Have you been wearing a hat and gloves every day this week? Got your furry boots on too? When there’s a cold spell, all those lovely warm clothes get dug out of the cupboard. But remember at this time of year you should work to protect your home against the cold as well as yourself. Cast radiators are the best way to keep your house warm in such icy cold weather.
Trying to keep your home warm and protected during cold weather while also trying to keep bills low can be a balancing act of epic proportions. Have your heating on too low (or not at all) and risk pipes bursting or your boiler packing in. But have it on too high and your bills will sky rocket. So what is the best way protect your home during the winter months?
Keep the heating on low
During freezing temperatures, there’s no way around it – you’ll have to put your heating on when the temperature dips below zero. Ice freezing inside pipes can cause them to burst, leading to leaks when it thaws out again. Even if the pipes don’t burst, you won’t have access to running water in your home, so it’s best to play it safe and have your thermostat set to around 12 degrees, or to simply keep your heating on a low setting.
Find your stopcock
It’s imperative that you know how to turn your water supply off before any crises. Locate your water supply’s stopcock – it’s usually near the kitchen sink or toilet – and test that it actually works. Once you switch the valve off, no water should come out of your taps when you turn them on.
Insulate your home
If keeping your heating bills as low as possible is important to you, you should insulate your home throughout. There will be an upfront cost, of course, but you’ll feel the benefit over the years. Consider having double-glazing, wall and pipe insulation and draught excluders fitted throughout your home to minimise heat loss. By being able to keep your home warmer more easily, it’ll be less likely to suffer damage due to cold weather.
Leave internal doors open
By leaving doors open, warm air will be able to circulate throughout your home. This doesn’t just apply to rooms though – consider leaving your loft hatch and the cupboard doors to your sinks open to allow warm air to circulate around pipes and water tanks.
Check your boiler
All of the above will be for nought if your boiler can’t cope with the added pressure from the winter weather. If your boiler breaks during a cold snap, you won’t be able to heat your home properly, which could lead to further problems. If your current boiler is a rickety old thing of questionable integrity, consider having a new one fitted. Otherwise, a yearly service will ensure it’s able to cope with what the winter holds.
Watch out for your roof
Roof damage is one of the biggest complaints after snow hits. There’s little that can be done during the event, so it’s important to ensure your roof is properly maintained throughout the rest of the year to minimise potential damage when the blizzards begin.
If the worst does happen and you find your home in disarray because of burst pipes or some other cold catastrophe, home insurance could be your saviour.