7 easy ways to get your home ready for winter
As the days begin to get shorter and colder, it’s a good idea to start thinking about what you might need to do to protect your home in the winter months.
You don’t have to be an expert in DIY to prepare your home for the winter ahead; there are a number of easy steps you can take to make sure your home is as ready as possible.
We have put together a checklist to help you:
1. Clear the gutters and drains
Clearing the gutters and drains is probably the last thing on your to-do list, but it’s an essential task.
Debris such as leaves and mud can block the drains and once it becomes too much, it can cause leaks into the roof and walls.
Making sure the gutters are clear from any possible build-up will minimise the risk of water damage.
2. Get your boiler checked
Having no central heating over the winter period is the last thing you want to be dealing with.
So be sure to get your boiler serviced before the cold weather really kicks in.
Always use a Gas Safe registered engineer when you book in your service - visit Gas Safe to find a certified engineer in your area.
You may also want to think about taking out boiler cover if you don’t already have it.
This will ensure that a qualified engineer will be on hand to sort out any problems with your boiler or central heating as quickly as possible – meaning you won’t be stuck without heating or hot water if your boiler suddenly breaks down.
3. Sweep the chimney
If you have a chimney, it’s important to maintain it.
Many of us underestimate the severity of chimney fires and therefore forget about cleaning out the chimney.
But chimney fires can occur fairly frequently during the winter months, so think about employing a professional to clean and take care of your chimney.
4. Get insulation - and not just a scarf and gloves!
Typically, you can save at least £120 per year on your energy bills by having insulation installed, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
Around a quarter of heat in your house is lost through the roof, so insulating the loft is a good place to begin. Cavity wall insulation is also worth considering.
If you’re worried about keeping the costs down, it might be worth looking into the grants and schemes provided by the government that subsidise insulation installation.
Around a quarter of heat in your house is lost through the roof, so insulating the loft is a good place to begin
You can find information and guidance on insulation and other related topics here.
5. Protect your pipes
The best way to keep on top of pipes during the winter is to protect them with a foam layer (called lagging) which will help to prevent them freezing and bursting.
Be sure to also remove any vegetation that surrounds the pipes as this can also cause damage.
6. Make sure you’re on the best energy deal
It always pays to check whether you’re on the cheapest energy tariff – you could save more than you think.
MoneySuperMarket figures show customers could save up to £670* on their annual energy bill by switching, though the exact amount depends on where you live and your energy consumption.
So head over to our free comparison service to compare deals and find a suitable deal for your household.
7. Get covered
Making sure you’re covered for any winter-related damage is really important.
So check that your home insurance policy offers adequate protection and that you’d be covered in the event of fire, flood, subsidence and theft.
You may also need to look into accidental damage or storm damage as most home cover policies won’t include this as standard, so you may need to add it on.
*10% of customers could save up to £670. MoneySuperMarket Data, May 2016.