Tuesday, 13 December 2016

6 top tips for a winter-proof house

Craig's top tips for a winter-proof house!


1. Gas Safety 
It pays to be prepared and perhaps the most important thing to consider now is what happens when you turn your heating on after months of having the system switched off!

Gas safety is absolutely essential, so before you fire up the boiler, you really need to get it checked by a qualified and registered engineer. First, you need to make sure it will work when you need it – nobody wants to be replacing their boiler in the winter! Also you need to be checking for carbon monoxide release.

It's a good idea to fit a carbon monoxide detector and make sure it's working regularly. As well as this, if you haven't had your gas appliances and flues checked for a while, now's the time to do it.

Whilst checking your flues, you might want to look at any air vents or even your chimney (if you have one) to make sure nothing has grown over and is causing a blockage. Finally, when you fire up your boiler, make sure the gas flame turns blue. If it doesn't, shut the boiler down immediately and call an engineer. 

2. Radiator Maintenance 
Of course, your heating system's efficiency is not just about the boiler, so take time out to check all of your radiators. Do they leak? Do they have air in them and need bleeding? Follow our easy guide for bleeding radiators:



3. Flood Risk and Water Damage 
Another way of preparing your home for the winter is to minimise the risk of floods and water damage when the rain and snow arrive! Gutters and drains are always susceptible to blockage by leaves or other debris, and if you get a spell of heavy rain or snow for lengthy periods you could be in trouble. Our lock rods are great for cleaning your down pipes, gutters and even chimneys! One more thing, is your guttering strong enough to take the weight of potential snow sitting there for days? If you're unsure, you should look at replacing it! 

We have a range of winter essentials available to help with flooding and water damage including sand bags, water pumps, torches and various covers as well as much, much more! Check out our website and get tooled up for winter!

4. Roof 
Firstly, you need to make sure that all of the tiles are in place and that lead flashings around your chimney are in good condition. Make sure there are no gaps anywhere that could let in water or allow the wind to get underneath! On the subject of chimneys, it's always good practice to have it swept before you start up a fire since there can be debris, old birds' nests and all sorts of things causing an unsafe blockage. If you need a dry place to store your logs for your fire this winter, have you thought about building your own log store? We have a simple video showing you how:


Of course, you should always arrange for an experienced roofer to climb up and check your tiles - never think you'll just nip up there yourself! That said, you can nip into the loft and check the roof from inside. Assuming your loft is boarded and you have light in there, find a safe position away from the loft entrance, switch off the lights and check for daylight coming in. There will always be small amounts of light coming through, you are checking for major gaps! Whatever you do, be sure to switch the light back on before moving away from your secure position.

If you don't have your loft boarded already, now is the time to consider doing so. Insulation has been shown to make a big difference to the size of energy bills, with some households saving over £200 a year!

5. Lighting Efficiency 

Speaking of energy and bills, now the days are shorter you will be using your lights for much longer periods, it's a good time to go around and check your light bulbs! Do you still have the old-style energy-sapping bulbs? Fitting energy-saving bulbs can make a huge difference to your electricity bill, while also help you to play your part in saving the planet. 

6. Draughts
You may have welcomed a bit of a breeze coursing through your home in the warm summer months, but when the cold sets in you will want to get rid of any drafts that drift into your home through leaky door seals or windows. 

Most people have double-glazing but you'd be surprised where draughts can sneak in! No house is fully sealed and everywhere that there is a void in it's structure - including letterboxes,anywhere holes have been created for passing pipes or cables through, and even cat flaps - there is the potential for a draught. Even inner doors can be a problem, so even though it may seem a little old-fashioned, the humble and trusty draught excluder across the bottom of a door can make all the difference! 



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