winter homeIn the last Thistleblower we covered preparing the garden for winter, here are a few tips on how to prepare your home for winter.

  1. Home Insurance – check you are appropriately covered for winter damage, a leaky roof or burst pipes etc.
  2. Protect the Home – There are many ways to protect your home from the elements; clean and paint or protect outdoor woodwork, garden furniture, decking, fences and door and window frames, insulate pipes to protect from freezing, cover play equipment.
  3. Boiler – It’s important to have heating and hot water available when you need it so ensure your boiler is well serviced. If the boiler is old and inefficient it may be worth looking into a new condensing unit which can offer long term cost savings.
  4. Insulation – Loft and cavity wall insulation is the best way to keep heat in the home. If you have ivy on your walls this acts as a ‘thermal shield’ protecting the wall and providing further insulation warming by 15% (and cooling in the summer), as well as protecting from water damage and absorbing some of the pollutants from the atmosphere.
  5. Keep the warm in – Make sure any cracks which might let air out are filled or otherwise draft excluded.
  6. Bleed Radiators – A radiator should be the same temperature all over, if there is air in the top the top will feel cooler and this is reducing the efficiency of your heating. Let the air out with a radiator key and protect the floor from any dribbles of radiator water with an old towel or rag.
  7. Energy Supplier – Check you are on the best tariff and with the best energy supplier for you.
  8. Mould – As windows are kept closed more often to keep the heat in mould and condensation can build up, keep a close out and be prepared to clean and air out if you spot any problems developing.
  9. Gutters – Clean guttering of leaves and debris which can cause blockages leading to damage to the walls of the house.
  10. Trees – Trim trees to reduce leaf litter, the chances of snow damage and to let more light through.
  11. Fireplace – Check the chimney, it may not be long since it was last swept but give it a good check before you start lighting fires.
  12. Decor – If the inside of the home is feeling gloomy try updating the look with a lick of paint, warm and bright colours are inviting and lift the spirit when it’s dark outside, though it won’t be long until the rooms are adorned in Christmas decoration bringing festive cheer.