Eco-Living Magazine

Winter’s on the Way: Is Your Home Ready?

Posted on the 06 September 2011 by 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

Winter’s on the way: Is your home ready?Guest post by Alex Smith

Whether it’s digging out the warm clothing or stocking up on de-icer for the car, there’s a whole host of things we need to do when winter’s on the way. However, when you’re trying on snazzy new coats and preparing for frustrating mornings scraping ice off your windscreen, don’t forget that your home needs a little TLC too. If you’re going to get through the winter feeling warm and cozy, you’re going to need to put a bit of work in now. From inspecting your roof and gutters to getting a central heating cover to make sure your heating is protected, here’s the main things you should be thinking about.

If this is something you’ve been meaning to do for a while, there’s no better time than this winter to finally get it sorted. With utility costs soaring, it’s never been more expensive to heat your home, but insulation can keep the heat in and your costs down. And a couple of years after insulating your loft, pipes or water tank, the savings you’ve made on your bills will mean it’s paid for itself.

Doors, windows and exterior
You’ll want to make sure your windows and doors are ready for all the winter can throw at them – snow, hail, sleet and rain (and that’s on a good day in the UK). Look out for cracks in windows, crevices and entry points around pipes – you don’t want to have to make a claim on your pest insurance if a rat makes its way in.

Your boiler needs an annual service to make sure it’s working safely and efficiently. With this in mind, it’s worth remembering that many boiler insurance policies come with a complimentary annual service from a trained Gas Safe Register engineer. As mentioned above, it’s worth making sure your boiler is working as efficiently as possible with the cost of utilities such as gas soaring.

Prevent plumbing problems
As anyone who listened in their science lessons knows, when the mercury heads below zero, water freezes. So make sure your pipes are insulated and any taps or hoses in your garden are drained of any remaining water.

Pack an emergency kit
Prepare for electricity shut-downs and central heating issues by getting some emergency supplies together, including blankets, torches, candles, batteries and blankets. Also make sure your utility companies’ numbers are stored in your phone to make it as quick and easy to get in touch with them when you need to.

[Image and tips from the U.S. EPA can be found here]

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