Bitterly cold temperatures, rain, gales, snow and ice all signal the onslaught of winter and a possible battering for your property. To keep cold weather disasters to a minimum, follow these tips to winter-proof your home.
Take preventative steps before the harsh winter weather sets in by insulating and draught proofing your home. Either call in the professionals to insulate your windows, roof, loft and walls, or opt for low cost solutions that can make a big difference to protecting your home against the elements and keeping it warm.
Also, ensure you know where your stop valve is located should you need to turn off your water in the event of burst or frozen pipes. Stop valves are usually situated under the sink, but may be located elsewhere, so it’s good to know in advance.
Draught proof your interior
From windows and doors to letterboxes and cat flaps, a little draught proofing can go a long way to keeping the heat in and the cold out.
Schedule your heating
It might be tempting to keep your heating on all day, but if you’re out at work then you’re effectively heating an empty house. Instead, schedule your heating to come on before you get up in the morning and again before you return home in the evening. Not only will this be easier on your pocket, but the residual heat generated in the morning will ensure your home is still benefiting from warmth during the day. Also, by leaving internal doors slightly ajar, heat can move around your home to ensure an even temperature throughout.
Gov.uk suggests heating your home to at least 18°C (65°F) during the winter months.
Insulate your pipes
Plummeting temperatures and prolonged periods of cold weather can play havoc with your water pipes. Whilst your home may feel toasty with the central heating blasting away, uninsulated lofts can still leave pipe work at risk of freezing and bursting.
Insulating your water pipes on external walls and in loft spaces with lagging can help protect them from freezing temperatures. The Met Office also suggests leaving your loft hatch open to allow warm air to heat the space. Plus, leaving the kitchen cupboard door to your sink open will allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
If the worst does happen, you can find useful tips on how to deal with frozen and burst pipes in our blog: How to avoid frozen and burst pipes this winter.
Leave the cold weather behind
Even if you’re planning to escape the cold UK weather by going on holiday, you should still take preventative measures to avoid unpleasant disasters on your return home.
This includes scheduling your heating to come on for a short period of time each day to help prevent frozen or burst pipes. Or to avoid this happening entirely, the Met Office suggests draining your system so that there is no water in your pipes and turning off your stop valve.
You can find more useful tips and information on our blog, from keeping your home warm to fixing common central heating problems.