It’s that time of year again when we want comfort food, jumpers and woolly socks because the cold weather is upon us.
Now it becomes tempting to turn up the heating and use more hot water so we can’t feel the chill from the outside but we need to remember to economise.
Statistics show that we use more energy during Winter than we do for the rest of the year, so how can you keep those bills down and warm your home without using the boiler?
First things first, insulation. Insulation alone can save you about £250 a year on your energy bills and it really makes a difference. The insulation stops the heating escaping from your home, like a blanket it traps the heat beneath it.
Have you ever noticed some houses seem to have snow resting on the top but the one next door could have none at all? The houses without the snow on top will have poor insulation so the heat has escaped and melted it all.
Now there would be no point in kitting out your home with insulation if you’re front door is missing a draft excluder and the windows are letting in the wind.
Having proper fitted windows and doors is essential for keeping your home warm. This close to Christmas it’s not easy to get the funds for complete new windows and doors, so while you’re saving you can buy attachable excluders and excluder tape for the edges of doors and windows.
Now you may feel prepared to keep warm, but is your house ready to take on the cold? Houses get damaged during the Winter months due to the pipes freezing or roof tiles going amiss.
You should get someone round to check your roof before the rain and snow comes. It’s important to be sure that there are no leaks or cracks that could cause damp or let in the cold. These kind of jobs need to be maintained in order to make a claim if the worst should happen, so it really is worth having a look over.
Now, over the Summer the plants have thrived, but they may have found a home in your drains and gutters which can cause you problems. As the rain comes you need your drains more than ever and the debris in the gutter can cause clogs and lead to water damage. So, back to maintaining your home, you won’t have a successful claim if you haven’t made these checks.
Make sure you’ve not only checked the drain pipes but all of the pipes in your home. Be certain that water is running through them and not getting trapped and that there aren’t any cracks in them. It’s not all that simple, we understand, so take a look at this link for advice on unclogging drains and pipes. http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/plumbing/how-to-unclog-a-drain2.htm
Another easy tip is to check your radiators. Sometimes if you feel the radiator, the bottom can be boiling but the top can seem cold. This is because air has become trapped in the top, so is stopping the hot water rising and the radiator generating as much heat as possible. By using a radiator key you can bleed the air out until the radiator is full with water again.
So you’ve tried everything without using your boiler but when you’re trying to keep warm, your boiler becomes the centre of your home. It would be the worst time of year for anything to happen and chances are it’s been sitting in the cupboard all Summer unused and dusty.
You can buy boiler cover or get an engineer out to service it just to be sure. Take a look at this external link to find out how to get someone qualified to come and take a look. http://www.britishgas.co.uk/products-and-services/boilers-and-central-heating/boiler-service-and-safety-checks.html
We advise you to make these checks to get the most out of your insurer. You may want to check your policy to see what Winter damage you are covered for so you are prepared. If these checks are not made the insurer can put it down to ‘general wear and tear’ which means it is your responsibility. We hope we have helped you Prepare Your Home For Winter Damage with this Winter Warner.
To clear up a few issues on ‘general wear and tear’ take a look at our blog and keep up with our Facebook and Twitter page for more advice.
The Truth Behind ‘General Wear and Tear.’