With hot summer days still fresh in our minds, it’s hard to imagine struggling to keep warm. But don’t be fooled, winter is coming. The dark and frosty mornings will soon be here, so the sooner you prepare your home for the temperature drop, the better.
I’ve put together a list of the household errands you should complete before we hit November to ensure your home is protected from harsh weather conditions and prepared with cosy winter essentials.
Check your boiler is up to date
The last thing you need through winter is for the boiler to break, leaving you without hot running water and heated radiators. If you aren’t sure whether it needs replacing, hire a qualified engineer to check its current state.
If you have a non-condensing boiler, it’s likely to soon reach the end of its lifespan of ten to 15 years as it’s been mandatory for any newly installed boilers in the UK to be condensing since April 2005.
Your energy bills may currently be suffering from an inefficient old boiler. A replacement condensing boiler could lower your bills by £200 annually as they have a high energy efficiency rating of over 90%.
This task might seem intimidating, but the ‘find a boiler’ tool on BOXT makes it much easier. All you need to do is answer a few simple questions about your home, and you’ll be advised on the type of boiler you need. You can also use this online service to arrange the entire installation process for additional convenience.
Draught-proof your property
If cold air circulates your home through winter, making it difficult to stay warm, you need to draught-proof the property.
Some of the easiest solutions to this problem include:
- Sticking draught-proofing strips around window frames and door edges
- Getting thicker curtains
- Placing draught excluders over the letterbox
- Covering the gap at the bottom of the front door with draught excluders
- Fitting a keyhole cover
If the draughts are entering through minor cracks in the wall, repair them with filler or cement.
You may need to consult a professional if draughts are caused by extensive damage or unused chimneys.
Prepare for cosy nights in
This step may not be the most important, but you’ll be thankful for it none-the-less. There’s nothing more enticing than staying indoors for a cosy movie night when winter strikes.
For maximum comfort, stock up on these essentials:
- A thick duvet
- Hot Chocolate
- Fluffy pyjamas
- Fairy lights
Keep pipes from freezing
At best, frozen pipes can prohibit access to running water. At worst, the pipes can burst and cause significant flood damage.
To prevent this, keep your heating on throughout winter for at least an hour a day, even if you aren’t home. If the pipes run through cold parts of the home or outside, apply thermal insulation.
Ensure you know where the stop cock is in case you need to turn the water off to prevent flooding.
Invest in a wake-up light alarm
Getting up in winter is hard. Without the sun streaming through the window, we’re forced to rely on aggressive alarm clocks. If getting dragged out of a deep sleep by a booming noise makes you hate the mornings, consider using a sunrise alarm clock instead.
They slowly get lighter shortly before your desired waking time, to mimic natural morning light. This softer and gradual transition into consciousness is believed to make you feel more relaxed and energized. It can also act as light therapy to get you through the winter blues.
It’s easy to let the gloomy winter weather get you down, especially if you’re never exposed to daylight and you struggle to keep your house warm. But winter-proofing your home and transforming it into a cosy haven will definitely boost your mood.