Getting your home ready for winter
Oct 19, 2016, 10:43 AM
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It isn’t long now until the clocks go back and that means winter is almost here. I had a real taste of winter last week on a fascinating trip to Iceland where it continually rained for five days and the temperature peaked at ten degrees centigrade during the day. So, at this time of year, you really need to make sure that your home is ready and you are properly prepared for the next few months.
Here are my top tips for you to think about.
- If you have managed to resist the temptation so far to fire up your central heating then lucky you. However, switching it on for an hour or so now is a good idea because it will give you peace of mind that it works and you can make sure now that there aren’t any leaks. There may be some radiators that are a bit cold at the top, which is a sign that they may have some air in them. This is highly inefficient and you need to bleed them if you know what to do. If you’re not confident, you can kill two birds with one stone by getting your boiler serviced by a Gas Safe registered tradesperson (https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk) and ask them to check your radiators at the same time. The advantage of getting a plumber out to your property now is that if the worst happens in the midst of a cold spell in the middle of winter, you know who to call out to help. Better to do it this way than taking potluck with an unknown trader when you are in a more vulnerable position.
- It is worth making sure that your gutters are clear of autumn leaves. Blocked gutters will lead to leaks. Water dripping down the side of your property making the external walls wet is not to be recommended. If you aren’t confident with getting up a ladder safely like me, your window cleaner might be happy to oblige for a small additional payment.
- If you are unlucky enough to live in an area that is at risk from flooding, make sure that you have your personal flood plan prepared. Make sure you are signed up to the Environment Agency alerts and check their website for more detailed information and advice. https://www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk
- The National Grid has recently announced that there is sufficient capacity in the energy generation infrastructure this winter so the lights won’t be going out if there is a particularly cold winter. However, it is always worth having a couple of torches and some candles ready just in case.
- Make sure that your house insurance is in place and up to date. It may just come to your rescue if you have some problems through the winter.
- Perhaps most important of all, check with elderly or vulnerable family members, friends or neighbours that they are properly prepared for winter in the same way that you are. They will really appreciate your concern about their well-being.
Once your house is ready, you can now safely start thinking about Christmas. Only 60 or so shopping days to go ………………