Keeping warm this winter

You know winter is on its way when the days start to become shorter and the evenings get colder. To make matters worse, in recent years the months around Christmas and New Year have been a lot chillier than usual.

So not only do we have to start to prepare ourselves with winter jumpers, wellies and gloves, we have to think about making our homes warm and cosy. It’s an essential! After being exposed to the elements, the last thing you want is a cold and uninviting abode.

Take a look at the following hints and tips to ensure you stay warm this winter.

Keep the cold out and the warmth in

  • Block any draughts – There are numerous ways cold air can get into your home, so make sure any gaps are blocked. This will most likely be windows and doors, so shut your curtains in the evenings and put draught excluders at the bottom of doors.

  • Use heat effectively – If it is a sunny day, leave the curtains open and allow it to heat your home. After boiling the kettle for a drink, fill up a hot water bottle and place in your bed. Once you’ve finished cooking, leave the oven door open.

  • Insulate your home – This does not mean a big financial outlay, as there are a few simple things you can do to insulate your home. You can use newspaper, beading or sealant to fill gaps in floorboards and skirting boards. Investing in jackets and padding for pipes and water tanks can avoid leaks and save energy. You may also be eligible for a home energy grant depending on your circumstances.

  • Install double-glazing – This is usually an expensive undertaking, but will protect your home from the cold and bitter weather. What’s more, double-glazing can significantly reduce your energy and heating bills.

Household maintenance

  • Service your boiler – As winter approaches, boiler breakdowns become more common. This is due to a large surge in gas consumption. Having your boiler regularly checked will ensure it is working correctly and operating efficiently. A free annual boiler service is part of our comprehensive central heating policy.

  • Bleed your radiators – If there is trapped air in your radiators, hot water might not be getting to every part. As a result, radiators will take longer to heat up your home. Bleeding your radiators is fairly straightforward and will ensure maximum heating efficiency is achieved.

  • Check the boiler’s water pressure – There is a chance your boiler will stop working if the water pressure is too low. To prevent this from becoming a problem when you need heat the most, check the boiler’s water pressure gauge. If it is below 1 bar, turn the system valve handle until the pressure increases. However do not exceed 1.5 bar, as anything above this could over pressurise the system.

  • Insulate condensate pipe – Another common reason for boilers breaking down is a frozen condensate pipe. While this can usually be rectified with a hot water bottle or hair dryer, insulating your condensate pipe is a good idea. This can be done using lagging, a cheap material available from DIY stores. For persistent problems, have a trace heater element installed or relocate the pipe internally.

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