Winter is just around the corner, which means it’s time to take care of the condition of the house and prepare it for frost, cold, and snowfall. It’s generally advisable to start preparing for winter early. After all, you don’t know exactly when the first cold snap will come and how long the snow will be waiting for. The sooner you have prepared yourself and your home, the better! Here are some simple ways you can prepare your home for the coming winter months.
1. Install snow guards
Make sure the roof is intact and not damaged so that heat doesn’t leak out and cold doesn’t come in. Check that there are no cracks and gaps in places where it adjoins walls and chimney, and install snow guards to help with the roof’s integrity. This ensures that there’s no roof avalanche after heavy snowfall.
2. Clean drains and flues
The trees have already shed their foliage, which is the main source of pollution in gutters. Now is the time to clean them! If you don’t do this by wintertime, leaves, small branches, and dirt that has accumulated in the gutters will freeze with the onset of the first cold weather. All of this can seriously impede water drainage. And if there’s a stove or fireplace in the house, do not delay cleaning the chimney.
3. Insulate the windows
There are numerous reasons why you should install reliable insulation and seals in your own home. Sealed doors and windows are good for the climate and ensure that heat and energy are not easily lost but are used efficiently for the individual rooms and the entire house.
This small step has a financial advantage — less heat loss means lower energy costs. You should therefore check all doors and windows in your home to ensure that they are tight. If this is not the case, there are various insulation and sealants in the hardware store that can be used to prevent heat from escaping through the doors and windows. These include rubber seals for the windows and brush seals for the doors.
4. Update heating system and radiators
Once a year, your home’s heating system should be checked for functionality. It’s advisable to do this in autumn so that the heating system works perfectly in winter and does not suddenly give up on the coldest days. Since heating systems are sometimes highly complex devices, maintenance must be carried out by a professional company. This also helps you to identify potential energy savings. For example, if the heating flow temperature is set too high, energy is lost.
It’s also important to carefully check every single radiator in all rooms. The best heating is useless if the radiators cannot transfer the energy they supply to the room. This is the case, for example, when there is air in the radiators. You can identify if this is happening by gurgling noises that can be heard in the individual radiators when they are switched on.
5. Gas boiler replacement
Replacing an old boiler can burn a hole in your wallet — but it doesn’t have to. This can not only be very expensive but very tedious. The good news is that in the UK, ECO (Energy Company Obligation) offers free boiler replacement for pensioners. The funding for this was set up by the UK Government to help retirees improve the energy efficiency of their homes. So any pensioner with low income can easily get funds for boiler replacement.
6. Replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
In winter, rooms are ventilated less frequently and natural ventilation deteriorates. This increases the concentration of toxic gases and combustion products in the air, so it’s imperative to double-check that the detectors are working properly before wintertime comes.