Top tips to prepare your home for winter
Now autumn’s here it is time to prepare the home for winter with shorter days, darker nights and tumbling temperatures to come.
Energy expert Ron Fox, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science and Innovation Park (www.noreus.co.uk), suggests 10 energy saving ideas that householders can put into place this month.
Saving by degrees
As soon as the cooler nights arrive it is tempting to put the thermostat up. But remember every degree increase adds up to £75 to the annual energy bill. Keeping it between 18C and 21C should keep everyone comfortable until the spring. Also having thermostats on individual radiators means lower temperature can be set automatically at night and when the house is empty, leading to considerable savings.
Stop the leaks
Ensure there’s no leaks and draughts from doors and windows. An easy way to check is to use a lighted candle and if it flickers then replace the seals.
Hit the roof
Autumn is the best time to check that there are no cracked and damaged tiles nor split and corroded lead flashing, particularly around the chimney. This will result in loss of water resistance and lead to leaks. Ron said the easiest way is to hire an expert with a drone and a thermal imaging camera.
Also look at the roof from the attic. If daylight can be seen through the tiles this needs checking. One solution is to spray foam the loft. This non-toxic, environmentally friendly system forms an air-tight seal and reduces heating bills by up to 50 per cent.
Finally, don’t forget to clean out the gutters and check that the rainwater downpipes are clear of any obstructions. Also cut back or remove all dangerous tree branches and potentially problematic shrubs overhanging any part of the roof.
Book a boiler service
Check the boiler is in good working order for the winter by getting an expert to give it an annual check-up now.
Test home devices, such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, to see that they are working and don’t need new batteries.
Replace old filters and clean the inside compartment of humidifiers. Use vinegar which is cheap and effective.
Many people hate coming back to a dark house. One way is to have LED bulbs, which uses less electricity, to brighten up the garden and driveway as well as the inside of the home.
Recipe for success
Slow cookers will provide heart-warming soups and casseroles after a long day. Also they use little more energy than a light bulb.
Switching duvets with a higher ‘tog’ rating can give a better night’s sleep and cut gas and electricity bills.
Curtains to heat loss
Use heavily lined curtains which can prevent draughts and the amount of heat lost through windows.
“Preventative maintenance now will save money on expensive emergency repairs and wasted energy later,” said Ron.
For more advice contact him on 0845 474 6641 or go to www.noreus.co.uk