6 Things You Need to Do for Your Home Each Winter

Woman is sitting with cup of hot drink and book near the fireplace

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.

4 Ways to Prepare Your Home for the Winter

Loft Christmas room

Now that autumn is rolling in with force, the nights are getting ever longer and the temperatures are quickly dropping up and down the country, it is clear that winter is just around the corner. You need to make sure your home is prepared for the colder months.

This will help you to cut down on your expenses, particularly with your utility bills, so you really should at least try to make one or two adjustments. It will pay off in the long run!

Give Your Boiler a Tune-up

Although this will probably put you out of pocket to begin with, it’s never massively expensive, and it will definitely be preferable to having a boiler breakdown in the dead of winter when all the technicians have a massive backlog of heaters to repair.

Get in there while it’s not so busy and get your boiler looked at. The technician will give it a good going over, making sure it is clean and in good health, then tuning it up so you can get the maximum levels of efficiency and thus save a little money in running costs.

Check out Your Roof

Have a quick gander around your roof while it’s still light, checking for any tiles or shingles that are missing or damaged and might end up leaking ice cold water into your home as the snow settles and melts.

If you need some repairs, it will be more cost efficient in the long run to get a roofer out to do the work. Leaving it will only end up causing a much greater deal of damage. While you’re at it, make sure you clear out the gutters so that they don’t get blocked up.

Get Insulating

Insulation is your friend during those long, cold months. The main way to protect yourself from ice dams is by ensuring there is plenty of insulation up in the attic – if too much heat is escaping through the attic, it can melt the snow on the roof. If this then refreezes, you can be in big trouble, so make sure you’ve got enough insulation.

You can also help cut down your winter energy bills by caulking your windows and adding weather stripping to your doors; these will help to prevent heat getting out and draughts getting in.

Be Prepared for the Worst

Although it is fairly unlikely – at least, depending upon where you live – that you will experience any “real” winter emergency at home this year, it really will stand you in good stead to be prepared for any eventuality.

Familiarise yourself with the location of your pipes and learn how to shut off your water in case of a freeze or a leak, trim any dead branches from the trees so that they can’t do any damage if they freeze and fall, and make sure to stock up on salt or grit well ahead of schedule.