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Winter Tips for you home: part 1

Kew Insurance's Top Tips for Helping to Keep your Home "Simply Secure" this Winter

 
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Here are some top tips to help to protect your Home from the winter blues ->

Make sure your boiler is serviced - during cold spells, the worst thing to happen is if your boiler fails, leaving your home without heat. By making sure that your boiler is checked by an engineer in the Autumn months, it will help to prevent any untimely breakdown of your boiler. The months of September and October are the ideal months to have your boiler checked over to ensure that your boiler is in excellent condition to heat your home efficiently within the winter months. If you have a condensing boiler, it is a good idea to check the overflow pipe (normally located outside) to avoid any build up of ice.

Bleed all radiators in the home - if you have noticed that your home is not heating up properly, there may be trapped air inside your radiators. The trapped air in the radiators prevents the hot water from circulating efficiently. If the hot air does not circulate properly, the radiators will not warm up properly to heat your home efficiently. A simple and useful measure to keep your home toasty warm is to bleed every single radiator in the house.

Maintain the central heating at a constant low temperature - it is a good idea to keep your central heating on at a minimum of 12 degrees centigrade at all times during the winter, especially if you are away from the home for a number of days. This is because when the central heating is switched off, there is a danger that your pipes will become frozen.  For further information on frozen pipes, please take a look at our blog post on burst and frozen pipes for more details, here.

Keep taps dripping at a low level - if you are likely to be away from your home for more than a day, it is a good idea to leave the cold taps on, for every sink within the home, at an extremely low pressure. Keeping taps dripping at a very low level (just a tiny drip) will reduce the risk of freezing pipes as water is still running through the system. It is best to make absolutely sure that the taps are on a very low pressure to avoid any accidental flooding.

Eliminate all Draughts - draughts can really impair the warmth within your home, even if the heating is functioning properly. Simple measures are effective at preventing cold air from entering your home. You can place a draught excluder underneath your front door, to prevent cool air entering a warm house. You can also organise for your windows to be double glazed (alternatively fit all windows with draught excluders). In addition, you can fill any gaps in the floor boards with filler and keep all blinds and windows closed as much as possible.

Place lagging over your water tank and pipes – Lagging will make sure that cold air cannot enter pipes, or the water tank, and freeze the water inside whilst also keeping the water hotter for a longer period of time. Lagging does not require professionals to fit it and so is a relatively pain free installation period, available at many hardware shops.

Make sure your loft is insulated – Loft insulation will serve as a barrier that will slow down the process of heat escaping the property through the roof - research shows that up to a quarter of an un-insulated home’s heat is lost through this way. Insulating the loft can either be done by professionals or as a DIY job and there are many different resources available to insulate the loft, such as, mineral wool, rigid insulation boards, blown fibre boards and loose-fill insulation.

Kew’s Special Tips:

  • It is a good idea to place either foil or foil insulation behind your radiator. The foil will reflect the warmth back into the room and help to keep your family warm during those cold nights!
  • Store up your favourite warm drinks and save them for the worst days that winter has to offer. Nothing is more comforting than sipping on your favourite hot beverage (hot chocolate, spiced pumpkin latte), whilst the weather is icy cold outside.