Winter is coming, which means there is no better time to optimize your home environment. There is nothing more unwelcoming than a cold drafty home, particularly if you are entertaining this Christmas. What’s more, living in a home that is cold and draughty can actually increase your susceptibility to colds, flus, and other common winter ailments. So how can you prepare your home for winter, harness the power of comfortable home living, and ensure that it is a place people will want to visit this winter? Here are a few top hints and tips, and the good news is, they can all be implemented right now, meaning your home will be ready before Santa arrives!
Add Attic Insulation
An insulated home is a warm home. If your home always feels cold despite no obvious drafts or energy escaping from your windows then it could well be that all of your expensive heating is travelling up through your home and escaping through the roof. Insulation is vital if you live in a cold climate, and has year-wide benefits. Not only will it keep warm air in your home during the winter months, if you have a cooling system in your home then it will also trap in the cooler air during the summer months. Insulation is relatively simple job for a professional to complete and not too expensive to install: if you find an engineer today, you could still have the process completed by Christmas, and you’ll be amazed at how much warmer it will make your home feel, without having to turn up the thermostat.
Invest in New Curtains
When choosing new curtains, many of us will focus on whether the colour and patterns match the interior style of our room. But actually, curtains serve a much more important role during the winter months than simply looking pretty: the right curtains can provide vital insulation for your home. Look for thermally designed curtains or ones with thick linings (black out curtains are a great choice). When they’re closed, these will minimize the amount of heat that is lost through your windows. Of course, it’s not enough to just buy new curtains, you also have to use them; draw your curtains at night, and during the day when you’re not in the house, to trap in as much heat as possible and minimize the amount of central heating you will need to use.
Buy Your Pipes a Cardigan
Your external pipes have a lot of hard work to do during the winter months: when they’re in use they become hot very quickly, but when they’re not in use they can freeze equally rapidly. If you don’t take control of this situation, this could lead to very expensive burst pipes, leading to massive damage in your home and a huge repair bill to boot. Some experts suggest that you leave your heat on (choosing a low setting) at all times to prevent your pipes from freezing. An even cheaper solution would be to cover your pipes in their equivalent of a winter cardigan (known as lagging) which will both insulate and protect the pipes, as well as minimizing any heat loss you will experience when they are in use.
Have Your Boiler Serviced
The boiler is the most expensive aspect of your heating system, and the piece of equipment responsible for keeping your home warm during the winter, and yet many of us ignore it and take for granted that it will continue to work year after year. Looking after your boiler is vital, and one of the best ways to do this is to have it serviced every winter. On average a boiler service should cost less than £100, and will ensure yours it in tip top condition. It could also save you money by ensuring your boiler is running as efficiently as possible, and even protect you from dangerous carbon monoxide leaks.
Bleed Your Radiators
Finally, when was the last time you took the time to bleed your radiators? This relatively simple job takes just a few minutes but can make a huge difference to how warm your home feels. When your radiators feel colder at the top than they do at the bottom, this is a sign that they have air trapped inside them. Bleeding your radiators will release this air, meaning that your radiators can run more efficiently. It’s a simple job that anyone can do, so there’s no excuse not to grab that radiator key and get going!