How to stay warm, and safe in your home in winter
Let’s face it, not many people are winter-friendly. Besides Christmas and the start of a New Year, there aren’t too many of us that enjoy the bitterly cold weather, or leaving for work in the morning in the dark and coming home in the dark. It’s the season of broken boilers, mouldy walls and frozen pipes, but such issues are nearly always preventable, especially with the correct maintenance from both landlords and tenants.
Here at Craven, we have collected comprehensive advice from our trusted team, to keep you warm and safe during these crisp and chilly winter months.
- If you’re going on a winter break, keep the temperature at an even level
The possibility of pipes freezing in winter temperatures is a fairly common issue, but one that can be avoided with the right preparation. To further help prevent this problem, a pointer for homeowners and tenants would be to cut off the water supply at the stopcock, and to drain the taps. Unfortunately, such precaution might result in a cold and damp house upon your return, which leads to our next tip.
- Keep the property well ventilated
Our properties are nearly always well insulated because of double-glazed windows, but this certainly won’t prevent mould growing on your walls and windows. Mould condenses in the winter months because of warm air reaching a cold surface, so it’s important to ensure that your home is well ventilated, whether that be through opening a window or investing in an exhaust fan. Mould also grows in damp areas, so prioritise tackling wet areas immediately.
- Don’t hesitate to bleed your radiators
An early sign of trapped air within your radiator is it being colder at the top than the bottom. When this occurs, heat won’t be able to circulate properly, and your house will soon start to feel cold even when the central heating is switched on. If you’re well organised, you’ll quickly be able to grab your radiators key and find its valve and turn it to allow air to escape. Note – Central heating must be switched off before this procedure, as an active radiator will allow more air to build up.
- Look after your boiler – you’ll need it
Energy efficiency is key here, as a poorly serviced boiler will undoubtedly cause you to reach into your pocket a little further for gas bills. Even worse, avoiding boiler maintenance leaves the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal. Impossible to smell or see, the most accurate way of detecting this odourless gas is by installing a carbon monoxide detector. Upgrading your boiler or having it repaired may initially seem like a costly investment, but the short and long-term rewards speak for themselves, both on your health and your wallet.
- Insulate your loft space
Keeping warm and cosy during the winter months is more than just layering up in thicker clothes. Fortunately, most homeowners are able to easily access their loft to install proper insulation, which can result in a significantly warmer home with less expensive bills at the end of the month. Preparation is key, so simply calculate how much loft roll is required, and get down to either B&Q or Wickes to start saving on your energy costs.
- Keep on top of the gutters
If you haven’t done so already, your gutters will likely be overflowing with autumnal leaves and debris, causing water to cascade down the brickwork of the house, penetrating your walls with damp, and you guessed it, mould. The exterior of your home is just as important as the interior, so don’t put off cleaning out any gutter blockage, even as we approach the latter stages of winter.
- Look after your garden
Whilst we’re discussing the importance of the outside of your home, ensuring that outdoor furniture such as chairs and tables are folded away is essential to avoid any unwanted damages in high winds. We’re in Britain remember, where the weather is often unpredictable, so protect the look of your garden by regularly checking how secure fence panels are, and that when inviting guests around, the first they don’t notice is the clutter of leaves that have been left to build up.