Shorter days signal the start of fall and winter. The drop in temperature leads to you dreaming of sitting by the fireplace and enjoying the warm and cozy atmosphere of your house. But you should remember that cold weather brings with it some challenges for your house.
Broken boilers, frozen pipes and blocked drains are some of the things which you may have to face in winter. You can, however, take some steps to prepare your home for Fall and winter. Check out these 6 tips which would help you prepare your home in cold weather:
Tip 1: Tuning the heating system
The heating system needs to be in perfect condition throughout those freezing winter months. The best thing is to get it checked and tuned up when Fall starts, because if you get this done soon, you won’t have to wait for days for a technician. You should have the technician check your heat pump or furnace, to make sure that they’re in good condition and clean, so that they can achieve optimum efficiency. The technician should also measure / check leakage, if any, of carbon monoxide.
You can clean the heating vents by yourself, and clear the space in front of them. Remove any furniture, carpeting or curtains in front of heating vents.
Tip 2: Cleaning the chimney and fireplace
While preparing your home for the cold months, you must remember to clean the chimney and fireplace. Clear out the charred wood and ash but get the chimney cleaned by a professional.
The damper should be checked to make sure that it can be closed tightly for preventing of any drafts.
Getting the fireplace ready also means you can not only enjoy sitting by a cozy fire, but it’s also handy during power cuts, as it will provide light and warmth at the same time. Better still, keep some matches, candle and torches on the mantelpiece to prepare for power cuts.
Tip 3: Don’t switch off the heating
You might think it’s a good idea to switch off the heating when you’re out, as it will reduce your electricity bill. But it’sactually not a good idea because turning the heating off completely may cause the pipes to freeze. So keep the heating on low when you’re out, and open all the connecting doors inside the house. Frozen pipes can also be avoided by keeping the attic hatch open a little.
Tip 4: Check hot water supply
You definitely can’t do without hot water in winter. It’s one of those must-haves, so check the hot water before time, to nip any problems in the bud. Check the boiler and see whether the pilot light is on. To re-light, you have to follow instructions written on the boiler’s side or the manual. Make sure all the switches are on so that you can check if the boiler is receiving power. Set the thermostat by setting it on ‘high’. If you’re experiencing difficulties, call a professional to fix the problem.
Tip 5: Draft-proof your home
Sometimes, small acts of prevention can help in a big way. You can save energy and stay warm just by checking if there are any gaps or cracks in your doors and windows. If you find any, seal them properly in such a way that cold drafts of air are prevented from entering the house. You could prevent drafts by closing your curtains and blinds in the evenings, so that no heat can escape. A handy tip is to place kitchen foil behind the radiators all through the house, as this will reflect heat coming from the radiators back into the room.
Check the radiators to see if there is any air trapped inside, as air within the radiator will cause gurgles and hinder proper heat circulation.
Tip 6: Check for water in the pipes
Water that is undrained in the pipes can cause them to burst because of ice expanding. Drain the water in pipes and faucets, and disconnect all your garden hoses to avoid pipes bursting due to undrained water.
Preparing your home for the colder months in advance can allow you to enjoy the cozy warmth in your house and save on energy bills.