In the words of the Stark house, winter is coming. We can feel it already – the nights are drawing in ever sooner, the weather is getting wetter and more miserable, and it’s definitely rather cooler than it was just a few short weeks ago.
Just as you need to ensure that your wardrobe and your immune system are ready for the winter months, it is equally important to make sure that your home is well prepared for this cold and grey time of the year.
To help keep you and your home both safe and warm, we have put together some wintery household tips for you. Make sure you do these every year and you’ll see the winter through in comfort.
1. Get a Winter Check-up
While autumn is still around, you should ensure to phone up your gas and electric providers and get them to send someone out for a winter check-up. Get your boiler tested for its efficiency and given a boost if possible, and if applicable get any air vents and air conditioner units cleaned up.
2. Have Your Chimney Swept
Obviously, this tip won’t be of much use to you if you’ve not got a chimney, but if you have – you’re in luck! If it’s been a while since you last had your chimney cleaned, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so get it done this year. This will ensure it’s properly drawing up the smoke. You don’t want it clogging up the living room.
3. Tend to Your Gardens
Got any dead or dying trees on your property or any branches hanging over your roof? Then you’ll want to sort them out. When the temperatures start to dip below freezing, they can start posing real problems.
4. Start an Emergency Kit
It might be worthwhile to put together a small emergency kit, just in case the power goes out while the temperatures are sub-zero. Of course this is only applicable for worst case scenarios, but as always it is better to be safe than sorry, especially when it’s chilly. Grab things like non-perishables, blankets, torches (with spare batteries), and some bottled water, and squirrel them away in a safe place.
5. Cover the Patio Furniture
There’s not really much to elaborate on here: your patio furniture has to be covered or put away, unless you want it to succumb to the cold and the wet.
6. Check Your Roof
Either check your roof yourself or hire a professional to do it for you if you’re uncomfortable with heights. Check for any loose or broken tiles or shingles – heat can escape through the gaps here. Also ensure that your gutters and downspouts are free of leaves and debris; wet leaves can become very heavy very quickly, and they pose a real risk of damage when the temperature drops. Because of the water, they expand upon freezing, so you can say goodbye to your pipes.