The clocks have been turned back, it's definitely harder to get out of bed in the mornings and the evenings are getting darker and chillier. It’s officially winter!
Whether you’re a fan of the season or not, there is no denying that we need to adapt our homes to not just make them cosier on the colder days but also to help protect our homes and our pockets.
With the unpredictable Irish weather and if recent months are anything to go by, we should all ensure to take a few extra steps to help protect our homes (and our heating bills) during the chilly and possibly stormy months ahead.
Here’s our top 6 tips to get your home winter-ready:
1. Boost your insulation
If you haven’t already done so, insulating your house will make a huge difference when it comes to keeping your home cosy. Insulation of your attic is a cost effective way of retaining heat by preventing hot air escaping and cold air penetrating. Insulate between ceiling joists and large gaps with rock wool, then for any smaller gaps or hard-to-reach areas, use a can of expanding foam. Last but not least, make sure to seal around the attic door.
Now is the time to seal draughty exterior windows, doors and letterboxes to keep cold air from sweeping through your home. Use a good external door seal to prevent any cold air getting in. For around the windows, use a self-sticking window seal that is best suited for your type of window. You can also seal the top and bottom of skirting boards with flexible filler.
2. Get your boiler serviced
There is nothing more frustrating than the boiler packing up on a freezing cold night and this is why experts advise a service once a year to ensure smooth running throughout the winter months. Manufacturer and industry standards recommend your boiler is serviced once every 12 months to ensure it operates efficiently and safely. Servicing your boiler on an annual basis not only gives you the comfort of knowing your boiler is safe but is also efficient therefore reducing your energy costs substantially.
3. Fire safety
Getting the chimney cleaned is vital and we should all get a professional job done at least once a year and make sure our smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in working order regularly.
It is crucial to check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms – make sure they are both in working order with new batteries and also that they are positioned correctly. Carbon monoxide alarms should be at head height not on the ceiling, most people don’t realise that they have been affected and are feeling ill for weeks before an alarm, on the ceiling, goes off
4. Clean your gutters
The onset of winter brings wind and rain and taking the time to clear out guttering will help prevent the risk of damage.
Clear and free flowing gutters and downpipes will take rainwater away from the house. When blocked they can overflow causing damage to facia boards, which, over time, allows water to enter the building causing damp – every litre of water a blocked gutter holds, is a kilo in weight and over time can cause gutter bolts to pull from the building. Also blocked gutters are more likely to leak, leaving slippery puddles and unsightly water-staining around a property.
5. Remove moss
It is important to clean moss from around the home before the winter sets in as early evenings and wet weather can make pathways hazardous.
Moss and algae on exterior horizontal surfaces are not only an eyesore, they are slippery and therefore dangerous. To keep paths and driveways clear on the dark winter nights there are many options, depending on the type of surface material and budget.
6. Keep your insurance up to date
If recent winters are anything to go by, the weather can become extreme with storms, floods and heavy snow making life difficult. It is vital to ensure all insurance policies are up to date and suited to individual needs and properties.
Make sure all your house maintenance jobs are done and then ensure you have sufficient cover, in case the worst happens.
Ensure your home is covered for all eventualities. Get a home insurance quote from Acorn Insurance. Give us a call on 1890 800 222 or Request a Callback and we’ll find the best value home insurance for you.
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That’s it in a nutshell.