Winter-proof your home

NathalieM By NathalieM, 12th Oct 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3y16fkt2/
Posted in Wikinut>Money>Utilities

T-shirt season is coming to an end and the moment to switch the heating on is almost upon us. With bills increasing, here are a few tips on how to winter-proof your homes so you do not spend more than you have to during the cold months.

Getting ready for the cold...

T-shirt season is coming to an end and the moment to switch the heating on is almost upon us. With bills increasing, here are a few tips on how to winter-proof your homes so you do not spend more than you have to during the cold months.

Heating

You might find your radiators are not heating up as well as they did last year, however, they might just need a simple bleeding. Radiators often get filled with trapped air and gas; this can lead to hot water being unable to fill up the whole space, leaving radiators to feel colder than they should.
Some radiators require a bleeding key while others can be bled with a flathead screwdriver. Make sure you have the right one before you begin. Turn your heating off before you begin to avoid getting burnt. Bleed the radiator until you see a dark liquid come out, use a cloth to avoid any water spilling on to the floor, especially if you have a carpet. Try to avoid releasing too much liquid, a few drops is fine.
You should notice a significant increase in the amount of heat coming from your radiator once you bleed it.

Insulation

The last thing you want is to lose all that heat because your home is not insulated correctly.
The most cost effective way to lower heating bills in older homes is ensuring your loft is well insulated. Many energy companies now offer free loft insulation to their customers so check with your energy supplier before you pay to get the job done.
Some energy providers also provide cavity wall insulation and new energy efficient boilers too, so spend a bit of time researching online to see what you’re entitled to.

It is a good idea to check all windows, doors and letterboxes for small gaps that might be releasing heat from the house or letting in cold air from outside. Ensure all gaps are sealed properly when doors and windows are shut, even if that just means using a draught excluder at the bottom of your internal doors.
Close your curtains and doors so heat stays in the rooms you use the most.

Lighting

Having sufficient lighting outside can save you from slipping and falling in the ice and snow and also acts as a burglar deterrent. With the days getting shorter during the Winter months, our demand on lighting, both inside and out, increases dramatically.
Energy saving light bulbs can significantly lower energy bills all year round but especially in winter when lights are kept on for longer due to our receiving precious little sunlight during the day.

Water

We often take hot running water for granted until the boiler decides to breakdown and we are forced to take cold showers in the winter.
Make sure you heat water up regularly to avoid your water pipes freezing up and check for any leaks before it starts to snow. If you’re away for an extended period, perhaps getting some Winter sun, then try to have your boiler fire up occasionally, if only for short periods, to keep the system working.
Calling a plumber out can be expensive so ask your friends for recommendations or do a simple search online so you can read reviews and check the accreditations of tradesmen in your area.
A friend of mine had a broken boiler last winter and spent a few days taking cold showers before work. She soon gave in and a simple search for “Plumbers in Kent” brought up plenty of options in her local area. With schemes like Checkatrade helping to identify the trusted tradesmen from the cowboys you can make an informed decision. Her boiler was fixed within 24 hours and she saved money by shopping around for the best quote before getting the work done.

Other Tips

1. Gas and electricity usage increase in the winter, making it even more important to have a working fire alarm in the home. Newer fire alarms come with a carbon monoxide monitor and can be installed for free by your local fire department if you are eligible.
2. Invest in a warm, thick duvet for your bedroom if you do not want to keep your heating on all night.
3. Time your heating and hot water so you’re not scheduling it to warm your home when it doesn’t need to.
4. Check on older neighbours regularly.
5. Cook fresh soups and nourishing stews to keep your body warm.
6. Ensure your home is fully stocked with essentials, including medicines, in case the weather worsens.
7. Get your flu shot if you are entitled to one.

Follow Me

Thanks For Reading My Tips on Winter Proofing Your Home. Check out some of my other articles on Wikinut such as The Prettier Future For Solar Panels and follow me on Twitter too.

Tags

Heat Energy, Heating, Saving Energy, Saving Money On Bills, Saving Money On Gas, Winter

Meet the author

author avatar NathalieM
Hello! I'm Nathalie and I love writing about what makes my world tick! Fashion, weddings, interior design, health, property..You name it, I will write about it!

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