drafts escaping from your front door.
7. Insulate your pipes
Finally insulating your pipes, which can also be known as pipe lagging. Insulating your water pipes is vital to make sure that you do not end up with a lack of water or even worse a burst pipe from water freezing inside them. When you’re looking to stop this happening you’ll want to insulate the water pipes in areas that are not heated inside your home, such as your attic, any pipes in your homes crawl spaces and, if you have pipes running there, your garage. To make a job easier you will want to buy your pipe insulation when you go to the DIY store for the materials needed to draught proof your doors and windows. You will then want to measure the length of the exposed pipes and cut the pipe insulation to this length and make sure they fit snugly around the pipe. This way you will be avoiding the water in these pipes freezing and causing a burst pipe.
Making sure to get all of these things done before the worst of winter weather sets in is important as it can mean you can sit back and relax in your comfortable home before the worst of that horrible winter weather hits.