Winter is upon us now and we usually get the coldest snaps in February and early March. Although winter can be very picturesque outside, we must make sure that we are prepared for the cold and take measures around the home to protect ourselves and our wallets.  You may very well know some of these hints, but we thought them worth repeating. The following Hints & Tips may help you protect your home and keep you warm.

 Heating System

  • Bleed radiators – An essential task at this time of year. Your radiators can often stop heating up properly due to inactivity during the summer, so you can solve this issue quickly and easily by bleeding your radiators.
  • Boiler service – You’ll rely on your central heating system a lot more during the colder months, so it is important that it is in healthy shape to cope with your needs. Getting your boiler serviced prior to the winter months helps prevent a breakdown at the very time that you’ll need it the most.
  • Update your heating controls – A smart thermostat could provide you with greater control over your heating. Reducing your room temperatures by just one degree could help you save up to £80 on your annual energy bills, along with approximately 320 kg of carbon dioxide a year.
  • Know where your stopcock is – Your central heating system’s stop cock is responsible for controlling the flow of water in your home. Should a water leak occur in your system, due to pipe freezing or any other issue, it’s important for you to know where your stopcock is so that you can stop the water flow. You can usually find your stopcock under your kitchen sink, in a bathroom, storeroom or near your boiler. If you're a tenant, you can ask your landlord for this information.

 Other measures

  • Draught-proofing – Ensure that your home is draught-proof with simple DIY techniques such as fitting a letterbox flap and placing self-adhesive strips around window frames; these could help you save around £20 per year. Any form of home insulation can be beneficial.
  • Inspect outside – Ensuring that your outside space is ready for winter can be just as important as preparing your space inside. Cleaning your gutters to prevent future water damage, lagging your pipes to prevent freezing in the winter and securing your outside bins in case of high winds can all help to keep your property’s exterior in good shape year-round.
  • Bring out the winter accessories – Throws, fluffy socks, and your thickest duvet, you’ll want to ensure that you have these handy for when temperatures drop. Not only could these create a cosy feel to your home design, but these winter must-haves could also prevent you from being overly reliant on your central heating, potentially helping you save energy. 
  • Look after your neighbours – You may live next door to someone elderly and who is less able than you and it’s important that they are well cared for during these colder months. Do what you can to support them.