Top Tips for Winter Proofing Your Home
With winter expected to hit Edinburgh early and hard this year, now is definitely the time to start winter proofing your home.
avin Jenkins, director of HomeForce – an Edinburgh company specialising in providing thoroughly vetted and continuously appraised tradespeople – offers his top tips for winter home maintenance, including draft proofing and how to keep your home warm.
Boiler & Central Heating
When considering ways to winter proof your home, a boiler service goes without saying. A boiler breakdown in the depths of winter is a grim experience – and I do speak from personal experience! It’s also a good idea to get the engineer to ensure the central heating is running efficiently.
The money spent can be quickly made back by flushing the system out to get rid of sludge (this is called a Power Flush); through reduced fuel bills and running the system at lower settings. Ways to make your heating system work more efficiently include:
- fitting Thermostatic Valves to radiators;
- fitting a Magnaclean (this is a device that constantly keeps the system clean and running efficiently).
If a boiler is more than 10 years old, installing a new boiler would significantly reduce fuel cost and thus might be a viable option.
Roof and Gutters
A bit of preventative maintenance now will make sure you don’t run into problems during the winter. Ensure gutters are clear and free flowing. If the gutter comes down, it’s going to cost far far more to repair or replace than paying someone now for a couple of hours to clear them.
Similarly, replace any loose, broken or missing roof tiles – don’t wait until a leak appears. If it’s pouring with rain or there is heavy snow a roofer won’t be able to go on your roof because it’s not safe to do so.
The cooler but still pleasant temperatures in autumn and spring makes these ideal times to tidy up gardens. Sparser foliage means it’s easier to clear away leaves and other debris and to prune plants and shrubs, giving you a definite head start on the growing season.
With our winters expected to get colder and heating costs on the rise, it’s important to make sure your home is well insulated and retaining as much heat as possible. Edinburgh’s lovely old buildings are unfortunately a little drafty at times; luckily, there are all kinds of products that can be fitted to windows, doors and letterboxes to stop the wind whistling in and keep your living space cosy.
Extractor Fans in Bathrooms and Kitchens
In winter, we’re less likely to open windows when cooking or using the shower or bath. This can lead to condensation building up, which in turn encourages paint to flake and mould to grow. Ensuring your extractor fans are working correctly can save you from costly redecoration, as well as unsightly and unhealthy black mould build-up.