There are several way to winter-proof your home that will not only help to reduce a costly winter fuel bill and your CO2 emissions but also keep you and your family comfortable throughout the colder months.
The Ferrari of house insulation or what energy experts usually recommend, is to invest in cavity wall insulation, or filling the gap between the two layers of your external walls. However I would disagree, it is not only expensive, but complicated and there are plenty of other cheaper and easier options.
Inside and out of your home prevention is key. You don’t want to have to deal with a burst pipe during the winter months. An easy and effective way to do this is to make sure you check that all pipes are insulated and well ventilated. If necessary you can purchase cheap foam lagging from your local DIY store to add to your pipes and even an insulating jacket for your hot water cylinder.
Don’t forget to make sure your stop cock is easy to locate and in working order. You don’t want to find it is hidden behind your fridge as a burst water pipe floods your living room.
I would make sure to always invest in boiler maintenance, this pays off in the long run. Getting your boiler serviced is essential and not only makes it less likely for you to be left without hot water and heating in the winter, but means your boiler will last longer.
Loft insulation is important and I would ensure it is adequate, but you don’t need to listen to the sales pitch from builders and spend too much money in having a professional replace it. Just add to it by purchasing additional lagging in your local DIY store.
Double glazed windows are a great solution to reduce your energy bills and will increase the value of your property substantially when you go to sell it. However they are a large financial commitment and may cause havoc in your home when being installed.
Instead try adding draught excluders and tapes on windows and also doors, these are simple, cheap and effective ways to reduce heat loss. Get full length lined curtains and don’t forget to use a letter box cover.
For the outside of your property cut away any vines and branches and making sure there are no cracks in the brickwork caused by seasonal damage. On the roof clear the leaves from the gutters and check if there are any loose tiles or if any of the render has fallen. Your roof is what protects you and your home from all the elements so do get a professional to fix any issues.
Getting your home prepared and protected for winter is essential, but can be costly. However you don’t need to carry out every expensive recommendation. Invest your money in what is most important and use simple DIY solutions that can be just as effective for the rest.